Tag Archives: relationship

Brainless, Faithless, Heartless, Mindless

Romans 1:31 describes a particular group of committed ungodly  people this way.  I’ll give three translations of the same passage:

 …without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful…

…they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless…

…void of understanding, faithless, without natural affection, unmerciful…

Our cultural arbiters’ latest lesson on the state of women’s rights:

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Hardly clothed beefy Beyonce dancing/contorting along with a cohort of other hardly-dressed women at some awards show, and, reportedly making it impossble to avoid the visual assault of gyrating behinds right in your face. The song ending with Beyonce silhouetted before a gigantic lighted word: FEMINISM.

(Notable that she was a tiny little woman dwarfed by that word?)

In other words, girls, this is feminism.  What you just watched is the essence of feminism.

The essence of feminism is…the objectification of women…by women? You’re a thing. Happy now?

So being a true feminist means empowering yourself by means of being as sexually provocative, as sexually explicit, and as sexually active as possible, as early as possible. Without consequence, in fairy feminist land. And that’s all.

Explain to me again why anyone wants to be called a feminist?

Forgive me, but there is no term more amorphous today than “feminism.” No two feminists seem to share the same definition. I have seen no–not one–discussion on the blogosphere or other social media wherein at least one woman is not compelled to explain what feminism ISN’T, really.  You thought it was Gloria Steinem and her fish/bicycle, or lesbianism, or being pro-abortion.  Silly, it’s not any of those things.

It’s what I want to believe it is.  It’s just fairness and equal pay for equal work. That’s all.

Those other things like:  the absolute right to abort your child, the absolute right to free-for-me-but-taxpayer-funded contraceptives, contention between the sexes, bisexuality, lesbianism, male-hating, goddess worship, gender vs. sex, “rape culture”, eternal conflict over the “division of domestic labor”, patriarchy, victimhood…don’t have anything to do with feminism.  Because I don’t want them to.

Yet I hear mainstream women, Christian women, declare proudly that they are feminists. You know, what they mean by feminism.

Isn’t it time to acknowledge that the thing you want feminism to be isn’t what it really is? Maybe you should split off and found another movement which is about fairness and harmony. Cause that sure ain’t feminism.

And the essence of feminism sure isn’t about letting women be women, and letting little girls be little girls.

Bad Decision

It’s sad.  Because among other things, I think feminism has robbed feminist women of sexual satisfaction.

It’s convinced them that it is merely a mechanical act, a pressure valve.

Or a power play, wherein your partner is a thing to be used and exalted over. Sound familiar?

Feminism has made the object of sexual satisfaction the self, robbing women  of emotional connection with a partner. Like it or not, the point of sex is for two people to complement each other by being united into one. Real sexual intimacy is an act of the will involving the whole person, body, soul, emotion.

And they have separated sex from its intrinsic component—fruitfulness. Sexual intimacy is designed to potentially result in reproduction.  Modern women are persuaded that their greatest fear is a child. That their greatest enemy is a baby. It is the worst possible thing, and an abject failure. It has made us fear our fruitfulness instead of glorying in our design.

The kind of empowering sex they promote makes it all about me, not about him or about us.

 

Brainless, faithless, heartless, and mindless sounds like a fitting description of feminism. Hello–Feminism is Marxism, plain and simple. Intentional violent struggle between opposed groups for the purpose of bringing about change in the power structure.

Where’s the violence?  Do 50 million count? Ladies, when oppression falls, it’s not the women who are the victims.

On Being a Parasite

“[Housewives] are mindless and thing-hungry…not people. [Housework] is peculiarly suited to the capacities of feeble-minded girls. [It] arrests their development at an infantile level, short of personal identity with an inevitably weak core of self…. [Housewives] are in as much danger as the millions who walked to their own death in the concentration camps. [The] conditions which destroyed the human identity of so many prisoners were not the torture and brutality, but conditions similar to those which destroy the identity of the American housewife.” – Betty Friedan

(Someone must have cleaned her house. Can you feel the elitism?)

“[Housewives] are dependent creatures who are still children…parasites.” ~ Gloria Steinem, “What It Would Be Like If Women Win,” Time, August 31, 1970.

