Are You a Boy-Crazy Girl?
About the Guest
Tired of the ups and downs of a boy-crazy life? Then join us, when Paula Hendricks, a former boy-crazy girl, tells how she got off the crazy roller coaster of boy-girl relationships by deepening her faith and trusting in the God who made her and knows her best. Paula takes listeners through the boy-crazy quiz so they can find out if they're boy-crazy too.
Paula HendricksPaula Hendricks lives in southwest Michigan where she blogs for teen girls and women by day and journals her adventures by night. Paula graduated from the Moody Bible Institute in 2005 with a degree in Print Communication. Two weeks later, she began working at Revive Our Hearts, where she currently serves as Writing and Editorial Manager. When she's not blogging, you'll find her hanging out with people, indulging her insatiable curiosity by asking lots of questions. www.truewoman.com
Paula Hendricks, a former boy-crazy girl, tells how she got off the crazy roller coaster of boy-girl relationships by deepening her faith and trusting in the God who made her and knows her best.
Are You a Boy-Crazy Girl?
Bob: Paula Hendricks says, when she was a teenager, she was boy-crazy. She grew up in a Christian home; but still, there was something that drove her to crave the attention and the affection of a young man.
Paula: I could tell that these guys were only after one thing. They didn’t truly—they didn’t know me—they didn’t care to know me—so I set my eyes on the most godly guy that I could find. But you know what was interesting is—I felt—during that season, I felt like there had been real transformation in my heart because, suddenly, I was liking godly guys instead of non-Christians—but nothing had really changed. My heart was still the exact same. I was still—I lived for a look, or a smile, or a laugh. There was really no life at all.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, August 22nd. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine.
What happens when wanting a young man to pay attention to you / to show you some affection becomes too important in your life, even if he’s a godly guy? We’re going to talk about that today. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us. I’m thinking back to when our girls were teenagers. It seemed, to me, that when they started to develop an interest in boys, they did not come home and sit at the dinner table and say, “You know, I’ve started to take a liking to a particular guy.”
Dennis: They didn’t spill the beans? They weren’t forthcoming with a lot of information?
Bob: Seems to me like we had to be the Federal Bureau of Investigation and have all kinds of agents, out in the field, getting information and feeding it back to us.
Dennis: Well, we have a guest on today’s broadcast—who has come clean. The book is entitled—you’re going to like this book, folks—Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl.
Paula Hendricks joins us again on FamilyLife Today. Paula, welcome back.
Paula: Thank you. Good to be back.
Dennis: Paula’s a graduate of Moody, back in 2005—works at Revive Our Hearts™ with our friend, Nancy Leigh DeMoss. You confess, early in your book, that as you started the book, you actually found yourself changing the message, as you wrote it. I really like this because I think this is good stuff for every single person—whether they’re ten, eleven, twelve, all the way up to women in their 30’s and 40’s, who are single. This is good for men and women both. Share with our listeners how you changed your mind.
Paula: I dreamed of writing this book for probably about five years. Throughout my journals, I would write: “God, please, some day, can I write a book for boy-crazy girls? I know I’m not ready yet, but some day.” At one point, I felt like the Lord had taught me enough, and I had a life message, and I could share.
At the time, there was a guy in my life. I don’t know that it was so much him, but it was so much of how I was doing things different. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t manipulating—I was praying. I was having friends hold me accountable. I was waiting on God / I was trusting God.
I really felt like: “Well, the Lord’s done such a transformation in my life. Of course, now that I’m doing everything right—of course, He’s going to bless me with this relationship. It’s going to end in marriage. I’m going to have this great story of “from the bad and the ugly” to “the dream fulfilled.”
Paula: But it didn’t go like that.
Bob: What happened?
Paula: It was pretty brutal, actually! He was a good friend. I could not understand why he would come in and out of my life. He traveled for business. When he would come back into town, he would always want to get together. I would always think, “Okay, this is the time he’s going to tell me that he’s ready to pursue me.”
