Tag Archives: children

We Kill the Weak

My recent blog post War on Children produced a conversation. Here is an excerpt from one of the commenters:

“There is no “human being” until full bilateral synchronization [of the brain]. Please understand that. Please get that straight in your head. A human being can die. Before week 28 nothing can “die.” Period. So, if you want to use language like “kill” and “murder” then you must tell me, and everyone reading this, how you can kill something that cannot die…”

The author of this position then asked repeatedly, “Tell me, how can you kill something that cannot die?” as his trump.

So the arguments are:

A fetus is not alive until 28 weeks gestational age. (It is not a human being either?)

Before “brain synchronization”, it is not living, therefore it is not something which can die.

That baby in your belly moved because it was nothing more than “electrical impulses firing, causing movement… like firing shocks through a [dead] frog’s leg.”

This blogger equated death (the cessation of life in a previously living being) with the early stages of human development. No distinction was recognized even though a fetus meets every criteria for life and humanity. Blogger also would not define the terms of the discussion, particularly regarding whether the critical question was the fetus’ life/non-life, humanity/non-humanity, or sentience/ non-sentience.

Incomplete brain development = not living yet OR not human yet = we can dispose of it and it’s a morally neutral act.

20-weeks-human-fetus3 20 week fetus

What is this position really? What are all positions which pinpoint some arbitrary criteria which allows functional human adults to excuse the termination of millions of unborn human beings?

It is discrimination imposed upon some human beings based on their incomplete development.  It is a defense of legal termination based on inability, temporary handicap, or the incomplete growth process.

It is disqualifying still-developing children for life, even though if they were left to grow (not killed), they would become fully able.

Making termination of human fetuses legal up to a certain point in their development is exactly this.

In other words, we are killing the defenseless because they are defenseless.

Abortion culture sometimes uses pre-viability as a boundary for guilt-free termination A moving goalpost if there ever was one; and since it moves as science advances, it cannot have ever been an ethically-based position.

Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 case legalizing abortion, made fetal viability an important legal concept. The Supreme Court ruled that states cannot put the interests of a fetus ahead of the interests of the pregnant woman until the fetus is “viable.” ~ Slate

But why was viability ever the benchmark anyway?

While the unborn are weakest, while they are the most defenseless and vulnerable, while they need the most nurture…that is when we allow them to be eliminated. This is the opposite of Christian ethics, or even human ethics.

We are meant to protect most exactly those who need protection most.

In God’s design, babies are helpless for at least one good reason. Their dependency is supposed to elicit an instinctual response in adults, particularly females and more particularly mothers…for protectiveness and for the desire to nurture. It’s built into us.

We were designed to be the protectors of those helpless lives. Carrying those tiny lives within our bodies is supposed elicit obvious and intuitive impulses to protect. This is not altruism; it is not extraordinary but natural.

What we see now is a whole culture of  females denying those impulses to nurture, calling those impulses oppressive and disturbed. In favor of lateral peer dependence, they will purposely make themselves cool calculators who are just fine with ending the lives of the weakest of human beings.

Our culture has chosen a position which favors self-serving and arbitrary criteria for inclusion, and death as the default for those who fail to qualify. We kill the weak.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Post Which Needs Writing

It is becoming a radical, countercultural act requiring some bravery for a young heterosexual couple to simply get married and start a family.

Being Bullies

In our nation, a woman has an unqualified, unlimited legal right to abort the baby she is carrying. Her decision to abort her child is not subject to any review or question whatsoever, except those to which she chooses to subject them herself. Her right is to make that decision for any reason, for “good” reasons or for a whim; and no one has a legal right to apply any pressure at all to change her mind. In a less-than-desirable-case scenario, any woman may abort her child for any subjective reason, and that reason is totally personal and no one else’s business.

We have arrived here because we want to be thought of as compassionate people. Far be it from us to condemn a poor woman to raise a child she did not plan for. Far be from me to expect a woman to postpone her personal plans in order to carry and bear a child who was not in her plans. Heaven forbid that I should wish a woman to carry a baby whose father she no longer wants in her life, or who has raped her and caused her to conceive against her will.

So in order to be on the right side of history–and by history we mean the present popular left-leaning feminist context which all our friends agree with and we are sure will never change– we support the female victims of our society by granting them the legal right to be rid of the heavy burden of childbearing when they feel it is too great.

