Countless times over the years, I’ve thought to myself, “If only I could go back and do things differently.” And that’s why nearly two decades later, I’m writing this letter to my twenty-something self: not because I can undo past mistakes, but because right now there is a young twenty-something man facing his own unplanned pregnancy (or could in the near future) longing for someone to give him solid, strong, Godly advice. If that’s you, it’s my hope that this letter will help you.
These men inspire me to be a better woman. So thank you. Thank you for being a great man when you hold your temper… when you tell me I’m beautiful… when you’re okay with not being the center of my universe because you know Jesus deserves and holds that place… when you’re not afraid to call me out, to let me know the areas I need to grow in no matter how awkward it may be. You’re a great man when you refuse to let me be stubborn about my independence when it’s obvious I need a more skilled, helping hand.
Q: I know I should break up with my boyfriend, but we’ve broken up before and gotten back together. I feel like our relationship isn’t the best for me, but I really care about him. What should I do? A: I understand that you care for your boyfriend. Breaking up with someone does not mean […]
You talk a lot about how a man should treat a woman. What I never hear though is how a woman can accept that. I really struggle with feeling like I don’t deserve to be treated with respect and I’m worthless, so it always feels awkward for me to let a guy be a gentleman. I don’t know what I should do about it. Do you have any advice?
Knowing that God loves you just as you are allows you to be yourself on a date. Since you are loved by Him, there’s no need to question whether or not you are lovable. Knowing that you were uniquely created, with your own beauty and mystery, will help you “guard your heart” and not feel like you have to share every detail of your life early in the dating process. Knowing that God wants us to love others will guide you to be respectful and thoughtful on a date.
Saint John Paul II wrote “It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman.” If you can keep this in mind, you’ll never have a bad date.
This doesn’t mean you’ll never have an awkward date or that every first date will lead to a second date. Trust me. One of my dates involved me getting sick in the middle of a restaurant called “Thai-Tanic.” The date was about as successful as the ship they named the restaurant after.
Q: How do you keep your marriage and faith related? In other words, what things do you and your husband (Brian) do every day to lead each other closer to Christ?
It was a Saturday night and I was completely alone. I had cash in my pocket and gas in my truck but I had no friends anymore. The phone was not ringing. The silence was a deafening reminder to how ‘sad’ my social life had become in a very short amount of time. This had never happened to me in my previous three years of high school. My senior year was supposed to be epic! Instead it was growing increasingly lonely and there was only one person to blame: Jesus.
I turned around, and drove back to my house, wiping my eyes so I wouldn’t freak my mom out too much. But as I got out, it wasn’t Mom, or even Josh to meet me outside first. It was my Dad. And I had told myself I wasn’t going to cry anymore, but the concerned look on his face made me start to sob again and I sputtered, “I didn’t forget anything, I just missed you guys.”
Secondly, it’s false. She says men have two options: 1) look at porn, or 2) look at you.
And by “look at you,” I assume she doesn’t mean, “look at you while you’re praying the rosary on your evening walk together.”
No, she means either a guy will lust over you or someone else. It’s like saying, “either your boyfriend will be obese or he’ll be anorexic.” Isn’t there a third option? Like, maybe he’ll be healthy? And there is such a thing as sexual health, we call it chastity. Though chastity may conjure up images of either uncomfortable belts or the notion of repressing sexuality in the name of “abstinence”… chastity is neither of these things but so much more.
The “Catholic Church hates gay people” is a misconception floating around society I’m sure many Catholics have heard many times. I don’t know about you, but I always wonder why people believe this misconception. My guess? Many Catholic individuals don’t know how to properly express love. When the Church’s individuals fail to express love, the Church loses its identity.
Q: I am a junior in high school and I have never been asked to the Homecoming Dance. How can I help from feeling hopeless when I see my friends getting asked to different dances?
An ideal feminism incorporates the virtue of humility. It’s saying we all have something valuable to offer whether male or female but neither of us have everything, therefore we respect our differences and build each up. We need each other (Genesis 1:26-28). Gender equality is a universal partnership of brothers and sisters.
Q: I’ve noticed that every time I meet a new guy, and we start to become friends, I instantly start looking at our relationship as a potential “more than friends” kind of relationship. Sometimes I take it as far as imagining what life would be like if I did marry that person. I’m not sure how to get out of this. I want to be friends with guys.
If we had already been living together, in the back of my mind I’d wonder if Jim was asking me to marry him because he’d gotten used to having me around. I’d wonder if I had said “yes” because I was afraid of being alone and having to open jars by myself. But when I walk down the aisle, there will be no doubt in my mind that we’re freely choosing marriage not because we had settled in as roommates who had learned to put up with each other, but as two people that have freely chosen to love each other.
I have read a few articles and Q&A’s in lifeteen.com (such as “If you love me… lead me to Christ”), which a number of them mentioned the struggles with falling into temptation and getting more physical in dating relationships. My question is this, regarding to physical intimacy, how much is too much? How far is too far?
Yes, as you grow up, many of your friends will reject truth. You can’t control that. They will make bad decisions, especially with their bodies, and blame the “moment” or drunkenness or “freedom.” All are lies to make themselves feel better. They will sacrifice their bodies and dignity on altars of conformity and public opinion. Don’t be like them. Pray for them. Love them – but don’t emulate them. They are seeking a love that you already have and know – a love from the Father. Exemplify that love by the way that you love and respect yourself.
Choosing to center your relationship on Christ is going to bring you the most peace and lasting happiness. I’m glad that you want more for yourself than to settle for falling into a pattern of sin.
Sometimes we, as Catholics, think going to Confession and promising it (our sin) won’t happen again will magically give us the power to stop sinning. While Confession is a great start, it is just that – a starting place. God gives us grace to continue moving forward, He offers us help to avoid sin, and we have to do our part to follow His path to holiness.
In some places, the pressure to date is ridiculous. Boys and girls used to be total opposites, gross even, and now they suddenly look a little more interesting… And when they start to pair off, I know that it can be tough to be left behind on that. It would be totally awesome if someone that you liked also thought that you were cute, funny, smart, and interesting — but let me ask you a question: Would you rather have the tennis courts or the front porch? Please, don’t waste your first kiss.
This doesn’t mean that you should just settle for boring friends. When Jesus promised to give us “life to the full” (John 10:10), He must’ve meant something more exciting than a youth group bowling trip. Have you prayed for good friendships? Ask God to provide friends that are pursuing holiness that you also enjoy hanging out with.