A few days ago I watched an interview by Iyanla Vanzant: “Fix My Life” that included the celebrity Karrueche Tran. For those of you who aren’t familiar with her, she’s a model and celebrity who has been famously known for her relationship with artist Chris Brown. Recently she found out that Chris Brown had impregnated another woman and had been keeping the child a secret from her and the entire world. Her relationship with Chris Brown has been a tumultuous one over the years and has been very public due to paparazzi and social media. She decided to sit down with Iyanla and discuss her side of the story and express her thoughts about everything. While watching the interview I couldn’t help but grieve for her. I know some individuals may disagree with me in this statement but please hear me out. The purpose of my blog is not to sit here and judge the relationship of Karrueche and Chris Brown. My purpose is way deeper than that. While watching the interview, my sadness and grief came from the fact that in Karrueche I saw so many women today. Women who just have the desire to be loved. They want to be wanted, respected, loved, and valued, yet they choose men who do the very opposite of what they want. In no way am I defending her bad actions or minimizing the fact that she must take responsibility. But deeper than everything, in her I saw a broken girl, a little girl looking and wanting love in all the wrong places. I know there are many women in this life who are just like Karrueche. The only difference is they don’t have to live out their life before millions of people. I say all this to say this: I’m writing this blog for every woman out there who just wants to be loved. The topic of self-worth, self-love, self-respect, and relationships has been one that has been very sensitive to my heart for years. I know what it’s like to want to be loved, to desire the affections of a man, to make poor choices when it comes to men, and to disrespect myself for the sake of attention and “love” from a man. I want the cycle to stop. I want women to know that we are valuable, we are worth authentic love, and we deserve God’s best. So In this blog I want to let Karrueche and every woman know how you can obtain that “great love” you’re in search for.

It All Starts With God

Some may think this is the cliché answer but this is truly the REAL answer. It all starts with God. God is the one who designed each and every one of us. He designed us with the innate desire to be loved, the ability to be loved, and the capacity to demonstrate love. Why would God create a need within us that would not have the capability of being filled? With every need God always creates a solution. Every woman and every man must realize that true love cannot come into fruition or even begin to be experienced apart from God. For God is love. So many times as women we make the mistake of seeking the love and affections of a man before seeking the love of God. God is our ultimate need. Until we find ourselves in Him we will continue to feel empty and be lost. We will continue to make poor decisions when it comes to our heart because we need the love and instruction of God to  properly deal with matters of our heart. Our fulfillment comes from our Creator. Ladies, a man does not complete you. A relationship, a boyfriend, not even a husband will give you ultimate peace and completion. Only God will. Everything points back to Him. You’re still going to need God to get through your relationship and to have a successful marriage. We must stop falling in love with an idea of love that the world and the media has painted. We must accept the love that we know is a true reality and fact, which is the love of God. This was an important concept and true reality that I had to come to accept. I used to be so caught up in the idea of a relationship. I wanted guys to like me, to want me, to love me. I would seek their attention, seek their validation, and seek their affection. I would even seek it in guys that I knew weren’t good for me, because I just wanted to be loved and wanted. But through the amazing grace and love of God, I came to know better. I realized that I have a God that loved me more and greater than any earthly man ever could. I realized that I have a God who actively purses and wants my heart, time, and attention every minute of every day. It is when I started to lose myself in God that I truly began to find myself and find that great love that I was in search for. It was a love that not even my earthly father could give me. I want to encourage you, don’t seek the love of man. Seek God and He will fulfill all your needs, wants, and desires. My friend, God loves you SO MUCH. His love for you goes beyond eternity, it goes beyond anything. You are His precious creation. He wants you to experience the depths of His amazing love because He knows that’s what you were created for. You were created for Him and for His love. It all starts with Him.

“So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and femaleHe created them.” –Genesis 1: 27

Respect Yourself Your Heart And Your Body

One particular part stood out to me in Karrueche’s interview. Iyanla asked her how long she waited until she allowed Chris Brown to have sex with her. She stated she waited almost 2 months and that was pretty good considering what he was used to. It instantly made me sad to hear her response. But it quickly reminded me of how so many women feel this same way. Fornication will never be pretty good…no matter if you wait 2 days, 2 months, or 2 years. If he isn’t your husband, he doesn’t deserve that privilege from you and your body.  Ladies we must respect ourselves, our hearts, and our bodies. Respect should not be earned, it should be a requirement. A man will only respect you, if you respect yourself. If you truly respect yourself, that man will have no other choice but to respect you. The problem doesn’t lie so much in the men, it lies in us as women. How can we demand respect from a man if we have yet to even respect ourselves? A man can smell an insecure woman who doesn’t respect herself from miles away. But he can also smell a secure woman who respects herself from miles away. The choice is ours. We can either choose to accept disrespect or accept respect. My encouragement and prayer for you is to respect yourself, your heart, and your body. That’s what God wants you to do. You are valuable and treasured by God, and every man that encounters you needs to know that. You show men your value in Christ by how you carry yourself, how you treat your body, and how you treat your heart. We as ladies set the tone. A man can only do to us, what we allow him to. Having respect for yourself is NOT a crime and it does not mean you are stuck up. Having respect for yourself simply means you realize your value in God. Ladies, we need to develop a tough backbone and start learning how to tell these guys no. lol (seriously). Ok so he may be cute, he may have money, he may say all the right things, but that doesn’t necessarily means he’s worth your time or your heart. Apart of respecting yourself and your heart is realizing that every guy doesn’t deserve your heart, your time, your number or your body. Stop dressing half naked and expecting guys to treat you as if you’re fully clothed. Stop opening up your heart and life to every guy that sweet talks you and makes you feel nice. Stop giving your body to a man just because you start catching feelings. Love and respect yourself first and foremost. And do not welcome or even entertain guys who are not seeking to honor you, your heart, and your body. A true man first seeks God before seeking one of His daughters.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” -1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Have Standards Set Boundaries And Hold Fast To Your Values

