Archive for August, 2012

Hard To Follow

Posted: August 22, 2012 in Teachable Moment
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Those who know me well know about the infamous house building process from hell and are probably sick of listening to me whine about it. However, today I am going to turn my whining into some productive observations, so feel free to enjoy the moment as it probably won’t last very long. I want to talk about learning to follow my husband’s leadership. In all of our 9 ½ years of being married, I have never really had a hard time following Wheeler’s leadership… He has always had a pretty solid direction for where our family was going and the principles that we were to operate under, so even when we had disagreements about one thing or another, ultimately we usually would come to a good place of compromise and I didn’t feel the urge to fight him.

In the last 6 months, this has not been so and here’s the deal. Wheeler is right and I am wrong. I know this for a fact, in the deepest part of my heart, but somehow, in my flesh I keep trying to wiggle my way out of having to wait on this house. Living unsettled for over a year and a half has not been easy for anyone, including Wheeler, but no matter what has happened he has never wavered on the fact that we are where we are supposed to be and we are going in the direction we are supposed to go. I however, have tried everything to get out of waiting and each time I try the Lord gently thwarts my efforts and keeps telling me to follow my husband’s leadership. Why do I have to follow? Thanks to the curse, it is totally against my nature to follow. But here’s the thing the Lord has shown me in recent days… Ephesians 5 clearly demonstrates that marriage is set up to be a reflection to the world of Christ’s relationship to His church. He has set up my husband to lead as a picture of how Christ leads his church and I am an example of how the church is to follow Christ.  As a mom, I am also teaching my girls about how they should follow Christ by how I follow Wheeler. Ouch, conviction hurts so badly! Now Wheeler isn’t perfect like Christ is perfect and sometimes he will make mistakes in where he leads us, but it does not change the fact that his leadership is for my protection. It’s obvious that God wants us right where we are, so what would happen if Wheeler gave up on his conviction just because I didn’t like being uncomfortable? Disaster; because it is not circumstances that make us happy but being where God wants us.

So I guess my point is that leadership is hard to follow, whether it is the perfect leadership of Christ or the imperfect leadership of our husbands. However, in the hardship I can see God refining my character to make it a better reflection of His design, especially as a mom. It hurts a lot and honestly, I am failing way more than I am succeeding, but I am thankful for the chance to learn. Also, I just want to close by saying thanks to my husband and to all the husbands out there who are learning to lead their families well. Just remember that we are learning too and we need you even when we fight you… Just like the church needs Christ even though we fight Him.

Last Friday night I saw a theatrical presentation of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. It was a conscience wrenching, powerful performance and it has inspired me to talk about an issue that is probably the most controversial in our culture today… Homosexuality.  I have long hesitated to address the topic on my blog, not only because of its polarizing nature, but also because there is a horrific tendency by those of us who oppose homosexuality to view those who practice it as the enemies. This is not so. Satan is our enemy and homosexuality is merely another device he uses to rob the human soul of the joy and satisfaction it was created for. In fact, I think it is worth pointing out that heterosexual promiscuity is an equal rejection of God’s design for sexuality and our acceptance of these practices is the foundation for where we are today with homosexuality.  Everything from pre-marital sex and co-habitation to pornography, it all screams that we do not believe that there is a God who cares what we do. All sin is an equal rejection of God’s boundaries… A man who has a problem with pride or anger is the same as the man who is a homosexual and both men are the same as me… a sinner with a whole bunch of problems that God desperately desires to redeem. I hope everyone will keep that in mind as I proceed.

There are two reasons that I have decided to write about the subject… The first is because as a mom, it is painfully apparent that my children are growing fast and it will not be long before they are asking me questions to which I must have a good response. I want to encourage all you other moms out there to take a stance on what you believe with your kids because if you don’t, someone else will undoubtedly seize the opportunity provided by your silence. The second reason is that C.S. Lewis boldly challenged the moral culture of his day in writing the Screwtape Letters and I feel that homosexuality is a moral question to which too few people are willing to offer a biblical answer.  To be clear, I do not believe the question should be whether homosexuality should receive the same privileges as heterosexual marriage, but rather is homosexuality just an alternative lifestyle or is it in fact a wrong use of sexuality that God has condemned as destructive to his most precious creation? If you answer that question, then it is easy to determine whether a society should sanction or fight against such behavior. Let us remember, however, that the fight is NOT AGAINST the people who practice homosexuality but FOR the people who practice homosexuality. We are fighting FOR the freedom of their souls and against the lust that has enslaved them.

I believe in the God of the Bible and I believe that He loved us so much that He gave us boundaries so we could live in true freedom the life he has given us on this earth. It’s just like a good father sets boundaries for his children so that they are as safe as they are free. These boundaries are the things we call right and wrong and their existence is most obviously demonstrated by the person who says there is no such thing. If you were to harm this person or steal something from him, he will automatically recoil in horror and demand retribution, thus acknowledging that there is wrong and you have done it.  God created sexual pleasure and it is ours to enjoy within His boundaries and design. In Romans 1:26-27 homosexuality is clearly described as against this design and I therefore believe it is not only wrong but will ultimately prove harmful to those who practice it no matter what the media or popular culture may say to the contrary. If God is a good father who sets boundaries because He loves us, then you can be sure that the things he says are wrong will somehow ravage our souls whether now or later. Both heterosexual and homosexual promiscuity are forms of insatiable lust and lust will destroy the soul it feasts upon no matter the object or the method of its pursuit.

