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Posts Tagged ‘religion’

It’s late, and quiet.  D is sleeping, YAY!  He’s been dealing with insomnia, so we are thankful when he sleeps at night.  Yeah, I know you don’t care…let’s move along.

I started 2 other posts tonight, one on Entitlement and one on Change.  Neither of them flowed out, and from experience that means I have tons to say…it’ll come when it’s ready.   I also wanted to start writing more about gratitude and being thankful for things in my life.  This blog will never be updated daily, I think that’s boring, I don’t even want to know what happens with me every day, so I’m sure you have better things to do.  I can feel that I have lots going through my head and need to get some of it out, let’s see where this goes.

Seems lately that I’ve been involved in more than one “heated” debate about a few things.  Girl Scouts, fathers shooting up laptops, Planned Parenthood, Susan G Komen, breastfeeding, Whitney Houston and the flag, Obama,  and gay rights to name a few.  I’m NOT getting into that here, and if you try to hijack my post I’ll delete your comment…I don’t really care what your thoughts are about any of that, so there.  I’ve realized through those conversations, mainly on FB, that people often forget their manners and basic home training when they realize someone doesn’t agree with them, and *GASP* they aren’t listening to their side or better, changing their minds.  It amazes me how full of themselves people are, there is a difference in standing up for your beliefs or a cause and being a pushy, childish idiot.  I actually unfriended 2 people, and was unfriended by 3 people over more than one conversation in the last few months…actual friends, not FB friends.

I find nothing wrong with stating your side, arguing your side, believing in whatever you believe in.  In fact, if you don’t stand up for what you think is right, then what’s the point?  I don’t want to be your friend if you have no opinion on anything.  For real.  I enjoy a good debate/talk/discussion about anything.  What I don’t enjoy is people attacking others for a random statement, or when you’ve stated your side and I’ve stated mine and I don’t succumb to your views.   What kind of world would this be if we all agreed on everything?  Boring.  Even in the home D and I don’t agree on stuff, hell we don’t agree on how to load the dishwasher, or what temperature to keep the thermostat at.  You can ask him…I love to discuss how wrong his way is, and I know full and well I’m not changing his mind on it, but I have to state my case.  I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind…but once you are informed of both sides, yours and the opposing one, and I have given reasons, and support for my views, the ball is in your court on what to do with the information.  Does it not occur to people that if you wouldn’t change your mind to agree with me, then no amount of your disagreeing with me is going to change mine?

Judge not, lest ye do it correctly.

That goes twice for my religious beliefs.  The morals/beliefs/Biblical principles I was raised to believe and choose to believe as an adult trump your argument that you are a good person.  Being a good person is not a principle, it’s a characteristic we should all possess, and as harsh as it sounds, no, that alone won’t get you into heaven.  Not my rules…don’t whine to me.   I’m tired of people using the counter that religious beliefs are unfair, or against our commandment to love one another and judge not.  We are to love the person, not the offense, and there are times when you are allowed to judge – study your Bible.  Why is it that non-Christians can’t just present the information needed and then hush?  I wonder why you so vehemently have to defend your views if you feel they are right, can’t you just sit back and know you are right?  I make it a point to not argue, but to find backup for whatever I’m stating.  If that means you keep disagreeing with what is said, then have fun with that, I’m not God…I don’t have to deal with you after I’ve done my part.   To inform someone on a topic where there is a Biblical disagreement (or someone that doesn’t acknowledge the Bible) is different than presenting information on something you are passionate about.  Passion is not commanded in the Bible, a non-Christian can just sit back and think they are right all day long and you won’t go to hell any faster than if you argued about your side all day long.  However, for someone that is religious/following God’s commandments, we are to spread the word and share it with those that are lost.  One problem is that in our society too many people think that doing good is enough, they don’t feel lost.  My view is that if you are supporting things that are against God, then you aren’t informed of what He said.  If you are informed and not following what He said, then I have even MORE of a duty to help you see the light since you have chosen to ignore it.  I can’t sit back and go “eh, let him be wrong…no biggie.”  You may not understand the difference, but when you are a Christian there is a huge difference in what you can and cannot ignore.  Being a Christian does not afford me the luxury of being silent while others sail along their own river of demise.

