News Articles

Define your worth in Christ, speaker urges college women

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Too many female Christian college students are defining their worth by the standards of the world instead of their relationship with Christ, a speaker and author told about 700 women attending the Aug. 7-13 Student Conference at Glorieta (N.M.), a LifeWay Conference Center.
In what may have been a first for the annual conference, two-hour separate sessions were held for women and men on Tuesday morning, Aug. 10. Vicki Courtney, director of Crossroad Women’s Ministry, Austin, Texas, spoke to the women.
“Your worth should be equal to who you are in Christ,” she emphasized. “Do you see yourself as God sees you, righteous before him?”
She acknowledged it can be difficult to focus on the biblical model of womanhood when the volume of worldly messages is so loud.
“From the time we are young, we are bombarded with messages from the world”-movies, television, magazines, even Barbie, Courtney said. Describing herself as a “poster child for a gal who tried to define my self-worth by the standards of the world,” she cited three equations that are recipes for disaster.
The first, “worth equals what you do,” majors on performance. “You can be a Christian, a teacher or a Sunday school leader and still be defining your worth on performance,” she said.
“Worth equals what others think of you” and “worth equals what you look like” are the other two worldly equations driving many women, Courtney said.
“If you are buying into one of these equations, you will carry it into your marriage and into your mothering,” she said.
In conducting research for her book, “Virtuous Reality: Becoming the Ideal Woman,” slated for release in November, Courtney said more than 2,000 college men, Christians and non-Christians, were asked to describe their ideal woman. Responses “boiled down to beauty, brains, bucks and a really great bod.” National student ministry of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention will publish the book.
Instead of worldly values, Christian women need to give priority to their relationship with God, she said.
“How many in the room today haven’t come to the reality of how much God loves you?” Courtney asked. “God doesn’t love you because you have a great summer job or because you’re staying in shape or counting fat grams. God would have sent Jesus to suffer and die for you if you had been the only person in the world.”
In an earlier session, she challenged men and women to “prayerfully consider kissing the world’s ways of dating goodbye.”
She listed three dating styles of the world, beginning with dating by emotion. “This is fairly common among Christians. It’s easier to date on emotion than to find God’s plan.”
Second, Courtney cited “joined-at-the-hip dating,” where a couple begins dating and each abandons their friends to spend all their time with each other.
“We should not be bound to anyone before marriage except Christ,” she said, noting that this style of dating often leads to inappropriate sexual behavior.
The third dating style she listed as “mission-filled dating,” where the Christian is dating someone, believing he or she can lead that person to become a Christian. “Dating is not the proper platform to risk another person’s salvation.”
To learn God’s plan for dating, Courtney said Christians should “ask God what is right for you,” focusing on three questions.
— “What is your plan for me in accepting a date (asking someone out on a date)?
— “What is your plan for me in going out on a date?
— “What should be the standard for entering into a dating relationship.”
In deciding who to date, Courtney said the Christian should begin with a character check, seeking to understand who that person is when no one is looking.
Next, baggage should be evaluated. “How much baggage to they have and what have they done with it? The key question is have they checked their baggage at the foot of the cross, permanently and forever,” she said.
Finally, she said the most important check is a spirit check. “Where do they stand spiritually? Do they walk with the Lord?”
“The most important thing you can do (in dating) is to focus on your relationship with Jesus Christ and God the father,” Courtney said.
National student ministry of LifeWay Christian Resources sponsored student week.

    About the Author

  • Linda Lawson