Archive for the ‘Soap Box Moment’ Category

The issue of bathing suits and modesty seems to be a pretty hot topic this summer. There have been two very popular points of view circulating in the realm of social media and since I am a mother of growing girls I feel that this is an excellent opportunity to discuss the subject.

The first point of view was published in an article by Rachel Evans (click here for article) who makes excellent points about the effects of legalism; however, her conclusion implies that women should not be concerned about what impact their wardrobe has on men. According to Evans, God made their bodies beautiful and therefore they should simply dress for themselves. She insists that modesty is subjective and that as long as a woman has dignity on the inside, it doesn’t matter what she wears.

The second point of view comes from a video by Jessica Rey (click here for video) who feels that women’s bodies are beautiful but sacred and should be clothed as such. She also expresses a concern for the effect that skimpy bathing suits have on men and challenges women to be conscious of how they dress.

So what is the answer? Should we wear two piece bathing suits or should we not? Should we care what men think or just dress in whatever makes us comfortable? What do we teach our daughters to do?

First of all, I think it’s helpful to remember that everything we do as Christians is not about conforming to some set of rules or behavioral standards but about pursuing the pleasure of our Savior. In every aspect of our lives, whether it is the work we do, the entertainment we indulge in, or the way we dress, our mindset should always have the glory of His name in view. My point in writing this is not to lay out a set of rules to follow, but to challenge us to keep God at the center of our thought process.

To be honest, I don’t think it really matters how many pieces a bathing suit has, it matters what message it sends when you are wearing it. I have seen two piece bathing suits that are adorable and modest and one piece bathing suits that are as skanky as a Britney Spears music video. As women of God we need to listen to the spirit inside of us and use the common sense that God gave us … if we are distracted by all our exposed body parts when looking in the mirror, chances are everyone else will have the same problem and perhaps that bathing suit is not the best choice.

As for men, I like to think of it this way. Men are naturally more visual creatures just as women are naturally more emotional creatures. How would women respond if men said they were no longer going to be concerned with whether they hurt our feelings or not because words are not bad things and they should be free to say what they like? It seems like that would be using their freedom for their own glory and satisfaction. So as women, is it really honoring to God to say that our bodies are not bad things so we should be able to expose as much of it as we want without worrying about the affects it has on men? Seems like that would be a double standard. No, we are not responsible for a man’s lust, but biblically we are responsible to not dress in a way that exploits his weakness. (1 Corinthians 8:9 and Romans 14:13)

In regard to our daughters, I personally feel we must teach them that their bodies are beautiful, exquisite master pieces of God’s creativity and as such they are sacred. They should clothe themselves in a way that inspires respect, reflecting both dignity and beauty. This is modesty and in my opinion it does matter. I found it very interesting that in her article, Rachel Evans says that the word modesty used in 1 Timothy 2:9-10 signified orderliness, self-control and appropriateness, but insisted this definition had nothing to do with sexual, only material modesty. However, I believe this scripture encompasses both. The spirit of the passage is concerned with the hearts of believing women. In the end, there’s no difference between the woman who flaunts her wealth to incite envy and the woman who flaunts her body to incite lust.

Now I think it is also important to note, that as parents we should pick our battles wisely on this subject. I once knew a girl whose dad absolutely forbid wearing ankle bracelets because he thought they were immodest. The focus was strictly on the behavior, there was no concern for the heart of his daughter and the result was rebellion. As I mentioned before, it is not a set of rules we are pursuing but the person of Jesus Christ. If we teach our children to fall in love with Him then the glory of His name will be the focus of all they do including how they dress, and to me that is the best any parent could ever hope for.

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Since today is the first day that the Supreme Court will begin hearings regarding the issue of “marriage equality” I felt it was appropriate to re-post a blog I wrote on the subject last year… I know it is a bit long but I hope everyone will take a moment to read it, think about it and maybe challenge themselves to re-examine their world view in the light of Scripture.

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,
Screwtape

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 http://www.screwtapeonstage.com/

Seriously?