My goals for getting involved in the topics on FB were to be informative, have conversation and because I like to be heard (shocker).   I TRY to use articles, proof, facts or anything that backs up my view when involved in a heated discussion.  It seems though, that others like to just get involved to disagree, and try to strong arm others, or belittle them when there is a minority present and they have backup.  I’m always amazed at the things people throw out there with no proof or backup and then further stunned when they act offended when you ask for the basis of their statement.   Does no one know that we aren’t all idiots and don’t just accept what we are told?   When did it become ok to just take things as truth?

I’m really not surprised by much anymore on FB (or in life), it’s almost daily that someone posts some annoying picture on FB or via email about a warning or “support” whatever by reposting this hurt child/dog/military/medical/gang initiation picture.  Can you tell how much that stuff bothers me?  Why is it that people that know they are sending information out just hit “share” without checking the validity or using common sense before further spreading things that are old, false, or just plain do NOTHING to show your support for XYZ cause?  Want to show support for battered women?  Go volunteer at a shelter.  Want to support the troops?  Write letters, send care packages, say thank you.  Want to support equal rights?  Vote, go volunteer at the organization of your choice.  STOP re-posting pictures and thinking you’re actually doing something good.  The problem with FB and email forwards is that it gives people a false sense of doing something…and then no one is doing anything.  Oh, I posted this picture of a flight attendant with a feel good story about some old mean white lady complaining about an Indian man on her flight…so I’m not a racist and I’m a good person.  No you aren’t, you didn’t check to see that that story was FAKE, has been circulating for years, and just gets changed depending on what flavor of the year is on our radar as the “unwanted” race.  Don’t give me that crap about how “it’s a good moral, who cares if it’s real or not?”  I DO, and so do most people.  What about the moral of getting off your butt and actually supporting something?

I’ll hush on that front, I think you get the point.  Don’t share stuff if you didn’t see it, and you didn’t research it to find out if it’s real.  We aren’t going to stop for a baby seat on the side of the road, we were warned of that via email 8 years ago.  I promise not to go around licking the tops of cans because someone may have laced them with cocaine…I learned my lesson the summer of ’02.  If Apple/Coke/Microsoft/FB is going to start charging, or will give me a free anything for sharing or clicking, they need a better AP/AR department, because they’ve been saying they were going to do that for years now.  Hang on, I have to give this Nigerian man my routing number…Blessings to you too.

Oh, I got off topic.  Not sorry.  It just seems that we have lost common sense.  We have forgotten that social media is just that, social.

so·cial [soh-shuhl]

adjective

1.pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations: a social club.
2.seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious.
3.of, pertaining to, connected with, or suited to polite or fashionable society: a social event.

4. living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation:

Yes, you can stand up for what you believe in, you can support a cause, you can share your likes and dislikes, and you can be whatever religion you want to be.  You should refrain from pissing people off, ruining your friendships, or being overall douchy when someone doesn’t believe what you do.  If you’re going to do those things, then you’ll quickly find yourself in need of more friends and no one to be social with.

I blog better with tunes…tonight’s awesome playlist courtesy of SiruisXM 90’s on 9 and The Pulse:
Des’ree – You Gotta Be
Poison – Something to Believe In
Tupac – California Love
The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a white guy) – why does he say 5 two times?
Train – Hey Soul Sister
Greenday – Basket Case
Len – Steal my Sunshine
Billy Idol – Cradle of Love
The Fugees – Killing me Softly (with his song) – 2 times
En Vogue – Free Your Mind
Matchbox 20 –  3 am

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This is a second piece, in what I can only assume is going to be an ongoing topic, on my blog.  The first post I did about this was Husbands Love Your Wives (not just a little) and speaks about the Ephesians passage.  I’ve updated this with the third post To submit…or not to Submit.  When I started blogging I didn’t know what I was going to write about, or how often.  I just do it as it comes and it seems that this topic comes up often in my life and those around me.  From Facebook posts to Michelle Bachmann, it seems too many people don’t get it.  So, since you’re here and reading, let’s get going.

