by Hannah Sapp, Heartbeat International
With its slogan “because you’re worth it,” L’Oréal has caught on to a crucial aspect of personhood. Self-worth that shapes how we treat ourselves and others, and a majority of the young girls and women that seek pregnancy help don’t have the understanding that they are “worth it.”
Everyone wants to know they are worth it. The issue is whether or not we are using the right basis to determine our self-worth.
- Does worth come from looking good with the help of make-up?
- Does it come from promiscuity and sexual attention?
- Does it come from acceptance and fitting in with the crowd?
- Does it come from a father who tells us who we are?
Yes, we know that our identity is found in Christ, and that He calls us adopted daughters and sons, but how can we convey that to a client with a negative pregnancy test? She is usually already disengaged, feeling the relief that, “It’s over. I’m safe this time.”
We have the opportunity to show each woman a snippet of her true value, as both an image-bearer of God and one for whom Christ died. As we labor to show each woman her value, it’s essential that we help her understand how this affects her relationships both with the opposite sex, and with everyone involved in her life.
At the 2015 Heartbeat International Annual Conference, Joneen Mackenzie, President of The Center for Relationship Education, brought a fresh perspective to sexual integrity and self-worth.
In her workshop, “Building Skills for Life and Love,” Joneen shared that caring for young people in a holistic manner includes not only focusing on sexuality, but also, teaches them how to deal with issues of the heart. She presents a view that goes beyond “mere abstinence,” and teaches concepts like life mapping and learning to live and love well—all because, “you’re worth it.”
Using hands-on examples, Joneen’s workshop teaches students to understand and find healthy ways to express their self-worth in relationships.
Helping clients learn to identify their own feelings is key to building healthy relationships, Joneen says. Most teens can identify their feelings simplistically (happy, sad, mad, glad), but few can recognize more complex feelings. Giving them a list of feelings to choose from can help them become more emotionally intelligent.
The more a client can understand her own feelings, the more empowered she is to change unhealthy relationships and address the patterns that cause them. It’s also equally important to help a client understand that feelings themselves aren’t right or wrong, but potential indicators of the deeper realities and beliefs connected to self-worth.
The process of helping a client understand her worth also includes helping her see her value through simple personality tests that point out strengths, challenges, values, needs, and motivators. One fun, engaging test is the Five Minute Personality Test, which Joneen recommends as springboard to help a client grasp that she is a uniquely designed individual who is worthy of self-respect.
Joneen’s contribution to the sexual integrity conversation is compelling and safe, as valuable tools to building a healthy life in all aspects. When a client feels loved and respected, she may return for more guidance, open up, and trust you to speak into her life.
These hands-on models help to build relationships, relationships, relationships!