Do Not Bow To The Gender Idol

Somewhere along the way it has become a crime to say there are inherent differences between a man and a woman.

And it has happened in my lifetime.

Another evidence of this just recently cropped up in the news. A senior engineer from Google wrote a company memo suggesting, among other things, “that men and women biologically differ in many ways.” He went on to suggest that these biological differences, though small, contribute to different strengths and weaknesses in men and women.

He said that “women on average, have more openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things…These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas.”

This man ended up being fired by Google for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

What a sad world we live in.

For centuries it was a given that there are clear differences between men and women that contribute to clear differences in their strengths and weaknesses. Now it’s considered shameful to acknowledge this. Now everyone must bow before the altar of gender equality. This man refused (or forgot?) to and it cost him his job, maybe his career.

So there are real and present consequences for asserting that there are substantive differences between men and women. Does that mean we have to go along with it? Absolutely not.

To be sure, there’s a fiery furnace of sorts that awaits those who openly maintain a clear distinction between sexes (and the furnace grows hotter when you say that this distinction was purposefully designed by God). The good news is that just as this same God supported Shadrach, Mishach, and Abednego for not bowing before the idol of their day, so he is willing to support those who refuse to bow before the idol of gender equality. This is not to say that we will not endure ridicule, or the loss of our job, or worse, but as long as we remain faithful, especially in the midst of the fire, God will be faithful to help us in all our troubles.

What’s the alternative? Should we begin to pretend that, generally speaking, men and women don’t look, act, or think different than one another? Should I treat everyone I meet like a man? Or a women? Actually, if gender distinctions don’t exist, what are we all supposed to be? Have the powers that be decided that yet?

I really don’t care if they have or if they ever do. I am a woman and I feel privileged to be so. I will raise my daughters to cultivate the virtues of womanhood. I will raise my sons to cultivate the virtues of manhood; and I will raise both of them to embrace the differences between men and women and to rejoice in the God that made them. It should not be a shameful thing to acknowledge the peculiar strengths and weaknesses which men or a women possess respectively; God ordained it so and we should not try to pretend otherwise.

What if we acknowledged that men generally (please, I beg of you, don’t forget I just said generally) are stronger than women, and there are certain jobs they just are better suited for. When you drive by construction jobs, why on average do you see more men out there working then women?

Why can’t we accept that women can be (on average, generally speaking!), much more relationship minded, which makes them more suited for certain jobs? We women love connecting with people, and we are good at talking through what we feel.

These are not signs of weaknesses. They are not something to hide away and feel ashamed of.

When the world begins to lose site of who created them, which is God, the perspective of what God created men and women to be gradually disappears.

Stand strong, Christian families. Look to the godly examples we have been given and teach your children to strive after those godly traits. Encourage your boys to be men, teaching them about Moses, David, Joshua, and Noah, how these men stood strong at times, and how they gave into temptations and what happened. Teach your girls about Eve, Ruth, Mary the mother of Jesus, the Proverbs 31 woman, and help them learn from the lives of these women.

Each of these men and women had very important, but very different, roles to play in the kingdom of God. Notice also that these roles were not interchangeable. Moses clearly could not have filled the role of Mary, nor could Mary have filled the role of Moses. They each had unique calling that were suited to their unique abilities as men and women.

The world is quickly changing, but that doesn’t mean the ways of God are changing. His truths are unchangeable, unshakeable, and they endure to the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Freedom To Form Standards, The Grace To Walk Away

Do you ever feel insecure and wonder what people think about you? I sure do! And it’s not just because I have an online presence and hope people online don’t think I’m crazy. I don’t worry so much about that anymore – I learned a long time ago that I can’t please everyone!

We were at the Midwest Great Homeschool Convention this past week, and every time I share online that we are headed to another convention there is a little part of me that cringes. People think we are on the road a lot, but we only did 2 conventions with our businesses this year and attended another one as a couple.

For years I had a stance to not attend shows or do parties with my businesses. I felt like I worked enough from home and I wasn’t going to leave my babies. And then we started doing conventions. What changed is that suddenly my husband had a product to bring along, and so it wasn’t all about me. We were in this as a family, and it has been worth it to travel. But it means leaving my younger children home with Nana or Aunt, and I always feel so guilty! It’s honestly not so much about feeling guilty for myself. I know they love spending time on the farm with Nana and she takes great care of them. It comes down to the age old question, “what must people think of me that I’ll leave my young children at home for the weekend?

Can you relate? Women crave to be accepted, and even though we stand firm as homeschooling mothers in stances that are not popular in the culture, we don’t want our friends around us to judge. For the record, I’ve never felt judged by my friends for leaving on business trips. I think it’s all in my head!

I think part of this feeling is just pride. We don’t want others to look down on us. Sean and I have changed our opinions on a number of issues over the years. We have deeply regretted how ultra conservative we were in our early years of marriage, because it led to us being critical and prideful.

We once used to be 100% quiverful. I even wrote a blog post about it years ago. Now we have a heart to have children for the Lord, but have seen the wisdom in spacing out my pregnancies so my health doesn’t totally collapse.  Do you know how controversial this is, especially online? To be truly committed to the Lord surely means to be 100% quiverful, right?

We used to be committed to the integrated family church model. Now we don’t have a problem with sending our children to a Sunday School class, provided we trust the teachers and feel it’s a safe environment.

I could go on and on about all the things we’ve had to admit we were wrong about. It’s humbling to admit that you have changed your mind. It’s easy to share all the super conservative standards you have among friends, because those are viewed as making you a godly family. It’s not as easy to change in ways that people feel like you must be going soft.