What other life or death decisions in our society are totally protected from objective judgment?

If a man or woman brutally murders another person in the first degree, we carry out an extensive due process before we declare his guilt or innocence, and before we then deliver a sentence. The alleged criminal has rights to defend himself, to have an expert in the law speak for him, we weigh the evidence which will determine his future not subjectively, but expose that evidence to twelve supposedly objective jurors. He has a full gamut of rights at his disposal.  No summary or personal judgment is permitted to determine his fate.

Yet any female of childbearing age can condemn an innocent person to death for any personal reasons she chooses. Her right to do so is inviolate and unquestioned. And this is because we are a compassionate and just people.

When we demand and use the right to dispose of our own children, for our own reasons, good or whimmish, we are no longer victims. We become the perpetrators. We become bullies, the powerful and privileged wielding our will over the powerless.

Creative Homeschool High School Course Ideas

In high school, my kids have written novels, written and produced films about Korean history, studied the Japanese and Korean languages, examined the ethics of sampling in hip-hop music, written and designed web comics, and produced graphic novels. You will probably find similarly unusual courses in most homeschool high schools.

Encouraging your student to dive into the things which most interest him, to explore his strengths, is one of the beauty parts of homeschooling. One of the very best things about home educating the high school years is that  you and your teen have the freedom to pursue those interests which make his or her life meaningful.

As a home educating parent, one of the most important things to learn about homeschooling at the high school level is to teach your strengths and to delegate your weaknesses. It’s essential to be realistic about your weaknesses. Don’t beat your head against a wall or end up torturing both yourself and child with a frustrated attempt to handle something you aren’t really suited for. If you aren’t particularly strong, or even if you’re not especially interested in math, it’s a good idea to find someone else to tutor, or to find a text or DVD series.

It’s even more important to consider each student’s strengths and learning styles as well as her deficits. Be quick to recognize when something just doesn’t work for your kid. Each person is unique;  this student may not be able to work with this resource even though it may have been perfect for your other kids or her friends.

My strengths happen to fall on the arts/humanities/cultural studies side, and so do my husband’s.  We are both art school alums and he is a writer and musician. Art, music, writing, and cultural focus is in the kids’ genes. From their cradles we tried to warn them away from the arts but they were moths to the low-wage flame.

When you homeschool, your lifestyle is in large part informed by your homeschooling. We created a home and lifestyle, consciously and unconsciously, which taught the importance of understanding our culture, its influences, where it came from, and where it could go.

This has a downside. What were our seriously heated “discussions” over?  The Mycenaeans or the Trojans? Javert or Valjean? Is 2001:A Space Odyssey really meaningful or just a bore-fest? What did Bruce Willis’ Dunn in Unbreakable do after the end…remain a superhero or give it up? My kids wanted to die on these hills.

Admittedly, the ideas I offer here are rather humanities-oriented. If you have some ideas for creative ways to learn and present the maths, technologies and sciences, I am all ears.

So here are some ideas, along with our experiences with some of them.

Art History: My freshman daughter earned a credit on her transcript this year in this survey course. We happen to have about half a million art books so it wasn’t a stretch to find material.  But you can find lots of “coffee table books” at the library. Don’t only look at the pictures. Read the books too; you want your student to understand the history of the work, and its cultural and social context, as well as how it and its creator influenced the course of art. The painting is in the book because it did just that.

I recommend any art history book by anyone named Janson, especially History of Art for Young People by H.W Janson and Anthony F. Janson.  It’s pricey new but definitely worth it. It makes art history easily comprehensible.

There’s also a little thing called the internet. One caution. Looking at works of art on a little screen or in a book is an entirely different experience than seeing the work of art for real.

Granted, we have to settle for a picture of the Mona Lisa if we’re not traveling to Paris this year. But be aware that your experience with the works are fundamentally different than standing in front of the real thing in a cool room in a museum with marble floors, battling crowds to see or hearing the echo of your footsteps in a huge empty gallery. The real thing never looks the same close up and in person. Take note of the size of the work and take a few seconds to imagine how that really looks. It may have been created to be installed in a particular place–try to find a picture of it in its original setting.

