Monthly Archives: January 2015

Has the Bride of Christ Turned Feminist?

feministI tip-toe here. I tip-toe because I know how loud a group of angry women can roar and that is not at all what I am after. Truly, I do not wish to offend. If you are already offended, please just press the little x button at the top right of your screen.

For the rest of you, I want to peel back the spiritual layers of the feminist movement and explore the possibility that it has greatly affected one of the Bible’s most famous female figures: the Bride of Messiah.

Let’s start with definitions. What is a feminist? Google defines a feminist as “a person who supports feminism.” Brilliant. Ok, let’s try another. What is feminism?

Merriam Webster Dictionary lays it out nicely:

1. The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.

2. Organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.

I like the second definition, depending on the specific “right and interest” at hand. Certainly the right to kill is a bit horrific and does not qualify, but horrific rights aside, I can understand a group of people who would like to see males and females treated fairly. When I think of other world cultures and religions, I can definitely see a need. Women should not be considered property, or be mistreated or ignored.

Women should be cherished.

Women should be honored and loved.

Women should have a voice. We have good qualities and beautiful strengths that fill a needed role in society.

Women are a crucial part of creation. We have been given the honor and responsibility to bring forth life.

I could go on and on… women are wonderful and should be treated as such.

That being said, I am not a feminist.

I am not a masculinist either. Those words are odd to me. Like I said, I am all about those things I just listed. I like to use the title “Believer” to convey that message. Anyone who believes in Jesus and the entirety of the Bible will probably have similar beliefs on how women and men should be treated- with love! After all, it does say,

“This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12

That’s a popular verse.

Now for an unpopular verse.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything… ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall be come one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:22-33

Submission. Respect. The concept of authority. Am I making anyone cringe? I’m sorry, I don’t mean to. I am actually not even trying to jump into the waters of marriage in this post. I am here only because this is the analogy that God uses again and again throughout the Bible. We, His people are His bride, His wife.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord… for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness… as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

“as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5

“for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright…” Revelation 19:7-8

Marriage is important to God. He has created it and established it. He uses it to reflect the beautiful relationship of love and faithfulness that He has with His people.

And it is suffering. Marriages are suffering and dying, or just not happening all together. Women are not cherished, men are not respected, and neither party is giving or receiving the love that God had in mind for their closest relationship. (Note that I do not mean to group all marriages together. Obviously this is only a guess of mine as to what takes place in most marriages that bring more harm than good to those involved.)

Ironically at the same time, women are (at face value) gaining momentum. They are demanding  equality in power, equality in pay, and equality in muscle mass, and I don’t doubt that they will get what they ask for if they haven’t gotten it already. (*In some cases equality in pay makes sense. In other cases it doesn’t. I would be worth far less than my husband in his line of work. It would make sense, in fact it would be fair, if the company pays him what he is worth according to what he can benefit the company, and me what I am worth. I do understand that there are other situations.)

Feminism is going above and beyond the original mantra. To be honest, I don’t know if they really want equality anymore. As Beyoncé so eloquently puts it,

“Who run the world? Girls.

Who run the world? Girls. (repeat those two lines about twenty times)

… My persuasion can build a nation. Endless power, the love we can devour. You’ll do anything for me.”

All the while, there is a massive sign in back of her that says “FEMINIST.”

I feel this is an accurate description of feminism today, at least in America. It is about power and toppling over traditional authority and according to Beyoncé, the position of running the world. The world. Girls run the world.

Now let’s honestly consider: is this the position of the Bride of Christ? Does she too believe she runs this world, or at least this spiritual world? To review, feminism is defined as the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. Are the church and Jesus equal in these areas?

In thought, I’m sure many would say, “No! Of course not!”

But our actions may say something else. For instance, consider the parts of the Bible that talk about submission. Do you obey His commands in this area? Or do you cut these pages out of your life? Do you cut anything else out of the Bible? If you have the authority to cut out what you would like to, a nice “veto” power so to speak, who ultimately has authority in your life? You or God? You do. You have obtained political (or governing) equality with God.

Do you believe yourself capable of obtaining salvation through a life perfectly lived? After all, you’re a powerful woman, you Bride you. You can make it on your own, provide for yourself. You don’t need a Man. You can pay your own debt because you deserve to earn the same righteous standing. Economic (provision) equality with God.

Although the social standings of God and people are vastly different, the actions of people seem to point toward the idea that they are on equal playing fields. His teachings are up for debate, His definitions can be changed. This can only be the result of a people who are looking to the religion as their spiritual reality. The church is visible, the songs are sing-able, and the system is tangible. Do we forget that our God is living? That He is actually real? Does that make anyone tremble? Our God is not far off. He is close at hand, and despite our construed ideas, He holds all power and authority. He is also overflowing in love.

He is our Husband. He loves us beyond comprehension. Let’s love Him. As He advised for the position of the wife, let’s respect Him. Feminism has no place in our marriage. Beyoncé, I’m sorry, girls do not run the world. Some day we will all stand before the One who does.

