Protecting your children: Media

You know we have enough difficulty protecting our children without big family media pushing a homosexual presence and agenda and trying to normalize the very dangerous and heartbreaking behaviors we want to shelter our kids from.

Disney has been pushing homosexuality for more than twenty-five years, now. They began with “Gay Day” back in 1991, and have gently, incrementally, been pushing the boundaries of propriety ever since.  It’s also an “open secret” that Disney has a big ol’ thick Gay “glass ceiling” in the company’s management, any more.

Disney used to be a wonderful, wholesome, educational family entertainment provider — now the “educational” component is NOT what most of us want for our children.

 

 

Tough decisions

When a woman loves a man with SSA (Same-Sex Attraction), she takes on a lot. If that isn’t the understatement of the year, I don’t know what is.  But she does – and she does it willingly because she sees so much more of that man she loves than his SSA.

Some of them will say, “This is not who I am, and I don’t want to be trapped here,” and they do a lot of hard work to get beyond  . . . to discover a stronger and better, more whole self — because although it’s not a popular thing to say, SSA is a soul wound.  That probably deserves a lot more consideration than I have time for right now, but I’ll say it again: SSA is a soul wound.

And so often, the man she loves too often hangs his identity on that SSA.

So this woman, she loves her man. And she sees in him a nobility of spirit and a beauty not only of form but also of soul that goes well beyond the physical, and she believes in him, and she invests herself in him –because that’s how women do things – and she looks for ways to help and support and encourage him —

Sometimes those ways aren’t wise. Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to shelter the people we love that we can start to treat them like our child instead of our equal.  He has these struggles, these anxiety issues on top of everything else, how can I help him? and meaning to do the best, she sends the message that, in her eyes, he is small and weak and can’t do it without her . . . which is part of that soul wound, to begin with, that he’s small and weak.

“He’s got all these struggles and I’ve got to support him — I’ve got to take care of all this other stuff so he can take care of himself.”  I hear it said with a raw panic in the wife’s voice. “I don’t know what to do to help him, but he needs my help. I have to help him!”

Well, there might be a bit more to consider.  If he’s getting appropriate professional help with some of these issues —

I think it’s got to be one of the hardest things a woman can do, to look at her man, to see his wounds, his fears, his weakness . . . and take her paws off the things she could so easily fix for him if only he’d let her . . . and let him deal with it.

Because that’s what a man needs to do. He needs to deal with it – whatever “It” is.  He needs to know he’s competent and capable. That he’s strong. And that’s really the best way a woman can tell her man that she sees him as a Man, simply by backing off.

“Well, I know you can handle this. I believe in you.”

But it only works if she backs off, detaches, and lets him fight it out by himself — whether it’s anxiety disorder or depression or the plumbing crisis under the kitchen sink.

Even when it feels as if the roof is going to collapse over her head and the earth is going to open up beneath her feet, she’s got to keep her paws off.  Even when she sees just what he ought to be doing but he isn’t seeing it and she wants so badly to get in there and fix it for him . . . she’s got to turn her back and get about her proper business and let him struggle.

A woman can’t fill the need a man has to be validated by another man (ideally his Dad), but she can meet his need to be respected as a man. Even when he can’t see that need, it’s there. We can’t replace the absent masculine affirmation every boy needs, ours has its own value.

And if we withhold that respect, we can do a whole lot of damage.

Sometimes the best support we can give a man is just to get the heck out of his way.  Make a safe place for him to collapse when he needs it, maybe —  safe from humiliation and belittling or patronizing — but basically stay out of his way and let him be and do the normal things men do as a matter of course.

The Bible and Divorce — Part III — Dr. Dennis Sheppard

The real problem comes from later interpretations of this text. For example, the Puritan emphasis on moral purity meant that any moral failure was scandalous and divorce was considered a moral failure. When you combine that Puritan ethic with Fundamentalism’s insistence on a literal interpretation of Scripture in the early 20th Century you get a formula for the “sine-qua-non” of scandals. What made divorce so scandalous in this milieu was that it was public.

