Leslie Vernick
September 1st 2015                                                                                
What's New?
  • Leslie is speaking October 9th & 10th at the Providence Presbyterian Church in York, PA. CLICK here for more information.
  • My Walking In CORE Strength 3-Month group is open for registration. If you have ever taken a 2 session class from me, this is the next great step. CLICK here for information. 
 
 
 
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Do You See Yourself?

By Leslie Vernick
 

When you look in the mirror who do you see? Do you see a woman who is attractive, competent, valued, and loved?  Or, are you more likely to see yourself as flawed, ugly, inferior, and unloved?

 

Our internal picture of ourselves begins at birth when we look into our mother (or caregiver’s) face and take into ourselves what is reflected back to us. Does our mom smile when we coo?  Is she attentive and soothing when we cry? Do people clap when we take our first step? 

 

In a healthy environment, infants see themselves as loved, wanted, and valued. Being raised by loving parents gives us a solid foundation for a good self-image, but no one escapes childhood without a few scars. Those who did not have loving caregivers are more deeply wounded.

 

When I was a child, I never liked being me. I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, or skinny enough. I was never invited to the birthday parties of the popular girls in my school and I always saw myself as inferior. 

 

Sometimes I tried to become someone else. I’d copy one of the more popular girls laugh, or outfit, or hairstyle, hoping that if I could look or become more like her, people would then like me. But I never felt cared about or secure in my relationships because I knew that the person they liked, wasn’t the real me. I saw myself as a fake.

 

As adult women, we still battle these same feelings don’t we? We tell ourselves that we’re not as pretty, or as put-together, or as spiritual, or organized, or loving as other women we see.

 

We compare and contrast our lives and our thighs and ask ourselves, “Do I measure up? Am I good enough?” In addition, we’re constantly scanning the faces of those around us, silently asking, “How do you see me? Am I loved, worthy, and valuable to you?”

 

The foundation for a healthy self-concept rests in the assurance that we are loved but human love (no matter how good) will never be enough or without some pain. It is only God’s infinite and unconditional love that can correct and heal our faulty self- image. 

 

When I began to take my eyes off myself and my flaws and imperfections and put them on God, I began to see myself differently. I stopped looking at myself through my mother’s eyes, which told me I was unloved and unwanted. I stopped looking at myself through other people’s eyes, which sometimes made me feel wonderful, but more often reminded me that I was inadequate and flawed and never enough.

 

Seeing myself through God’s eyes gave me an entirely different picture of who I am and what I was made for. I discovered that God doesn’t want to change me into another person, but he does want to change me. He wants me to be the best possible me so I am free to serve Him without fear and morbid self-consciousness.  He wants to heal and transform the lies, the wounds, and yes, even the sins that have kept me from becoming the person he created me to be.

 

If you’re struggling with a negative self-image, the ultimate makeover isn’t done at the cosmetic counter, the gym, in a fancy department store, or by a plastic surgeon, but by God. Psychologist David Benner writes, “Genuine self knowledge begins by looking at God and noticing how God is looking at us. Grounding our knowing of ourselves in God’s knowing of us anchors us in reality, it also anchors us in God.”

 

The apostle Paul tells us because of what Christ did for us on the cross, God sees us as “holy and blameless before him, presented without a single fault.” But he cautions us not to forget who we are, because when we do, we’ll feel those old insecurities creep back in (Colossians 1:21-23).

 

Here are a few things you can do to help you see clearly.

 

1. Meditate on God’s Word. Despite your perceptions, the truest thing about you is what God says about you. 

 

2. Since Jesus is the exact representation of what God is like (Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3) look at how Jesus interacted with people. Notice how they changed the way they saw themselves when they looked at God looking at them. (For starters, read the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:2-10, and the Samaritan woman in John 4:4-30).

 

3. Stop the negative self-talk. When you become aware that you’re comparing yourself with others or putting yourself down or allowing someone else’s gaze to diminish you, tell yourself to stop it. You are no longer going to be controlled by those habits. Instead look up and see God looking at you.

 
 
 
 
Can I Say No To
Sexual Practices?
 
Question: How should I handle it when my husband continually pressures me to use profanity during sex because it turns him on? I’ve already told him I don’t like to do that, but he doesn’t hear me. I was sexually abused as a child and I don’t feel this is helpful for our sexual relationship.
 
Also he wants oral sex from me. Sometimes it’s OK but he pressures me every time, verbally and non-verbally, not letting up until I give in. Am I being prudish or do I have a right to my own feelings about these things?

