Monday, 20 October 2014

Essay on Feminism and the Church in Society.

The family is the greatest unit that God created.  On the family rests the community, the nation, the world and the church.  It can bring little wonder then that most of Satan’s attacks are targeted at destroying the family.  It is sad to note that he is succeeding.  One need not look far to see the destruction that is being wrought on the family: marriage is not binding as it used to be – it is easier to get divorced than it is to change jobs; there is a wedge between children and their parents; society promotes “alternatives” to traditional marriage, whether it be pre-marital living and/or intimacy, or homosexuality; children are viewed as nuisances and are often raised by strangers at childcare while their mothers work.  All these things, along with others, work together to tear apart the family unit.
The last point mentioned is one of the biggest points of controversy – and one of the saddest points in society – today.  The issue of childcare goes hand-in-hand with feminism, as it is the vision of feminists to get every woman out of her dingy, boring, restrictive home and away from her annoying, ratty, useless children out into the productive, exciting, rewarding world of the workplace.  And many women listen.  Motherhood isn’t easy – their own mothers have told them that much – and they would rather earn some money to provide for their detestable darlings than put up with the temper tantrums and the rebellion that is sure to come ( I mean, some kids these days aren’t even waiting to hit thirteen before adopting the attitude… but who can blame them?  It is perfectly natural…)  And so the poor little things are sent to a big building to learn socialization and other life skills from two or three strange adults and at least twenty other kids their own age.
“And with the government funding childcare,” says an excited parent, “we can afford to work longer even though childcare rates are actually increasing!  Sure, the government makes calls on how the kids are to be treated and raised, but it can’t be all bad.”
Can’t it?  Does the government really have the right or the responsibility to raise the children of our society?  This question receives varied answers, even within parliament itself.  John Howard, Prime Minister from 1996 to 2007, did not believe so.  Within the first four years of his being in office, he cut 850 million dollars from childcare funding, effectively forcing thousands of women to quit their jobs and be available for their children.    In his election campaign, Kevin Rudd however, promised a 1.5 billion dollar project to improve childcare funding and increase childcare rebates.   Such a difference of opinion represents one of the great divides that splits our society.
What does the Bible say about feminism and motherhood?  We read in Titus 2:4-5 “That [the older women] may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”  We also read in Deuteronomy 6:7 “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”  From these two passages we can see that God is very serious about the role that He gave to women and mothers, and He expects us to take it very seriously too.  Firstly, he expects women to be “keepers at home”.  This does not mean, necessarily that women should not work, but home duties should always come first.  If work is cutting in on her duty to her home, then she needs to re-evaluate her work situation.  If she is married, then her duty is home and husband.  She needs to be available for her husband to provide his physical and emotional needs.  She can’t very well do that if he’s in one office and she’s in another.  And then there are children.  As we read in Deuteronomy that training one’s children in the Word of God occurs all the time, from the moment you get up, to when you go to bed at night.  This of course implies that one is with one’s children all of the time to instil such principles.  Since it is the duty of the man of the household to be the breadwinner of the family (1 Timothy 5:8) then that leaves Mummy to be the care taker and the Bible teacher to the children.

As with most discussions that involve marriage, we can revert back to a bigger picture – Christ and His bride, the church.  While feminists call those women who choose to be home makers “old-fashioned” and “out of date”, the same is often said of the church.  With ethical standards slipping socially, the church is frequently accused of being behind the times, exclusive and closed-minded.
In one sense, I suppose the church is ‘old-fashioned’.  In society it is acceptable to abort unwanted babies, marry whomever you chose and so on.  In that context, the church is – or very much should be – old-fashioned.  That, however, does not make the church wrong.  Traditional values have stood the test of time and have never changed when other standards did.
How can we know that the Bible – God’s Holy Word – will not fail or go out of date?  Jesus himself said, “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.”  (Luke 16:17)  Interestingly enough, the very next verse goes on to talk about marriage and God’s plan for men and women in marriage.
If, then, the church and the Bible are not out-of-date, and yet are separate to society’s standards, what is the church’s place in society?  James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”  This does not refer only to widows and orphans but anyone in need.  If we serve our community, meet them where they are – but keep ourselves clean from its sin – then the impact we will have on society will be earth-shattering: they won’t know what hit them.  But we will.  It is the love of Jesus.