I’ve felt such freedom in letting go of some standards that I feel are more man made. There has to be a balance. Follow the straight and narrow path when it comes to true commandments from God. There are many standards that are black and white with no grey in between. But is the Bible truly definitive in its stance for or against Sunday Schools or even wearing skirts only? I know some of you believe that it is, but the case is difficult to make. Sometimes it comes down to every family deciding what is best for them, and then leaving it at that.

So with that being said, I’m not going to try to convince you to follow my lead and not be 100% quiverful. Your body might handle it just fine. I’m not going to try to convince you that it’s ok to wear jeans with a tunic shirt. That’s my own personal opinion as of the year 2017 with my husband giving me his input.

Let’s give each other that freedom. Hold each other accountable for the true standards found in the Bible, and give grace to each other for all of those gray areas. Makeup, modesty, dating/courtship, eating standards…we look to God for wisdom in all of these areas and try to follow how the Holy Spirit is leading us. But don’t try to pull one or two vague sentences out of the Bible and make it a gospel principle.

Hold yourself accountable before God, but also be open to changing. We have had to change our stance over the years. We used to not celebrate Christmas. Now we LOVE celebrating Christmas! Don’t fall into a rut where you never examine your convictions for years on end. But make sure you examine your convictions with the Lord right beside you, because it can be easy to get weary and you start giving up convictions out of fatigue.

Don’t give up! Keep pressing forward. Reject the man made labels and create a family environment that is full of God’s spirit.

 

 

On Charity, 1 Corinthians 13 and Mothering

1 Corinthians 13 is one of those famous chapters in the Bible. Sometimes the chapters that are so popular tend to get glossed over. We read the verses and can almost quote them and we don’t let them sink into our hearts.

I read through these verses this morning and wanted to share them with you, in the hopes that it would encourage your day. Some thoughts stood out to me, so I’ll share them under each verse.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

It’s easy to sound spiritual. We can expound on great spiritual truths and feel like we are speaking words of importance, but if we don’t have charity in our hearts then it just ends up being loud, obnoxious noise.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 

This is a pretty humbling verse to think through. We could have such faith in God’s word to even move mountains, but it could all count for nothing if we don’t have charity in our heart! It’s a reminder that we can’t focus on only one aspect of our Christian walk. We shouldn’t desire to have this immense faith in God if we forget about all the other important parts of our Christian walk.

And though I bestow all goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 

Charity sufferers long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. 

Do we suffer long with our children? How about our husband? Do we envy our friends when they get that shiny new car, or the brand new house, or they always look put together when we can barely get dressed in the morning?

Do we walk around confident in our abilities, and puff ourselves up thinking we are something great?

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seekers not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.;

This is a hard one! I know I can get easily provoked, multiple times a day! I shared in a women’s study I’m going to once a month for the Life Giving Home book (a must read book!) that I found myself getting very irritated with my children and would occasionally just get so frustrated that I would tell a child to shut up. Growing up as a child, that was a like a curse word in our home. I know better, and have no excuse besides the fact that I was letting myself get easily provoked.

As mothers we need to think through how we get easily provoked and deal with it. Put scripture verses up around the home to remind yourself of how you want to respond. Take a deep breath before responding to your children, or even walk away for a minute before you correct your children, to just give yourself a minute to calm down.

I need to not seek my own agenda, my own plan for the day, my own desire for XY and Z to happen. Instead I need to seek God’s plan for the day and be a servant to my children and husband. I think we all know this in our heads, it’s just so much harder to live out in real life!

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 

Do we endure long? Do we still hope, or have we given up after having endured hard trials?

Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease, whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 

For when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 

This is a good verse to teach your young teenagers! I remember reading that verse over and over again as I struggled through the difficult stage of becoming a young lady and leaving my childhood behind.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, the three, but the greatest of these is charity. 

Love. We need to have great faith in God, we need to always have hope (as Christians we have a lot to hope for!), but even greater than that is love.

My prayer for all of us today is that we will be able to extend charity and love to our families as we serve in our homes!

 

 

 

When You Have To Just Say No

Just say no.

The world is screaming for our children. All around us, within churches and without, there are influences that try to grab ahold of our families.

Just say no.

Just say No. It's hard to do, but oh so necessary.

When everyone around you is culturally engaged and you feel like the only who doesn’t watch that show, or that movie (you know, the one that has everyone talking), don’t give in.

Just say no.

When your children come begging for video games, and the latest and greatest toy that you don’t feel comfortable with, it’s ok to stand against the crowd.

No is not always the bad word our children like to make it out that it is. It can be a blessed thing.

If your family feels alone, like you are the only one who cares about the influences of the world, dressing modestly, and not letting your children date at 13, don’t feel bad.

You are not alone. It’s ok to stand against the crowd and just say no.

We recently have had to say no to several different situations that have come up. It’s not always been easy. Our children have been disappointed, but we knew it was for the best. I realized there might be other families out there who feel like they are the only ones standing against the crowd, and just wanted to send you a word of encouragement.

You are not the only one with the finger stuck in the wall, holding back the water. Let the floods pour, but they won’t enter our home!

“He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honor. ” Psalm 21:22

Sometimes we read these scriptures and don’t take the time to truly ponder on the magnitude of them. If we seek righteousness, we find life! That is a huge promise!

Let’s continue to seek after the kingdom of God together. Even if you don’t have a friend that you can physically link arms with as you walk this path together, just remember you have some online!