Saturday, June 30, 2012

What To Do When Your Child Likes Cheesepuffs

Several months ago, Sam came home with a book that a school friend recommended and lent to him. This friend is a good kid from a good family. He’s the kind of kid you want your kid to hang around. 

Sam read the book in one night. It certainly was a quick read, and it was certain that Sam really liked it. The book was Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Here’s the skinny on its popularity:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid was released in April 2007 and quickly became a New York Times bestseller, eventually reaching the #1 spot. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was released in January 2008 and also became a #1 bestseller. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book came out in October of 2008. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw was released in January of 2009 and became the #1 bestselling book in the country. (From the “About the author” section of

As the father of this little tribe, I want to take the gatekeeper role seriously when it comes to the media we consume. I looked at a few pages. I wasn’t excited about this foray into literary cheese whiz. So I read about 75 pages (remember, it’s a quick read – this is not what I wanted to do with my time that evening). I read that much because I wanted to avoid a snap judgment. I wanted to avoid giving Sam a blanket statement that had no concrete examples. That would not have been helpful to him as I seek to teach him discernment. So, 75 pages and bookmarks in 5 spots.

The next evening, I grabbed the book and called for Sam.


“Yes, Dad?”

(with book in hand) “Can I talk to you for a few minutes?”

“Sure, Dad! What is it, Dad? You want to talk to me about that book?”

“Yeah, buddy. I heard you read the whole thing last night! Did you like it?”


“What did you like about it?”

“I know you probably don’t like the book and you want to talk to me about it. What don’t you like about it, Dad?”

“I’d like to hear what you think of it first, buddy.”

“It was funny.”

“Were there any parts that you thought weren’t good?”

“Hmmm. Not that I can think of. Dad, I know you probably want to tell me the things that you didn’t like. It’s okay, Dad. You can just tell me.” (as he finds paper and pencil to – apparently – take notes on my insightful book review!)

My goal was not to chide him for his poor literary choice. I had no desire to strike the, “This book is stupid and a waste of time!” tone. I wanted to ask Sam questions and help him think clearly and critically about what he had read. I wanted him to recognize some of the messages, straightforward and subtle, that it sends. I wanted to point out specific sections of the book and walk him through what they were saying, and what they were “saying.” So, we did just that. And had a great conversation.

Bottom line: Diary of a Wimpy Kid is like cheese puffs. Can your child eat some cheese puffs and grow up to be a healthy adult? Of course. Cheese puffs are not going to kill your kid. But, your kid will not thrive on a diet of cheese puffs.

I tried to share this little word picture with Sam and asked him if he would rather have steak or cheese puffs. He smiled.


I smiled. He’s still a child. And that’s okay. His palate needs to develop. But I need to help him.

Dads and moms, don’t leave your children to their own native palate. Oversee their diet – food, books, TV, movies, internet. They’ll inevitably gravitate to the cheese puffs (or worse). Sit down and eat a few with them and talk about the nutritional value of cheese puffs. Help them to “read the label” a little. Don’t simply chide them for their poor tastes (let alone do nothing!). Then make sure you know where to find some good meat and vegetables. Some of it is prepared so well, when your kids smell it, their mouths will begin to water.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Alert: Mouths May Begin To Water

Ray Ortlund, Jr.:
My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off. (Prov 24:13, 14)
The sage is saying that pleasure awakens us to how good wisdom is. So maybe this is what you should do today. Bake some cornbread, take it hot out of the oven, cut out a big piece, open it up, put on a dab of real butter, watch it melt over the steaming cornbread, take the plastic honey bear and squeeze honey all over that cornbread, then put a forkful in your mouth, followed up with a big drink of cold milk. As you savor that delight, "know that wisdom is such to your soul." 
Your soul has senses too. And God's wisdom is sweet to your deepest self. You enjoy it by eating it. You cannot enjoy his wisdom just by looking at it. But if you will take it and chew on it and swallow it--well, as we all know eating and joy go together. So it is with Christ. And the pleasures he gives do not wear out.
Proverbs: Wisdom that Works (Wheaton, IL, Crossway, 2012) 186-187.

I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Why Would I Want To Hug Someone Who Hurt Me?

Hannah asked me that question once. She asked it after I had disciplined her, while we were talking things out.

I had already explained why I was disciplining her (before I administered the discipline). But she was not warm to my rationale. She was pretty quiet. I knew her heart was closed toward me. I asked her for a hug and she was reluctant. I love her too much to let a root of bitterness grow between us, so I tried to get her to talk about why she was closed toward me. That's when she said, "Why would I want to hug someone who hurt me?"

