book review, Men, Women

My Wait

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The Wait is a honest depiction of celibacy in the modern age. Devon Franklin and Meagan Good give personal accounts of their journey, individually and as a couple. Whether your choice or consideration for celibacy is one of a commitment to God or not, The Wait offers so much  confirmation and assistance to one practicing the lifestyle. Devon and Meagan began their journey of celibacy separately and at different times. Each walking through life seeking God’s will. They did not know at first that they were for each other, but began a friendship that did turn into a marriage. I am approaching close to 3 years of celibacy and waiting in God’s time, knowing He is writing a beautiful love story- better than I could ever imagine.

Right away, the question of Why gets answered for us.

“But why? Why did we consciously delay gratification – not just sexual but emotional and spiritual- that would have come with diving headfirst into a passionate relationship? The answer is simple: we wanted God’s very best for our lives, collectively and individually, and we wanted it in whatever way he intended. This required patience (pg.xvii).”

“Because we waited, we exchanged immediate gratification for what we really wanted and who we really wanted to be. Because we waited, God was able to reveal things that we would have missed if we had been blinded by the white-hot light of lust, desperate to fulfill our own desires. Because we waited, we were eventually ready (pg.xviii).”

The authors clarify that the Wait is (sort of) about sex. Sex is always around us through tv, movies, music, blogs, magazines, talk shows, billboards. Lets to be real- sex is in our own minds and memories. When you decided not to have it [sex], not to entertain it, even fight against thoughts of it, now that is what stirs up curiosity and controversy. Singer, Ciara Harris and now fiance Seattle Seahawks QB, Russell Wilson stirred up media with their commitment to doing it Jesus’ way. Congrats By The Way!!!!

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God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.  

1 Thessalonians 4:3

Waiting is not passive. I’m not waiting for a prince to rescue me from some high tower of a castle. The authors, tells us while we wait we should be working on ourselves, “…letting love and purpose manifest in your life as result of you working on becoming the best version of yourself (pg.11).”It’s about focusing on becoming our best, the best God intended for us to be. Trusting God that He is working on your behalf at all times. This allows us to fill free from believing that we’ve got to make things happen NOW, “God has His hand on your life during this time, rearranging the scenery in order to set you up for good things to come (pg. 13).”

Waiting is not about ridding yourself of sexual urges. They will always be there because of our human nature. However, “your sexual urges lose their power over you. You gain power over them (pg. 16).” You have to want Plan A over all other things. Plan A is the very best God has in store for you, though based on our decisions we may miss out on Plan A.

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Chapter Two: Getting What You Really Want (Hint: It Isn’t Sex), reminded me of The Purge – my own struggle of discovering what I really wanted. The Wait is about removing yourself from that toxic cycle, running towards the things and people that continue to break you each time.  Are you suffering from post-traumatic relationship disorder?

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It’s about personal growth. Growing up. Improving yourself. Praying that God not only send you a spouse, but He work on you. Pray that God teach you how to be that spouse. Relationships, situationships all distracts us. Most of us. Most of us don’t do it God’s way (at first). We’ve gotten the person of our affection in our grasp and just stopped focusing on our priorities. In the past, its always been difficult to take care of priorities when there’s some guy I’m pining for.

Waiting reduces drama, conflict, and expense….Then there’s the post-sex conflict, expectations, and crises (pg. 64)… who wouldn’t love to say good-bye to the walks of shame, morning-after scenes, waiting on the call that doesn’t come, and feelings of being used?…. Waiting gives your better knowledge of your partner. When you’re not blinded by lust or the counterfeit intimacy that can come with premarital sex, you can see the person you’re dating for who they are (pg. 65).”

Temptation…something that I really loved was, “Sometimes wisdom means knowing when you’re not strong, ****so that you don’t have to be strong**** (pg.88).” WoW! I had never thought of temptation in this way!

Funny (but pathetic) story I recently recalled to a friend. I remembered years ago, I was on my way to see a guy [the one from The Purge]. It was a summer night around 10pm or 11pm or ??? While driving there, I was telling myself I wasn’t going to hookup with him. I wasn’t going to stay long. I prayed to God, done let me hook up with him- don’t let me have sex with him. The outcome? I was in his bed sooner than I realized. Easily melted into our sin and I never resisted. What a dummy. What a fool. I went knowing I wasn’t strong that’s why I included God at the last minute. Grabbing God at the last second isn’t enough. I was being unwise.

