• chloefaithwhaley

Christian Girl Survival Guide for a Secular Culture

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Being a Christian girl in today's culture can be challenging at times. The lifestyle popular culture pushes on us is pretty much the exact opposite lifestyle God calls us to live. If you're a Jesus follower, you've probably felt the tension between what's popular and what's Godly. You might have even experienced people making fun of your beliefs or calling them intolerant or offensive.

Sometimes it can feel easier to follow the culture's ways instead of Jesus's ways. Satan has a way of making the mainstream enticing. He covers disobedience with false promises of happiness, acceptance, indulgence, ease, praise, or wealth.

We've all probably given in to the culture at least once in our lives. We decided to go to that party or wear that thing everyone else was wearing or adjust our morals just a little to be accepted by that crowd. Somehow that one decision made it easier for you to make another, and another, leading you down a path you didn't intend to go down. Something I've learned from my own falling away is that those false promises the culture makes never deliver. You are left feeling empty, broken, wanting and/or ashamed.

It can feel like a double-edged sword though because if you decide to follow Jesus and go against the crowd, you are ridiculed. A lot of times you feel alone. You are different and might even draw a little attention to yourself.

I have good news for you girl. If you are ridiculed, feeling alone, different, or even persecuted, this means you are doing something right. And you will be blessed for it. Jesus said, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:11-12.

The world did all of these things to Jesus too, and He is the Son of God. They persecuted the early church and still are in some places today. So if this is happening to you, you know you belong to God and His family. And unlike Satan and the culture, God always fulfills His promises. He follows through when he promises joy, peace, love, and fullness of life when you follow Him.

So how do we continue following Jesus even when the culture tempts or mocks us? Here is my Christian girl survival guide for living in a secular culture.

Best Friends and Drawing Lines

I'm about to share with you the most important takeaway in this entire post and probably for your entire life. Write this down: Who you share your life with will determine the direction your life will go. Choose your best friends and people that are closest to you so so carefully.

1 Corinthians 15:33 says, "Do not be mislead: 'Bad company corrupts good character."

And Proverbs 13:20 says, "Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm."

The people that you spend the most time with will influence you the most, so you have to make sure you reserve the "best friend" title for the most positive, Godly influences. These are your inner circle of friends that you share what you're going through with, hang out with most often, and ask advice from. Your best friends should be Christian girls who are truly following Jesus and encourage you in your walk with Christ. These are the girls that will lift you up and help you fulfill all that God has for you, while non-Christian or worldly friends will only bring you down.

This isn't to say that you can't be friends with non-Christians. You definitely can and should. But because the closest people in your life will influence you, you have to draw a certain line for any potential negative, worldly influences in your life. For your non-Christian friends - love on them, listen to them, be there for them, pray for them, but draw a line. Don't allow them or their lifestyle to entice you into the culture's ways that go against God. Protect your time and don't spend too much of it surrounded by non-Christians. This is the best thing for you and for them. You want to continue being the positive influencer on them, not the negatively influenced by them.

Another tip I would give you when it comes to your non-Christian friends is to avoid situations where there is more of a negative influence present than a positive one, or if there are more non-Christians than Christians. The majority influence will be the authority influence. In other words, you are more likely to give in to a negative influence if you are outnumbered. So be careful what environments you place yourself in. This may sound a little drastic, but from my experience this is a 100% necessary precaution to protect yourself from a life you don't want - a life that leads you away from God and into sin.

Remain in Jesus

Two of my favorite verses I read this week that go along with this topic were:

1 Corinthians 15:58: "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

Colossians 2:6-8: "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."

These verses give me a picture of an unmovable pillar or tree. It's rooted. It's built up, and it's strong. A storm could rage or people could try to knock it down, but it won't move or fall. This is such an amazing truth when it comes to living out your faith in a culture that's against you. In order for you to be able to withstand the temptations, ridicule, and/or persecution, you have to be unmovable. You have to be rooted in Jesus.

The way you root yourself and remain in Him is by prioritizing time with Him. Spend time in God's Word every single day. Devote yourself to prayer. Allow His presence to give you peace and strength to face whatever the culture throws your way.

Along with being rooted, we also need some building up and strengthening to sustain us. I think along with spending time with God, one of the ways this happens is when you spend time with His people. I know this can be hard, but try to discipline yourself in going to church every weekend. Join a small group or Bible study where you can dive even deeper in the Word and have fellowship with your sisters in Christ. Find the serving opportunities at your church and make a commitment to serve.

Placing yourself in an environment where you're surrounded by other like-minded believers will remind you that you aren't alone. They will be there to pray for you and encourage you. To build you up and strengthen you.

Run for the Applause of Heaven

All of us long to be praised, valued, and accepted. I think this is one of the biggest reasons we can fall prey to the culture.

The ads, the tv shows, and the influencers all over our Youtube and instagram feeds try to tell us what looks the best, what's trending, and what lifestyle seems the most attractive and accepted. If you replicate them, you will gain more praise, acceptance, and followers which, according to the culture, determines your value.

So many of us have or are chasing after the world's approval and applause. Something I have noticed from my own experience is that this almost feels like slavery. You are bound to what people think of you, and you are constantly comparing yourself and trying harder to be the prettiest and most liked. And for what? For popularity and followers? For their approval? For that guy's attention? To fit in with that crowd? Ask yourself: what makes them so important that you should be living your life to please them?

Chasing after the approval of people will only leave you feeling like you are never enough. So how do we avoid this? For starters - Remind yourself as often as you need to girl: your value comes from the One who created you. God demonstrated just how valuable you are by creating you uniquely and dying for your sins so that you could be forgiven and redeemed. So that you could live forever with Him. Your Heavenly Father's opinion is the only one that matters. And His opinion is the only one that brings true freedom and joy.

Second, remind yourself that this life is temporary. It is so small in light of eternity. The things of this world and its approval only last for a moment in this life, but God's approval and rewards for your obedience will last forever.

Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is. His good, pleasing, and perfect will."

The transforming of your mind means the complete changing and rewiring of how you think and see the world. You no longer think the way the world does. You no longer chase after the same things or look like them. As a Jesus follower, we are called to see things the way God does. Your life has a purpose. It isn't to have the most followers, prettiest house or style, or to become famous or wealthy. All of those things will pass away.

No, your purpose is so much bigger than that. God wants to use you to make a difference in this world. You are called to know and love God and to love people. To make His love known with the gifts He has given you to a dark, dying world that desperately needs a Savior.

If you live your life for Jesus, you will "store up for yourself treasure in Heaven (Matthew 6:20)" that will last forever. An added benefit of this radical lifestyle is you will be filled with such joy, satisfaction, and complete fulfillment. Why? Because this is what you were created for.

A good way to remember all of this for the long term is to think of your life as a race. Philippians 3:14 says, "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

The finish line is Heaven when you meet Jesus face to face. and receive the rewards He has waiting for you. Keep this perspective for yourself when the culture is pressuring you or persecuting you. You are here on this earth for something greater than the culture can give. You have a higher purpose and a goal in mind. You are running for the applause of Heaven.

I also want to encourage you with Romans 8:18: "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." And 1 Corinthians 2:9, "However, as it is written: 'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived' - the things God has prepared for those who love Him..."

Carry these verses with you for those moments when you feel alone, ridiculed for your faith, or tempted to follow the world's ways. Keep fearlessly living your life for Jesus and don't be afraid to be different. God is with you. He sees you, loves you, and is going to reward you beyond your wildest dreams for living your life for Him.

Cheering you on,