-aubrie

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Do Not Fall for the Grape Slushy Trick

poisonWe live in a land that is full of tricks. This can be expected; we are currently behind enemy lines where the master deceiver slithers around, plotting and scheming up his next great deception.

One such deception is extremely not sneaky. It has been around for thousands of years and despite repeated exposure for what it truly is, the trick keeps working. I find this frustrating. I will call it “the grape slushy trick.” Forgive my rather kindergarten analogy; Veggie Tales is currently playing in the background and I find myself inspired.

The Grape Slushy Trick

Once upon a time there was a group of soldiers. They were strong and mighty men and skilled for war. Upon receiving the news that an entire village was being held hostage, they were sent on the rescue mission.

Their commander commissioned them before they left, “Remember men, stay the course. Follow the lead of the of commanding general. Do not venture off on your own; these people are brutal to those they capture. Beware of the grape slushy trick. Let’s free these hostages!” And with one big manly “Hooyah!”, the platoon of soldiers set off to trek through the jungles of the Saskatoons.

The Saskatoons were a fierce people. They were as sneaky as snakes and brutal as lions; their one weakness was that they did not possess any weapons. Not a gun or knife did they carry. The soldiers on the other hand, were well prepared. They carried proper equipment for both defense and offensive missions. Not only that, but their commander had filled them in on every sneaky attack the Saskatoons had ever done. The soldiers were given a map for navigation and a walky-talky to have direct access to the commander at all times. With the push of a button, any one of the soldiers could be given back up men or added weaponry.

The soldiers marched confidently through the woods. “Hut-2-3-4, march-2-3-4.”

Pretty soon they were nearing their mission point. They could hear the sound of the villagers in the distance. They decided to set up camp and review the plan of attack.

Suddenly, to the surprise of everyone, there in front of them stood a girl. She was a Saskatoon girl for sure; she had their signature star painted across her forehead.

The men quickly gathered in formation. They were warned of this very sneak attack that had destroyed platoons before them.

“Hi! Don’t worry… I am not being followed. My father and brothers do not know I’m here. It’s just me.” She held up her hands and looked as innocent as could be. “I brought something for you. I know you like grape slushies, so well… I made some for you! Follow me.”

“Grape slushy trick men. This is the grape slushy trick. No one fall for it.” Their leader warned.

See, the girl was right. The soldiers did like grape slushies. They each had their own grape slushy back on base.

“Oh come on, maybe this isn’t a trick. Maybe she really just wants to give us a grape slushy. That sounds really tasty right now.” One of the younger soldiers said.

“No. She’s hear to poison you. Get your head on straight.”

“But I want a grape slushy! I need a grape slushy. Men love grape slushies!” With a shout and pounding of his chest, the soldier ran off to follow the girl.

Three days later, the group of soldiers made their attack on the Saskatoons to free the villagers. Heroically, they loosened the ropes of those who were bound and set free those in chains. In the midst of the rescue, they saw their comrade, the one who had followed the girl with the grape slushy. He was laying against a tree, with his eyes sunken in and his skin pale, the poison clearly taking effect on his body. Two of the soldiers ran to him and hoisted him over their backs, and the platoon of soldiers marched home.

THE END.

This the trick. The same stinking trick that keeps working: sexual immorality. Lust.

“My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. For a harlot is a deep pit, and a seductress is a narrow well. She also lies in wait as for a victim and increases the unfaithful among men.” Proverbs 23:26-28

Twenty-first century America is dripping, and I mean soaked and dripping with grape slushies. Porn and sexual immorality is no longer an under-cover affair. It has taken the offensive. It circles us constantly, like a fox looking for a way inside the chicken coop. She is after you- whether you are male, female, young or old. He is after you, like he always is, to increase the unfaithful among men.

If you are that soldier who has fallen for the trick, I’m not here to shame you. Get up! Get out of this poison house that never satisfies.

“For all that is in the world- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life- is not of the Father but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16

We have to see life for what it is: short, meaningful, and filled with purpose.

And we have to know our enemy for who he is: sneaky, deceptive, and exceptionally skilled with the chains of sexual immorality.

For Believers, we have two modes of operation. We can live according to our flesh or we can live according to His Spirit. The choice is ours to make. If you want to fall prey to the chains (and I mean that- chains) of lust you can, but at least know who is chaining you. Know that what he gives you is guilt, shame, ruined relationships, discontentment, and a poisoned mind. Know that behind that glossy picture, he is grinning with glee as he places a wedge in between you and your King.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual forces of evil…” Ephesians 5:12

Stop. Stop and think men (and women). Consider the big picture of life and the reality of the spiritual realm that we can’t see. Do not be counted in with the unfaithful. For your own well-being, stay faithful to God and His ways! Let your mind and heart be renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit and live according to it. Our decisions are serious. Life is serious.

“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness… above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” Ephesians 6:14-16

For those who feel poisoned and hopeless, listen to the words of Yeshua (Jesus).