We would hang out, have a great time, and he would leave town, and—nothing. To make a long story short—because there were a lot more ins and outs—but in the end, he ended up telling me, “I think you’re an amazing woman of God, but the spark comes and goes.” He just wasn’t attracted to me. On the last broadcast, we were talking about my struggle with beauty. That hit where it hurt, for sure.
Bob: And you somehow equated that—at that point.
Paula: Yes. Actually, I can see now that it was—I like this term, “severe mercy.” It really was a severe mercy because it made me wrestle again with, “Lord, am I beautiful?” I mean, that’s just the cry of most female hearts—is, “I want to be beautiful.”
One morning, I felt like the Lord really met with me. I was getting ready, putting on my makeup. I looked outside the window; and there was just this gorgeous, gorgeous purple flowering tree.
I felt like the Lord said to me, in that moment—not audibly of course—but: “I make beautiful things.” After that, I felt like He just reminded me, “You don’t have to listen to his voice.” I was reminded of that passage where Jesus says: “My sheep know My voice. They don’t follow other people’s voices; they just follow Mine.”
In that moment, I just chose: “Okay, I have not believed, my whole life, that I am beautiful; but I am going to choose to believe that You say that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am going to tune out the other voices and hone in on Yours.”
Dennis: As you became content with your life and where God had you—at the same time, you were becoming gripped that God had a purpose for you and a mission for you.
Paula: Amazing! God’s timing is so cool because— the day before—this guy called and invited me to come visit him and some friends. This is the trip where it all kind of went down and things ended.
But the day before he called, Moody Publishers called. They had been reading my blog posts. They wanted to know if I would write a book for teens. I remember, through that season, just praying: “Lord, what do You have? Do You have a relationship with this guy”—which I thought God was doing—“or do You want me to write a book?”
When things went down with this guy—it didn’t turn out like I thought they would—I just knew that all of the pain in my life—that God wanted to use it to reach out to other girls with similar pain. My prayer, as I wrote the book, was just that God would raise up an army of girls who aren’t consumed and obsessed with getting a guy. I feel like: “Wow! Life is so much more exciting—not that I don’t want to be married—but life is so much more exciting with God.”
Dennis: You’re not in a holding pattern—
Dennis: —waiting to land to get on with life.
Paula: No! No!
Dennis: You’re living life now, according to His purposes that He has for you.
Paula: Yes—living real adventures with God. It’s so exciting.
Dennis: And that’s what I wanted our single listeners to hear—and frankly, the moms and dads, who are raising their sons and daughters. This sense of instilling a God-ordained sense of mission in your children’s lives—to put them in touch with God so they get to know Him through the person of Jesus Christ—but then begin to pray about and think about, “Why has God got you here?”
Paula: And you know what I love, Dennis, is—as I read stories in the Bible—I see that God chooses how He wants us to glorify Him. For example, that blind man, who was born blind from birth. I think it was Jesus’ disciples—asked, “So was it him who sinned or was it his parents who sinned, that he was born blind?”
Paula: And Jesus says, “No, it’s so that”—I can’t remember the exact words—“the power of God might be seen through his life.” I just think you don’t have to figure out how you’re going to glorify God. You just need to offer up your brokenness to Him because He takes our weakness and our brokenness—
—that’s how He just is strong—and it’s crazy.
Dennis: And He delights in doing that.
Bob: I have to ask you about the football player in high school because that relationship / that boyfriend—again, you’re growing up in a home where Mom and Dad are saying, “You’re not supposed to date—none of this.” You’re sneaking around. That boyfriend—there was a boundary that got crossed with him.
Bob: You started kissing; right?
Paula: Yes. Actually, with him, he pursued me my freshman year. I managed to hold off. That was just after I had broken up with the druggie. I was trying, with all my self-will and power, to resist him; but sophomore year came around, and he was interested again. Oh, my goodness!—like, “What girl can resist a football player?”—you know? [Laughter]
Dennis: Right. He was a little older.