“A parasite sucking out the living strength of another organism…the [housewife’s] labor does not even tend toward the creation of anything durable…. [W]oman’s work within the home [is] not directly useful to society, produces nothing. [The housewife] is subordinate, secondary, parasitic. It is for their common welfare that the situation must be altered by prohibiting marriage as a ‘career’ for woman.” ~ Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, 1949.

Who is the parasite?

Whose hoped-for world view requires a paradigm shift in the order of the whole world until now?  Whose requires, before it can be operational, that almost every single member of society be indoctrinated into a mindset which is contrary to that which has been built by the consensus of all societies everywhere?

Who is the parasite?  Which woman is living upon the structure of the work of the other woman?  Without women everywhere occupying their natural or Biblical or traditional roles, keeping society running and thriving, the feminist would not be able to survive.  She stands on the shoulders of a societal structure created by God, manifested by the lives and work of multitudes of women before her, and disdains them.

The activist feminist is a spoiler, a crank. She is an elitist, a nasty parasite, a spoiled child.  She is very much a first-world creation; no one in the 2nd world on down would have time for such gratuitous fluff.

And don’t get me started on the utter privileged elitism of the anti-child wing of the movement. That’s another blog or hundred.

So again, why do we want to be feminists?

 

The Waning of Desire: Thoughts on Modesty and Its Opposite

In our media culture, sex is portrayed as explosive, all-consuming, and irresistible.
Sex is everywhere. Or at least a caricature of it is.

Dancing now consists of real physical contact with only minimal clothing to separate partners. Young couples post “exercise” videos in which they mimic sexual positions with, again, only a layer of clothing to keep it unconsummated. I’ve seen beautiful young couples lying in a park on top of one another in skimpy bathing suits.
And then they laugh, get up, and walk away.

I am aghast. Not at their boldness, but at their impotence.

Because contact such as this is supposed to result in a particular response, and it doesn’t. They are doing things which ought to rev them up, but it does not seem to. The most powerful impulse known to mankind has lost its power over them.

As a culture, we have managed to desensitize ourselves to sex.

Do you remember gloves? It used to be that proper attire for a lady included gloves. Not winter gloves for warmth, but thin little white gloves with your daytime dress, thin long black gloves to the upper arm with your evening gown, gloves to wear to a prom or a dance.
A generation earlier, and women wore gloves and hats with their dresses anywhere but at home.

Why gloves? Because everyone understood that even the touch of hands could be potent.

In a potentially romantic setting such as a dance or a ball, romance was the object. But outright sexual provocation was not. Sex was understood as having a proper context; an ideal place, time and circumstance was expected to be achieved for intimacy to happen.

Brides often wear gloves still. And veils. What could that mean?

When I see someone who is dressed modestly on purpose, I see someone who might understand how powerful sex is. This is a person who respects sex enough to give it its own place. This is a person who has the potential to experience sexual intimacy full-strength later in life.

And I fear that the person with no modesty is a person who has little understanding of his or her own power, and who might pass over an ocean looking for a series of little glasses of water.

When sexually explicit messages and images are calling for your attention everywhere, what is being reflected is not sexual satisfaction but sexual emptiness. If you’re accustomed to eating satisfying home-cooked meals, do you constantly cruise the fast-food joints? If your bank account is in the millions, do you go on a search for pennies on the ground?

If you can count on a satisfying sexual experience of your own within a faithful and emotionally supportive relationship, you will not be interested in thinly veiled soft porn, no matter how relentlessly it is offered.

And since sex fills not only physical desires, other kinds of hunger are unfulfilled as well. People in our culture are thirsting greatly for emotional connection, true fidelity, and a unique oneness with one person. These things are not found in the crass caricature of sex that we see in our world.

People hunger for something sublime and special. And we teach everyone everywhere, even children, to seek the distorted echo of something real. There are hints of this in chick flicks, Disney romances and popular vampire lore. But the fulfillment offered is less than satisfying: impotent and gender-vague at its best and soft porn at its worst. What is sad is that this popular version of sex cannot deliver what it promises. Computer altered media stars and airbrushed almost naked ads cannot satisfy.

I think those modest people are on to something.

 

The Mercy of a Good Opening Band

Another concert, this time with my youngest daughter. My youngest wore a giant pink squid hat with tentacles and attracted some attention. I’m cultivating another concert buddy.