REALLY good question. I thanked her for voicing it. I stopped and pondered it a little. I talked to her about doctors and shots and other medical intervention that is painful, but good. She sadly but respectfully countered that you don't have to hug your doctor. I smiled. Touche! This is true. But the point still stands: not all who inflict pain are unloving. Quite the opposite can be true.

Proverbs 27:6:
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. In preparation for the sermon on Hebrews 12:3-15, Hannah's question was ringing in my ears. Her question isn't just important for children and their parents, it's important for human beings and their God. It has to do with why we frequently question God's love. And Hebrews 12:3-15 has some powerful answers.

As Hannah's question was ringing in my ears, I prayed that God would give me some really concrete examples of how the one who hurts can be the one who loves.

Here are the two examples I shared on Sunday:
The corn example:
If corn has it too “easy” in early growth – too much rain – the roots will grow shallow and if a big storm comes with enough wind, the whole crop can be wiped out.
If, however, there is some toughness and challenge in the time of its early growth, the roots will form a corkscrew and drive down to the water table. Then when the hard winds blow, the crop will remain steadfast.
If a cornstalk could feel…what might it say to God (or to the farmer) about the tough and dry weather?
“God, I’m so THIRSTY! Don’t you love me?! Can’t you send some rain (or irrigation) so that my burning thirst will be quenched?”
The wise and loving God (or farmer) will say, “No. Not yet. I’m going to withhold from you and not answer your request, precisely because I do love you.”
The soil example:
Let’s say soil could feel…and talk.That soil wants to host some awesome growth and bear some sweet and wonderful fruit. Yes, indeed.
But that soil is hard and overly acidic and it's full of rocks and nasty weeds and thorns, and there are some stumps buried in it.
Then the farmer comes along with his plow (have you ever seen those tines on a roto-tiller?!). It’s enough to make you cringe and run away. And hitting just the top inch or two would be painful enough. But if that’s all that farmer did, it wouldn’t really do justice to that soil.
That soil needs some deep work. Deep digging…deep turning over – 6, 8, 10 inches! Rocks need to be dislodged and removed.
“Hey! It feels like you’re leaving me with big holes!”
Root systems of weeds and thorns need to be pulled up.
“Hey! It feels like you’re taking away some of my stability and security!”
You get the idea. 
And one more that I didn't share:
The war example:
Imagine you are in war. You and your commander (who is a seasoned war veteran, highly decorated – he has the scars and medals to prove it) are working your way toward enemy territory.
All of the sudden, your commander, who is walking about 3 feet to your right, hits you so hard in the arm with the butt of his gun that he breaks your arm and you fall to the ground. The shooting pain in your arm radiates through your whole body and you want to fire off some choice words at him, but you know better than to scream in enemy territory.
Your eyes blaze with anger at him as he carefully comes down close to you, beckoning you not to move a muscle. Before you can question and rail at him for his brutal stupidity, you see that your right foot rests about a foot away from the land mine that the same foot was about to step on if he hadn’t hit you that hard that very second.
Then a few days ago, as I was reading the book of the month, I read this powerful section on p168 in the chapter on "Friendship":
When iron sharpens iron, it creates friction. When a friend wounds you, it hurts. ... There is a difference between hurting someone and harming someone. There is a difference between someone being loved and someone feeling loved. Jesus loved everyone well, and some people felt hurt. They were not harmed by him. They were loved by him. But they felt hurt. So they crucified him. If we don't understand this, then every time we feel hurt we will look for someone to blame and punish.
So, how do you hug (i.e. love, stay "open" to) the one who (lovingly) hurts you? That one could be your parent (Prov 13:24; 22:15), your friend, spouse, home group leader, counselor (Ps. 141:5; Prov 27:5-6), or that one could be your Heavenly Father (Prov 3:11-12; Heb. 12:5-6). How do you stay open to their love when it hurts?

You do so by recognizing the difference between hurting and harming. You do so by believing the fact that God disciplines those he loves, for their good. You do so by embracing the fact that he corrects and reproves every child he accepts. And then, when you perceive (as hard as it is to "receive") that someone who loves you is hurting you in order to help you, you can accept it. Accept it as the reflection of True Father Love that it is. Accept it as the extension of your Heavenly Father's loving arms wrapping around you in love. And you just might be able to hug back.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One of the Central Insights of Proverbs

