breaking basic

"People may teach what they know, but they reproduce what they are" ( j o h n   c   m a x w e l l )

We all have a role in each other's lives as women. To the girls coming after me, I want to say I'm sorry.

I was scrolling through Instagram tonight. I'd been sitting at the lingeringly sticky, mahogany tinted table at Starbucks (yes, I'm at a chain in a city renowned not only for its festivals but food. Don't judge. They're open late).

I saw the caption. "Sweet 16, baby." She was by her new sedan. High waisted jean-mini skirt, legs tan and posed, hair billowing, blush pink crop top emphasizing her womanly features, she reclined on the hood. Swipe right and you got another downtown lean, long legs sliding towards you from the screen, eyes to the side, slight smile sitting on the pronounced lips.

Did we do that to you?

The thought came without me trying to put it there. Did we do that to you? Did we teach you that the way to be, the way to be happy and to fit in and make it was to make yourself basically like every other basic girl out there?

The body. Did we teach you that sliding out a leg was the way to be selected by the girls, the guys? To enter the inner ring? That the best way to find happiness was through making other people happy to see (and happy to want to have) your body? That the best love comes when he pushes the heart on your photo that all your friends say makes you look so hot? Did we model this for you? Did you see it in us?

We didn't tell you, and I'm sorry.

We didn't tell you that sticking that leg out could get you selected (yes). But it's seductive. You can be at a concert and find that guy, beer in hand, who is more than happy to have you. I've seen, now.

We didn't tell you that getting their eyes on you can make you happy (yes). But it can mean they are looking at you with lust not for your heart but for your flesh. You can be walking through Target and feel their stares. You can be sitting at Panera and notice the garbage near you is being visited. Every three minutes by a man who noticed. I've seen, now.

We didn't tell you that people can push the heart on the screen and push your heart into places it was not meant to be. That beauty is a game girls play and never feel like they win.

We didn't tell you, and I'm sorry.

I'm sorry that we get caught up in this game ourselves and neglect our responsibility, our responsibility to warn you, to show you through not just our words but our actions that this game is bondage when we've been offered freedom.

You see, we really didn't tell you. We didn't tell you about holiness. We didn't show you in our actions. And I'm sorry. We didn't get lost with you in the wonder of what it means to be a true woman, what it is like to live knowing you are pursued by a divine redeeming love. We didn't tell you what you are actually made of, that whose you are is more important than who others (and even yourself) say you are.

Instead, we just heart your Instagram stories, becoming numb to our own blindness. That we don't see where we are leading you. That we don't see that we are the leaders. That with every heart we are affirming this illusive reality that this hearted way is the way to life. That you are not missing anything but have actually found it all.

Because we get too caught up in it ourself. We are lonely and want your affection, too. We want you to come running to us and squealing our names because we want to be wanted.

What do I really wish that we wanted?

That our hearts burned, were beyond restless, couldn't settle until we'd told you:

You are so worth loving, not only for what you look like.
Stop obsessing over what you look like and who likes how you look.
You're missing out.
You're missing out on these crazy free moments where you break the basic norm and sing a little more loudly. love someone who others avoid. take extra long on helping with something less than glamorous.
You're missing out on giving.
You're missing out on so much laughter.
You're missing out peace.

There is truly so much more. 

Please, forgive us.
And please, those of us who are are responsible. It starts with us. So let's start.

Let's start calling people to a higher standard.
Let's start calling ourselves to a higher standard.
Let's break basic, basically pledging to live so in love with Jesus that we are so in love with life. So in love with life that His way is contagious.
Basically breaking our shallow self-obsession and chasing to pursue faith, love, and holiness (1 tim).

There truly is so much more.

© 2018 Deborah  Spooner
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  1. So glad to see you writing again. I appreciate your thoughtful posts. Keep it up. ~AnnaGrace


I definitely don't want this to be a monologue. What are your thoughts? Questions? Ideas?