PASSENGER 006 dd with dh (She is a teenager and not 6 as this pic might suggest.)

We were at  the Electric Factory seeing someone who Maddy and her dear friend Hannah listen to.  We were assured that we would not like him. Even Maddy and Hannah didn’t seem to like him too much. So my husband and I knew that we would most likely not enjoy this inexplicably popular one hit performer who shall remain nameless because we definitely did not enjoy him.

But God who delights to show mercy to His beloved showered His mercy upon us and gave us a great opening band.

They are The Once. When Geraldine Hollett began singing, I knew the evening was saved. And when Phil Churchill and Andrew Dale struck in with their gorgeous harmony I was sold. Nothing compares to the stripped-down live sound of an ensemble’s essentials. Voices in harmony, a guitar, a mandolin/lute/banjo, and Geraldine’s hand drum (thing) were plenty impressive. Songs were lovely and evocative. I bought the CD at the merch table.

PASSENGER 008

Even Maddy and Hannah commented that The Once was better than the headliner was going to be.

Set list was: The Town Where You Lived, We Are All Running, All the Hours, and Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling in Love with You (first time I’ve enjoyed that one), By the Glow of the Kerosene Light (tears), and two or three other songs I don’t know yet by title. But I loved every one. I will be getting CD #1, and the Christmas album will be added to our holiday repertoire.

PASSENGER 009

I have endured countless forgettable opening bands, but this not my first pleasant surprise. A really good opening band is like a rare and unexpected gift. In February of 2013, we discovered The Lone Bellow as an opener at a TWLOHA concert; we went because Fiction Family was headlining. We were astonished, and we’ve seen them twice since. I’ll be looking for The Once to appear in our area now too.

We had a blast.

Prove All Things: Part 1

 

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. I Thessalonians 5:21

Who is the person who fears Adonai?

He will teach him the way to choose.

He will remain prosperous,

and his descendents will inherit the land. Psalm 25: 12-13

The responsibility to “prove all things” is one we all share, and its application should be a practical and fundamental motivation in our everyday lives. This is what I sought to put into understandable terms when I had the opportunity to speak to the women’s fellowship at our church.When I looked into the phrase “prove all things” in I Thessalonians, I discovered some things I hadn’t expected.

Let’s look at the passage.

19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything.  Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.  NIV

19 Don’t quench the Spirit, 20 don’t despise inspired messages.21 But do test everything—hold onto what is good, 22 but keep away from every form of evil. The Jewish Bible, Tanakh

Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible.  Check out everything, and keep only what’s good.  Throw out anything tainted with evil.  The Message Remix

And then we have this…

18 In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

19 Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly…   King James

According to J.C. Ryle: “St Paul says to us, ‘ Prove all things.  Hold fast that which is good.’ In these words, you have two great truths:

I-The right, duty, and necessity of private judgment.

II- The duty and necessity of keeping firm hold upon truth.”

So here are the questions I had to answer about this passage.

~If we are to test everything, and hold on to the good, then are we to discard something?

~If we are to test all things, how are we to do that? What standard are we to test them against?

~Do we do that?

~What kinds of things are we to test? Spiritual matters alone?

~What kinds of things are spiritual matters? Do these things impact how I live my life?

~If we are to apply this testing to practical decisions and preferences, are there other legitimate standards by which to test those?

~ What are they? Do we use those other standards?

What We Throw Out

First: If we are to test everything, and hold on to the good, then are we to discard something?

Avoid every kind of evil. Hold onto what is good”…Do you see a gray area? Hold on to the good, but keep away from every kind of evil. Abstain from it, throw it out.

What is found not passing the test is called evil, and we are commanded to separate ourselves from it.

The Sources We Use

Next: If we are to test all things, how are we to do that? What standard are we to test them against?

What are some sources of advice we usually go to?

Our common sense… people we respect as peers…premises from a surrounding culture…expert advice…our best judgment based on our beliefs? Do you have any others?

 I submit to you that while living in the midst of a culture which is intrinsically contrary to God’s thinking, that in practical terms, we make decisions all day long which are influenced by that culture. Without examining and without proving.

We swallow our culture’s premises without a thought.

“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it.  Prone to leave the God I love.” We are!

