by Debra Fileta, M.A, LPC
One evening, I was on a walk with a prostitute.
We’d become good friends over the course of my ministry to this specific inner-city location. That evening, I had pulled into the street to make some visits and happened to see her camped out on the street corner, looking for some business.
I got out of the car and walked over to her, and we started to chat. If you know me, you know I’m not much for small talk, so I quickly got right to the point. I knew she had been working at letting go of this particular “job”, and so I wondered what she was doing here today.
“So...What’s going on?” I said. She looked down at the ground and replied, “Well, I’m in another bind, and it’s a way to make some money.”
I don’t remember too many details of our conversation that evening, but there is one thing she said through the course of our talk that I will likely never forget, because it made my stomach churn, my heart sink, and my spirit ache.
“50 bucks is real good money.”
A few months ago I was having a conversation with another young woman. She had been sexually involved with a guy who had now cheated on her. But the problem was, they were never even dating to begin with.
Their interactions in friendship started crossing the emotional and physical lines, until one thing led to another. Shortly after that they were regularly having sex and fooling around, with no commitment, no conversation, and no real relationship. She came to chat with me after 4 months of this “relationship” left her with a broken heart, and a broken sense of self.
I can’t help but see a theme that connects both of these stories together. Two different women from totally different parts of the country, from different socio-economic status, different races, and different ages. But with one thing in common:
They each come with a price tag. But don’t we all?
If we’re really honest with ourselves, we will realize that this one very important truth is actually reflected in how we live our lives. It may be a literal price tag, like the prostitute’s cost of a one-night stand—but more significant, it may be an emotional price tag. Either way, it is a price tag that we each place on ourselves based on what we believe we deserve.
No matter how we look at it, there is no getting around the fact that the giving of ourselves will ALWAYS come at a cost. Whenever we choose to engage in any kind of relationship with another human being, there is always some sort of a cost involved.
It will cost us our heart, our spirit, our bodies, and our minds. It will cost our emotions, our time, our commitment, and our energy.
We always come with a price tag, and we will value ourselves with the price tag that we believe we deserve. But even more sobering, we will be purchased at the price that we place on ourselves.
If you believe you’re worth a measly $50 dollars—or an ambiguous relationship that revolves only around sex—that is exactly what you will get.
The most difficult truth is that there are some men and women who set their price tag so low—because they are desperately looking for love. They don't believe they're worth more.
But if you’re easy to purchase, you’ll also be easy to replace.
My heart goes out to every woman and man who has ever settled and let their price down. For every one of them who has ever allowed their heart to be wounded, broken, and bruised at the hands of someone who didn’t see the value that they truly possessed.
Child of God, no matter who you are or what you’ve been through—you are worth so much more than what you believe you deserve.
You have been purchased by a God who saw that you were worth far more than you ever could have imagined, and so He bought you at a high cost just to prove it. You were purchased by the blood of Jesus, a God who gave His very Son so that you could have your value, your security, and your worth. So that you could hold your head up high. So that you could believe that you are worth magnificent, and you are worth remarkable.
It’s time for this generation of men and women to rise up and claim the price by which we’ve been purchased (1 Corinthians 7:23). It’s time to recognize that our price has been set high, and that we are worth someone who sees the significant worth that was given to us by the God who makes things valuable. It’s time to say no to lies that degrade our bodies, invalidate our emotions, and muffle our voices—making us feel small and insignificant.
Because what we believe about ourselves will always determine the kind of relationship we believe we deserve. We all come with a price tag. It’s time to start believing that we are worth so much more.
Debra Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of Choosing Marriage and True Love Dates, and Love In Every Season. She's also the host of the hotline style Love + Relationships Podcast. Her popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, reaches millions of people with the message of healthy relationships. This article is an excerpt from her new book, Love In Every Season. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter or book a session with her today!