I kid with the title, kinda, but it was meant to be funny.  I in no way think or believe God commanded us as wives to submit, no matter what.  So, don’t start with me on the non-Christian husband, the one who doesn’t respect you, the one who doesn’t treat you right and argue that you don’t have to submit because he doesn’t act right.  I’ll cover my thoughts on that (and you probably won’t like them) at the end of this post.

The main reason I love talking about this subject is to testify to how well a home works when it’s run the proper way.  The proper way being when you have a man that looks to God for his leadership, a wife that looks to her husband for leadership and children who know they have parents that love and care for them, and more importantly that love and respect each other.  Yes, this can be achieved sometimes outside of a Christian home, but more often than not, it’s neglected and unattainable in that forum.  I have plenty of friends that don’t get how “submitting” is in their best interest, or that can’t imaging allowing their husband to call the shots.  To that I ask – if you don’t think he’s smart enough or a good enough leader to call the shots why did you marry him?  Seems like a huge lack of good judgement on your part.  I’ve said it before, D has proven more than once before we married that he was quite capable of making good, correct, sensible decisions, and that his ideas were worthy of me agreeing to submit and hand him the last say/control in our relationship.  Ultimately God is the one calling the shots in our marriage, but since there are 3 of us in this boat, there’s got to be a chain of command.

There is more than the Ephesians passage to support the order of the Christian household.  I’m not going to cover the husbands role in full again, because I want to really get into the command the wives receive in these passages.  We see in the following verses that it’s not just one passage, for this post I’ve pulled four that I will discuss and reference all from my favorite translation the King James Version (KJV).  I am going to discuss just the verses with the submit reference, but encourage you to read the rest of the passages because they speak volumes as to WHY you should have a submissive heart/attitude.

Here’s the first one we’ve all heard:

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

A second to help remind you:

Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. 21Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Didn’t like those two?  Let’s try another approach:

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Really?  It’s not a suggestion, it’s a direction, stop questioning it already.

1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 3Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

I really don’t know what to say if you don’t like that.  It’s quite clear how we as wives are supposed to act and interact with our husbands, but, let’s look and discuss.

As Christian women we have no issues submitting to the Lord (Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord).  I believe we can all agree to that.  He loves us, listens to our prayers, answers them, chooses not to sometimes, has mercy, shows us He cares and ultimately we feel His presence in our daily lives, what’s not to like here?  We trust in Him.  After years of bad relationships, starting a career, living life, waiting for the “right one” and countless other reasons we should now thank God that we have a good Christian man. I know in my own life God has more than earned the respect and love we are to give Him.  He brought this man to you, He’s given you a partner to be here with you so you can FEEL that love, comfort, caring, burden sharing, leadership, and enjoy life with someone.  Not at all that God feels or thinks He alone isn’t enough, but He knows what we as women need, a partner, a leader, a lover, someone to tend to us and make us happy, God wants us to be HAPPY!  How much is it to ask that you respect, listen to, confer with and submit yourself (head, heart and body) to that man that He chose for you?  Not much I say.

Maybe we should clear up what submission/submitting means.

Submit: verb (used with or without object)

1.to give over or yield to the power or authority of another (often used reflexively).
2.to subject to some kind of treatment or influence.
3.to yield oneself to the power or authority of another: to submit to a conqueror.
4.to allow oneself to be subjected to some kind of treatment: to submit to chemotherapy.
5.to defer to another’s judgment, opinion, decision, etc.: I submit to your superior judgment.

