I love fairytales. I love the whimsy, the beauty, and the perfect endings. To this day, I’m still a big fan. But, I’ve also learned that I can’t rely on fairytales for truth. The world doesn’t actually work that way. And every situation does not end with a beautiful score of music as everyone walks off into the sunset together happily ever after.
The greatest thing about fairytales is the stories themselves. We love stories. We love to tell them, hear them, laugh at them, cry through them, and even live by them.
We use our stories to teach others. Think about a time when someone told you about something going on in their lives. Where did your mind immediately go? If you’re anything like me, your mind automatically shifts into personal history mode to start making connections of some point in your life that relates to this girl’s situation. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
As leaders, parents, and friends, we often times get to be a part of moments of hurt, joy, confusion, frustration, excitement, and triumph. It’s my prayer that continues to happen. That is a huge part of doing life with someone. If you’re a new leader or friend, you might not have had the privilege just yet, but it’s coming.
Relating to someone on a personal level opens up compassion and empathy within us. They might even trigger truths the Lord gave understanding in during those moments. Finding a connection point is a way of building bonds and bridges in relationships. I believe the Lord works through our lives in order to comfort and teach other people. Our stories and life experiences are a good thing. Illustrations are a great method of teaching.
The danger comes when we only tell stories about ourselves. Our stories, life experiences, illustrations, etc. should always point others to Christ. Otherwise, we are boasting in ourselves. We are offering comfort and solutions based on our strength. We’re leading girls to follow us rather than Christ.
As crushing as it is to our pride and the depth of our well-told stories, without Christ they are nothing but fairytales.
As we seek to comfort, give advice, and share wisdom, we can’t do that apart from Jesus. Our wisdom and knowledge separate from Christ is sinful at best.
Our most dangerous place is the moment our minds say, “Oh, I’ve got this one. I know the answer. I’ve done this before.” We immediately disregard the Lord and neglect his help.
“I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” Psalm 16:2
No matter what experiences we’ve had and lessons we’ve learned, we have no good to offer anyone apart from Christ. It is a dangerous place for any of us to attempt to handle situations all on our own. When we do that, we teach girls to do the same thing.
Does that mean that your life experiences, stories, illustrations, examples, etc. are pointless and shouldn’t be used? Not all! The Lord absolutely uses those.
The difference is in your perspective and whom the spotlight of your story is shining on.
In moments of relating to girls on a personal level, think about these questions.
- When telling this story, do I speak of Christ’s role?
- When recalling a life circumstance, do I talk about the Lord’s work in it?
- When comforting someone, do I use Scripture?
- When a girl is confused about whether something is right or wrong/good or bad, do I show her how to look at that through Scripture or just share my thoughts?
Your voice is not wasted when you teach her to lean on and trust in the Lord. What if we equipped them to run to God first rather than a person? What if we lead them to something better than just advice from our own minds? What if we traded in fairytales for absolute truth? - Becca