Do You Believe in Soulmates?

girls ministry, women, youth ministry

In May, I posted this post that explains a little bit of what I have been wrestling with, in regards to how we talk to our teenagers about sex, specifically teenage girls. We have played the shame game for long enough, and I want to redirect youth ministry to a more loving and honest approach to the “sex talk.”

One of my friends that I grew up with posted on my personal Facebook page this article: My Husband Is Not My Soul Mate

This article is one I have read before and orates really well the myth behind having a “soul mate.” Too often we tell our teenage girls to just “Wait for God to put that perfect man in your life” (which I already ranted about) or to “Pray for your future soulmate.”

We say these things with good intentions, and I think there are good principles here; but what are we implying?

  • That they WILL get married. Not necessarily true
  • That there is ONE person out there for them. What a tiring search!
  • That their self-worth is found in a man. Absolutely not.

So what are a a few ways things we can do?

If it happens, it happens.

I think that teaching our teenagers (especially girls) that relationships are beautiful and that if they happen, they happen, that’s wonderful. But not necessarily promised.

First Love isn’t the Only Love

I think we need to teach them that the first person they date is not the one; in fact, there are many potential possibilities of the one! There have been men in my life who I honestly could have lived a good, long life with. But that doesn’t mean they are my “soul mate.” And:

There are other fish in the sea.

If you pass up a “good opportunity” in pursuit of something (or someone) else, that opportunity is not lost forever. Of course, popular music and movies would teach you different.  Like I said, I have passed up some opportunities because:

God may still be preparing you. 

I think it’s funny that we pray, “And God, I pray for my future husband that you are preparing for me.  One day I realized: Maybe it’s me God is preparing for him. Why do we assume it’s the other person who God is working on?  It’s pretty audacious for me to think that I’m the one waiting, when in reality there may be a guy who God has in mind to run into my path soon, but I’m the one who’s not prepared.  Just. Saying.

Re-define “the perfect mate.”

Bust the bubbles of reality. I used to make lists of what my future husband should be like. I wish I could find the Bible Journal from middle (even high) school that had a points system, including:

  • If he loves Jesus +25 points.
  • Attends church every Sunday +25
  • Nice face +10 points.
  • Nice body +10 points.
  • Abs +10 points
  • Taller than me +15
  • Has a sense of humor +15 points.
  • Plays guitar +10 points.
  • Thinks my parents are stupid too +10 points.
  • Smokes -50 points
  • Does drugs -100 points
  • Must have 90 points in order to date me.

I’m not even kidding.

But as I get older— do I really care that he’s not the best at writing with perfect grammar? Okay, let’s skip that one. But does he HAVE to be over six feet tall? I’m pretty short as it is. Why do I care about things that don’t honestly matter?  What do perfect abs have to do with anything; we’re all gonna get fat when we get old anyway.

All I’m sayin’ is:

Let’s be realistic and honest with our teenagers. Let’s not shame them into thinking that they HAVE to date or have relationships with the opposite sex in one, concrete way. Live life with them, let them experience what marriage is like by having married couples invest in them, and let them see that singleness is not for ugly people and creepers who are miserable.

If this stuff isn’t true, then I am one sad, miserable, 23 year old and I should invest in some cats, liposuction, and therapy.

Teenagers are…

youth ministry

I started reading Fahrenheit 451 last week, and I ran across this quote and had to laugh:

Teenagers:  They’re peculiar, aggravating, yet easy to forgive. They’re so much more, too–they’re creative, ambitious, crazy, sassy, yet more intelligent than adults are sometimes.

I love it.

What are teenagers to you?

Discipling Girls: A @youth_min Roundtable with Neely, Elle, and Bekah

girls ministry, women, youth ministry,

Today I had the privilege of hosting a hangout with Elle Campbell, Neely McQueen, and Bekah Miller!



Go watch and interact. I’m telling you, these women make me look like a genius for having them on this Roundtable! These ladies are L.E.G.I.T.

Fitness Goals are like Ministry Goals

youth ministry

This is a shoutout to all my friends over at YouthPastorDiet.Com, and all youth pastors everywhere who are struggling with their goals for weight…and their ministry.

Here I am at 9 years old, about to run to first base. Good luck, little chunky Heather.

Here I am at 9 years old, about to run to first base. Good luck, little chunky Heather. Yes, I still run with my pants that high.

I have struggled with my weight all my life: I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb with a pear shape. In January, I decided that I wanted to begin running.  Now, understand how ridiculous and hilarious this is: I have never been able to run. Like, ever. Even when I played softball for 6 years, I was terrible at running. Terrible! My mom used to make fun of me and tell me that I looked like I was running with a piano on my back.

So why did I decide to run? Stink if I know. I think it’s because I knew that I wanted to exercise more and get fit.  I also have issues with migraines, and at my January doctor’s appointment I was told I’m healthy as a clam, yet my BMI is bad, like really bad.  I think it’s because I was too poor for a gym membership, and I can’t fit an exercise machine in my little car.  Running is free.  Well, after you drop $150 on a good pair of shoes, some running shorts, a good sports bra (not just for women), and a running shirt. Cool running sunglasses optional. They’re on my list.

A few months later, my miles are 3 minutes shorter; in fact, just this morning I beat my records. I’m achieving goals, setting records, yet I’m discontent because I’m not seeing it on the scale.  I thought I’d be skinnier?  I mean, let’s be honest: Wasn’t that really my goal all along?

But I’m forgetting all the little goals: That my migraines aren’t every day anymore. That before, I couldn’t exercise 2 days in a row…this week I did FIVE days in a row. FIVE!!! Yes, it hurts like you-know-what… but I’ve had worse. I’m faster, stronger, I feel better. And my confidence is great.  Those are all goals to be celebrated.

I think back to ministry (because I always ministry-juke myself):

We set goals for ministry, typically growth: And even though our existing students may be getting stronger, may be getting over bumps of junk in their life, may be becoming just brave enough to invite people… we are only focused on the quantitative growth.  And what a shame that is!

Shouldn’t we be celebrating all the little victories!  Who cares if I’m not losing inches where I want to–it’s happening!   Who cares if teens’ friends aren’t coming–at least they have the guts to ask them now!

AND–maybe we need to reevaluate our methodology.  So I’m running…what about that Chinese food I ate the other day?

But we use excuses for those things: Well, we always do Taco Tuesdays (order a Taco Salad, brosky). I have to go support their bake sale.  Well, we’re at the baseball game, so beer and frank it is.  And ladies: It’s “that time.” Yeah, well a few times I’ve beat my time on “my time” if you get my drift.

That sounds like that one excuse every youth worker loathes: “This is the way we have always done it.”

Did I make you feel bad yet?


I think I might have to go for another jog.