Submission is not once described as mindless following, doing whatever you’re told, having no say, having no voice.  None of the definitions even remotely sound like most of the arguments I’ve heard against submission.  It’s simply what we as humans have wrongly come to interpret this one word to mean.  In God’s plan, submission is simply about giving yourself, as a willing partner to the man He chose to place above you in the chain of command of your home.  Just as there are bosses and employees, too many cooks in the kitchen, too many chiefs and not enough Indians – there has to be order.  If you’re trying to call the shots and your husband is trying to do his God assigned duty and call the shots, things aren’t going to be cohesive.

Wrong...try again.

So far there has only been once that I felt strongly that D was acting against how he should or acting in an unloving way.  I won’t get into incriminating myself specifics, but I may have played a part in his reaction…or not.  Truthfully, it was a mixture of me feeling that he was not holding up his end of the bargain and him feeling that I was undermining/disrespecting him in my reaction to that.  We were both wrong, and still he would argue that I was the cause, and I would point out that he “did” the deed in question for me to react inappropriately.  Which brings me to my point here, if he decides to act in an unloving way that doesn’t afford me the right to do the same and throw God’s plan out the window.  The opposite is true.  I am not free to tell him off, or take over, jump ahead in line, or treat him any differently than God has told me to just because he has forgotten his duty to me.  I CAN speak lovingly and inform him that I disagree with how he is treating me, or how he is talking, and that I believe he is going against the plan.

Barnes states this on the matter:

(4) if she is constrained, however, to differ from him, it should be with mildness and gentleness. There should be no reproach, and no contention. She should simply state her reasons, and leave the event to God.

In other words, if I disagree with D (because he is being mean, or rude, or not leading in a Godly manner), I have a backup plan.  God.  Since D has someone to answer to also, if I disagree or don’t like something I am more than free to pray and ask God for His guidance.  I don’t know how much more absolute you can get when looking for the correct answer.  The bottom line is that if D isn’t cutting it for me, he better hope he’s acting right because he answers to someone way more powerful than he or I am in our relationship.  I do have backup!  There are clear limits and rules over the husband and a huge responsibility on him to lead with my best interest at heart.  If he doesn’t, he’s going to have some ‘splaining to do.

In the beginning I said I would address the women who question the absoluteness of the plan.  I do not condone or think anyone should stay with an abusive man, or with a man who does not wish to live in alignment with God or the Bible.  I think there is always a limit to what one should put up with in any relationship, friendship, family dynamic etc.  You allow people to treat you bad…or you don’t.  If it’s not changing, and if someone is not trying or does not wish to learn how to be in a relationship/marriage the right way, then I believe it’s time to seriously re-evaluate whether you need to be there or not.  However, if you choose to stay there, then yes, you should still act in submission – see the following verse (again).

1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

All Christian women know, and even non-Christian women can see clearly that men, tall-short-big-little-loving-happy-unloving-sad-Christian-working-non-Christian-unemployed men, all beam with pride when they know they have earned the approval and have pleased a woman.  Do you want your man to do something more than once…thank him and praise him the first time he does it.  The look on a man’s face when a woman is proud of him, when she supports him, when she looks to him, listens to him, asks him his opinion, listens to his words, praises his decisions, loves him, respects him, wants him to be a good man, and brags to those around her about how wonderful a provider and partner he is…that look, that pride he feels, is no mistake in God’s plan.  A man that feels the love and respect of his wife can and will do anything to make her happy, to keep seeing that reaction and feeling that emotion.  There is no quicker way to defeat a man than to let him know you are disappointed in him or that you don’t think he is worthy of your respect and worthy to lead you or your family.  If you are looking for the queen treatment there is also no better way to get loved and protected, and to be lifted up as wives should be according to God’s plan, than by submitting to your husband.