Standards, boundaries, and values are a MUST. As a female you must stick to all of these, without them, heartache, heartbreak, and mistakes are just waiting at the door. I can remember some of my greatest mistakes with men happened when I compromised my standards, put my values on hold, and let the guard of my boundaries down. I knew I shouldn’t have done it, but I was caught up in “my feelings” as opposed to caught up in the “words of the Lord.” Although I faced some great pitfalls, I obtained some of the greatest lessons. I realized that ALL my standards, boundaries, and values are found in Christ. And a man that wants my heart must first respect my standards, boundaries, and values, but most importantly share them. A woman should never compromise her standards, values, or boundaries for the sake of any man. Not even for the sake of insecurity. As women we must realize that our security comes from God and that we shouldn’t have to downgrade our values or boundaries for the love and attention of a man. I true man will honor boundaries, and value a woman who holds fast to those boundaries and standards. If a man can’t respect the fact that you are waiting until marriage to have sex… “he ain’t the one!” lol Keep it ALL THE WAY moving. If he’s not interested in growing in God and in Christ like you are, don’t even waste your time. Keep it ALL THE WAY moving.

Honesty Moment Time: I want to tell you all a funny story. Not too long ago I was driving and a car pulled up on the side of me. (Keep in mind I’m still driving lol) It was a random guy, he was kind of cute (don’t judge me lol) and he was yelling through the window CALL ME! I laughed but gave him the most perplexed look. I shook my head and told him no. Still he was very persistent. He kept driving the same speed as me. If I slowed down he would slow down. If I sped up, he sped up. This went on for about 3 more lights. After the first light I was getting a bit scared. I was thinking to myself, “Ok dude this is a bit extreme. I already told you no multiple times and you’re still doing the most.” Eventually he gave up because he knew I wasn’t going to give in or pull over on the side of road. I just thank sweet Jesus, I didn’t get in a car wreck! Lol (seriously though) haha I say all this, to use this as an example. I could of easily gave him my number just because I thought he was cute or just because I was flattered by his gesture. But I knew better. A man’s approach says a lot, I won’t say it says EVERYTHING, but it tells you a lot about him. It’s also is one of the first tell signs whether he respects you as a woman or not. Some may be thinking, “Man Ashley this is not even that serious, you could of just gave him your number. It’s no big deal.” But I disagree. Apart of respecting ourselves as women is making sure what we accept in our lives is respectable. And for me, an approach of screaming through a window while a girl is driving just to try and get her number, is not respectable. As women we must always hold fast to our standards, values, and boundaries no matter who the man is. No matter his status, his looks, or his income. As a woman we are valuable. We should carry ourselves with value and respect and only respond and accept those things in our lives that are of value and respectable.

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” –Proverbs 14:1

Assess A Man’s Character Not Just His Conversation

Whew! This is a big one. So many of us as women fall victim to a smooth talker with no true character. It’s sad but oh so very true. The true test of a man is not just his conversation but ultimately it’s his character. A real man aligns his words with his actions. So many times as women we focus so much on what a man is saying just because it sounds nice or makes us feel good, but consequently we ignore the actions that follow that man. Actions are just as important as words. What someone does and how they live and carry out their life is the true depiction of their character. A real man is a man of his word. Period. Point. Blank. If you have to constantly question a man’s intentions, his actions and whether he’s being truthful or not, that’s a problem. A true man of God is seeking to be honest and a man of character. As women it is our right to assess a man before opening up our heart to him. Ask yourself, how does this man carry himself? How does he treat others around him? What type of worth ethic does he have? How is his communication? What kind of words does he use? How does he handle conflict or difficulty? What is he like when he gets angry? Does he possess a gentle and forgiving spirit? What is his relationship like with his family? Does he keep his word? Is he clear about his feelings and intentions toward me? Are you constantly confused about him? Does he seek God before anyone else?  As women we only get “played” if we allow ourselves to get played. So many times we see warning signs, we see the smoke, yet we refuse to abort because of some type of emotional attachment or insecurity. That’s why it’s so imperative for us to give our hearts to God. God helps us better discern matters of our hearts. He helps us see things for what they spiritually are. There is no reason you should pursue a relationship with a man, or open up a man to your life without first praying and seeking God about it. God should be the one who decides whether we open our hearts to a man or not. Not our feelings. After seeking God we need to wait for His answer and obey IMMEDIATELY once we receive the answer. So many times God gives us the answer but because it doesn’t line up with what we so-call “want” at the moment we either ignore it or we make it into the answer that we want. I’ve been there and done that. Let me tell you, it doesn’t lead to anything good. ALWAYS LISTEN TO GOD OVER YOUR FEELINGS. God will NEVER lead you astray. He is FOR YOU not against you. Even if it may be painful, difficult, or emotionally heart wrenching to do, do it. If God is telling you let someone go or not to invite a person into your heart. DO. NOT. DO. IT! Remember don’t just assess man’s conversation but ultimately assess character.

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he..”- Proverbs 23:7





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