Knowing your triggers is extremely important. Page 99 gives us some good examples: Late nights, emotional trauma, intimate contact, alcohol, sexting/snapchat, travel. There can be more and we all have our own combination of triggers. Just like any behavior that you’re trying to keep in check, over-eating, gambling, shopping, drugs etc. We all have triggers that if not examined can lead us to acting out our weaknesses. This is about being smart, not putting yourself up against temptation- believing that you can outwit your own flesh.

Chapters Five and Six divulge deeper into why women and men don’t wait. In short, women tend to have a fear of being alone, “Scratch the surface of a lot of unmarried young women and you’ll find a layer of fear just below the surface. Fear of being alone. Fear of not having children. Fear of being judged and found wanting. Fear of being less of a woman. Fear of being inadequate, insufficient, not good enough. Fear of not being all you were called to be by the time you think it should happen (pg.110).” I wont go further because I think this is an easy concept.

Why men don’t wait is something entirely different and worthy of deep exploration. Men tend to prescribe to “The List… unspoken inventory of must-haves that plays on a 24-7 loop (pg. 141).” The List is as follows: Wealth, Power, Position, A hot car, Great clothes, A huge crib, Big toys, A beautiful, sexy woman on your arm.

The List is a placebo. 

“The man who recklessly gives himself over to his sex drive denies and distances himself from his divine nature. He courts chaos, drama, legal troubles, illegitimate children- everything this side of the plagues Moses warned Pharaoh about in Exodus. Worst of all, he becomes manipulative and callous, willing to do or say anything to get a woman into bed. He becomes addicted not just to the physical feeling of sex but also to the psychology of how sex makes him feel- and the game he must play to produce this feeling (pg. 147).”

God was telling me, “Don’t play with my daughters’ hearts.”  – Devon Franklin

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Are you ready to change? Are you ready to pause and heal your wounds? Are you ready to relinquish your sad imitation of power to the One that made you? It’s not easy. It took me one day a time to stop making the same mistakes. It took me opening up to a trusted group of young women in a small group and them praying audacious prayers over me. It took me getting on my knees crying out to the One that made me, and humbling myself to repent of insecurity. The reasons we do what we do all differ, but sin is at the core. Sin wheres a mask of insecurity and pride, even power and selfishness. Jesus took these sins to the cross. Stop taking them down and putting them again.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:30

Related Reading:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/i-gave-sex-three-years-ago-heres-what-happened

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Journaling, Uncategorized, Women

My Life is Not a Telenovela

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My life is not a telenovela and yours shouldn’t be either. I got tired of telling my friends stories of this guy and that guy. I also got tired of hearing their stories about this guy and that guy.

Did I tell you about X?

Did I tell you what happened?

Did I tell you what he text me?

Did I tell you what he did?

Did I tell you what he said?

Re-hashing whatever happened two weeks ago, bringing me up to date on what happened last week, and telling me what happened this week.

So he text me this.

I texted back that.

Then he said this.

So I said that.

Showing my friend text after text or just handing over my phone to let them read the entire thread themselves. Watching their face in anticipation.

Over analyzing every text, word, move from the flavor of the month guy.

So he text me at 8:52pm. So I saw it but didn’t reply until 9: 26pm. Then he said that. So I texted back and said that.

Over and over the same story lines, the same play by play rhetoric.

Still single.

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After reading Don’t Let Your Journal Turn Into a Soap Opera Drama from Girl Defined, I decided to look through old journals and find good examples of my stories. Though I have numerous journals through the past 10 years, 2008 was filled with drama and endless details of it. In 2008, I was 22 years old and had quit my job at a restaurant. I had been on a “break” from school and just spent my time going to parties and bars. Hopefully some of that explains a percentage of the drama. Remember my post, 21 Before 21? Yeah, I didn’t know any of those things yet! The following entries centered around three fellas over a two month time frame. I blacked out names of all involved to protect their identities.

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I had one thing right, “I’m crazy.” Shake your head because I’m shaking mine too. I actually blew up someone’s one phone at 3 am. I don’t remember that. I was “so mad cuz he didn’t try 2 come over” ???