Bruce Waltke:
The righteous are willing to disadvantage themselves to advantage the community; the wicked are willing to disadvantage the community to advantage themselves.
Quoted by Ray Ortlund, Jr. on page 177 in Proverbs: Wisdom that Works. Here's the context (emphasis added):
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. (Proverbs 11:24)
Someone selfishly hoards grain, to drive up the price. Grain was no luxury in the ancient world. It was basic to their diet. So holding back grain was a way to manipulate people at their point of real and daily need. ... (Waltke quote) ... Isn't that why we put blessing on the head of our Lord Jesus? He disadvantaged himself to advantage us by his selfless life and death. He does not drive up the price. His love isn't even for sale. He gives it freely.
This is grace. Grace at the center of Proverbs' wisdom. No wonder. Jesus is wisdom, and Jesus is grace.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wisdom on Work

Ray Ortlund:
Poverty because of injustice is no disgrace, but laziness is. God made us for good, hard work. ... We are rediscovering in these times of economic recession that poverty is never far away. The diligent understand that. Things never turn out well automatically, even in good times. So "the hand of the diligent" intervenes, to keep making progress. The prosperity we Americans were born into is not a natural state of affairs. How did it happen? The Greatest Generation, after winning World War II, came home and built this country up by their diligent hands. The privileges we have inherited are the blessing of the Lord through "the hand of the diligent." And now it is our turn. God blesses through our hard work. If you are not going anywhere financially because you have not disciplined yourself and worked hard and made good use of your time and brains, you need to repent. God has not run out of blessing.
Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense. (Proverbs 12:11)
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. (Proverbs 13:11)
Here is how God doesn't provide--the lottery and all get-rich-quick schemes. But how does God get us ahead? "Little by little." That is, by our patient, intelligent efforts over a lifetime--not by windfalls, but by handfuls.
Proverbs: Wisdom that Works (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 176, boldface emphasis added.

Friday, June 22, 2012

What Will You Stir Up Today?

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

Proverbs 28:25 A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.

Proverbs 29:22 A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, ... encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Steve Saint's Accident...and Example

Russell Brown sent the following email and video on Monday night. 
I'm sure most of you are familiar with at least part of the story of Steve Saint. He is the son of martyred missionary Nate Saint (colleague of Jim Elliot). You may not have heard the part of the story where he was trying to develop a personal flying car - for missionaries! This next part was news to me today. Did you know he was paralyzed in an accident last week?

After his father Nate's death, God used his testimony to speak powerfully to an entire generation. How might God be planning to amplify Steve's testimony to speak powerfully to ours?

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV, emphasis added):
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.


One of the reasons I love Ortlund's Wisdom that Works is that it is not a moralistic, behavioralist approach to the Proverbs (or life!). It is a Christ-centered approach to the Proverbs (and life!). Ortlund makes sure, chapter after chapter, to show us how Proverbs fits into the full arc of the Bible story line (that is always aimed at Jesus!).

Here's one example in chapter 18 (p 159) where he is addressing the fear of the Lord (boldface emphasis added):
One of the reasons we don't fear the Lord enough is that we fear people too much. We fear their disapproval. We get our okayness from the approval we sense from other people. But wisdom redirects our hunger for approval. Whose smile will really satisfy us? If God approves us up front, on terms of grace, that satisfies. If you are in Christ today, God wants you to know that your relationship with God tomorrow is pre-approved. God will correct you as needed, but he will not reject you, because Christ has already won God's approval for you. ... We'd like to please everybody. But we must please him. That is the fear of the Lord. Wouldn't it be great to stop fearing people so much?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Read This Book!

I haven't yet mentioned the book of the month for May & June here on the blog. Shame on me! It is really good! Read it in the morning and you will be sitting down to breakfast better than Hank's Place. Read it in the evening and you can skip dessert!

There are a lot of choice morsels to share, but I'll just whet your appetite with this one (pp 159-160, emphasis added):
If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, the fear of man is the beginning of folly. Let's all admit, that is a real problem among us. We are always performing, hoping for applause. Then we can consider ourselves successful; then we can feel good about our lives. We even perform in front of ourselves, in the theater of our own minds. We are constantly going onstage to guild emotional capital from human applause and attention. But it's all false. What if people find out what frauds we really are? Here's our manmade religion. Our god is human approval. Our heaven is the spotlight. Our hell is bad reviews. Our ritual of worship is keeping up appearances. We have the wrong fear. And that wrong fear is the beginning, the entry point, the thin edge of the wedge for folly. Living a lie hollows us out. We end up so insecure, we flee when no one is even pursuing us--always fugitives, never settled and at peace.
To fear the Lord means his opinion is the only one that finally matters to our hearts. And he promises his approval through Christ. The gospel puts Christ onstage and says to us, "His performance is your review. You can stop posing. You can stop fearing exposure. You can stop looking back over your shoulder and worrying about the sins of yesterday. You can know for certain today that goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life, because of Christ." If you fear the Lord enough to let that gospel satisfy you, you will be bold and confident and valiant as a lion, like Christ himself. 
Read Eat this book!