Monday, 13 October 2014

It was a Dark and Stormy Night...

... and yes, a title so cliché can be accurate none the less...

 We watched it build for about twenty minutes and then ran to get the washing in before it hit.  Much to the astonishment of certain people, I'm sure, I actually took some photos of the clouds.  ;)

When it started to rain, I backed into the furtherest corner of the verandah but was still getting spattered.  James (10) and I were delighting in the size of the raindrops when we were nearly blinded by a flash of lightening and then deafened almost at once by the thunder.  It was a cracker storm!  :D

Monday, 6 October 2014

Little Girl - A Poem.

This poem is about a girl I know - and it is all real.  I barely made anything up for the drama of the poem.  I didn't have to: the little girl that was under bondage was set free and changed by the love and the blood of Jesus.  I know because I was there and had the privilege of helping her to pray for the first time.  I have called her Angel in the poem... please pray for her as I don't know what kind of home environment she has or if there are other Christians she can go to.

Little girl – she’s so afraid:
It’s dark and the stories she’s just heard
Are echoing and repeating
Around and around… and around…
The panic builds and the masquerade
Of the sassy girl crumbles with every word.
Her confidence flees, ever retreating
And the darkness closes in…

Little girl – she doesn’t know
What to think or do: she’s on her own.
If she could only push away
But it keeps her awake… and awake…
The pressure builds and the tears flow
If only she weren’t quite so alone
She screams from the chaos and the fray
Wrought by the darkness that closes in…

Little girl – she sobs out pain
Then answers come when she least expected.
She keeps on asking, “Why, God, why?”
He replies, “Because of sin…. Because of sin…
But I made a way so you can obtain
My righteousness. You’re my elected –
I love you, little girl, and my love is high
As the clouds. Darkness can’t close in…

Little girl – I’ve a house for you
I’ve been building for two thousand years!
Now I’m waiting for you to come
But I have a job for you… yes, just for you…
There are others that need to hear of me too
Come now, my Angel, enough of your tears
I paid for you, now you can become
Bright.  The darkness need never close in.

Little girl – the fear is gone
As for the first time she prays
And is changed as she bows her head.
It is a miracle… truly a miracle…
She smiles as she is reborn
Those around her are amazed
She quietly goes back to bed
The darkness cannot close in.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Un-named Poem

Yep: another one.  ;)  This poem was inspired by a conversation on Google plus about make up and how girls today seem to use make up to completely do themselves over - almost like a daily mini plastic surgery procedure.  As I was thinking about it, I realized that the over use of make up goes so much deeper than wanting to look nice... it comes from insecurities inside, and as I mused on this, my heart just went to the girls trapped in such a mindset.

So here's a poem about it, because that is the way I best express myself.  :)  I kinda thought it would be nice in a song, but I can't compose for the life of me, so if anyone gets some inspiration, you're welcome to it.  ;)

I stand in front of the mirror
And examine myself at length
Can they all see the guilt I read
Beneath my phony strengths?
I reach and grab my bathroom bag
That contains my mask inside
With a little work I’m finished
I can show the fake me outside

So dress me up so they don’t know
Who I really am, who I really am…
If they could see the ugliness, the plainness, the decay
I’m certain they would all turn and walk away.

I smile as I walk the street,
But it’s painted on my face
The pain inside is screaming out
From a world full of disgrace.
What if I left my mask at home?
I could try it and just see…
No I can’t – I couldn’t try
I’m afraid of the real me.

I wish I could be accepted as the person that I am
But if they saw me warts and all would they want to be my friend?
Maybe I’ve got this upside down, perhaps the step to strength
Is opening up, and letting down, and revealing them my weakness.
Just perhaps they are all like me – afraid to show the dirt
Maybe by my opening up, we could all start to heal from hurt.