I read these pages and more- shocked. I cannot believe I used to be that girl. I remember a lot of stories but apparently I don’t have enough storage space in my brain for al the other stories. I must be remembering the main headlines, the highlights, the bloopers. Pages and pages of who’s and when’s, the tiniest details of anything that happened. He didn’t call back. He didn’t respond to my text. He didn’t go to the party or that bar. Sad to say these stories did die down but just continued at a slower rate up until 2-3 years ago. Maybe you’ll think its lame but I can’t remember the last time I had a story to tell.

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These years have been the most peaceful years. I’m not worried or stressed about some guy, what hes doing or not doing. I’ve got no time to become a detective or private investigator. Investigating, scouring the internet to “figure” him out. I can no longer analyze a picture posted on social media and decipher text messages. I can no longer decode a guy’s behavior to “figure out” how he feels about me. We’re definitely not called to be play special investigator even though we make great ones!

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God wants our eyes on him. If we are playing detective on some guy, then our eyes are not on God. If you consider yourself a Christian girl or woman, you should not be obsessed [and don’t use your own judgement to discern if you are obsessed or not]. You’re just going to rationalize every move you make. Talk to a mature friend and ask her if you’re a bit obsessed, even just a little. God deserves our full attention and a full-time relationship. I don’t judge you, I struggle with this myself. But we have to stretch our understanding of relationship and love. It’s not just a Nicholas Sparks novel. Whether its God or a guy.

Here is 20 Important Bible Scriptures About Priorities-http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/20-important-bible-scriptures-about-priorities/

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When it comes to relationships and love I have a new set of standards and guidelines, Proverbs 18:22 is verse that I firmly hold onto.

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

He who finds a wife….  I don’t need to be out searching my city for a man. I definitely need to be prepared to be found!

not She who figures out a man will get to marry him,

not She who finds a husband.

He who finds a wife… I need to be asking God to prepare me to be wife.

not he who finds some chick,

not he who finds some girl that figured him out, that solved his inner mysteries.

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Instead of filling our journals with endless and mindless details of who’s and when’s, let us allow God inside those pages. God is thee author of all things. He created us and knows who and what we need in our lives. He is not the author of confusion! If we have to spend hours deciphering the hieroglyphics of texts messages, online messages and overall messages that are being communicated by a guy- most likely God is not involved in that situation. When you leave God out of your relationships, you also leave out his protection and provisions. When you act as if you can figure it all out with God and continue towards unstable relationships, you will not have the appropriate foundation that will be a long-lasting, fulfilling relationship. Sure you may have a relationship, but it won’t be from God’s design or have  his co-sign and it will not be blessed. You’re out on your own, leaning on your own understanding. We are told to lean NOT on our own understanding in Proverbs 3:5.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Trust in the Lord…

definition: one having power and authority over others. Welcome His authority over your life and know that you won’t have to strain and strive so hard for the right guy.

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Related Reading:: http://www.girldefined.com/journal-turn-soap-opera-drama

Related Music:  Write Your Story by Francesca Battistelli – https://youtu.be/ecV1NHmELuA

P.S. Don’t be this girl!

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Transformation, Uncategorized

21 Before 21

As the year comes to a close in just a few days,  I thought I’d share 21 things I wish I knew before I was 21. What would I tell my younger self?

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1. Cockiness is not Confidence. Humble yourself.

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2. Don’t spend money you don’t have (credit cards, buying things before paying bills).

3. Guys will use you,

4. If you let them.

5. The bad boy is not who you want to marry and have kids with.

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6. You will need your friends.

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7. Trust God, not the world.

8. You don’t have to try so hard [titles, status, guys].

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9. Don’t give away your power. The worst times in your life are a direct result of giving away your power.

10. Feminism is a lie. An imitation. True female empowerment comes from Heavenly places.

11. Living solo is great.

12. There is a plan. God’s plan. You’ll take many detours, but God will always redirect you.

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13. Stop hiding your feelings

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14. and Stop trying to play it cool.

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15. You can depend on others, it doesn’t mean that you’re incompetent. Ask for help.

16. You’re ENOUGH.

17. You do want to get married, stop lying.

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18. People like you for you. Stop thinking you’re weird.

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19. Don’t let anyone come between your peace and joy.