I’ll leave you with another wife’s interpretation of what submission means in her marriage.  I think she is dead on also.

I am in full agreement with Barnes and his interpretation on the Ephesians passage.  I may continue with more on his notes, but I think we’ve learned enough for today…get to submittin’!

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I’m a fan of My Big Fat Greek Wedding…I’d like to give myself props for my title (it took me 5 mins to come up with).

As I pulled this up to start a new post I realized how much I’ve changed (for the better) in a few years.  I had always believed what I do now, but when you don’t have the opportunity to be heard, or truly practice what you believe it becomes back burner and so hard to do.  I am thankful that I have the husband, marriage, relationship and ability to study and learn about things I’ve always agreed with and was raised to believe.  My posts are more in depth because I am learning more about what it is I need and where I am supposed to be in life.

Where I am/we are in life is a trying place to be in.  I’ve been reading and spending time on finding out as much as I can to help me/him/us make the best decision, to be able to deal with whatever decision we make, and to know what I can do, should do and need to not do in order to help D through this.  Divorce is a pain, children are a blessing, and ex’s are – well, unless you’re lucky, they’re a pain too, some more than others.  If you add all that together, there is huge potential for the kids to become a pain as well.  I’m not harping on a certain kid, because in all I’ve dealt with from OUR kids, they all can be a pain at times.  No one more than the other.

At this time I am not going to blog about the whole story, but I’ll say that we need prayers for wisdom, discernment, patience and healing right now.  You can include D’s daughter in that (we’ll call her B), and our entire family as a whole.  It is not fun, and it is emotionally draining for all parties involved.  I am also going to TRY to be nice and not too descriptive here, except for what is needed to get to my story.  I don’t want this to be a bash the ex post, but it is my blog and I do need to get some things out, so deal with it.

One big happy family!

This post came to me after something D’s ex said in her email of wildly accusatory and totally off base ranting (it’s amazing that some people can function with no rational thoughts).  She referred to a comment that was made to B from D.  In short, although it was an entire conversation between the two of them, that the order of the household is “God, husband, wife, kids.”  B didn’t like this, and even took it up with 2 different counselors who informed her that indeed, it was biblical.  Apparently that wasn’t enough, because she talked about it with her mother also, who saw the chance to try to use that against D.

The ex feels that there is an exception to this “rule” – which isn’t truly a rule, and honestly there is not one verse in the Bible that says “God, husband, wife, kids.”  There are verses that outline this order and we’re going to check those out in a minute.  Back to the ex, she feels that the exception (because right now it fits her case that D is not a good father) is a remarriage.  As in, now that B is the biological, first child in my and D’s relationship, SHE should come before me (the third wife).  Lest we forget that the ex herself was a step-mom to B, and had she not come first in her marriage, it wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did.  However, she herself has no desire to realize this fact.   Instead, she’s going to harp on how our marriage and family set up is not in line with the Bible.   Knowing who she is, and seeing her in action, I really have a hard time taking biblical advice from this woman, but I did as I should have and took it as an opportunity to get my Bible knowledge on…sorry, I need humor right now.

So, as part of my lifelong, never-ending quest to prove people wrong learn new things, we’re going to explore.

We’ll start with the basics:

Genesis 2:24 (KJV)

24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Matthew 19:6 (KJV)

6Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

When a man and a woman marry, he (and she) obviously leaves his parents and becomes his own family, with his new wife, they are now joined.  Equal, in God’s eyes as a unit.  They are to be family to each other, and one.  Without going too far in to this verse, it is clear the unit that is now created.  As children growing up, we are to obey our father and mother, once we “leave” that family unit and are joined to another, our new responsibility is to our spouse.  We are not to discard the relationships and responsibilities to our parents (as parents grow older it is our job to care for and provide for them, and as their children we should always heed advice and respect their view), rather we are to put FIRST the marriage.  Most marriages start without children, however it is understood that with or without children the unit of husband and wife cannot stand strong, function, thrive, or create a foundation to raise children in if it is not a complete and healthy unit that can stand on its own and be strong for those that are in it and those that come along as a result of it.  In that statement we can clearly see the importance and reason for the “unit” and the responsibility of the marriage (vows).

