Ladies We Need To Talk

people-2567915_1920This has been on my heart for awhile now, but I wasn’t sure how to put it into words. Ladies stop putting your husbands down. Stop saying things among your women friends like, “He has no idea what to do with the kids!” and “I was about to go all ninja on him for not doing x,y or z!” It’s disrespectful and it is demeaning. You wouldn’t want him to talk about how badly you keep house or how awful your cooking is in front of his buddies, would you?

Let’s be real, no men do not take care of children the same way women do, but the point is it’s not really wrong, it’s just different. No he may not know where the baby wipes are, or all the little tricks to get cranky kids to go to sleep, but he is dad and he will figure it out. Yes, he can be annoying and not do the things that we ask of him, but guess what we can be just as much a pain in the behind. Sitting around gabbing and putting our men down in front of our friends does not gain him respect among his peers and it makes us look petty and small and very in-Christian like. Emerson Eggerich put it best when he said to give love (which women need in a relationship), men need to be respected, if they aren’t then they have a very difficult time giving love. He also said that women need love. Hmmm a bit of a quandary isn’t it when we make smart aleck comments and paint detrimental word pictures about how incompetent our spouses are isn’t it?

There is nothing wrong with poking fun at a husband who procrastinates, or likes to watch an exciting sports game on TV rather than put a cranky baby to bed. It’s ok to joke about his love of corned beef hash which looks and smells like dog food, or that he has trouble matching shirts and ties, but when it comes to taking care of his children and keeping you happy, keep the derogatory comments to a minimum around your lady friends, it’s unattractive and it’s unnecessary conversation.

Is It A Disease

AddictionI have shied away from this topic simply because it is very volatile, but lately it keeps coming up and I keep having to clarify my thinking to myself and others. If you are easily offended by straight talking and a firm opinion that is seated in the Word of God then this is probably not the post from me you want to read. Here we go.

Addiction-“the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” Nowhere in that definition does it state that an addiction is a disease. I will capitulate that when someone is wrapped up in addiction there is a dis-ease in their very being, but there is no disease. Addiction is a choice each and every time a person ingests their drug of choice they have made a decision. 

For addiction to be a disease there would have to be several things that are true about it. First it would have to be involuntary or a result of a lifestyle habit. Secondly anyone could come down with the disease; two year olds would all of a sudden become alcoholics and 6 year olds would without warning be heroin addicts. Thirdly no matter how deeply buried it is there would be absolutely no ability within the person to change their circumstances by their actions. I know the argument can be made for things like an obese person can correct diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol by losing weight, but it’s a correction not an eradication.

Trust me this declaration does not come easy. It’s only after years of watching a person that I love most in this world struggle to get themselves clean and sober, seeing it happen and many many discussions about it all along with agreement with this person that no matter how we try to pretty it up addiction is a choice.

The world has worked to cover up sin, make it pretty or acceptable and this area is one good example of that. Calling addiction disease is another excuse for the addict to continue in their behavior, and an easy out for the rest of the world to not address the elephant in the room.

We have been spinning our wheels for decades thinking that the processes we have in place are working to arrest the issue of addiction, but if that were true why is there a rise in heroin addiction and death? We as the families pay thousands of dollars for rehab as it stands right now, for which the recidivism rate is 60% and then are surprised that the addict goes back to their old ways. So we try rehab again and it is a repeat of before. Sometimes it works and the addict does stay clean and sober, but relying on sometimes is a dangerous game for us all.

Addicts are chasing the “feel good” because they don’t feel good. There is a hole so big inside them that filling it up becomes an absolute obsession. However, we don’t point them toward God, we point them toward rehab. We all know as believers (at lest I hope we do) that the Word of God never returns void, since that is true then it would make sense that it is the perfect thing along with the love of Jesus to fill up the void in a person’s heart.

In the book of Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” The addict needs to know that there is someone else that will carry the burden that they are trying to avoid.  They need to be taught as in the book of Ephesians 4:21-24, “if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” And they need to be made aware from 1 Corinthians 10:13 that there is a way out, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

None of this is a perfect solution because we live in meat suits and are tempted each day, but it is better than all the rest and it has a pretty impressive success rate. It’s worth a try.

Modesty

Friendship Together Bonding Unity Youth Culture ConceptLately there has been a lot written about modesty, especially in relation to Christians and about accountability and responsibility. I agree wholeheartedly that we need to be accountable for our own actions and thoughts. In fact personal responsibility is in short supply now a days. Having said that, I think that we take it a bit too far when it is said that it is not our (collectively) responsibility how others react to us if we dress in what we feel is comfortable for the season, most recently the onset of warmer weather.

The argument seems to be that most especially as women we are not responsible for a male’s reaction to our apparel. A man should be able to control himself and not be “turned on” by a woman dressed in what some might consider less than modest clothing. In essence that would be great all things being perfect including all of us, but that is not the case. Both women and men need to be aware of how they look and what they are showing off when considering what the outfit of the day is going to be.

Most assuredly we are to learn to control our thought life as well as our outward life and quite honestly married men should not be looking at other women to see how they are dressed or carry themselves (respectively to wives also). However, A) the whole world is not married and B) according to the book of Romans 14:13, “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.” Yes I know that in this particular section of Romans Paul is speaking of food and holding one day in higher esteem than others, however he is speaking about the issues that are arising in the church at that time. Well, guess what modesty is an issue in the church at this time.

I am sure that many fathers and even some mothers have said to their daughters who are wearing clothes that either come up to “here” or down to “there”, “You are not going out in that!” As a mother of two sons there have been times that I have said to my boys, “You are not wearing that!” (ok, well most of the time it’s because it didn’t match or it was dirty, but you get the picture). The point is why was it said? It was said because even in the world we know that we shouldn’t be stumbling blocks for our brothers and sisters. Yes, they need to take responsibility for their own actions and reactions, but we as their brothers and sisters in Christ, or the showing them the love of Christ to unbelievers, should not put temptation directly in front of them and dare them to not succumb.

It’s not exclusive to women or girls because their are some inappropriate outfits out there lately for men and boys. I also know that the weather can be excruciatingly hot at times. Trust me, I can sweat standing still sometimes and that’s in the winter cold. The whole point of modesty is to not show others what God intended for private moments in a marriage, and we are not to deliberately tempt one another. In the book of Matthew 18:5-7 it states, “ 5 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.7 Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” 

Ladies AND Gents, keep all the bits covered and modesty won’t have to be an issue in the church, and there shall be no woe to those from whom it comes.