20. God is not afraid to hurt your feelings.

21. When it doubt call Mom or Dad.

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In case you forgot what 2005&2006 felt and sounded like, here’s are some of my jams from back in the day! Proceed at your own risk LOL!





*Bonus* All you need to know about the old me can be experienced in these two albums!
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I could have saved this girl a lot of trouble… 5/15/06
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I’d love to hear from you! What would you tell your younger self?

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Gender Issues, Men, open letter, Quick Read, Uncategorized, Women

FW: Screw Off, Feminists: An Open Letter to Men from a Real Woman

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From Louder with Crowder. I couldn’t resist sharing!

“Dear Men,

Everyday there’s news/outrage about the latest female tragedy, the “war on women” the #SJW feminist women, the body-shaming women. Then there’s “rape culture” and “male privilege,” and “micro-agression.” Seems to me, if you’re a man in this world, there’s nothing you can do right. If you tell a woman to smile, you’re a sexist. If you tell a woman she’s pretty, you’re reducing her to just her looks. If you tell a woman she’s smart, you’re a sexist for being surprised that she’s smart and more than just her body. If you vocalize that you think a hot woman is hot… oh geez. Bar and lock the doors, the feminists will stab you with their steely knives.

Well as a woman (yeah, it’s Courtney Kirchoff here, not Steven Crowder), here’s something you need to know: women love men. For being men.

Okay, several feminist keyboards have been reduced to dust. Chicas are hammering their keys like the old cavemen hammered their women before dragging them into the cave. Oh that right there? Joke. I know you feminists don’t think it’s funny. Nothing to you is funny. That’s why it’s funny.

Yes, I know you’re out there, SJW feminists. You’re going to call me a bitch. You’re going to call me a sell-out. You’re going to say I’m an ignorant this, that, and plenty of other four and five letter words because I dared to write “women love men,” despite the glaring proof women do love men. Proof? The perpetuation of the species. You know, men and women getting together, doing the deed, having and not aborting their babies. I can hear you all yelling, “PATRIARCHY” and “RAPE,” out there. Yell and scream and stomp all you want. I don’t care. Background noise.

This letter is for the men who go out and do. Who build, who create, who pursue excellence, who make the world a little better by being unapologetic MEN. I’m not talking to the jerks and the creeps. They get too much attention and they do NOT represent all men. Okay? Okay.

Sorry guys, I had to address those harpies first, because they’re shrill and annoying. Where was I? Right, women love men.

Millions of women, myself included, celebrate you guys for being dudes. We may joke about how you annoy us with your one-thing-at-a-time focus, but we love that too. Life is simpler and better with you in it. We love how you say what you mean. You’re uncomplicated, straightforward, and easy to talk to. And we usually don’t have to issue disclaimers before we do speak with you…so thanks for that.

We appreciate that you want to protect women. Despite what all the feminists say, millions of us know you care for women. We know you would pound a punk into the ground if he tried messing with us. We know you love children and want to protect them. We know you want to call your daughters “princesses,” and you’re not being patriarchal when you do.

We celebrate your ambition. One of my favorite qualities in a man is his drive to be his best. He likes to take risks because he likes to push his limits and test his strength. He likes to be challenged both in his career and in his personal pursuits. Every day he is working to better himself to be a greater man than he was before.

We love your competitive drive. Women might mock you for needing to “out do” the other guys, but *this* woman at least, enjoys it. What’s life without a little competition? Thanks for the sarcastic back and forth, for trying to one-up your buddy at the gym. Rock on. We’ll watch and cheer you on. But you better win…

We love your self-deprecating humor and how you want to make us laugh. This one should be self-evident, but sadly it’s not. Even when we don’t want to be cheered up, you still try. You’re a soldier who loves his woman. Even if your woman gives you “the look” I’d like to think that deep down she’s not plotting to smother you with a pillow when you snore; she’s appreciating your good humor. Okay, maybe she wishes you didn’t snore so much. Hey, she’s human, too.

Oh SJWs, give it a rest. Are all men like the ones I’m describing? No. But a lot of men are, and not everything is about you and your micro-agressions and fat-shaming. Stop taking up all the attention, this shouldn’t be about you.

Ahem.

We love how you pursue us when you like us, and we like you. Three feminist’s brains just exploded right there. Yes, men, we LIKE IT when you call us. We like it when you show us how much you care for us by actively pursuing us, even when you have us (7 more feminist brains have exploded). We like it when you open the door and treat us like queens. We like it when you make the plans, when you have direction.

