Paula Hendricks has been learning what it means to be needy for God rather than needy for the attention of boys. In this Q&A learn how God helped her fight her boy-craziness and about her new book, Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom.
Why did you decide to write Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl?
Hendricks: It’s my life message. Nothing in my life has driven me to the Lord more than this struggle. I always knew if I were ever to write a book, this would have to be the subject.
In fact, as I re-read my thirty-plus journals, I saw God birthing this dream in my heart. For about five years I journaled, “God, could I please write a book for boy-crazy girls? I know I’m not ready yet, but . . . someday?” He fulfilled that dream the day Moody Publishers approached me about writing a book (after reading my blog posts on TrueWoman.com and LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com).
As I began writing Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl, I wanted to:
Give hope to girls who think there’s no way out. No, we can’t change ourselves, but we have a God who’s in the business of transforming broken girls into beautiful trophies of His grace!
Warn girls who think boy-craziness is cute, innocent, and fun. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Psalm 16:4 warns, “The sorrows of those who run after another god will multiply.”
Above all, point girls to Jesus in every chapter. He is the answer to their boy-crazy hearts.
When did you discover that you were “boy crazy?”
Hendricks: I began realizing I had serious problems (or at least serious pain!) when I was a college student. But it started much younger—probably around seven or eight.
You are still single, correct? What do you think is making the difference between the height of your boy crazy days and now?
Hendricks: Yep, I’m single. The differences between then and now couldn’t be more stark:
Now I know where to pursue lasting joy (Ps. 16:11). I’ve come to believe that God can be trusted with my love life. I know who I am in Christ. Not hopelessly boy-crazy anymore, but dead to sin, alive to God, and in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6, 7, and 8). I’ve found ways (like Proverbs 4:25) to avoid feeding temptation and “awakening love” (Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, 8:4).
What do you think is the root problem for the boy-crazy girl?
Hendricks: I’m convinced boy-craziness is really just girl-neediness. Boy-craziness happens when we “exchange the truth of God for a lie and worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Rom. 1:25). The root problem is idolatry.
God paints the picture so well in Jeremiah 2:13 when He says, “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
God has given us emotions and feelings. We can safely say that “liking” someone is not sinful. How might a girl protect herself as she waits?
Hendricks: Not by trying to insulate herself from pain—pain is a regular part of relationships in this broken world. The greatest way to protect ourselves is to keep the first commandment first—to pour our time and energy into loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).
How would you encourage a teenager who finds herself “crushing” often?
Hendricks: I have great news for her! She’s obviously already good at obsessing over a guy and daydreaming about him nonstop. All she has to do now is do the same thing . . . with God.
(Trust me, I realize that isn’t easy. She can’t physically see or touch this invisible God. But she really can learn to take what she’s already so good at and refocus her attention on Him.) She can get to know Him. Mull over what He’s like. Enjoy Him. Watch Him. Learn Him. Praise Him. Pour out her heart to Him.
As she does, she will come to experience the truth of Psalm 16:11, “In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
How might you encourage an older woman who is tempted to date around because of the need for companionship?
Hendricks: I’d encourage her pretty much the same way I would a younger girl. I get the loneliness she feels, but Jesus Christ really is the best companion a woman could ask for. He never falls asleep or tunes out or goes away. Learn to enjoy His friendship. Pour your time and energy into it. And then invest in His body, the church. Spend time with families as well as singles. You—and they—will benefit from your friendship.
How important are girl friends for someone who desires a husband but has no one on the horizon?
Hendricks: important. Lately my mom has been asking, “Are you lonely?” and each time I’ve found myself saying, “Nope.” I think a big part of that is because God’s blessed me with an amazing roommate and solid friends. What an incredible gift!
What about the church? Where might it come into play for the boy crazy girl?
Hendricks: The turning point in my own life occurred as I began to hear for the first time (from my pastor and a mentor) the truths of Romans 6, 7, and 8. My whole life I’d struggled to defeat the power of sin—with little to no success. But now I was reading and hearing startling truths.
It wasn’t just Jesus who had died—I’d died with Him. It wasn’t just Jesus who had been buried—my old self, packed with sin, had been buried with Him, too. And when Jesus burst out of that tomb with brand-new resurrection life, I, too, was given new life!
For the first time, I understood that Jesus didn’t die to forgive me of my sin but leave me in it. He died to forgive and to free me from the power of sin. Suddenly I realized I didn’t have to be jealous of that pretty girl. I didn’t have to covet every guy I saw. I didn’t have to hate that guy for not liking me. I wasn’t powerless anymore.
If we as the church don’t share with girls the truth of who they are in Christ, who will?
Who should read Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl?
Hendricks: I wrote Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl with young teens in mind, because that was such a dark, hopeless time in my own life. However, I’ve heard from college students all the way up to grandmas that this book has deeply challenged them. That’s because ultimately, it’s a book about the “little g” gods we love and how to repent of these idols and taste and see how good the “big G” God is. What woman can’t relate to that?!
Trillia Newbell is the lead editor for Karis. You can follow her on twitter @trillianewbell.
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