We sometimes declare that we’re to use our common sense. And we tend to do this when it’s the last refuge we have, in cases where hundreds of years of culture and the most obvious Biblical references stand against our wishes. But Scripture does not seem to recognize our common sense as a reliable source of wisdom.

Pr 14:12  There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Psalm 53:3 Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way. And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Is 53.

Our own way is called iniquity. My way of acting is called iniquity. Left to my own devices, my own reasoning, my own judgment, I choose iniquity.

Is there an area where God has not spoken and so it’s up to our common sense?

Pr 3:5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.

There’s that universal word again—all.

How many things are we asked to prove?  “Prove all things.”  That means everything including the ones you thought were settled.  Test them all over again!

Getting Advice from Our Culture

Barnes Notes on the Bible:  “Prove all things—Subject everything submitted to you to the proper test. (I Cor 3:13)…they were carefully to examine everything proposed for their belief. They were not to receive it on trust; to take it on assertion; to believe it because it was urged with vehemence, zeal, or plausibility. In the various opinions and doctrines which were submitted to them for adoption, they were to apply the appropriate tests from reason and the word of God, and what they found to be true they were to embrace; what was false they were to reject. Christianity does not require people to disregard their reason, or to be credulous. It does not expect them to believe anything because others say it is so. It does not make it a duty to receive as undoubted truth all that synods and councils have decreed; or all that is advanced by the ministers of religion. It is, more than any other form of religion, the friend of free inquiry, and would lead people everywhere to understand the reason of the opinions which they entertain.”

My pastor, Robert Kinzel: “We are swimming upstream—big time–against the culture.” “The ship is going down…you don’t want to go with it!” AND “When you begin to look for guidance outside of God’s word, you’re in trouble!”

Here is a description of the unbelieving culture of any time:

Romans 1:21-23: …Although they know who God is, they do not glorify Him as God or thank Him. On the contrary, they have become futile in their thinking, and their undiscerning hearts have become darkened. Claiming to be wise, they have become fools!  

31: brainless, faithless, heartless and mindless.

 If the world is filled with people who go their own way, whose god is their bellies, who don’t refer to Almighty God in the way they lead their lives, why would be go to the world, the culture, for advice?  Are these the sources we use to help us make important decisions about our lives?

And here is Romans 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will

What is the True Test?

I started looking for a definable test.  What was the standard I ought to use? And I was shown this:

Commentary: The prophecies  “ must not be accepted with credulity but are to be tested by more objective revelation and especially the touchstone of Christ’s Lordship. (I Cor 12:3) and His Incarnation.” (I John 4:1-3).

I John tells us how to discern between spirits; this was the test the early Christians were to use.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.

And here is the ‘touchstone of Christ’s Lordship’: I Cor 12:3:

Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says ‘ Jesus be cursed’, and no one can say,’Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.  

So the test that we apply to a premise or idea is whether it  acknowledges  the Lordship of Jesus Christ; and whether it acknowledges that Jesus is who he said he is.

Please read  Prove All Things Part 2 and Prove All Things Part 3

Submission Is Good

Submission carries negative baggage today.

But submission is at the heart of every successful relationship.

What do we mean by submission?

Here is just a taste of what the Bible says:

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

 …and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Place yourselves under each other’s authority out of respect for Christ. Ephesians 5:21

Also:

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3

How do we identify a successful relationship?

Not all relationships which endure are successful.  There are unhealthy, co-enabling relationships which last because the two people have a death-grip on each other. So what is meant by “success”?

The two questions have the same answer.

Submission to one another is how any type of relationship survives, and remains beneficial to both people, for any length of time. In order to have a good, healthy, loving  relationship, each must be continually submitting to the other…giving some turf, respecting, letting the other choose, giving little rights-of-way to the other…putting your interests before mine.

This is normal, standard operating procedure within relationships to any but the truly controlling.  We take it as a matter of course that this behavior is ideal, even if we don’t always achieve it.

So why do we object so loudly when it is suggested that there ought to be submission within marriage?

Submission– putting the other before oneself –is basic equipment for conducting a marriage. How can we expect to happily coexist with another human being without submitting to one another in the most intimate and intense relationship in our lives?

Submission is what both of you sign up for in front of witnesses when you get married.

 

Projects, Pets, and Full Plates

If you are a woman with a child, don’t look for projects. You already have a project that requires all your attention and talent. You already have a built-in full-time career.