So guys, when you’re constantly bitch-slapped by the loud, modern feminists for “man-spreading,” or whatever other new term they’re going to pull out of their uptight butts, know that millions of women cherish you for exactly who you are: Men. The world is a better place with men in it. Yes. I WROTE THAT. Millions of us support you. We support your careers. We support your choices. We love you for being masculine, and we celebrate you for it.

Now go chop some wood and make us a fire.

~Written by Courtney Kirchoff”

http://louderwithcrowder.com/opinion-dear-men-women-actually-love-you-
0for-being-men/ 11-27-15

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Men, Transformation, Women

Playing House

“Why Living Together Before Marriage is a Bad Idea”
By: Kristen Clark

via Girl Defined at http://www.girldefined.com/

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I’ll admit I went back and forth on this one. I read this post and fervently agreed with every word, I decided to answer the questions. Then I decided not to. I didn’t want to offend anyone. But again today, I have decided to answer the questions. I haven’t cared thus far if anyone out there is offended or not, so why start now? I take it as something I must do. I am after all, speaking from experience. Not from a place of judgment. I just won’t be at peace if I don’t speak on this. So here ya go.

What do you think about couples living together before marriage?
What do I think about couples living together before marriage? I think first this is an issue of whether or not each person believes (stands by) marriage. For a lengthy period in my life I did not believe in marriage. I thought just because you get married doesn’t guarantee you anything. Your partner can still leave you and desert your family. They could still cheat on you, lie to you, abuse you, and hurt you and a million other things. On the other hand, just because you are not married doesn’t mean you cannot build a home and family with someone. You can still love someone and be committed to them. I used to say “If someone comes along and *inspires* me to be married, then I would do that.” Now, it sounds like I was quite full of it! I believe this belief I was holding, influenced my last relationship. He and I lived together for exactly one year. Funny thing is, he is married now. But most definitely not to me. How could he want to marry someone that professed not to believe in marriage? We weren’t on the same page from the beginning. I had only moved to his city to continue building our relationship [my definition of temporary]. He envisioned me assimilating to small town life and living happily ever after, I guess. We were living together just because we had done long-distance for what seemed like forever but really it was about 6 or 7 months. We had grown tired of seeing each other once or so a month, for only a weekend at a time. I thought occasionally, “Would I marry him, if he asked?” I never knew the answer. I thought I knew a way to finding out the answer. I wrestled internally with wanting to move back to my home –city. Our two discussions lead to hurt feelings, confusion and fear. For me it was just awkward. I thought if he is willing to move with me, or move somewhere close by just on the outskirts then maybe, just maybe, he’s the one to marry. He chose not to be that one. My heart was broken. To add salt to the wound, I was the one to move out. I will always remember that Saturday morning waking and packing my things. Him asking if I needed any boxes. *No Thanks* Him asking when he could get the key back. *Um, when I get all my things out* Him leaving me a note in the mailbox with the math done for my share of the bills for those 19 days. *Mind.Blown.*

I realized we ended up like most couples that live together. We were not committed to one another like we thought we were. When we hit a crossroads in our relationship, someone bows out. They throw in the towel and say I didn’t sign up for this. They decide you’re holding me back, I can get much further in life without you. They cut you loose. I think I was both. I was ready to keep moving forward with him, and at the same time, I was ready to cut him loose. I wanted to move back to my home-city, find a decent paying job with my newly completed degree. I knew the time would come that I might have to let it go. I know this is not all couples that live together.

Do you know some Christian couples who think it’s okay?
I don’t think I know Christians couples that think it’s okay. I do know there are Christian couples that are having sex outside of marriage. I know at least one of them feels guilty. It’s usually kept a secret. I know that it’s hard to stop something, like sex, once you start. Once you have established that as the norm in your relationship it seems preposterous to stop. Especially, if you and your partner are not on the same page spiritually and in your walk with God.