This course will consist of getting familiar with the most important works and getting the gist of chronological art history, and trying to gain understanding of the context of the works in the times they were created. Tests can be given but don’t let the class degrade into identification quizzes only. I did not give tests or ask for memorization but I can see doing that. I wanted her to grok art history. I believe she did.

The final project was a formal analysis of a work. She had to see it in person and write a formal description according to specific guidelines.

Honors Art History/ Art History 2: Next year art history will be more intense. I will require at least 4 visits to at least two museums, 2 formal analyses, 2 comparison papers, tests on ID-ing works and genres  and essay questions on socio-cultural significance and history of works, an artist bio paper OR technical history paper, and a good bit of reading in art criticism/history sources.

Youtube Course: Young people are immersed in interactive media; they don’t see that involvement as an option but reality. As a result, your young people may already have a Youtube channel.  However, much of this is rather passive and one-event oriented.

But maybe it can be more. Combine reviews with interviews. Write scripts well. Interact with viewers.  Review real events: reviews must be goal-oriented, meet criteria, be substantive (not “we filmed ourselves being at this event”). Interview appropriate people at events and write your essay about what was said, then post in on your channel. These are ideas from an old person; your student will have better ones.

Graphic Novel: If your students are art AND writing oriented, they can write a story, then design and draw the graphic novel. Your student will exercise writing, drawing, and graphic design skills.

Write a novel: Two of my sons each wrote a novel as a senior course. They were pretty self-motivated and disciplined about it (because they love writing), but you may want to require some sort of writing schedule: write every weekday for one hour/ write at least a chapter per week to be turned in and critiqued/ etc.. If you feel unqualified, find someone who can give your student real feedback. This is very important. He will need to discuss writing ideas and goals, and get knowledgeable feedback from other experienced writers.

NaNoWriMo can be helpful for getting started and for staying motivated. Even if you fail to write a novel in a month, you can get a good start. Or November may be too late in the school year to begin writing a novel.

Courses That Just Happen: Look around and notice when your child is doing “extra-curricular” things because she has an interest in them.  You may be able to gather a few things together and consider it as a course. Example: my daughter sings, and plays guitar and uke. She was taking piano lessons, playing with our church’s youth ministry worship team, and starting to play gigs at local coffee houses and open mikes. That same year she was asked to lead the music component of the worship time at an inner-city VBS which one of our fellow church family was helping to run.

It dawned on me about mid-May that my daughter had actually put many, many hours, and a lot of passion, into a Music/ Music Ministry course. It only took me to recognize as a course what she was already self-motivated to do. Credit on the transcript!

Lesson: if your kid has interests, there is probably a way to add some academic substance to the hours of self-motivated involvement, and call it a course.

I will probably revisit this topic.  If you have ideas, please share them with everyone!

Blog Casual Friday: Mr. Potter’s Free College

I’m going to try out a new feature on my blog.  On Casual Fridays, I may post something a little less polished, share a few thoughts, or throw something out for discussion.  Here is something that’s been hanging around in my drafts.

We would do well to take another look at It’s a Wonderful Life now that the holiday happy haze is passing.  It might be useful to take some social-political lessons from this film.

Remember the bank run?  Remember how everyone wanted their money from the B&L because the bank was going to close for a week?  George Bailey had to explain to them all that, although Mr Potter’s offer to pay 50 cents for each dollar deposited at the bank looked like benevolence in a turbulent time, Mr Potter might have other motives. Mr Potter wasn’t selling; he was buying.  He was picking up bargains.

Each person had worked hard for the money in their B&L account.  Mr Potter was taking advantage of their panic (which as it turns out, he created), and returning to them half the value of their money.  He was stealing the rest. He was buying these people.  He would have no competition for control over their lives.

Now we are having free college for everyone dangled before our eyes.  Sounds great and about time, right?  First you orchestrate the need: college under federal funds has become unaffordable. For everyone.  So we want free college.

Do we forget, or do we just not care, that federal funding means federal control—over content, among other things.  The gov’t is not offering you a bargain; it is monopolizing the educational content over your lives and will tolerate no competition in the marketplace of ideas.  The fed gov is buying all influence over your minds.

Public school extended through grad degrees. But public school was such a great deal, right?

