Friday, February 20, 2015

Today's Evil

Courtsey Pixabay
I think there are times we all get in a tizzy over something and go rattling around, like pool balls on green felt after the break. Sometimes I get so mad at people I care a great deal about and I want to just knock the starch out of them. More than once I've said, "I love them but I can't stand them." I know, totallly illogical, but true.

I had that feeling a few times recently and I always kick myself for tolerating it. Today a verse in my email sort of opened my eyes about a few things about why that is.

"He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter
separateth very friends." --Proverbs 17:9

There are two kinds of people in the world... well there's a lot more but for the sake of this post, there's two.

One are those who, when injured in some way will simply turn away and never mention it. They'll never address it with the offender or anyone else. They may be deeply hurt and may rail in private, with themselves and with God but no one will ever know who hurt them or how deeply. They may have one person who is a confidant that they'll share with but even that is a rare thing.

Then there are those who will broadcast to all and sundry the depth, breath, and height of their injury. Every person they know will be regaled with a play by play account of an event that infuriated them, insulted them, wounded them. Every time they see you, you will be forced to listen to their account.

I used to know a woman like that. She and her family, siblings and parents, frequently had big spats. She'd come to work and start at one end of the hall and work her way to the other, stopping at every office to tell what they'd done to her and what she'd said to them, and relate all the details. Ultimately they were in the wrong. She'd repeat the same story over and over again. She would do this with every argument she had with anyone, even a co-worker.

I can remember walking up and down the hall several times and hearing it repeated in a different office each time. She never changed the story either. I managed to stop her coming to my office several years ago by confronting her over an issue. She never got over it. I heard the story repeated for weeks. I can't say I was sorry. I was far more sorry for my co-workers.

It was often remarked that this woman appeared to have no friends of any sort. She never talked about things she did with friends, never mentioned the names of anyone outside her family. She knew a lot of people from her job but she appeared to have no social life except when invited by co-workers. She had absolutely no hobbies of any kind. Her whole existence was her job. Everything she did was spent with the very people who gave her the most grief.

When I got the verse today, I realized I had misunderstood it. I thought it meant that repeating a matter would bring friends into conflict. That may be true too but I realized the greater meaning was that someone who carries a collection of grievances on their shoulders to hand out to everyone they know is apt to find themselves friendless. I've seen it with my own eyes.

I think this verse was a check to my spirit because the truth is, it would be easy to find people to listen to all my hurts. For a while, anyway. But I don't want to be that person who shares my troubles in that way. I want to be the person who can conceal the matter and let it slide off my back and disappear.

It is one reason I started this particular blog. My journal was so full of the things that unravel me that I really needed a place to step back and recognize the faithfulness and integrity of God, where I could put the things that really trouble me in a spiritual perspective. I don't know that I've accomplished that but what I do know it some of my post feel a bit as if they're food horded against lean times. I sneak in here rather more often than I expected to find nourishment.

There are times when old hurts resurrect and my day grows dark from them. Maybe talking about it would help. I used to do that with Jerry, talk about all the stresses of my work, my children, my family, everything. That's marriage, right? How could he stand it! It must have been so annoying. The truth is I suspect this is how the enemy continues to beat us up and bring us down. Like my old co-worker, he unpacks yesterday's evil every morning.

There is another scripture that comes to mind, even as I type this.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. -- Matthew 6:34

There is enough trouble today to last. I'd like to leave the trouble from yesterday behind and not worry about tomorrow's trouble. No, it is not an easy task. It is why you start over every morning.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

There is an article that came across my feed today on Facebook about the release of a new movie. It appears on Spirit-Led Woman:  What Fifty Shades of Gray Says about Desire. I found it interesting and far tamer than I suspect this post will be. Right now, there are scads of these being published as we speak. You'd be better off reading some of those but at least I'll have my say.

I have many friends on FB of all faiths, and some who don't follow a faith. If anyone disagrees with the article, or my opinion, I respect that and am not targeting you. You can move along now. This reflects my opinion and those who know me even a little already know this.

When I began to see post by some of my Christian female relatives and close friends saying they are excited about this movie coming out, I was stunned.  As a woman of faith who is very aware of who I represent, it concerns me when women I expect more of, lower their standards of behavior until it no longer reflects that of a woman of God. And yes, we all have different views of what that looks like but I think if we're following Biblical teachings we're headed in the right direction.