Paula: He was a little older. He had a cool car with tinted windows, and he was a self-proclaimed player. He wore—not that that’s a good thing—but I don’t know why, but it was a draw—he wore—
Bob: When you say “player,” you’re talking about he was—
Paula: He was a ladies’ man. Yes.
Paula: He wore cool clothes, and he was interested in me. A friend told me that he made our initials in Spanish class with Sweet Tarts.
Bob: How can you resist a guy who does that?
Paula: How can you resist that?
Dennis: I mean, hey—[Laughter]
Bob: So here’s my question: “Did he know Jesus?”
Bob: Did that matter to you?
Bob: You’re mom and dad had no idea any of this was going on?
Bob: I’m just wondering how many parents are listening to us right now going, “I wonder…”
Dennis: “…if I need to do a little espionage work.”
Bob: “…if we need to call the FBI to figure out what’s going on with my daughter.” [Laughter]
Paula: You know what? You can bypass the FBI because, actually, my parents prayed.
They started to find out some things; and they prayed, “Lord, would You help us to find out when she’s doing something?” He answered their prayer.
Bob: You had that happen; didn’t you?
Dennis: Oh, we had some classics—we had some classics. One time, we gave our daughter very strict boundaries for when we went out of town. When we got back, we asked; and we inspected the boundary: “Did you go anywhere?” “Oh, no—I haven’t been anywhere.”
Well, on the following weekend, we went to church. I locked my keys in our van. All six kids, out in the parking lot after church—had to call a locksmith to come and get into our van. The locksmith comes. He points to our daughter and said: “Didn’t I see you last weekend? Did your car—it was broken down over in such-and-such?” It was like, “Busted!” [Laughter]
God feels sorry for parents. He loves it when parents will pray the prayer of a helpless parent: “Lord, help me catch them doing what’s right, and help me catch them when they’re doing something wrong that’s going to destroy their lives.”
Bob: When your parents found out that some of this was going on, did they tighten up—were you grounded? I mean, what happened?
Paula: I remember—I could tell that they no longer trusted me. So, there was a lot more questioning—there was a lot more driving by to see if I was okay. I don’t actually know if I knew that, in the moment, or if I learned that years’ later.
Bob: Trust is an important thing; isn’t it?
Paula: Oh man, it took me years—years—to rebuild my parents’ trust. I remember being frustrated by that, as a teenager, and thinking that it should just come a lot more quickly and naturally. Of course, it doesn’t. You have to prove yourself.
Dennis: Yes; I think there’s a principle here—parents need to be careful—when there has been a major breach of trust—of letting their kids out of the penalty box too quickly. They have to learn how to rebuild that trust and have a track record that’s worthy of their parents’ trust again. Do you remember when that happened with your parents?
Paula: No. It was such a gradual process. Honestly, I didn’t deserve their trust for many years.
Bob: Because you kept sneaking around.
Bob: So, even after they knew stuff was going on—and I want to go back to the kiss—because the first kiss turned into lots of kissing; didn’t it?
Paula: Yes. So, we were in his car. Kiss Me came onto the radio—I hate that song! [Laughter] Of course, we just followed what the song said and kissed.
Paula: After that, obviously, I wasn’t allowed to do a lot; but, sometimes, school would let out at like 2:18. I would forget—“forget”—to tell my parents that we were getting out of school early. Then I would go over to his house—and yes, we would make out in his bedroom, on his bed—very, very compromising situation.
Dennis: Without his parents there?
Paula: His parents knew. Yes. His mom—yes! They were there.
Bob: Yes. Well.
Paula: They were there—they didn’t care.
Dennis: That’s one thing I want parents to hear, as they’re listening to this story.
You can’t assume that other parents have anywhere near the moral boundaries that you have, as a family.
