This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Posts tagged ‘belief’

Where to stick your bumper sticker theology

I recently read this blog about God not giving us more than we can bear by Nate Pyle. Honest, truthful, bold stuff. The last two years of my life have been filled with a lot of pain and this really hit my heart in a way I needed. I have been through many difficult things in my life: sexual abuse, death of a baby, separation, death of family members and friends by natural causes, accidents and murder.

Almost without fail some, probably well intentioned, Christian has spouted off some little phrase they heard that they think will help. I love how Nate referenced it to bumper sticker theology. So true!

I love how Job’s friends stayed in silence with him, at first. How much better off would they have been if they had stayed that way. We just get so uncomfortable with silence we feel the need to fill it with something – anything. Saying stupid things like, “it’s for the best,” or “they’re in a better place,” really doesn’t help me in my pain.

A dear friend recently said to me, “if He brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” In her case, I know she meant well and we have a relationship where I could comment back that I think there are many things in life that He doesn’t bring us to, but we go running full tilt into ourselves, never the less, He can still bring us through.

What will help, is other people who know when it’s better to not say anything at all. Sometimes I just need people to BE with me. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15

Here are ways to ACTUALLY be helpful:

Learn to be ok with silence

Tell someone you will pray for them and then actually do it

See if there is a tangible need that you can meet

Stay connected

Pain is uncomfortable for the person in it and those around them. The past two years have been a long, hard, painful process for me, but those who have walked with me through it have carried me in more ways than they know. Bumper stickers will fade and peel. True friends, with hearts like Jesus, show love continuously.

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Look At Women

Just recently I read this blog http://earthtourist.org/2013/07/05/modesty-misunderstood/ by Travis Klassen. His viewpoint was not brand new to me, though it was not what I was taught growing up. The fact that it was coming from a man was new to me. The idea that a man’s lustful thoughts are the responsibility of the man, and not the women he is lusting after, is something that has come to make sense to me, but again was not how I was raised – by my parents or the church. Anytime a women has posted this viewpoint I feel like she is too often dismissed as looking for an excuse to dress “inappropriately.”

A few days after reading that blog, my devotions fell in Job – specifically Job 31. Verse 1 says, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” It really stuck me that Job said he would not look lustfully at a girl, he did NOT say he would not look at a girl.

We demean men into mindless animals when we except that they could not look at an attractive woman without being reduced to something with no self control and completely bound by a sexual instinct. Can a man look at a woman and lust – yes. Can a man look at a women and not lust – yes.

We tell men to avert their eyes from women so as to avoid lustful thoughts. But what if they learned to look at women and not lust? Are they going to be attracted to some women – yes, because God made us to find certain things attractive about others but that doesn’t mean it has to go further. By all means if you are looking at a women and find yourself having lustful issues and need to “bounce your eyes” please do so. I am a woman and I have done so. I have also been guilty of lusting at times. It all depends on the self control that I use or don’t use over my own thoughts. Where am I allowing them to go? Am I looking at this attractive man as someone God made that is appealing to me but I will only allow my thoughts to think on him as a brother or am I letting my thoughts go to places they should not? Why is the expectation different for men? I don’t believe it should be.

Men are strong – in body and in spirit. They are fully capable of viewing women – even scantily clad women as sisters. I know because I have brought men with me to porn shows with www.xxxchurch.com to hand out Bibles to porn stars. They tell them that Jesus loves them and they look them in the eye to show respect and that they are more, so much more than just a physical body. Why can’t we raise our young men to do this? Why can’t we instil in men that they are more than just lustful desires that are beyond their control?