We all feel more comfy with tasks or jobs. They come with objective measures for how well the job is done.  The measures tell you when the job is completed and you can move on. These jobs are things to do which have a finishing point, about which we can feel a sense of accomplishment. Things which we can exert our power over and receive no willful resistance. Things for which we receive feedback about our performance from coworkers and superiors.

But if you have children, you have an ongoing task built into your life which calls for different methods. That person, or those people, require that you engage with them, act toward them, behave around them. They require that you constantly acquire wisdom about how to teach and guide them. You need to learn on the job.

This task is never done; it is life-long.

You will receive a lot of resistance to your work. You are struggling with an autonomous being who is your equal in will, and hasn’t yet learned to be master of himself.  He is still learning self-control, other-centeredness, and courtesy. You may have several of these beings to relate to, each different from the others.

There are only subjective and open-ended measures for your work; you can never know whether you are accomplishing your job well. Results are as permanent as sand beneath the waves. In fact, you will probably get the worst resistance and hostility when you are doing your job best.

I understand why women with children opt for careers rather than staying home full-time; in some ways it’s easier.

But I find a puzzling thing among women with and without careers.

Working women with demanding jobs and children find themselves stressed and obsessed with a third task.  It can be a ministry, a demanding pastime, or a demanding pet. The notable thing about these third tasks is that they are optional.

Women who believe that it is preferable to be full-time stay at home mothers, and even homeschool, because that lifestyle allows them to be engaged in their children’s lives…who have chosen to be the primary teachers and disciplers to their children…also find themselves engaged in a third task.  It might be a ministry, a family hobby, or just the need to be involved in the endless opportunities available to a woman who has complete prerogative over her schedule, and who has a car. With these optional tasks, these women are also adding stress and distraction to their already-full plates.

Any and all of those things will crowd out the real eternal task you have in front of you: raising your child. Loving your child takes everything you have.

Raising a child offers little reward in a material sense. Many times you will feel very alone.  You will not feel a sense of accomplishment so much as an awareness of how badly you have done the job compared to how it ought to have been done. You will not be paid or be treated to any system of job reviews. There is no system to provide you with feedback from co-workers or superiors. And you cannot quit this job, ever.

It’s relationship you are tasked with.  Building a relationship with each of the children you have is your responsibility. You are called to it the day your child is born. It’s open-ended, subjective, unpredictable, exhausting, and thankless. It’s humbling and absolutely necessary.

And please don’t mistake pet ownership for relationship. Pets are not eternal beings who will forever be influenced by the quality of your discipling. You are not answerable to Almighty God for how faithfully you lived out your calling to bend them toward a lifetime of faithfulness. Pets do not have an eternal destiny. Preferring pet training to the call of loving and shaping your child is so sad I don’t know where to go with it.

 

My Home is for Sharing

 

Hospitality begins at home.

Before hospitality becomes outward-focused, in showering our kindness on those from outside our home, hospitality must be intentionally inward-focused, showering our family members with love and acceptance.

Hospitality toward others must be built on a foundation of something good you have established in your home.  Guests will sense what we are. If we are stressed and fearful about making the physical environment just right, but our family relationships are disregarded and unloving, guests will see that.  If my energy is spent on engaging with my family and my goal is loving them, guests will see that.  It will make my home a place that they want to be in. People who visit our home should want to be included in what’s already going on

Hospitality is sharing your HOME, not your house.  It is sharing your home, that is, sharing the family you have established and lavished your love on along with the place you do that in. Your goal should be to make your home a haven, a place where people are loved, accepted, valued and supported.  That is, first to your family members, and very definitely secondly, to those who come into your home.

Your first primary and most important objects of hospitality are those people in your own family. You know, the ones God gave you. The people He planned from the beginning of Creation to be in your family, living their lives next to you day after day. He had reasons for putting these people in your life, and His reasons are always perfect and right.

And since God is the essence of love, and since we are to be like Him…it follows that we ought especially to deliberately love those people.

Sharing Our Home

I believe that God gave me and my husband a home to share.  It’s a talent given to us, not to be buried in the ground, but to be invested. We invest our home and family comfort in the people with whom we are seeking to build relationships. Our home and family are gifts not to be hoarded but shared.