As for low-cost college:  don’t give me that anymore.  It was a great idea to spend the first two years in community college, saving thousands of dollars while getting your required basic courses out of the way.  But as the cost bar is raised, it’s raised for everyone.  Community college is no longer the place to go for technical training while you’re working; it’s become grades 13 and 14 for public school grads looking for direction.

My kids (and we) are having a great deal of trouble paying for community college. Not only has the cost gone up, because the industry can smell the money just as well as all the other college entities. They know they have a huge captive audience for their services. The abstruse financial aid maze is really incomprehensible.  You pay up front, and late in the semester, you may or may not receive reimbursement for some of it. Only the Magic 8 Ball knows.  If we had the money up front,  we wouldn’t be applying for finaid.

Also, when the fed gov has everyone occupied at community college, including people who otherwise would be pursuing other things, delaying adulthood for two more years, they won’t be noticing that they can’t get jobs.  Which says to me that the gov knows there still won’t be any. Just get them all gov dependent.  That is the goal.

A Better Gateway

Atomized…separate floating islands on their own courses…the loss of community, loss of a sense of family…these are words used to describe some of the young adults of today in a recent conversation.

May I suggest that the real gateway to adulthood is not beginning a career, not cohabiting while keeping your options open, but building a home and family?

Not so long ago, we understood that one sought gainful employment so that one could build a family. The goal is the home and family; the job the means to it. Past generations understood this. They understood that they were part of a heritage in which people appreciated what had been passed to them through hard work and sacrifice, and in turn worked and sacrificed for those who depended on them, and for future people who would come after. They aimed to honor both a past and a future.

Relationships were regarded as permanent and legally bound.

I think my generation was encouraged to think of ourselves, and I think we refined that to an art and taught it to our children. The result? Our young adult children are aging out of a stage of life which is bursting with potential, some still living with their parents and wondering what to do with their lives.They are not children, but they aren’t quite living like adults either.

They aren’t getting married, or building families, or establishing homes.

I’m not blaming them. They want to be driving their own lives, living in their own places. But their obstacles are unusually discouraging.  Just try and start anything in the present economy.

Another obstacle which has been dropped right in their path is the idea that all those grown-up things their parents did don’t have to be for them. Those things are Options in the Someday Maybe category. That there are other ways to be satisfied with your life, as an individual. That finding those things which fulfill me is of first importance, and that I can’t move on until I find them.

And it turns out maybe when you’re only supposed to consider yourself in all those important life choices, the choosing is more difficult. We told them that life is about finding out who you are, discovering your passion, making a difference, and following your dream.  The trouble is that they might pass over many great opportunities because they don’t look big enough. They pass over the seeds looking for the tree.

And we didn’t tell them that it’s their job to turn the seed into a tree, or how much work it takes to help it grow.

When you’re weaned on that Hollywood trope where the unpopular underdog finds his true voice and astonishes the whole world at once with his specialness, it’s hard to appreciate that a life of service and perseverance pays off after decades of faithfulness. And that your truly important work may not be publicly applauded. And we sure don’t teach them to wait for the true evaluation of all things in an eternal context.

When you are presented with one pre-packaged, market-researched, airbrushed life-paradigm-on-DVD after another, it’s difficult to imagine designing your own particular life. Or that achieving that life might be a struggle requiring all the discernment and wisdom you can mine from deep within the earth.

Being an adult was the first responsibility human beings were given–it was what we were to do in an ideal world. The first people were created as adults, and they were immediately given important (not token) responsibility.  Then they were commanded to produce offspring, become a family, and pass on their heritage to future people. (Read Genesis 1.) Do we still need people to do that in a world which is fallen, less than ideal?  A thousand times more.

It might be wise to look at that story again, and consider why the first people were told to work, create a family, and multiply.  Here is wisdom which has entirely escaped our modern culture.  More on this at another time.

Maybe the essence of adulthood is taking responsibility for other people besides yourself. Our young people have been persuaded that it is their untouchable entitlement to avoid having responsibility for other people. And that for sure, to create other little people to have responsibility for is an unbearable burden. This they learned from us also.

I once heard a mother my age liken having a child to being hit by a bus, in a room full of listening teenage girls.