As for the “this applies to the covenant/first marriage” people, I do not want to get into a “divorce is not allowed” type discussion.  I will disagree with you all day long, and can and will back it up.  This post is not about that.  In short, my view on divorce is that it is HIGHLY discouraged, and not biblical in most cases.  However, it is divorce that is not approved by God, not those that have chosen divorce, or had to endure one for reasons that most of the world should butt out of!  None of us are perfect, and those that portray that they are perfect are usually just trying to divert attention from the weeds in their own garden.  I give you this as part of my argument and then we’ll move on:

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 describes a woman who has been divorced because of “uncleanness” (v.1). The Bible says that when she remarries, she “becomes another man’s wife” (v.2). Thus, the Bible acknowledges that the two became husband and wife in covenant marriage, even though it was her second marriage.

We’re married…now what? Babies!!!!!!! Or in our case, we’re married, now we have “our” kids.  Blended families are a special thing.  They are especially hard, different, trying, fun and lots of work.  No matter how or when our base unit is started, or who is in it now, it is still the foundation of the family, blended, or first time.  We can turn to our Bible to see what God says about this new addition to the original (base) unit.

Ephesians 6:1-3 (KJV)

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

So, we know that to have children we need two people preferably a husband/wife unit as God outlines, and once that unit is here, we have children who are commanded to obey your parents.  It doesn’t say “obey your biological parents only” or “obey the parent you feel is on your side.”  It says parents.  A child (or ex) can’t pick and choose which verses are ok to suit their case.  NO, there is no exception, it is the RULE.  Children obey (all) parents.  Biological, step, adoptive, right, wrong, mean, nice, out of state – PARENTS.  It warns that you want to do this so you may live long on the earth.  If we take that into consideration for what it really says we can use the example that if your mother tells you not to go in the street without looking both ways, and you do so, you could get hit by a car.  Harsh? Yes.  Truthful?  Very. It also means in a figurative way in that you will live long because of the wisdom and protection of your parents.

As I mentioned there is not a specific verse that gives us this order of God, husband, wife, children.  Yet by using our brains and reading we can see it clearly outlined and understand the reasoning.

With all of that said there are obvious deviations and limits to what we must attend to first.  I wrote this assuming that we are adults and have common sense.  Each child has needs, and as parents our first duty is to protect and love our children, to teach them, raise them, and discipline them.   I am in no way suggesting that children are not to be cared for.  Obviously if your child is bleeding outside and needs you, and your husband would like a glass of water while you’re in the kitchen – you can let him know it’ll be a minute because your child is hurt.  We aren’t talking about neglect here.  I am speaking on behalf of the emotional, love, bond, nurturing of the spousal relationship and its needs over what a child thinks they need.

Teenagers (and toddlers) are worst at feeling that their wants and needs trump everything.   This is where our issue began and the discussion itself started.  B felt that she was no longer the focus of EVERYTHING her dad did, and suggested that since she was his bio-kid, she should be first in his life.  Now, yes, she should hold a special place, and she should be afforded HER time with him.  We gave her that opportunity, and she, on many occasions, refused to take her alone time or cut that short because she wasn’t in the mood, or he wasn’t spending money on her.  However, she still felt that he should be at her beck and call, wallet in hand.  The fact that dad had moved on and remarried, and has someone to keep him company while B is with her mom does not sit well.  B would rather he be lonely and ready to tend to her wants.   Teenagers are very selfish, and if allowed will just keep taking.  Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that they struggle with teaching that it’s not “all about me!” (we’ve all seen the t-shirts).  If you don’t have the foundation and strong relationship of the husband/wife, then in any family with kids, especially in a blended family you’re in deep trouble.

