“I tell women that they are beautiful as a form of manipulation”, my friend confesses to me this morning. “I don’t mean it, because it doesn’t matter to me, but I know it’s a form of control. I want to confess this to you, because Jesus has been showing me that as long as the body of Christ have issues with their earthly body, they will continue to struggle with the concept of how a church body should work” (slightly paraphrased, as I don’t remember the exact words).
How can we change the system that is part of the very DNA in our culture?
There is only 1 answer.
That is Jesus!
Two thousand years ago He came onto this earth. He went against the very culture of His day. He had women as disciples, women spreading the news of the resurrection, women financing the ministry, women being healed from sickness, women being saved from a sure death, and a woman being the first to hear that He was the Messiah that everyone was waiting for. Some of His parables would even use a woman as a picture of God’s love. Just read the stories of Jesus in the New Testament and notice how often women are mentioned.
God created men and women in His image. Genesis 1:27. How can we celebrate that we are created in His image when we constantly pursue the image the world gives us? How can we be effective as a witness when all we talk about is how we look and what we have? We can talk about God being love, but how do we understand that when we hate ourselves? We will never live up the expectations that we put on ourselves because, in reality, they are just a distraction to keep us from the truth.
I know that this is a subject I talk about every once in awhile. It might even be monotonous at times. But the reason I talk about this is because I personally need to hear this message over and over. Each day the enemy has a new opportunity to bring me down. I have a skin condition that isn’t pretty to me, and it gets in the way of me loving who I am as a creation of Christ. We all something that keeps us distracted…whether it is that “last 10 pounds”, the cellulite, the grey hair…whatever it is, it’s just a distraction. I need to understand, every day, that this obsession with my appearance or that obsession with what I don’t have, are just distractions to keep me from proclaiming the truth.
I am nothing without Jesus.
to be continued…
At the age of 10 I received a compliment from an older man, he must have been in his 30’s or so, and it changed me from the inside. I realized quite quickly that I had “something” that men would notice, and it would give me power. Looking back, I can see that what he did was inappropriate, and he should have kept his mouth shut in front of a 10 year old. But the lesson learned was…
…that as a woman, I would be judged on my looks,
…that being “attractive”, according to this world’s standards, opens doors for some and not for others,
…that the suppression of women comes so subtly that we don’t even notice what’s happening, and it starts young.
I was listening to a TED talk ([ted id=2102]) to the other day and the speaker mentioned that google gets asked over 10,000 times a month, “Am I ugly?” and it’s mostly from young girls.
We learn from toddlerhood that we get attention if we are “cute” and life is a bit easier in school if society thinks we are somewhat attractive.
So, what kind of society do we live in? How can we not see the damage that is being done every day in the lives of young girls and women every day? It’s twisted, dark and has deep roots.
to be continued…
This morning was a morning where I was given the opportunity to share from the heart. Speaking at the Finnish service in our church is something I enjoy…just don’t tell anyone, because…well, I don’t know if I can handle speaking more than a few times a year. (Good thing hubby doesn’t read my blog.) Getting up there is also really hard. I grew up with ministry leaders, in my own family, and in the extended family/friends around me. I know that they are far from perfect. That pedestal is often a precarious perch. Only God’s grace keeps some of them from falling on their face. And some fall, only to find true redemption. Another beautiful process, but a different topic…. Continue reading The Made-Up Mask
What do I have to lose?
You might be wondering what I am talking about.
This last year has been one of those journeys that I used to only read about. The “great awakening”!! It has been a year where the tears and laughter have flowed, but also the full spectrum of emotion has also been experienced. From the dizzying heights to “the depths of despair”, as so well said by Anne Shirley. 🙂 I have learned to say what I believe, instead of skirting issues. Standing up for what I believe has been harder, and easier, than I thought it would be. Avoiding conflict and controversy was the way I used to protect myself before. It made life easier to deal with…but darkness was simmering below the surface the whole time. Just waiting to explode. Continue reading Nothing to Lose…
People so often distrust christianity and through that, christians, because of the judgement they grew up with. And it’s true, I also grew up feeling the judgement, and the fear of being “left behind”. Any sin that one was caught in was something that drove a wedge between God and man. There was no grace. There was little love. So society took over, and labeled us as “intolerant”. Many of my friends left the faith because they couldn’t handle the pressure of being “a good christian”.
So, those of us who stayed in the pews, many of us numb and disillusioned, were there out of tradition and guilt. We read our bibles, taught Sunday school, and tried our best to not preach intolerance. We wanted to preach love and acceptance, because that is what we wanted so badly ourselves. A few revivals swept through and infused us with fresh hope, but it didn’t seem to make much of an affect in the society around us. Continue reading Love vs Truth?