What standard will you choose to live by?
After my own experience, I knew soon after that I would never just live with a guy again. The next man I lived with would be my husband. I have to really love you to not call it quits after you snore in my ear all night long. Or put my clean clothes in my dirty clothes basket. Or put my shoes that were next to the couch [the side you don’t even sit on] in the closet that we never use. Or wash the cup I was drinking out of just because it was on the counter. Or think when I say I’m going to bed-goodnight, that’s its an invitation. Or be disgusted at my long hair in the shower or sink, when your shaving cream globs sprinkled with millions of tiny hairs are stuck on the shower curtain. Or eat all my mini rice cakes.

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Related Reading:
http://www.girldefined.com/why-living-together-bad-idea

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Gender Issues

Christian Feminists & Unicorns

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I don’t need to call myself a Feminist because my identity is in Christ. I am who He says I am. I don’t need a worldly term to describe me. God made women, as a treasure. Something unique. It is proof of His love and value for us. He would not create something he didn’t value or want. There aren’t labels in Heaven, or Hell. The World told you that you were separate. Inadequate. Weak. Just a woman. God never told you that. The World told you that you needed to prove them wrong, that you needed to prove your worth. Convince them of your value. God never told you that. We need to stop conforming to the things of this world. This life is temporary. You will die having worked so hard to hear the applause of men [and women] for nothing. d4543580ddec61a32b2fddacae0c4e04The Crowd is Fickle.

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Feminist is not synonymous with Leader. Many women I know that is the aim. That is the driving force behind calling themselves feminist. They have the desire in their heart to be a leader to do something great. To make a difference. Make a mark on this world.
We roll our eyes at every high school athlete that thinks they will go pro. Or every kid that can spit some rhymes that thinks he will get a record deal and become famous. Many young women think they will graduate college and immediately be promoted to VIP. You want to take the lead in every situation because you do not value behind the scenes work. You’ve been groomed to devalue your femininity. That in order to get what you want, you must be aggressive and use force. You must be the alpha female and some of you strive to be the alpha male. Then you wonder why you’re single, or unhappy in your relationship, or pretty much every relationship. Why your man, won’t step up. Why women are so catty. You’ve bought into the lie that nothing will get done unless you do it. That no one will take care of you. You push through for resources because there won’t be enough for all of us. You think you’re Katniss but really, you do it all for your own glory.

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Do you really think this mentality is pleasing to the Lord? We should be asking God: Where do you want me? What job do you want me to have? How can I glorify you in my position?

We should tell God daily, Use me. My words are YOUR words. My body is YOUR body. This is in fact, the only time I will tell someone to use me!

You don’t have to strain. He will give you the desires of your heart, IF THEY ALIGN WITH HIS DESIRES for you.

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. Psalm 37:4-5.

The desires of my heart have been completely turned upside-Right! I used to not believe in marriage. I thought you can have a loving family without being married. Being married doesn’t guarantee you happiness. Now I see that being married is not about your own definition of happiness, but what is pleasing to the Lord. It pleases him that we are married. It pleases him that we wait until we are married to have sex. God created this for his glory. He commands us to do this with the context of marriage because it will protect us from unnecessary hurts. Now I desire a relationship (that leads to marriage) that I can glorify God in. That the only explanation for such relationship would be that God made it happen. That him and I be an example of the power of a loving God. That my romantic interest be a man after God. That he also be giving back to the church and community in volunteering. That he find his purpose and spiritual gifts. That he wakes up each day to tell God, USE me. That he be the leader of our family. Believe me, I am not too proud to admit, I need some leadership in my home. My way often leads to procrastination, which leads to a plethora of #Lianaproblems. I am currently in the midst of suffering the consequences of yet another #Lianaproblem with regards to finances. I fall short daily of who I think I should be. I can’t tell you enough just how much I cannot do it alone. I cannot do it all and have it all.

Feminist believe that economic power is the source of other kinds of power. That whoever has the money has the power. Even in relationships. Feminist believe that whoever holds the economic power gets to decide a woman’s sexuality, fertility, education level, employment opportunities, household responsibilities. That is why women strain so hard in the workplace. That’s why they strain so hard to be “independent.” Why some young women are valuing money over anything else. But again at the cost of what? Your joy. Your peace. You’re putting your heart and soul on the back burner in the name of feminism. Instead of sex being expressed through marriage as an act of love for the glory of God, some believe sex to be a transaction of power, opportunity, goods, or money. That we either “get” something out of it, or there’s no point.