A child is incomplete. A child blooms into an adult. The adult is the manifestation of the person; what a human becomes is an adult.  It is not dependent children, but adults, who pay, build, buy, reproduce more people; teach, disciple, preach, build a heritage. Adults perpetuate the culture. Not loner overgrown teenagers pursuing hobbies really well.

We have promoted the idea that adulthood consists of completing an education and establishing a career identity. At the same time, we have taught our kids that establishing and building a family is one of a handful of options available to an individual in order to maximize his own happiness. It is an optional preference, not a responsibility. They owe nothing to no one. Oh, except money to the government.

What is left for them to do?  They become atomized individuals forever avoiding commitment of any kind, habitually suspicious of joining anything or anyone in any relationship that they won’t be able to back out of. See: The American Family Is a Myth: Why Our National Moral Panic Must Stop.

Where is the vision?  Some of us grew up in home environments which were less favored with intentional Christian guidance, without solid Bible-believing churches for support, without spiritually-oriented families. And yet we somehow found a vision for the future which we acted upon.  Maybe we perceived fewer options, and maybe that was an advantage. Some of us achieved what we’d seen, perhaps others did not.  But the goals were there.

I’m absolutely sure that God is doing His side of communicating with our offspring just as much as He did with us. What is puzzling is that our young seem to be in limbo regardless of the degree of spiritual orientation.  I really have no answer for this.

I feel sympathy for them. Maybe the world we prepared them for is not the one they’re living in. When things don’t happen for them the way we promised, they are left wondering how to get from A to B. We told them that they were special, in a purely material context, but when the dramatic denouement doesn’t happen, they might feel irrelevant. I see a lot of young people who were given every advantage including good teaching still wandering through life unsure where to go, in practical terms as though it doesn’t matter what they do, and as though that is irrelevant.

That’s not hipster-irony, it’s true irony. It is tragic because each person is truly unique and infinitely valuable, and there really is a significant life of things worth doing for each and every one.

Our society has set them up.  We raised them on self-esteem, Disney romances and anime.  There is virtually nothing in their popular culture which promotes adult-sized goals or grown-up relationships. We sent them to schools and colleges where they were taught to design a life of single self-determination, like perpetual teenagers. These schools taught them that there is no intrinsic value in anything, and that the family is a man-made construct which has outlived its destructive usefulness. Why are we surprised that they are uninspired to set goals and unmotivated to reach?

College is quickly becoming little more than an albatross. I’m beginning to think it’s morally wrong to encourage our young people to go into debt to attend college, to cheer them on while they load burdens of crushing debt onto their backs. And that is what we are doing. There are few jobs waiting for them at the end of their college education, and we know it. Some of the majors our children are pursuing literally do not lead to jobs. They are too inexperienced to understand the enormity of the burden they are taking on. We do not describe to them the real-life toll taken on everyday life when one carries enormous debt. It’s difficult for us to visualize fifty-thousand dollars; do our children understand how much money that is?

Huge debt which will take them literally decades to repay. They will owe this money to the federal government now. Welcome to automatic government dependence, every single person who wants a college education!

Why does it matter? How long will young people have to put off  getting married, buying homes or even paying rent because they are thousands of dollars in debt?  How long will they delay starting families? What will be the long-term results of delaying family-building and home ownership? What will be the effect, culturally and economically, on our society?

They are not content.They know somethin’ ain’t right. But for more than one reason, it’s very hard to swim upstream.  Sure, it’s hard work to swim upstream, against the current.  But its much harder to recognize that you are being carried downstream when everyone around you is carried in the same current, and the stream is filled with relentless entertainment. First you have to know there’s something else to swim for.

We ought to encourage them to look at their lives in a starkly countercultural way. We ought to tell them that if establishing a career is your life’s goal, you should expect career outcomes. If you want a family outcome, be honest with yourself about it.  Be intentional and proactive about allowing family to happen.  Marriage is not something which just happens. If you have a goal of getting married and raising a family, you’ll have to act like it’s a goal, not a byproduct.

Creating a home, having children, nurturing a family, building a heritage–these are things we must do deliberately.

Lamentations 3:24-25 says: I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;     therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,     to the one who seeks him;

We should teach them to seek their portion. They are meant to have a place in the world that is their “portion”, their inheritance, from God. And they are expected to seek it, like a thirsty man seeks water in the desert.  Have we passed to them the skills to do that? Have we modeled the desire to do it?