I suppose you can call me out of touch, old fashioned, or a prude. None of that would be true but you can say it. I am an independent woman and was just as independent as a married woman. I was raised by a very strong minded independent woman who did not pull any punches in her opinions. She taught me to speak my mind and while I try to do it with grace and restraint, I will always speak the truth to you. That being said, this is directed to my sisters in the Spirit.

I've never considered myself a feminist but I grew up during the 60's when it was exploding. Some viewed it as a bad thing. I tend to think it was a good thing misused and misunderstood. Women had been exploited and abused in silence, still are in some ways. There are times when you have to say something harsh to make people hear you. That movement made people take notice and do something, albeit not enough, to fix some of the problems.

The 60's feminist movement was about taking power back. In many ways that movement did make many things better for us. It opened some doors to rooms which, although large, still had glass ceilings. It gave us access to so many opportunities, so many fields. It meant, in many cases, if we were intelligent, our voices could be heard and respected. It also meant women didn't have to allow themselves to be subjugated, to be used for another's amusement or twisted pleasures. Women were finally taking their place in society as equals with men. At least they were trying.

Many Christians made the movement out to be wicked. Women were usurping a man's place in the order of things. As with any movement, there are always negatives. Women were finally taking their place in society as equals with men. I think that is how it was originally designed. At least they were trying. I think the positive aspects of the movement far outweigh the negative. And yes, there are some still around who will take exception to that. I don't care.

This novel that is now all the rage is not about love. It is not really about sex, although that seems to be what everyone is talking about. It is about subjugation in the most fundamental way, and not only subjugation but bondage. 

What I want to ask all you modern, supposedly enlightened women is how have we come so far that we are now willing to view subjugation and bondage of a woman as entertainment and titillating? What has happened to your brains? And this it isn't the first of its kind. Remember Pretty Woman? The prostitute living every hooker's dream? Only if you ask the women who actually do the job, many would tell you there is no silver lining and no Prince Charming. 

I suggest you find a woman who had really lived in bondage. Try finding some of the women who are currently living as sexual slaves. Ask them how glamorous their lives are and how much love and excitement they are experiencing. Consider this:

"Trafficking women and children for sexual exploitation is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.1 This, despite the fact international law and the laws of 134 countries criminalize sex trafficking." Global Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet. It further states that 98% of those involved in sexual trafficking are women and children. 

And you think that the hottest book and movie is about a woman involved in sexual bondage. Go figure.

I haven't read the book and I don't intend to read it or see the movie. I had a good friend who knows me well and who's taste I trust that reviewed it and told me what it was about. She said, "Don't waste your time reading it. It is trash. It is badly written and just awful." I appreciated the warning. I don't know what her faith is because it has never come up but her recommendation wasn't based on religion. It was based on the quality of a book, something we both appreciate.

There is an element out there the gets very vituperative about the Christian view of submission. There have been reams of paper, billions of bytes of text written in criticism of it. All with a total lack of understanding of it.  Submission is BAD! It degrades women! It is man abusing his power over women! Really? Really!

And yet, some of those same people have this book on the coffee table and will stand in line to see this movie. Wow. Are you really that stupid? I got a news flash for you. Submission based on Scripture is not anywhere near the subjugation shown in this.

Subjugation is forced submission. One person, exerting their power over another in an effort to make that person conform to their will. It is the conquering of another person.

Real submission is an act of will, a voluntary act generally born out of love and/or respect. 

So, I'm truly horrified that so called Christian women would swoon over a man who is admittedly putting a woman in bondage to get his jollies. And I can't believe any woman could glamorize a woman placed in bondage.

Do you even know the spiritual ramifications to glorying in this stuff? Would you want your daughters to be in the hands of such a man? Would you want your son to be such a man? 

The reason I selected the title of a song for this post was because it struck me as so appropriate. I have set my eyes on the lover of my soul. To betray that love by glorifying things that degrade me as a woman, as a human being, and as a Christian, is unthinkable. Call me what you will. But please don't tell me in one breath how much you love your Lord and in the next, you sell yourself into bondage. Or at the very least sanctioning bondage.

"Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils." 1 Cor. 10:21

"Be not ye therefore partakers with them." Ephesians 5:7 

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4 

If that isn't enough, just follow a simple rule.  "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes" Psalm 101:3

If you don't care about the spiritual aspect of this perversion... consider that you are supporting one of the most heinous aspects of the abuse of women. Exploitation and bondage.