So as a mom, I would encourage you to be bold and teach your children that homosexuality and heterosexual promiscuity is wrong because God did not design us to work that way. But what should we teach them to do with that belief? I say teach them the golden rule. Treat others how you would want to be treated because you are just as bad a sinner as anyone else. God treats us in this way despite our wretchedness; it is His patient love that woos our souls unto Him and changes us from the inside out. He does not condone sin and neither should we, but we can be certain that He is able to handle the sin in His own children and He does not need our help to do it. So teach them to cling to truth but love those who have not found it because God does the same with us as we struggle in our own sins.  So now that I have gone on quite long enough on this difficult subject, I have written my own Screwtape letter to offer a bit more perspective. I hope everyone will at least be willing to listen and take away the idea that there really is a design for us and it is born from love, for our protection not our misery.

My Dear Orexis,

It is my sincerest hope that you will be more successful with your new patient than your cousin Wormwood was with his. Of course you are well aware of the fate he suffered for his failures, so I advise you to take extra care that you do not follow in his miserable footsteps. I am, however, most delighted to hear that you have already spotted a most advantageous struggle within your new subject… It is that of sexual preference. I see that he is already quite immersed in pornography, but as our father below has so designed it, he is beginning to lust for more and is now ready to be introduced to a new outlet for his desires.  Oh this is most delightful!! As with all things embedded in the sinful nature of humans all you need to do is encourage what is already there and get them to go as far as you can without looking to see where they are going. I also see from your letter that he is a student at the local high school… All the better! As you know, our father below has already forged a very successful campaign against the education system.  Everything is considered relative now and we have convinced even some of the most intelligent to believe that there are no standards for right and wrong, it’s really just a matter of whatever makes them happy. Use this to your advantage. Encourage him to indulge his curiosity under the guise of exploring his sexuality or trying to find his happiness by finding himself. You and I both know that our enemy has designed these humans to only truly find themselves in Him, which makes the pursuit of finding oneself in oneself absolutely fruitless but this is what we want!! The longer we can keep him chasing empty promises of happiness, the longer we can keep him from finding the truth and that, my dear Orexis, is something you must avoid at all costs.  We have successfully convinced the majority of the world that truth does not even exist, but it does indeed exist and you must never EVER let your subject find it or he might be freed from our grasp forever! I don’t need to remind you what will be done to you if that were to happen.

Now as you convince your subject to satisfy his growing lust in sexual activity with the same sex, there will be the inevitable matter of guilt that will begin to creep into his conscience; you must convince him that this is just because society has imposed their bigotry on his sexual freedom. This guilt, of course, is a weapon that our enemy uses to whisper to the human soul that they were designed for better things. Silence this whisper at all costs and make sure your subject remains unaware that there is a design or purpose for his life at all. A purposeless being feels under no obligation to do anything that does not please him and he then becomes obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure which as we discussed earlier will never come to him. If he becomes depressed, send him to one of our psychologists… they will condemn the feelings of guilt as low self-esteem or something to that effect and put him on some very useful medications so that he continue on this journey of “sexual exploration”. Now, I understand from your letters that his parents are in fact Christians, which is very disconcerting, but you say that he and his father have a hard time understanding one another. Use that to alienate the boy from any influence they might have. Destruction of that insidious thing called “the family” is always of utmost importance. The family was of course designed by our enemy to be a protective structure for humans, particularly women and children and it is what all societies are built on…. So if the very idea of strong families is done away with as bigoted and obsolete then the society itself becomes weak and is practically ours for the taking!!! So let us review your course of action for your new patient… (1) Encourage his sexual exploration as natural and merely a pursuit of happiness. (2) Erase any idea of truth or right or wrong. (3) Keep his family from having any influence in his life as this is always poisonous to our purposes. (4) Never let him see that the pleasure he is chasing will never satisfy his lust. (5) Always reiterate to his mind that there is no God with a design or purpose for his life and anyone who says differently is bigoted and a hate monger. If you successfully do these things you will effectively enslave your patient’s soul to an endless pursuit of pleasures that will never satisfy. He is in fact deeply loved by our enemy who designed him for freedom, but if you do your work well he will die enslaved to his lust and never know what he missed until it is too late.

Your Affectionate Uncle,


If you are interested in seeing the theatrical version of the Screwtape Letters I highly recommend the one  put on by the Fellowship For The Performing Arts

People always tell you that what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger but tonight I just don’t feel like I’m getting stronger, I feel like I’m mostly getting killed.  Our house is getting built but the progress seems to be moving so slow, I feel like my grandmother could build it faster than these stupid builders can and this just means many aspects of my life continue to be on hold. My poor little Elaina is sick with a nagging fever which makes her extremely high maintenance. I haven’t done the laundry because I just did it and I can’t find the motivation to do it again… and on and on I could go with a laundry list of things that are just killing me. So where is this illusive strength?

Well, as I am sitting here pondering this question I am drawn to 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 which says this:

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you.

So if I’m reading this correctly it seems like strength only comes from death and a more accurate phrase would be “What kills you makes you stronger.” It’s a death of my nature that is necessary to allow the strength of Christ to supersede what I am naturally capable of. God is using the broken, painful and annoying things in my life to strike me down but not destroy me, to afflict me but not crush me so that all the strength in my own nature will be shown as weak and dead and I will fall into his arms… That way the fact that He is who He is and He is holding me will be the strength I need to stand up under my circumstances. It is against my nature to fall into God’s arms. It is my nature to try to figure out how to run from pain but if I let this nature die, this verse says that the life of Jesus will be manifested in my flesh and I really want that. The life of Jesus is strong, peaceful and not broken by circumstances. I want to be that one day.

I guess my point in writing this is just to let all those people out there who feel like they are getting killed by life know that I am right there with you tonight. And after I close my laptop up, I will be on my knees with my husband praying for God to show me how to let my nature die so that He can be my strength.