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Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Monday, January 6, 2020
“My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.” --I John 4:1 (the Message)
A colleague and I were talking recently about current events, and we got into a discussion about feel-good messages. There seems to be a movement geared toward women—especially self-proclaimed exhausted mothers—with a lot of empty, pseudo-biblical banners. I commented, "You don't go to church to hear what you want to hear but to hear what you need to hear." Sure, no one wants their toes stepped on (figuratively or literally—kids, I’m looking at you!) but I tell ya, those hard sermons and conversations are always the most personal, and they stick with me long after my Sunday afternoon nap.
We’re living in a society where books, conferences, Pinterest posts, and Facebook memes are supposed to bandage the parts of our lives that need repentance and the grace of Christ. The fact that we continue to seek self-help books and messages proves that they aren’t helping us; otherwise, we’d read the one book, get our lives together, and then go spend our hard-earned dollars elsewhere.
Despite the warm fuzzies all these “well-intentioned” messages send, RARELY do we hear what we NEED to hear, and thus starts a cycle that begins to define us as well as our relationships. Oh sure, there may be mantras to get up, get it together, you are woman, take up your banner . . . but are we following sound theology as we go a-marching? As women, we are also a pretty prideful group, no matter how far off the rails we’ve gotten riding the Hot Mess Express. It’s almost as if the bigger your “mess,” the better your yoga pants.
By the way, life as a woman is so much more than yoga pants, wine, dry shampoo and *gasp* being mom . . . I digress.
While feel-good messages make us feel—well, good (for a bit)—they don’t call us to action. They just comfort us while we stay in our collective mess. So many lessons are left unlearned because the steps to learn them are unpopular or too harsh. I'd venture a guess frustration and joy are painfully amiss in these situations as well.
When you think about the woman that God created you to be, what does she look like? Is she a hesitant, self-absorbed girl who is wearing yoga pants and a messy bun, drinking wine and pouring over a “go get ‘em, girl” book filled with vague, empty messages that aren’t even biblical? Or is she respectable, confident, and hard-working? Is she timidly searching the internet for answers to her questions, or is she a person who seeks and speaks truth, understands what true love is, and acts as a formidable authority in her own home?
Want some real truth in this area? Titus 2 is where it’s at!
Who do you go to when you need advice on womanhood? Marriage? Parenting? Careers? Bible study? Take a careful look at who’s trying to sell you their books and get you to come to their conferences. Do they have their act together? Do you see fruit in their lives? Are they motivated by sales, celebrity, and owning the most polished corner of the internet, or do they have a passion for seeing you become a thriving woman in Christ?
And for that matter, do these people even KNOW the Bible?
When you’re reading God’s Word and seeking His heart, then there will be times that you’ll feel comforted, protected, loved, and satisfied. Celebrate those moments! But ladies, if you’re not also fairly regularly feeling corrected, convicted, humbled, and flat-out schooled, then that ain’t the gospel!
Our children need discipline and correction. Well, guess what? We do too. And we need friends, mentors, and heroes who are willing to remind you that life is not all about you, it’s about Christ, and if you’re wallowing in your own mess, then you need a reality check. We NEED to hear what is painful, we NEED correction, we NEED to redefine acts of love. If, as parents, we never correct our children or allow them to fail—or, God forbid, be sad--how are we showing them true love? A child NEEDS to see a husband put his wife first and vice versa. A child NEEDS to know a husband and wife that lead in the home. A child NEEDS to hear “no.” A child NEEDS limitation. But most of all, a child NEEDS you to step up and be confident in who Christ calls us to be: a loving authority in the home modeled after His love and correction in our relationships with Him.
As women, we should not embrace the mess as a collective effort. We are better than that, y’all!
Know His truth. Embrace the hard messages with the fuzzy ones. Tear up your ticket for the Hot Mess Express. Let those toes hang out!
Chipped polish and bruises are calling cards of something great.