If you want to digest it together with some others, you can join the Proverbs Sunday School class (at 9am in room 152) that Greg Baumann and Vito DeMaio are team-teaching for the summer. If you are a woman, read up now and plan to join other Bethel ladies on Thursday evening, August 9, to discuss the book.

How Big Is Communion With God?

J. I. Packer (by way of JT):
. . . whereas to the Puritans communion with God was a great thing, to evangelicals today it is a comparatively small thing.
The Puritans were concerned about communion with God in a way that we are not.
The measure of our unconcern is the little that we say about it.
When Christians meet, they talk to each other about their Christian work and Christian interests, their Christian acquaintances, the state of the churches, and the problems of theology—but rarely of their daily experience of God.
Modern Christian books and magazines contain much about Christian doctrine, Christian standards, problems of Christian conduct, techniques of Christian service—but little about the inner realities of fellowship with God.
Our sermons contain much sound doctrine—but little relating to the converse between the soul and the Saviour.
We do not spend much time, alone or together, in dwelling on the wonder of the fact that God and sinners have communion at all; no, we just take that for granted, and give our minds to other matters.
Thus we make it plain that communion with God is a small thing to us.
But how different were the Puritans! The whole aim of their ‘practical and experimental’ preaching and writing was to explore the reaches of the doctrine and practice of man’s communion with God.
—J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (reprint ed., Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), p. 215 (chapter 12).

Friday, June 15, 2012


The book of Hebrews has a message for you: Jesus is ABLE! Good news for us weak and failing sinners. Listen to this music for the ears of the unable:

Hebrews 2:17-18:
Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews 4:14-16
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 7:25
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
In addition, by reminding us what is NOT ABLE, we are directed once again to the One who IS ABLE.

Hebrews 9:9 and sacrifices are offered that cannot (lit. "are not able to" - same word as "able" in 2:18; 4:15; 7:25) perfect the conscience of the worshiper, (but Jesus is ABLE!)
Hebrews 10:1
For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never ("it is never able"), by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. (but Jesus is ABLE!)
Hebrews 10:11
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never ("are never able to") take away sins. (but Jesus is ABLE!)
Gifts and sacrifices couldn't do it. The law couldn't do it. The same sacrifices, offered over and over by the priests, couldn't do it. But Jesus did it!

Hebrews 10:12-14
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Are Mormons Christians?

Quick answer: No.

But this post contains a simple and helpful primer for understanding the differences between Christian orthodoxy and the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

You Are What You Hate, What You Cherish

Ray Ortlund, Jr.: is how you can know right now where you stand with God:
The difference between an unconverted man and a converted man is not that one has sins and the other has none; but that the one takes part with his cherished sins against a dreaded God, and the other takes part with a reconciled God against his hated sins.
From the present Book of the Month: Proverbs: Wisdom that Works, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012), p. 108, quoting William Arnot, Laws from Heaven for Life on Earth: Illustrations of the Book of Proverbs (London: T. Nelson and Sons, 1884), p. 311.

A Shameless Request For Prayer

The Apostle Paul asked for people to pray for him. For instance, Ephesians 6:18-20:
...keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
So, I'm going to ask you to pray for me (and for the other pastors and future pastors you know). Justin Taylor excerpted the following from the biographical message on John Newton (slave trader turned pastor who wrote Amazing Grace) that John Piper delivered at the 2001 Bethlehem Conference for Pastors.

Please pray that I would be a Christian man and pastor who increasingly reflects Christlike toughness and Christlike tenderness: 

"It seems to me that we are always falling off the horse on one side or the other in this matter of being tough and tender—
wimping out on truth when we ought to be lion-hearted, or
wrangling with anger when we ought to be weeping. . . .
Oh how rare are the pastors who speak with a tender heart and have a theological backbone of steel. I dream of such pastors. I would like to be one someday.

A pastor
whose might in the truth is matched by his meekness.
Whose theological acumen is matched by his manifest contrition.
Whose heights of intellect are matched by his depths of humility.
Yes, and the other way around!

A pastor
whose relational warmth is matched by his rigor of study,
whose bent toward mercy is matched by the vigilance of his biblical discernment, and
whose sense of humor is exceeded by the seriousness of his calling.
I dream of great defenders of true doctrine who are mainly known for the delight they have in God and the joy in God that they bring to the people of God—who enter controversy, when necessary, not because they love ideas and arguments, but because they love Christ and the church. . . .