Answer: You are not prudish and you have every right to your own feelings about your sexual likes and dislikes. From what you described, your sexual relationship with your husband is one sided. You’re being treated like an object that is there to do what your husband wants with no consideration or respect for what you want or don’t want or what you find appealing or disgusting.

For those who have been regular visitors to this blog, what’s wrong with this picture? It is NOT a healthy relationship, sexually or otherwise. You are being disrespected and not cared about. This is painful when you are married to such a person and presents quite a dilemma for a Christian wife who wants to honor God

However, despite what he and others may tell you, the Bible doesn’t say that marriage is all about him and his needs. A healthy relationship requires mutuality, reciprocity, and freedom. A healthy marriage is impossible without those 3 elements being practiced by both partners. That said, what can you do now that he doesn’t show care or respect toward you? Nor do you seem to have the freedom to say no?

You say you have already told him that you don’t like using profanity during sex and why. Yet he still pressures you to say it because it excites him. You’ve told him that sometimes you don’t’ want to do oral sex but you also indicate that he disregards this and not only verbally pressures you, but you imply that he may force you as well.

It’s time to stand up against his sexual abuse in your marriage. Yes, a married person can be sexually abused. Biblically, it is not a spouse’s right to force you to do things that you don’t want to do just because he is your husband. Disrespecting your right to say no to certain practices that you find hurtful, sinful or unappealing is unloving and disrespectful. It’s time to stop protesting and to start confronting his disrespectful and unloving behavior…and if it continues move to a different bedroom with a good lock on the door.

Here is a sample dialogue you need to have with him. Prepare it ahead of time and say it in a firm but neutral voice tone. Don’t wait until you’re having sexual relations to say this first part, but you may need to say it again if he continues his disrespect, followed with specific action.

Here is an example of what you might say:

“Honey, (or name) we need to talk about something important, when is a good time?” When he agrees to have a conversation, start with this:

“I love you, I want to have a good marriage (if this is true). I desire to have a healthy sexual relationship but I feel hurt and angry that you continue to disrespect me in the bedroom, pressuring me to say and do things that I do not want to do. Sex is not just about your feelings and needs but it’s about a loving interaction and I’m feeling used and abused.”

Then stop talking and wait for him to respond. If he minimizes you or makes fun of you, say “you’re doing it again right now. You’re disrespecting me and I won’t continue to let myself be treated that way.”
 
Connect With Me
 
 
 
IN THIS ISSUE
 
ARTICLE

Do You See Yourself?

 

COACHING 
Accepting Coaching Applications
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WHAT'S NEW? 
Take a look at the upcoming events to watch for from Leslie
 
GIVEAWAY 
Conversations With The Most High
 
LESLIE ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
Can I Say No To Sexual Practices?
 
 
COACHING INFORMATION
For more information on Leslie's coaching program, please click below:

 

Coaching Programs

 
 
GIVEAWAY
how to live right when our life goes wrong
Conversations With The Most High
by
Jennifer Kennedy Dean


 
Provoking us to intimate, fulfilling conversation, Conversations with the Most High will help prepare the Christian believer’s heart to enter the throne room of God. A blessed resource each day, 365 devotions steeped in Scripture engage our focus and prompt us in communication with the God who gives us His attention. Peppered with quotes from notable historical pray-ers and experts on prayer, the short and timely narratives make for excellent discussion starters and listening gauges for conversation with God.

 
“Jennifer Kennedy Dean hits home again with the daily devotional filled with conversations between an individual and the loving Heavenly Father. It is thought provoking, insightful, inspiring and comforting.


It has been a perfect addition to my daily devotional readings."

 

- Marsha Brown

 

If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide your name and email address.

 

Winners of Lost And Found by Gayle Roper are Shelly K. and Nancy S.

 
 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
 

Sept. 22-26, 2015

AACC World Conference

Nashville, TN

 

Oct 9-10th, 2015

Providence Presbyterian Church

Conference For Abused Women

CLICK HERE for registration details

 

 
 
HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT LESLIE'S COACHING.
 

"You helped me learn stronger relationship skills as you walked with me through a difficult family time. While I didn’t always want to follow through with your suggestions, your biblical insights and support helped me take action.

 

It was not just me that was helped but my family as well since we have been able to renew our relationships and learn better how to communicate more clearly with one another in the future. My deepest gratitude to you as you helped me with the most important relationships in my life.


 I will be forever thankful! 

 

- E.L.


 

 
 
LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS
 

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Leslie Vernick PO Box 5312 Sun City West, Arizona 85376 United States