In our family, our bond, which was strong before we got married, was solid.  It is more solid now after dealing with ex’s and our new family.  Had we deviated from God’s plan for marriage at all, I don’t know where we’d be.  I am proud and thankful that my marriage is strong, and getting stronger with every trial we go through.  I strongly believe that there are people and things that want us as a new family to fail and they are well on their way to being disappointed because of our love for God, and our love for each other.

I’m in no way “done” with thoughts on our ordeals with B and the ex…rather I’m trying to work through them without being bitter or naming names on here.  I’d really love to write a letter to the ex and inform her of some things she doesn’t know (since she won’t look at me or speak to me).  However, I am standing my ground quietly and supporting D because he doesn’t need more drama, he needs love and to know that he is free to do what he feels necessary for B.

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What is with these things?!  I want some fun assignments.

I’m going to ignore this question, as there is no one I feel (which is probably not right of me) that I have to forgive.  There’s people that should ask me to forgive them…can I put them down?

Let’s go the Biblical route and further show how off base I am.  These verses come to mind:

(Matthew 18:21-22) 21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, ““I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven.

(Mark 11:25) And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

(Luke 17:4) If he sins against you seven times in the day, and seven times returns, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.

(Ephesians 4:32) And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.

Crap. I just blew my own post.  This assignment is now going to prove how I don’t do what I’m supposed to do and therefore I am wrong.  Way to go Mel.

So, before really going into these verses, which we all know and love, let me just say this.  If I write here who it is I feel I have to forgive, it’s going to:

  • prove that I haven’t yet, and by default how I’m not listening to God completely
  • bring to the attention of others the fact that I feel I’ve been wronged and call out some people
  • show how long I can remember things/hold a grudge (you’d be impressed)

All things I don’t wish to do, sorry.

We are urged, commanded, instructed, told to forgive.  We’ve had this talk in Sunday School, and last week I started a section in my devotional, the difference in forgiveness and what we tend to think we have to do, which is “forgive and forget.”  We are never commanded to “forget.”  We are told to forgive up to 70 times 7, and also to forgive as many times as someone repents (seems like a good loophole).   I don’t think God wants us to forget things.  It’s a protective action to remember.  We should always remember who has done something against us, or what they did, I’m not saying dwell on it, but if you don’t remember, then I think you’re just a sitting duck waiting for them to do it again, because you’ve allowed them to do it once before (or numerous times if you “forgot”).  “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.” Yeah, I know it’s not a verse, but it’s smart.

I think God wants us to forgive, because we can only be close to him when we allow him to handle how other people treat us.  It is his job to punish, teach, lead, convict them, not ours.  It also shows others His love through us, what he did for us is mirrored by our actions to others.  They can see His forgiveness through ours.  Hence, the commands.

Where the line bleeds for me (aka “my excuse”), is that I don’t think everyone listens to God, hence I don’t feel like they’re going to “get it” when God tells them “hey, you need to apologize to Mel.”   So once I feel wronged, I feel like it’s my job to cut my losses and move on.  Truthfully, if I’m not around them, or talking to them or they aren’t a part of my life anymore, then I don’t feel angry or upset, or “wronged” and can effectively (for me) move on comfortable in the knowledge that I handled it.  Apparently, I’m very wrong.  I’m just gonna sit here and be wrong in my wrongness for a minute…

Ok.  Yep, still wrong.  I have the uncanny ability to remember why you’ve pissed me off, and argue it until you get it, or just ignore you.  I don’t have a conscience about this.  It’s a fault, and I’m not even really concerned about it (I swear I’m not that arrogant – most of the time).  That goes into the whole “protect” mode I have going on.  I did not say it’s right, but it’s me.

So, I admit I’m not the person to ask for advice on forgiveness, unless you just want the rules.  I got those down.