[Acts 15:1-3] is my vision: The great debaters on their way to a life-and-death show down of doctrinal controversy, so thrilled by the mercy and power of God in the gospel, that they are spreading joy everywhere they go.
Oh how many there are today who tell us that controversy only kills joy and ruins the church;
and oh how many others there are who, on their way to the controversy, feel no joy and spread no joy in the preciousness of Christ and his salvation."

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Gospel and Racism

Racism is ugly. We know it. And yet it's more present in our hearts than we know.

Racism is a gospel issue. Do you know that? How deeply has the gospel saturated your own self-identity? How much does it own your heart and your eyes as you see all around you the diverse tribes and languages and peoples and nations for whom Jesus was slain and from which he ransomed people for God by his blood (Rev. 5:9-10)?

John Piper has written this book to help us. And Crossway produced this short documentary to go along with the book. He helps connect the dots between racism and the gospel, with transparent confession from his own upbringing in the segregated South. Thanks, Rachel Metzger, for bringing this video to my attention (awhile ago!).

Bloodlines Documentary with John Piper from Crossway on Vimeo.

Collapse Under Our Own Weight

Ray Ortlund, Jr.:
Why do our own lives spiral down into contradiction, frustration, and just plain boredom? Here is why. We take our favorite aspect of the creation, and we make it into an idol. We pin our hopes on some good thing that lets us down because it cannot bear us up. We fixate on family or money or success or ministry with an excessive emotional expectation. Then when it leaves us empty, we fall into despair. We can even project our personal despair onto the cosmos philosophically, as if reality were mocking our hearts. (Proverbs, 114, emphasis added)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Preach (Or Sing) To Yourself

Check out this great song inspired by Psalm 42. The words (albeit with a few mistakes) can be read here, where I found it.

Remember Martyn Lloyd-Jones' quote from the Psalm 42 message a couple months back? It comes from his book Spiritual Depression (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1965, 20-21).
Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in this psalm] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?’ he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: ‘Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.’
The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself.
…And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: ‘I shall yet praise Him for the help of his countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God’.
…Do not listen to him; turn on him; speak to him; condemn him…exhort him; encourage him; remind him of what you know, instead of listening placidly to him and allowing him to drag you down and depress you. For that is what he will always do if you allow him to be in control.
One other thing... The recent memory verses in the Fight Verses Program were Proverbs 6:20-23. Consider them in light of this quote and the example of the psalmist in Psalm 42-43.
My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life... (ESV, emphasis added)

Preach to yourself, don't listen to yourself. And now, this song can help you sing to yourself, instead of listening to yourself.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Our Women Are Too Submissive!

File:We Can Do It!.jpg

Back at the Together for the Gospel, I attended this seminar and heard Russell Moore say,
"Our women are too submissive."
It obviously caught my attention. And I think he's right. In fact, every woman (just like every man) is going to submit to someone. So, Christian women, who are you submitting to?

Are you submitting to men and women in the Photoshopping advertising industry that literally paint the picture all around us of a false, unattainable ideal of body size and "beauty." Should they be the ones to tell you what to do with your bodies?

Are you submitting to the men and women in Hollywood who splash the paint of those same ideals all over the screen, adding to their pictures (since they are moving) the epitomes of seduction, pettiness, manipulation, deceit, envy, and revenge? Should they be the ones telling you how to act?

Are you submitting to boys around you at school or the men around you at work that have bought the lies of those false ideals? Is it really their heads you want to turn? Do you want to be prey for a predatory male? Are these the males you should be submitting to?

Have you noticed how young this training in submissiveness is starting? There are 10 year girls obsessing about their weight and starving themselves, dressing seductively and flirting on social media.

In the Christian church, we need a little more healthy rebellion. A little more refusal to submit. Someone's got to tear off the disguise and blow the whistle on dame Folly. She's not a beauty. She's an ugly wench. She's loud and obnoxious. Like her, and you'll become like her. Is that what you want?

We need to draw attention to Lady Wisdom. She's stunning. She's REAL. She's wise. She's beautiful. She's worth listening to and imitating. Like her, and you'll become like her. Isn't that what you want?

Even more than Lady Wisdom, Jesus Christ is Reality and Wisdom and beauty personified. He can turn your head away from the lies of this world. He will empower you to refuse to submit to the world around you; to refuse to be ruled by objectification and faux ideals. He IS The Truth and The Life. Follow him on His Way. Submit to him. You'll never regret it.

He is the perfect Man. The perfect Love. He loved you perfectly. He will never use and abuse you. He will never disappoint you. He only wants to serve you, purify you, give you life, make you whole and radiantly beautiful. Shouldn't he be the one telling you how to act and what to do with your body? Shouldn't he be the one to whom you submit?