I am drawn to the image of the lone ranger woman. Courageous. Independent. Confident. Fulfilled. She wears whatever she likes, does what she enjoys and needs approval from no one. The reality, though, is that often I fixate on pleasing others. I obsess over it.
Leah, a woman whose story is told in the Bible, did this. Married to a man who didn’t notice, appreciate or want her, she obsessed over gaining his approval and his love. For years. In our culture we envy and admire woman who look amazing. In her culture, women who had babies were honoured and valued.
Each time Leah gave birth, you can tell from the naming of her child that she was hoping this child would finally make her husband notice her. Want her. Love her. Admire her.
I think many of us are a lot like her. We allow others to decide our worth. A key relationship isn’t what we want it to be and we agonize over it – longing for something that this person isn’t giving us. Sometimes social media plays a roll as we obsess over likes, follows, or other signs of affirmation. Our longing for approval allows others to control us.
In her book, Control Girl, Shannon Popkin says “We give control to the person whose opinion matters most to us. For each of us, this person needs to be God.”
This isn’t easy, and Popkin reminds readers that putting God first can be a long, gritty struggle as we break free from old patterns.
Whose opinion matters most to you?
How can you intentionally shift your gaze so that it becomes fixed on a God who adores you… Someone you can trust with your fears, your hopes and your heart?
Give control to God by accepting His unconditional love and wrenching your eyes from the people you long to impress. Let His esteem be enough.