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed…” Luke 4:18

And in that hope, I bid you grace, freedom, and the power of the Holy Spirit of the Lord at work in your life against any and all schemes of the enemy.

-aubrie

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Major Mom Issues 1 & 2

I remember the day I literally pulled my hair.

I had heard the phrase so many times, I thought there had to be something to it. There had to be something beneficial in grabbing two fistfuls of my long locks and pulling in opposite directions. Milk had been spilled (ya know, the kind that you pump and pump for), baby started to cry after only four minutes of napping, and toddler needed his Mom! Mom! Mom! to help with some sort of two-year-old style emergency.

The leaning tower of dishes was about to come crashing down and with it my sanity…. So I tightened my pink polka-dotted robe, looked around at my crazy and pulled my hair.

Then I opened my eyes. The dishes still teetered, the milk still needed cleaning up and baby hadn’t magically fallen asleep. And as I huffed my way down the hallway, wondering why I seem to be the only tired one after all three of us were up for hours through the night, I made a mental note to remind my husband how hard it is, how much I do, and how exhausted I am.

I call this Major Mom Issue #1. Woe is me: I have the hardest job in the world.

And then there is Major Mom Issue #2: Woe is me: I don’t have a job.

“This is boring. Too simple. Too redundant.” Cherrios, diapers, cleaning, cooking, bottles and books, day and night after day and night. We can go make-up-less for five days in a row. We can wear our hair the exact same way every day or go wild and do something awesome. Either way it’s no big deal. No one is going to notice, unless of course it’s down and then it’s awesome because it’s pull-able. There isn’t any check at the end of the week, or deadlines or exotic out of town business trips (although some could make the case that visiting a mall play area in the next town over could possibly be considered a business trip- you just have to carry your diaper bag like a brief case and it all becomes very official). There aren’t any accolades or nice bonuses on a job well done or even reprimands when something isn’t done. You’re the boss, the secretary and the janitor, all rolled together to feel like one big jobless job. Or, not even a job. One big monotonous, seemingly insignificant life.

grapes

(notice the nice angle that I used to cut those grapes?)

I have heard many a mother relate to one or both of these major mom issues, sometimes within the same breath. Our duties are small and unchallenging, yet there are many of them and it can be overwhelming, depending on what stage you are in and how much sleep you are allowed. They are so simple. So daily. So grinding.

I think God was brilliant in His plan.

He could have made the whole thing different you know. A baby giraffe knows how to run, run, within hours of being born. Kittens are potty-trained by five weeks old, and all you have to do to train them is set up a kitty-litter box. Many animals are completely self-sufficient in only a few months.

But baby humans? Nadda.

They are dependent for a long time. They grow slowly, learn slowly, and take work. That is His plan. That is His blessing.

glasses

(always learning in style over here)

“Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3

Some translations use the word heritage and blessing. In the midst of completely chaotic moments or days when you feel like you have had to sacrifice everything, become a nobody, in order to raise your “blessings” and everything is feeling less then blessed, dig deeper. Look further.

God’s greatest blessings wrench the heart. They chisel and refine, because we need it. Oh we need it so badly. We are like our two-year-old children in the eyes of our Father. We need to be trained, taught, and then given real life opportunity to be more like Him.

In my life, few things have compared to the blessing of motherhood. It has been a sledge-hammer for my selfishness and a daily grind on my pride. Motherhood provides moment by moment opportunity for me to live by the Spirit or flesh. It gives me the opportunity to speak kindly even when no one else is around and train patiently, knowing that God is doing the same for me.

at table

(sorry it’s blurry- this one’s always moving)

Motherhood is self-less on the outside and it can be self-less on the inside. I think that is what God is really after, self-less-ness from the inside out.

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14

“Whoever loses his life for My sake will save it…” Luke 9:24

“And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.” Mathew 10:42

So the next time you are struggling with major mom issue one or two or both, review the first four words: woe is me, I.

Woe… (pity)

Me…

I….

We need to get over ourselves.

Look at what God has called us to! Look at the opportunity He has given us to serve as He has served! Do you think our children’s ten little toes count as feet to wash? Do you think our own children count as “one of these little ones” or “the least of these?”

They do. Your child counts. God has a plan and a purpose and very important works planned for your child. Even right now, God is working through him or her to refine you. He’s giving you the opportunity to be humble when you want to prove to the world or yourself that you can do more.

“Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these… you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:45

Wash feet. Just wash feet.

Last night I was sitting on the counter with my son playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, when I just had to stop. I took his face in my hands and told him, “You. You are a gift to me.” And I meant it.

Your child is truly a gift to you. A gift that goes deep and makes you sweat.

I write as a fellow mother who understands how hard it can be. I literally did pull my hair. But this is great. This is mega-body-building stuff for my spirit woman. He is with us, walking this kindergarten lane alongside of us, eager to offer the strength to make it through.

And girls, we are here together, and I’m thankful for that.

Xoxo,

Aubrie

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