Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Call to Action ..Part 1

Okay, I will tell you on the forefront that this is kinna heavy but I am feeling really lead to share some thoughts I have been having lately.

Have you ever had a time when its like your eyes are opened and you see things that have always been there but you never say them before? It could be that you meet 5 people with the same experience, find multiple scriptures, hear 20 relatable songs, the Sunday morning sermon was exactly what you needed right then?

The Spirit is awesome, and He uses our moments of willingness to listen for whatever reason to share with us things that make our walk with God more meaningful, or bring to light something that could change our entire outlook on things.

God has done that for me lately, and while there is a sense of helplessness in the realization, I also feel so lead to share this so that Satan cannot lurk in the shadows of our ignorance any longer.

Over the past several weeks, my eyes have been widely opened to an area of weakness for the men in all of our lives. I have become aware of how lies that Satan has told has covered my eyes, and I believe a large majority of Christian women's eyes to the degree of power he can exert over them. And it makes me feel like a mama tiger ready to react!

The temptation of lust, and very specifically the action that can often come with it, pornography is a huge problem ..even, and especially for the Godly men in our lives.

Did you know that something like 85% of Christian men admit to this being a problem for them?

Lie #1 that Satan tells in this area...that Christian men dont struggle with this. That only "sickos" deal with this. That only "sex addicts" or men who cant control themselves participate in this.

Its a lie.

Now, let me be clear that mean NO disrespect to our men. I do not want to take away from the respect due the men in our lives, especially our husbands. But their very nature, Christian or not makes them very suseptible to Satans lies in this area.

God created them to be passionate. Sex is a symbol of the drive that is in them to make them want to provide for us, to pursue us, to create children with us, to love us. God made them that way.

And... every good thing that God creates, Satan can distort.

This God-created passion, this drive that our boys have leaves them vulnerable to attack. That coupled with the constant exposure to things that feed that desire (indeed, that is what it is..the sinful nature DESIRES it) for lust is a potentially spiritually fatal formula.

Relating to my reference earlier of how my eyes have been opened, I found out within a very short amount of time that there were several men in my life who struggled with this problem. These were men that I knew to be Godly men. They are Christian husbands, fathers, church leaders, teachers, deacons and elders in the church.They were friends and men I knew, loved and respected as fellow Christians. These are not "sickos" or people who you would think would struggle with this...if you think that it only happens to "certain kinds of men."

During that time I prayed that God open my eyes to see WHY is this such a huge problem? WHY is it SO powerful that it effects even these kinds of men? WHAT is it about this that is so compelling that I hear tears in wives voices as she describes how this problem has affected her family? HOW has Satan been allowed to become SO powerful that he can move into our homes, our churches and into the lives of the GODLY men around me?!

Girls...I was amazed at what I have realized the past few weeks. And I NEED you to know about it..because we MUST not allow our boys to be taken by Satan's lies in this area!

And he can.

Another lie that we have been told, that our boys hear from everywhere, that often even wives who are aware of their husbands activities tell themselves..is that it doesnt hurt anyone. That looking at pictures doesnt effect their minds long term. It is between themselves and the computer screen, thats all. That lust for someone other than their wife is NORMAL, acceptable and harmless.

With tears let me say, its not.

Uncontrolled lust is a very powerful tool for creating a rift (whether realized or not) between husbands and wives, potentially destroying families ...the cornerstone of God's plan for getting the most of us to heaven. It creates expectations that are unfair and unGodly for boys and men who arent married, as well as those who are. It sets up teenage boys and young men for selfish thinking, even before they come together with their wives for the first time. And most importantly, it creates a door for Satan to move around our homes.

The truth is is that our homes are protected by the God we serve. But, if the man of the house is bound by this problem, Satan is free to move about in ways we cannot even begin to know about.

Sisters, and sweet friends...please do not be blind to this area of weakness for our boys.

I dont want this to be so long that you dont want to read it, so I am gonna start another post.

Please keep reading, because the plan is still ahead of us.

Call to Action ...Part 2

So I prayed that God show me how this problem could be so prevalent!

And He has, He is so faithful.

First, I realized that our boys need NOT go far or even leave their seats to be attacked..not just tempted but openly ATTACKED by lust.

My husband and I went out to eat the other night, this was on my heart and God used it as an opportunity to show me something that I had never seen before. Or, at least not this clearly.

We walked in to the restaurant and put our name in. Immediately I noticed the hostess who was wearing a very short skirt. I checked out of the corner of my eye (he knows I am thinking on this topic) and look to see if Adrian noticed. Nothing. Good job hunny.

We sat down to wait, no kids so we were just sitting and watching people. I noticed this girl moving around, and walk in front of us. In front of my husband. She didnt just walk, she strutted by him. She was swingin' it, almost in a comical way (though I for one was not laughing). She must've walked in front of us 5 times in the 10 minutes we were sitting there. I did a corner of my eye check...still good boy.

We sat down at the table, after following Short Skirt Chic through the restaurant (I held on to Adrian so that in his effort to not look he didnt trip and fall ...he knows I am watching). Then, Short Shorts and Big Boobs with a Tight Shirt Waitress showed up. I looked around. Directly in his line of sight was, Chic With a Short Skirt Who Needs to Close Her Legs and Girl Who Needs to Button Her Shirt Up. Then, Other Hostess with a Short Skirt AND Exposed Cleavage walks by about 10 times.

Funny, but not (as a side note, I asked him later if he noticed all those girls, and admitted that yes he did, but he had made a conscious effort to avert his eyes. ..smart guy :)

Last night I was looking for a photo for my other blog, I typed in "house". I am not kidding you that on the third page in there was a half-naked girl in a school girls outfit staring at me. I typed in "priorities" ...first page, naked woman.