Paula: Oh no—no way.
Bob: So, after things broke up with the football player—
Paula: Yes, and things broke up with him because he wanted more. Praise the Lord—I don’t know—by His grace and with my strict upbringing, I wasn’t quite ready to give him everything. When he figured that out, he broke up.
Bob: So the next guy that you kind of fell for—did you go straight to kissing?
Paula: No, quite the opposite, actually. I’d just experienced how incredibly painful it was. I could tell that these guys were only after one thing. They didn’t know me—they didn’t care to know me. So, I thought, “Okay, I’m going to do the spiritual thing,”—like, “I am so done with that!”
I set my eyes on the most godly guy that I could find. Of course, there wasn’t going to be kissing with that.
But you know, what was interesting is—I felt, during that season—I felt like there had been real transformation in my heart because, suddenly, I was liking godly guys instead of non-Christians.
Paula: But nothing had really changed. My heart was still the exact same. I was still—I lived for a look, or a smile, or a laugh. It was really no life at all.
Bob: I want to take you—because we’ve followed this journey from you, at age seven, wanting a guy to like you, through the junior high years, into high school. There’s been a little bit of a roller coaster, along the way; but how is Paula today different than Paula in junior high, Paula in senior high, Paula in college, and even Paula as a young single adult—where boys were really at the center of all of this? How are you different? How are you thinking differently today?
Paula: Everything is different. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect. That doesn’t mean I still don’t struggle, but I want guys to be attracted to Jesus through my life.
I want to point them to Him. I don’t want to trip them up and distract them from Him. I no longer walk around, lying all the time, and hating the other girls because they’re competition. I now have way more girl friends than guy friends—and just enjoy deep, meaningful relationships with them. Wow! I don’t really even know where to start because it’s not just outward behavior that’s changed—it’s that my desires have changed—and that’s all Christ.
Bob: Do you still scan a room? I mean, at church, do you still look around and go, “Any new guys here?”
Paula: Oh man. I do have a confession because, just probably about a month ago—I go to a family-oriented church—and there’s no one else my age. Suddenly, a couple of guys came; and they’re kind of around my age, and cute.
I confess that, Saturday night—I’m a girl who, as you can see, I don’t paint my nails. I don’t have time for a lot of that stuff; but I put on base coat, and normal fingernail polish, and top coat. I laid out my clothes—
Bob: Wait, wait—wait. I didn’t even know there was such stuff—really?
Paula: Yes; yes. Three layers, Bob. [Laughter] And then I changed purses—which I do, normally, like once every three years—and I got ready.
Bob: You got ready for Sunday morning, and it wasn’t getting spiritually ready for Sunday morning.
Paula: No, no. No; in fact, I probably missed my time with the Lord because of spending so much time doing this. I was like: “Oh, Lord! I don’t even know what to say”; but it was just humorous because—I walk in, and I scan the room. They’re nowhere. I’m like: “Umm—surely they’re here, and I just don’t see them. I’ll see them after service.”
Dennis: You held your nails up in the air. [Laughter]
Paula: I was—yes. End of the service, they weren’t there. Turns out they’re out of town—both of them. I was like, “Okay, Lord, next Sunday, we’re going without painted nails.”
Bob: Back to basics.
Paula: We’re back to basics, yes.
Dennis: You know, we’re laughing about this. There is kind of a—I wouldn’t say it’s humorous, but it’s insightful. You give a quiz in your book about how to know if you are a boy-crazy girl.
Bob: Oh yes—Page 22; right?
Dennis: That’s right. You know, there are 14 questions. We’ll put these up on FamilyLifeToday.com and let folks get them there, but would you just real quickly go through these? Just see how many of these—if I’ve a young person listening to this, right now—see if she is a boy-crazy girl.
Paula: Okay. Well, I just have to say this is an auto-biographical list. Also, it’s not comprehensive. There are other tell-tale signs of being boy-crazy.