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Soap Box Moment
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today I am going to get on my soap box and talk about something that I know will make a lot of people upset, but honestly I am so irritated, I don’t really care. A few weeks ago, my husband was invited by a group of his friends to go grab a drink at a place called Twin Peaks which is touted as the new Hooters just with less clothing. For those of you not familiar with either of these restaurants, they are quite simply, titty bars for the suburban man. They serve a variety of “man foods” such as burgers, wings and ice cold beer but in addition they offer a choice selection of scantily clad waitresses for men to tantalize their lusts. Don’t believe me? Go to their websites, they make no secret of it.

Needless to say, my husband is a man of character and had no problem telling his meat head friends that he would not be joining them for personal reasons. As expected, they responded with ridicule and accused him of not being able to “handle himself”. SERIOUSLY? Now, to those of you who do not hold to the truth of scripture, I have nothing to say to you but to those who claim to be a Christian, I am calling you out. In Romans 13:14 we are commanded to make “no provision for the flesh.” In Galations 5:13 we are told that we are free but not to turn our freedom into opportunity for the flesh. In Matthew 26:41 we are told that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. In Proverbs 5:17-19 men are commanded to “rejoice in the wife of your youth… let HER breasts satisfy you at ALL TIMES.” Need I go on?

Sadly I have met professing Christians, both men and women, who seem to feel that this indulgence of lust is no big deal and it is this attitude that I wish to challenge. Do we take the words of the living God seriously or do we think He is a joke? He gives us these guidelines because He is the creator and He knows what tools we need to protect ourselves and our marriages so why are those who take Him at His word looked at as prudish and unintelligent? The world tells us that marriage is only valuable as long as it suits us; it should not impede our desires or cramp our style and if it does, it’s ok to toss it out with the rest of the garbage and do what makes us happy.  So how’s that workin’ out? Statistics would say, not so well. Is this really what we want to pass on to our kids? That marriage is not valuable enough to protect by standing up for what God says is true?

I say no. I say you can get wings and hamburgers at Chili’s and that the only reason to go to suburban titty bars is to get as close to sin as you can without feeling like you have technically done anything wrong. If you are always trying to get as close to “the line” as possible then your heart is really on the other side of the line, it’s just that simple. Now, I’m not telling anyone what to do but I will tell you this, I respect my husband more than I respect any man in this world because he takes God seriously and he proactively protects our marriage. He did not turn down the Twin Peaks invitation because he can’t “handle himself”, he did it because he is twice the man those guys will ever hope to be.

I am a housewife. A lot of people look down upon the profession because it is not paid and does not require a degree, but it is a profession none the less. Our job description is extensive and pretty much limitless in its scope depending upon the current needs of any given situation. We plan the meals and do the grocery shopping, cook the dinners, do the dishes, wash the clothes, pay the bills, plan family events, keep the living areas in some state of cleanliness and that’s just managing the house.  If you have kids like I do then you are also the full time nanny, which includes changing diapers at least 6 to twelve times a day, keeping the children clean, clothing the children, picking up after the children, preparing snacks and meals 6 times a day and providing entertainment/educational activities in-between.  It’s the life of a servant in most of its aspects, but those of us who choose to accept the position, do so not because we will ever get paid what our jobs are worth, but because we feel that our families are worth the sacrifices we make. It is most definitely a full time profession.

Now, most people who work in a full time profession typically have some sort of office or work environment where they operate to properly complete their assigned tasks.  For the IT Analyst it’s the cubical, for the craftsman it’s the workshop, for the retail worker it’s the cash register or the warehouse where he or she spends the day shelving shipments of products but for the housewife it is her house. Whether it’s a mobile home in the backwoods of Alabama or a mansion in Manhattan, a housewife’s home is her base of operations to organize and complete the myriad of tasks that face her each day so you can imagine that a homeless housewife would be faced with quite a functional challenge. It would be like a craftsman trying to fashion a bookshelf outside where his tools are scattered and exposed to weather or the retail worker attempting to organize a truck load of products in a 5 x 7 cubical. They could probably manage to come up with some sort of solution for the short term but to adequately continue their work in the long term they would need a proper work environment. For the past year and ten months I have been a homeless housewife; thanks to the generosity of my parents, I and my family have not been completely homeless, but for all functional purposes, the effect has been the same. The first twelve months were by choice for various reasons but the last ten have been the result of the home building process from hell and in the following paragraphs I am going to attempt to relate some of the turmoil that my family and I have experienced due to the utter incompetence of Compass Pointe Homes.  First, let’s just start with the facts:

On November 8, 2011 my husband and I signed paperwork with the company, Compass Pointe Homes, to begin construction on our home in a quiet little neighborhood in Conroe, Texas. At the time we were told by the sales representative that as long as our loan application was approved and our design center appointment was completed in December, that construction would begin in January and the house would be completed within four to six months after that. Our loan application was approved immediately and without any issues, our design center appointment was completed on December 13, 2011 and our pre-construction meeting was completed January 9, 2012. However, despite what we were told, the forms for our house were not even set until March 7, 2012 after countless e-mails sent by us to find out what was going on. They gave us a myriad of excuses including telling us that the construction loan for the house was not yet approved, which turned out to be completely false. It was later discovered in a phone conversation, that the construction of our house was being entirely funded by the sales of other homes because Compass Pointe was financially insolvent due to a bad investment. This bad investment would turn out to be the source of endless trouble. On March 28, 2012 we received an e-mail from the sales manager assuring us that despite the delay, Compass Pointe was still confident in a June closing date. We were then told by in another e-mail from the sales manager on March 29, 2012 that the slab would be poured the following week which didn’t actually happen until May 14, 2012; this was almost an additional two month delay. On May 18, 2012 we received an e-mail stating that lumber for the frames would be delivered the following week, however, the lumber was not delivered until June 7, 2012. In an e-mail on June 22, 2012 the sales manager assured us that we would now be closing by mid-August. At the end of June we finally threatened to pull our contract because after the frames went up the weekend of June 8th, they were left exposed for over four weeks after countless promises that the roof would be put on. On July 7, 2012, the operations manager sent us a written project plan that showed the house as completed on August 9, 2012. We then received a letter signed by the CFO of Compass Pointe Homes, stating that the company had the financial capacity to complete our home according to the schedule that the operations manager had sent us so we decided that since we had come this far, we would continue our contract based on the letter and project plan. It is now September 19, 2012 and our house is not finished. We were told that our house was to be bricked over four weeks ago and they just finished bricking on Monday, September 17th. I have not even mentioned the fact that we had locked our interest rate based on the project plan provided to us and because the house was nowhere near finished by the time it expired, we had to go through the hassle of trying to re-lock it even though interest rates had gone up. So this is the insanity that has been the building process.

I can’t even begin to describe the emotional turmoil I and my family have been through in the last ten months with all that I have described above but by God’s mercy we have remained strong. My husband has spent countless hours on the phone and writing e-mails trying to deal with the incompetent, unethical staff members that are employed by Compass Pointe Homes and yet he has strived to remain patient and reasonable; my parents have been completely displaced by having a family with two small children come to live in their home for much longer than was originally expected, and yet they continue extend generosity and be supportive; I have lived in utter disorganization and endured the emotional strain of not knowing when I would be able to run my own home again and yet somehow I have been supernaturally sustained. So my point in writing this account is not to make people feel sorry for me – We have made our choices and every hardship has its divinely appointed purpose. I write this so that other families can have the information that we didn’t have when we started this hellacious process. There is no legal action that can be taken, as builders contracts are heavily weighted in favor of the builder, so I feel it is my ethical duty to inform everyone who will read this that if you wish to have a house built, do not do business with Compass Pointe Homes and always do everything you can to find out the financial solvency of a builder before you sign on the dotted line.  We are still fighting with them to get our house finished before my daughters third birthday in October and hopefully very soon this homeless housewife will once again have a home. Until then please continue to keep us in your prayers!

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,

Screwtape

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 http://www.screwtapeonstage.com/