Girls, pornography is a step long the road to fulfilling a desire for lustful feelings and actions, but it starts long before then. They dont even have to go that far to be wounded by Satan's darts. They need not type any words into the search engine, turn on the Playboy channel, buy a magazine or go to a strip bar..its there, plain as day, black and white.

I have had my moments of feeling totally powerless against this fight for my men. I have had my moments when I have thought HOW can they fight it when its EVERYWHERE?

We cant forget, though, ever...that God is greater. He is more powerful. He is all powerful. He is stronger than any "natural" urge or desire ..no matter how strong.

So, what do we do about this?

First, LIGHT!

As I said before, having heard it alot of places lately, that this effects SO many of the men around us. But, because of Satan's lies we dont even know that He is working as effectively was he is. If we could really see, and be aware of all the men (and women..they are out there too) who struggle with this then Satans power would be greatly diminished! If we were suddenly aware of his plans, we would be blown away..then we would react!

Because of the lies that come with this sin, people often either think that men who struggle with this are "perverts" or that lust is just "part of being a man".

We need to, as the mothers, sisters, wives and friends of these Godly men who struggle with this, see this sin as separate from them. We need to not label them as "sex addicts" or other such things. They are vulnerable. Satan has found a weakness, and exploited it. Just like he does with us, everyday.

We need to bring to light this problem. And we need to start in our homes. As difficult as it is, because of the ramifications of the possibility of it being a problem, we must ask our men if it is a problem for them. We need to assume that whether they have moved to the point of action, or have resisted that but still allowed their mind to dwell on lustful things, or that they have resisted both entirely...that they are vulnerable.

We need to teach our baby boys that its not right to look at "girls in their panties." We need to teach them the concept of "guarding their eyes."

Do you know, that speaking honestly with some of my close friends about this that all of them were exposed to pornography at the age of 10-12? And all of them, were exposed through trusted Christian friends? They were exposed, and the rest was history.

We need to teach our boys before they are old enough to even fully understand, that we need to protect our eyes from things that God doesnt want us to look at. So that when they are exposed to this, they know immediately that its wrong. We need to train their hearts, as well as their eyes to resist those things.

We HAVE to talk about it, to our children AND our husbands.

We need to be aware of the battlefield that is all around us!

Girls, we have to realize that Satan WANTS to bind these men. For all our strengths, they are strongest in the areas that God created them to be. They cant be all that they need to be it they are bound by this sin. Our families cannot be what they need to be if our husbands are bound by this, or any sin.

So we have to be aware. We need to know what we are fighting, and our boys need to know that we are in the battle with them. They need to know that we are praying for them, and are aware of their struggles.

A section of scripture that has a whole new meaning for me, is in Ephesians 6.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." v. 11-12

Its true that the battle is theirs. This struggle is between them, and Satan. The boys dont answer to us. Though we, our marriages, our homes are affected by their sins we cannot be their motivation. They answer to God, and God alone. The battle they fight, they fight alone. They must fight when they are alone, out of town, on the computer, watching TV in the dark when we are in bed. Its their battle.

But our role is not insignificant.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert..."

We cannot fight the battle. But we can lay out their clothes ..their belt of truth. We can help them strap their breastplate and hand them their shield. We can make sure their helmet is securely fastened. We can shout encouragement from the sidelines, and shout warnings when the enemy is sneaking up from behind them.

We can fight back to back with them for the minds of our children, working together to train our children to reject Satan's lies regarding lust.

Its not a lost battle. But one we can only win if we are aware that its going on.

I pray for your boys, grown or not. And please pray for mine.

Thanks girls, I needed to get that off my chest :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Stressor Alert: Losing Focus

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 25:14

One thing that we can do to keep our stress level under control, is to keep our focus.

When we get our vision off, trying to juggle all the things that a "normal" mom, wife, friend, church member, etc is supposed to be ...we can be overwhelmed with all that is expected of us in all those areas.

Keeping perspective means that we push all the "stuff" aside and look at the bottom line..that our homes should be a place where God is taught and experienced, that we work together to get each other to heaven...leaving no one behind.

That means that sometimes the laundry can wait, the groceries will keep, the errands can be postponed and only the things that meet your goals for your home need to be tended to right now.

That can mean so many things. Whether to sit on the floor with your little boy and his trains, to go hide in the bedroom in the middle of the day with your hubby, to call a friend or take a moment to yourself.

Remember to keep perspective, it will help you let go of stresses that really arent worth their energy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thankfulness to Peace

While studying recently I stumbled across a little something that I find remarkable!

Read with me for a moment, paying close attention to the similarities in these verses...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is rightwhatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philipians 4:6-9

Again, Paul emphasizes,

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15

Our state of mind and our thankful heart has so much to do with whether we allow the peace of God take over our spirits.

Over and over again in the New Testament God connects thanksgiving with peace. Isnt that amazing? He knows us!

He knows that when we take the time to thank him, we will remember our blessings, and rest in the knowledge of His provision.

God is a smart fella.

If your anxiousness today feels overwhelming...stop and thank Him. Thank Him for the home you have to keep, the children who are healthy enough to make the messes, the husband who has committed to your partnership, the money to buy the groceries, the vehicle you have to do the errands you hate doing :)

"And the peace that transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:6

A little something..

So, I got a little something in the mail today I thought I would share  :)

IMG_7716 (Medium) IMG_7713 (Medium)

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