As you may have gathered so far, I have some issues with the things Leslie Ludy teaches. Prepare yourself, because this blog is going into details over the next few weeks.
I loved Leslie’s books as a teen. I was super passionate about loving God and serving Him with all my being and actions. Leslie showed me practical ways to do that. I loved her passion for Jesus, for purity, for living a set-apart life. And I wanted to do that too. I had read a lot of books about Christian femininity by other authors, but they were from the Christian Patriarchy movement, and seemed a bit too extreme or old-fashioned to be realistic. Leslie, on the other hand, was more in touch with the real world. And yet she wasn’t part of the world. In it but not of it. She was my prime example of what godly femininity could look like.
I prayed for a Christ-built warrior poet. I dressed modestly and watched how much of my heart I shared, to avoid causing my brothers in Christ to stumble. I surrendered my life to God and stayed far away from profanity and entertainment. I spent more time praying and reading the Bible. I pored over the latest gorgeously-designed Set Apart Girl magazines, and devoted myself to the lonely but oh-so-worthwhile life of devotion to God. I traded my fantasy novels for missionary biographies, and avoided any music that wasn’t Christ-honouring. I did my best to live the life that Leslie promoted.
And I felt stressed and guilty all the time.
Which leads me to my Big Question: How did something that seems so Christ-focused bring so much anxiety, stress and heaviness into my life?
What Leslie preaches is supposed to be all about centering our life around Christ. It’s about how to make him Lord of our lives, to live with vision and hope and deep satisfaction. And yet, all I experienced was pain and frustration. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. . . But I think if I’d tried any harder I would have killed myself. I burnt out.
Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” And “A good tree produces good fruit”. Paul said “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom”. I didn’t experience that from Leslie’s writings. In the last few days I’ve come across a couple other people who had similar experiences, so I know it’s not just me.
That’s why I’m reading her books again–to find out why something that would appear to bring life actually brought death to me.