~Mel

The previous post illustrates just how well I can argue, and talk in a circle without answering the original question.   You’re welcome.

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Edit:  This is the first in my “submission” posts.  Please read the others:
Submission…when he’s lovin’ you better be submittin’.

To submit…or not to submit (it’s really not a question, it’s a command).

The following was my comment on a blog post that has since been deleted.  The post was discussing how Christian women were “doormats” and being controlled because they were too dumb to speak up, or because they were in abusive relationships and needed a way to feel “validated” for staying.  The writer claimed that Christian women in submissive roles in their marriage were weak and needed to get out.  This could be no further from the truth.  On to my comment.

So many people fail to realize the importance of keeping their mouths shut because they insist on being right all of the time.   I assure you, I know no one like that 😀  I lie.  This selfless, putting others first, unconditional love, desire to better the other person, put their needs above yours, is the foundation of ANY good marriage, religion or not.  Let me also say that religious and Christian to me are very different.  I feel that I could be one and not the other, however I am both.

“The cake is good…but why is her halo falling off now?”

My background is normal, I was raised very strict legalistic Baptist (no pants, no rock music, hymns out the ying-yang), and then was moved to the South and learned what the SBC was.  I’ve been religious and not religious at many times in my life.  My best times are always when I am closest to God.

Ok, I’m hijacking your comments.  I just really wanted to say, since there is no “Christian married woman” comment on here…

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up to the cross for her.

My vows to my now husband included these verses, at my request, at our agreement after we had both mentioned them while dating.  I am very headstrong, very opinionated (his word for me is “forceful opinions“), yet everything, yes EVERYTHING is either run by him, or he is informed of my decision after I make the call if I don’t feel I need to consult him.  I normally don’t need to consult him since I try to pay attention to what he says and know what he’d say.  The verses in no way demean my ability to make a decision, carry out my own ideas, or plan things without his knowledge.  They simply allow me the freedom to not have to make EVERY choice there is to make.  Which is totally freeing.  I don’t know how many times I’ve felt overwhelmed before in marriage (not to him) and wished JUST ONCE I had help and didn’t have to be the final word on things.   Or that someone cared enough to say “hey, let’s do it this way” not “that’s not right, I can’t believe you did that” or some other demeaning type of comment.

The verse “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church” in no way makes me feel like some meek little thoughtless nothing.  As a Christian, without Christ as the head, we have no reason to believe in God or listen to him, so of course I agree with that…so I say, just as I have the freedom to listen to Christ (and mess up royally if I don’t) I have the freedom to listen or not listen to my husband.  I’ve learned in both instances that my not listening doesn’t get me very far, because more than likely I’m making it harder on myself, or just not thinking of the best way to deal with something.  My husband proved his worth/position many times before we married with his advice on topics I was concerned about, or asked his opinion on.   He always had a fresh idea, or a common sense explanation or way to handle things.  THAT is why I agreed to those verses in my vows, because he’s proven he’s smart and I have no reason not to submit.

Now, let’s talk about HIS commitment (which is so much harder than mine).  “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up to the cross for her.”  Oh wow.  The Bible never said I HAD to love him.  (Lucky for me and him I do though).  He is commanded to love me, as Christ loved the church, Christ DIED for us.  DIED.  That means, when I’m totally wrong, upset, hardheaded, annoying, no make-up, burnt dinner, not cleaned the house, yelling at a kid, having a headache…ALL OF IT…he has to LOVE ME.  He can’t say “nope, you’re wrong, sorry, don’t love you today.”  Nope. Can’t do it.  If you know me…I’m quite a piece of work.  I have quirks and “forceful opinions” and lots of crap that would drive people crazy, but him, he has to love me through all of that.

I have to submit to him, which when he’s loving me though all of my moods and problems, is a piece of cake.  God knew what he was commanding.

I think I got the better end of that deal.

~Mel

Good book to read:  Love and Respect  By Emerson Eggerichs

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