As Christians, those seeking to follow Christ, we should not be taking on the identities of this world. Jesus was so radical, that so many did not like him. They did not like what he did or said. It did not sit well them. They did not like that people called him Messiah or Son of God. For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. John 5:18. Jesus did not fit in with the crowd, and neither should we. We should stand out. Our beliefs, behaviors and words should not align with what’s popular. With what is pleasing to ears of others. You have to pick a side.
So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. John 15:18

If God asked you today, Do you follow my Son or feminism? What will you say?

You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 6:39

I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? John 6:43-44

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Related Reading: http://biblehub.com/john/15-18.htm

http://www.forourlordjesuschrist.org/Gateways/feminism.htm

http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-women-taking-back-feminism-55280/

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/november-web-only/sarah-bessey-feminist-because-i-love-jesus-so-much.html?start=3

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http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/04/22/christian-women-feminism-is-not-your-friend/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eliel-cruz/11-reasons-christianity-n_b_5365210.html http://jesus-is-savior.com

http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_money.htm

/Evils%20in%20America/Feminism/feminism_is_evil.htm

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book review, Gender Issues

a Warrior & the Beauty

ax(Popocteptl and  Iztaccihuatl)

“In order to understand how a man receives a wound, you must understand the central truth of a boy’s journey to manhood: Masculinity is bestowed. A boy learns who he is and what he’s got from a man, or the company of men. He cannot learn it any other place. He cannot learn it from other boys, and he cannot learn it from the world of women.”

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“We think you’ll find that every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That’s what makes a woman come alive.”

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After reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge (2011) and Wild at Heart by John Eldredge (2001), I decided to write a good old fashioned book review. I am so fond of these two books and have learned so much from them. I didn’t want them to end, but grateful for what was spoken to me through them.

In each book, the authors invite us as men and women to reclaim our hearts. Purposefully masculine and feminine defined in the image of God. I love that John and Stasi affirm an innate longing that men and women have. I long to be romanced and to be a part of a great adventure. I have begun to be open to see how the Lord romances me. I believe He sends me love letters through beautiful displays of light.

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I have taken with me that my feminine heart is needed. That beauty is inviting and risky. But I can risk being vulnerable because it is in Jesus that I find my worth. That Jesus will thwart our plans so that our ways will not fill the holes in our heart, and so we will turn toward Him. That we have mishandled our wounds and allowed strongholds because of it.

I have taken with me that only masculinity can bestow masculinity. That a young man must go away to find his strength and come to offer it to a woman. That a man must find what his heart is made in order to truly live. Otherwise he will settle for cheap imitations. That God is wanting so badly for us to choose Him, to stay and talk with Him.

The questions we seek to get answered are directly reflective of the nature of our Creator. God is strong and firm, all powerful, fighter, warrior. God is a tender lover, Father, friend with open arms. He is the Lion and the Lamb. The piece that is missing is whats only found in Him. When we seek Him. When we open the door to His knocking. I often envision sitting at His feet like Mary did. She chose to stop, sit and listen. Luke 10:38-42. She simply chose to Stay.

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The two main themes discussed in each book are Questions and Wounds. Each man and each woman have a question that is to be answered. Sadly, the first person to give us an answer to our question gives us our wound also.

In Captivating, Stasi tell us that a woman’s question is Am I lovely?
In Wild at Heart, John tell us that a man’s question is Do I have what it takes?

These questions are to be answered by God only, but we always make the mistake of taking these questions to each other. We will never be lovely enough, nor have all of what it takes for each other.

Little girls play dress up. They play with frilly dresses, plastic glittery shoes, toy jewelery. Maybe they twirl around in front everyone at family gatherings. Maybe they put on a show in their living room. Do you see me? Am I beautiful? Do you delight in me? Am I lovely?

Little boys play superheros. They kill dragons, bears, or they are dragons and bears. Little boys turn anything into guns or swords. I was once cut in half with a tube of chap-stick my nephew was holding as a sword. Am I strong? Can I succeed? Do I have what it takes?

