Before I knew who I was in Jesus, my standards were low (and no, I'm not talking physical standards). I didn't raise the bar for myself, and I definitely didn't raise it for the guys around me. In fact, I even lowered it to match wherever they were at. This always led me to the wrong men and society altered view of myself. I'm going to share with you a few things I learned that revolutionized how I loved myself and how I viewed men.
1. Understanding who you are in Christ
Romans 8:17 says, "Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."
Seriously take a minute and think about that. You are an heir of God. There is nobody better from whom you could. There is no higher honor than that one right there. You are of the royal bloodline of GOD. If that doesn't register, keep reading that verse until it does because it is so incredibly important to understand your worth. If you are deemed an heir by the Creator of the Universe, why would you let a boy make you feel anything short of valued?
2. Giving up pursuit
It took me a long time to get this into my head and then actually practice it. I am very much a pursuer. When I have an end goal in mind, I go after it with my entire being. When I became interested in a guy it was no different. But the truth is, that's never what I wanted. I want to be the one pursued and I know God created that desire in me.
Proverbs 18:22 says, "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord."
That verse does not say she who finds a husband for a reason. In God's plan of marriage, the man is the spiritual leader and the head of the household (see Ephesians 5:23-24). If you are doing all of the leading before you are even dating, what makes you think anything is going to be different in marriage? Pray for your future husband. Pray for God to give him a heart of leadership when the time is right. If you have to chase after him time and time again to keep his attention then he is not for you. I once listened to a sermon that really stuck with me. The speaker explained that waiting for marriage can be compared to a race. Run your race the best you can and at the right moment God will tell you to turn and look and someone will be running just as fast as you are. Believe in his promises and trust that his timing is right.
3. Becoming aware of what you are bringing to the table
It's so easy to get caught up in the other person and forget that you have awesome qualities as well. Are you loyal? Dependable? Funny? Supportive? Can you cook a great meal? Are you an incredible workout partner? Whatever you have to offer, become very aware of it. Most people have a list of qualities that they want in a future husband. In addition to that, sit down and write all the qualities that you would bring to the relationship as well. When your value becomes real to you, raising your standards will come naturally.
4. Respecting yourself
If you do not respect yourself, nobody will. If you do not respect your body and treat it as the temple it is, no guy ever will. Physical attraction will not keep him holding on for long. God has so much more for you than a connection that is purely physical. He has a 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 type of love in store for you. On my wall, I have a quote from Rachel Hollis. In her most recent book, she says, "You are beautiful and worthy of good things, and if you don't believe that, nobody will". I look at those words every day as a tangible reminder that I am worth it. I am worth the wait. I am worth the pursuit. I am worth the effort. I am worth action love. And you are too.
Lastly, don't apologize for having high standards. When you know what you want, “no" becomes a pretty frequent word in your vocabulary. Sometimes, guys get mad. Sometimes, you'll be called "difficult" and told to "stop acting hard to get". And that is okay. The right guy won't care. He will take the challenge and succeed at it. He will go above and beyond to show you that he cares. He will respect and love you for how you carry yourself. He will be after so much more than what your physical appearance has to offer. Pray for him. Wait patiently and joyfully for that guy and in the meantime, run your race darling. You have a kingdom to fight for.