Of course, if you want God’s portion, you’ll need to ask God about the particulars.

By encouraging our young people to pursue life as self-determined single atoms, we are encouraging them to bear burdens too great. Humans weren’t meant to be alone.  We are made for family support, family structure, family responsibility, family love and affection.        

For the Men in My Daughters’ Lives

The world we live in suggests, no, demands, that we conduct our marriages as though they are a perpetual power struggle. 50/50 and egalitarian marriages would have us counting beans and tallying scorecards the livelong day.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Real traditional marriage, not the caricature bandied about by its detractors, calls us to a higher place, and a better one. Love does not keep its eye on the balances to make sure my side of the scale isn’t heavier than yours. The Biblical model is one in which I stop defending my own interests and care more about my spouse’s; and care most about the sacred trust we’ve got called Our Marriage.

We are called to care for each other to a counterintuitive and astonishing degree. Self-sacrifice on both sides is the way of life called for in marriage.

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25

Lest you think this language is hyperbole, and that you probably won’t be called upon to put it into action unless you’re aboard the Titanic II, letting your wife get on the lifeboat while you remain on deck, let me assure you that you are living this every day. Or you’re not.

You are called to lay down your life for her, and she for you, every day.

As a wife I might do this by simply being kind and engaged with my husband when life is distracting and irritating. Or I might pour my effort into creating a warm and comfortable home, managing resources economically, doing my part in raising self-directed and wise children to adulthood, or promoting kind and considerate behavior. If you’re wondering why I call this “laying down your life”, you probably haven’t tried it.

As the man in the equation, one of the ways you can lay down your life is by taking care of your wife. Protect her, defend her. Speak up when she is disrespected. Your wife (or fiancé) is probably tough and tenacious, nevertheless, you ought to take care of her like she’s a fragile and precious treasure.

Protection is not based on the weakness or inability of the protected. We protect what we value. We protect our loved ones because they are ours; unique and irreplaceable.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. I Peter 3:7

If someday you have children together, she will have the minute-by-minute responsibility to oversee your children.  She will be making decisions constantly on the minutiae of managing a household and X number of people all at various stages of development. At the same time, she must keep her reactions to the stress to herself, which requires wisdom, patience, perseverance, energy, selflessness. In practical terms she must think about them rather than herself throughout every day.

That last one is where you come in. Your responsibility is to think about her when she doesn’t have the luxury.  Guard her needs, her dignity, her health. You will look out for her while she looks out for the kids. Keep in mind that you must take this responsibility because she may not. Don’t wait for her to ask for help.

Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33

You say she’s the strong one? The one with the ideas? A driven career woman? Your job description doesn’t change.

Let’s not join in with the world’s nonsense thinking. Don’t ask her to do your job and hers.  Did you think managing and physically maintaining a home, and nurturing and raising children was not a full time job? Did she have lots of free time on her hands with nothing to do? Was she not pulling her weight? Or was that job not meaningful enough?

Each couple’s response to economic reality is personal, and I won’t second-guess a working wife’s wisdom.  But neither of you should buy into the new paradigm that leaves unquestioned the premise that women’s lives are only meaningful when they contribute their share to the world of work.

Please don’t ask her to do her job, and expect her to earn her half of the economic partnership. One career added to a 24/7/365 task is more burden than you can carry; why do you expect it of the one God calls the weaker vessel?

Remember in what way Jesus Christ “gave up his life for her”, the church. The Church is us, all of us who believe in Jesus as the Son of God, the Redeemer who died on the cross as a substitute for us sinners who deserve the punishment. He who was without sin willingly became the sin-bearer:

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.

He made himself utterly vulnerable; he did not protect or reserve himself.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7

He gave his life for her even when she didn’t understand or appreciate it. He did it because he had created her with infinite value and he had a claim on her; she was his. This was no selfish motive…her true home was with him, and to wander from home would be tragic and destructive for her.

He had created Her, yet he died to make her his own forever.

He gave to the uttermost; he gave everything for His Church, his Bride. What does this look like for a guy in his everyday life? How will you lay down your life for your bride?