It may be easy to understand when comparing these questions to a child’s life, but are you struggling to see it from the perspective of an adult? Adult women want to be seen, to be noticed, to viewed as lovely. What are all the fairy tales, and Pretty Woman stories about? As women, we love a good make-over. In My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the main character Tula is longing be delighted in. To beautiful. You know that feeling when a friend notices your new earrings or a new sweater, or when you wear your hair differently?As women we compliment each other on those small things because we know what it means on a deeper level. Adult men want to know if they have what it takes. Am I going to be successful? Can I come through? Can I pull it off? A man longs for an adventure, a battle. I mentioned the movie Gladiator in my previous blog post. For every Notebook, or Officer and a Gentleman, there is a fast-cars, shoot ’em up, blow ’em up, booms and bangs movie that men love. The movies that my dad watches and describes scene by scene to me are very different than what I would have picked to watch myself. Even sports, are geared towards men. It is all action based, win or lose. Push your body and your mind, work hard, play hard, accomplish the goal, succeed.

When we as women and men are not getting our question answered through our relationship with our Creator, we are left to answer it on our own. Our answer to the question is No. We have internalized this answer from even further back in our past. Our fathers and mothers were the first people we took our question to. There may have been one particular moment when you received your answer or it may have been a series of moments. The answer to our question may have been delivered with abuse or just poor selfish decision making.

“There’s a young boy named Charles who loved to play the piano, but his father and brothers were jocks. One day they came back from the gym to find him at the keyboard, and who knows what else had built up years of scorn and contempt in his father’s soul, but his son received both barrels: “You’re such a faggot.” ……”Charles, the artistic boy, the piano player whose father called him a “faggot”–what do you think happened there? He never played the piano again after that day. Years later, as a man in his late twenties, he does not know what to do with his life. He has no passion, cannot find a career to love. And so he cannot commit to the woman he loves, cannot marry her because he is so uncertain of himself. But of course– his heart was taken out, way back there in his story.” (Wild at Heart)

“As many little girls do, Lori took ballet lessons. She felt so pretty in her pink leotard and tights that she asked her father to please come and watch her dance. He answered her that when she was on a real stage, then he would come and watch her. As you might know, dance classes end with recitals, and so, they day did come for little Lori to dance on a real stage. Pretty in her shimmering costume, she eagerly waited and watched for her father’s arrival. He never came. Later that evening friends of her father had to carry him into the house, as he was too drunk to walk in by himself. Lori’s little-girl heart believed her dad had gone to great lengths in order not to have watch her dance.” (Captivating)

“My mom was a lonely and busy woman. When I was young I had to pretend to be sick in order to get a morsel of her attention. I remember sitting at the kitchen table as a young girl watching her make dinner when she told me for the first time–but not the last—how devastated she was when she learned that she was pregnant with me. I was the last of four children, too close together, and she wept when she found out that I, the daughter of an overwhelmed mother an absent father, was coming. You can imagine the effect that has on a little girl’s heart.” (Captivating)

What is your answer to your Question thus far in life?

Who answered your Question when you were a child?

Have you taken your Question to the opposite sex or a person you had a relationship with?

How have you mishandled your Question?

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In conclusion, these are great books to be read by men and women. I recommend reading them back to back to get their full depth. If you are feeling unfulfilled with what the World is expecting of you, or even what you think you should be in the Church, these books will give you great insight. If you are recovering from a past identity or false self, these books will take you straight back to your core. There are plenty of real-life, real-talk examples from both Stasi and John there is no way you wont be able to relate. They also tell stories regarding their family and marriage. How their answers have effected their marriage and relationship with one another, good, bad and ugly.

I also recommend these books to those that are not “Believers.” Anyone that needs healing as there is much talk about our Wounds. Anyone that enjoys studying gender roles, identity, relationships, marriage etc. Anyone feeling stuck. Anyone that wants to explore more about the nature of God and Jesus. Anyone that wants to learn how we, men and women, fit together into God’s plan. How we fit together in His heart.

These books aren’t for the Religious, but whoever wants to get closer to God. Or those that are fed up with the mixed messages and mixed emotions that come from trying to function in the World.

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Below are some songs and movie clips that portray father and mother Wounds, and the answers we believe about ourselves. Remember, life is messy, but there is beauty in the struggle.

Related:

Bitter by Andy Mineo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4h7XT1JNwk

Reflections by Mariah Carey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z7Q_cm1Tc0

The Judge movie (2014):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XLP8exes_k

Precious movie (2009): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1FnPpU9s1w

Ransomed Heart Ministries: http://www.ransomedheart.com/

http://www.girldefined.com/call-manhood-part-1

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