So recently I watched the movie Mirror Mirror which was a retelling of the fairytale, Snow White. It was an ok story but honestly I couldn’t help but be bothered by an underlying idea that seems to be permeating our culture on a whole new level these days. In the movie the prince is portrayed as an absolute moron who is constantly being saved by Snow White which perpetuates the idea that women don’t need men and they certainly don’t need to be saved by a man. Many people think that the idea of the girl being saved by the handsome hero is something that was conjured up by antiquated old men and put into dozens of fairytales to brain wash us into thinking that this is the way it is supposed to be. However, if scripture is to be believed, this is not true at all. Ephesians 5 says this “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.” So the husband is compared to Christ who is the savior of the body, which is His bride. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I don’t think women are helpless and they are absolutely called in Proverbs 31 to be wise, capable and strong but it is my firm belief that making men out to be morons who always have to be saved by the women is poisonous not only to men but to women as well.  God saved his bride through ultimate self-sacrifice, so it was not a salvation of chauvinistic pride but of true love.  The relationship between a man and a woman was designed to be a reflection of this love and be a protection for women. Isn’t that what we crave in the deepest recesses of our heart is true love and protection? Is not ultimate sacrifice to save another a perfect demonstration of true love? Then why do we feel the need to demean such images of true love in our culture? My theory is that it is because of bitterness created by the lack of real men in our society. Growing numbers of men have bought the lie that they are no longer needed to be leaders following the example of Christ in their families but little boys who are to be mothered by the women who supposedly know best. This lie was born during the feminist movement which was intended to free women from oppression but instead has gone too far and created a new form of it. Now we are trapped feeling unloved and unprotected because the men did what we said instead of loving us enough to fight for their position as protectors and we brutally mock them for it. Thus it is a vicious cycle.

I know this is controversial and I hope no one will take this as an attack on women or the movie itself but as a plea to stop the cycle. Men, just obeying everything a woman says is not loving her… Have the wisdom to follow God’s design and love us enough to save us even when we don’t want to be saved. And Ladies, Instead of spending all of our time degrading men based on the failures of some why don’t we focus our attention on being wise, strong and capable women that are worth fighting for … Maybe in time the wrongs will be righted and we can be an inspiration for our men as they try to be the heroes they were designed to be.

Vanity, Vanity

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Soap Box Moment

Sunday I went to the grocery store and as I stood in line at the check out, a particular magazine cover caught my eye… The headline read something like “Growing up too Fast?” and it was about little girls who are in beauty pagents from the time they are babies and everything that they go through to be “beautiful”. It showed pictures of these little 3, 4 and 5 year olds dressed up like a JLo music video, wearling high heals, fake teeth, fake eyelishes, skimpy outfits and more make up than a grown woman should ever wear. My heart was so heavy I almost started crying right there in Wal-Mart and it made me think deeply about my responsibility as a mother of two baby girls in a society that seems to only value a beauty that is skin deep.  I thought about the parents who actually put their little girls in this obscene environment that does nothing for them but tell them that they are not enough just the way God made them.  Then I began to think about myself and how much I obsess over what I should eat and how much I weigh and how people see me and then this horrible realization came over me… what if those parents are just like me, only they have gone just one step farther and put their own insecurities on their daughters? Am I just a hypocrite hiding behind ideals?

Needless to say this started me doing some soul searching… Now, I am not one that is opposed to taking care of yourself, wearing make up or jewelry or even fun clothes but the issue is once again one of the heart.  Is the focus of my efforts to obtain some sort of affirmation from other people? Or re-phrased, is the focus of my efforts so that people will look at ME and think I am awesome or super hot or whatever? Or is my heart in a place where it understands that I am NOT awesome but God IS awesome and HE made me and HE saved me and HE thinks I am a treasure worth the life of His own son and if I am such a treasure then I should take care of myself as such. When this truth really takes hold of the soul, the pressure of trying to achieve the ever-changing standard of what everyone thinks is beautiful melts away and suddenly there is a joy in who and what you are and taking care of yourself is just a natural thing to do when you realize how priceless you are. This is what I want to pass on to my girls… that they are His and they are gorgeous.

So you may be asking yourself, what is the junk for the week? My junk is that unfortunately, it is a rare thing for me to actually walk in this truth… My “fat days” are about 6 out of 7 a week and I am sad to say that I am not very good at grasping the right perspective. However, I have three things to help me out… (1) The grace of God that keeps reminding me of the truth so that one day I might walk in it consistently (2) Two girls to remind me to keep chasing the truth and (3) A husband who is really good at making me feel beautiful and cherished 🙂 so as always God is merciful. And the conclusion of the matter is that  you are God’s beautiful treasure and my prayer for you is that the vanity of this generation does not rob you of that joy.

Proverbs 31:30-31
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who [s]fears the LORD, she shall be praised.  31 Give her the [t]product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.