Dennis: Sure. Sure.
Paula: But this is what it looked like for me.
Paula: In a room full of people, do you always know where “he” is?
Are boys your number one favorite topic of conversation with your friends? I remember actually, whenever I would get together with adults, my number one question for them was, “How did you get together with your wife?”
Three, do you often dress to catch a guy’s attention?
Do you replace one crush with another, almost as soon as you realize that the first relationship isn’t going anywhere?
Have you asked a guy out?—that’s the only one I haven’t done.
Do you have your eye on more than one guy at a time?
Do you believe that you would finally be completely happy if you had a boyfriend?
Do you change your schedule or plans in order to bump into him?
Do you tend to have more guy friends than girl friends?
When you’re relaxing with a good book, movie, or song, do you pick those that are filled with ooey, gooey romance?
If you journal or pray, are your pages or prayers filled with thoughts and requests about guys?
Are you always trying to figure out which guys like you?
Would you be willing to get a total makeover for a guy?—and not the hair, makeup, new clothes kind—but the “I will change who I am, at my core, if that’s what it takes to get you” kind.
Bob: That’s a pretty good list. And you said “auto-biographical.” You looked through that and you go: “That was true. Today, it’s not true or less true”?
Paula: Less true. Some days are better than others. Something that I pray, pretty much every morning, is this verse that says, “Satisfy me with Your love that I may rejoice and be glad all my days.” So, every day, I’m saying, “God, if You don’t satisfy me, I know that I’m going to run back to my idols.” It’s just like the people of Israel—they were always tearing down their altars and their idols—and then, the next thing you know, they’re building them back up.
Paula: So yes, I do that. Then the other prayer I pray, daily, is the one from Proverbs—about, “God, help my eyes to look straight ahead,” because most of my life—and I still can today—I’m looking around for evidence of who’s looking at me: “Do they look like they’re interested?”—things like that.
Dennis: Paula, you’ve been really honest about your relationship with your dad. I’m going to be really honest with you. What I’m about to ask you to do, I have never asked another guest to do.
Paula: I’m not sure if I should feel honored or scared.
Dennis: Honored—honored. Earlier, you did a tribute to your dad. As a single woman, I know that mamas are really special to young women who aren’t married. I wonder; would you like to give your mom a brief tribute—
Paula: I would love to.
Dennis: —before we’re done here?
Bob: Okay, before you do that—let me, once again, let our listeners know how they can get a copy of your book, Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom. We have the book in our FamilyLife Today Resource Center. It’s easy to go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Click the link in the upper left-hand corner of the screen that says, “GO DEEPER.” You can order a copy of Paula’s book from us, online. Again, the website: FamilyLifeToday.com. You can also call 1-800-FL-TODAY and order the book over the phone—1-800-358-6329. That is 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY.”
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Dennis: Okay, it’s been our treat to have Paula Hendricks with us, author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl. I don’t think I’ve ever asked one guest to do a tribute both to their dad and to their mom; but Paula, I’m giving you a chance, here on our radio show, to honor your mom.
Well, Mom, I know that you are listening to this program because you are my number-one fan. Thank you for being the real deal. Thank you for living out your faith and not only speaking it. Thank you for choosing to love the man you married, day in and day out, year after year. Thank you for praying for me—how you pray for me.
Thank you for sending me encouraging Scriptures, like you did this morning, getting ready to come into this interview. Thank you for, both you and dad, just for not pressuring me of being single and 31.
I know you want grandkids, but thank you for having a bigger vision than that and just for being so excited about what God is doing through this crazy broken girl. I couldn’t ask for a better encourager/ role model. You know that Joni Eareckson Tada is both of our heroes—but you’re a lot closer—and just as much of a role model to me as Joni Eareckson Tada.
I love you tons, tons, tons. I’m so grateful that you’re still with me. I know that life is short, and I couldn’t ask for a better friend.
Bob: FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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