It was not until the sexual revolution of the sixties that the divorce rate began to rise, aided by the new laws on “Irreconcilable Differences,” and No-Fault Divorce. Among the fundamentalists the primary reaction was an enforced legalism where they refused to marry divorced people and excused their behavior by calling “remarriage” a sin. Some churches, who have a congregational form of government (where they make their own rules), even passed policies that no divorced person could get married in their Church to further enforce this legalism.

This creates several biblical and theological issues. First, even if a divorce was a sin, God forgives sins and therefore we should not hold the divorce against a person. Second, it puts more emphasis on the second marriage than it does upon divorce itself. Third, it punishes people who come out of untenable marriages. An untenable marriage is one where one spouse is abusive physically, emotionally, or sexually. An untenable marriage is one where one spouse is continually unfaithful. An untenable marriage is one where one spouse comes out and declares his or herself to be gay or lesbian and therefore feels alienated from the straight spouse.

When fundamentalists argue that adultery is the only reason for divorce they are (intentionally or not) punishing people who get a divorce for all of these other valid reasons. Going through a divorce is hard enough without having additional pain heaped on you by a Church that has embraced legalism rather than the love of Jesus for hurting people.

Divorce is a tragedy in any circumstance. It is a failure of a marriage covenant that hurts the divorcees, their families and friends. It also breaks God’s heart. However, God’s will is for a marriage to be fulfilling and life-giving. It is meant to be joyful and sustaining. So, remarriage is not a sin, it is an opportunity to have the marriage God intends for people to have.  [NOTE FROM LAURA:  In the Catholic Church, we have to go through a tribunal to determine whether a first/former marriage can be declared Null before we can be married in the Church, and without that Declaration of Nullity we are required to abstain from the Sacraments — Not as horrible a process as it sounds in this statement, but that’s a topic for a future post — L. ]

If two people are meant to be one (unity of relationship) that means that they forsake all others for their spouse and therefore they both must be committed to this understanding. This means that their hearts, their lives, their faith, and their love is joined together. It is no longer “me”, it is now and always will be “we.” We do not lose our individuality as human beings, we merge it into a new relationship where our individuality takes a lesser priority and our marriage becomes the number one priority of our lives.

Paul Stookey poetically captured the essence of marriage in “Wedding Song’ (There is Love).

Well a man shall leave his mother, and a woman leave her home
They shall travel on to where the two shall be as one
As it was in the beginning is now until the end
A woman draws her life from man and gives it back again
And there is love, there is love

So many people have been wounded by the legalistic interpretation of these texts; but that was never Jesus’ intent. He loved people no matter what had happened in their lives and he sought to love and heal people who have been hurt by life.

We should love people who are going through a divorce and support them as they work through to pain and hurt from the death of a marriage and the transition to a single life. If they do choose to marry again we should encourage and support them in their new marriage.

There is no place for condemnation or accusation for divorced persons. Rather we should care about them and live out the Scripture that calls us to love our neighbor. Remember, whatever we do to the least of these, we do also to Jesus. (Matthew 25:45)

 

Scripture and Marriage – Part II – Dr. Dennis Sheppard

In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus does a marvelous side-step and turns their question on its head. Jesus is in effect saying that they are both wrong because they started the debate with the question of divorce rather than with Biblical understanding of what marriage is supposed to be. Jesus then quotes from Genesis 2:24, and added the prohibition that what God joins together human beings should not divide. Jesus is therefore indicating that marriage was both a physical and spiritual relationship. It is a lifetime covenant between a man and a woman and God and therefore is a sacred relationship and not just a human one. (In Mark’s version Jesus reacts in the style of a wisdom teacher and asks what Moses said about divorce in the law.)

In response to Jesus’ compelling words the Pharisees posed the obvious question, if marriage is so sacred why did Moses (the great Law Giver) permit divorce as long as a man gave his wife a “Writ of Divorce? Jesus explained that while it was not what God intended, Moses made a concession to the hard hearts of the people. You see the men were going to divorce their wives anyway and the “Writ” was the only protection the women had. Without that writ to prove they were divorced they could not marry again.

Jesus also made it clear that divorce should not happen where two people are one unless there is unfaithfulness. The word used here is the Greek word “porneia” which can mean any moral failure including fornication, unfaithfulness, incest, sodomy, and adultery. The main idea being that if one spouse has sexual relations (and that includes any sex act) with someone other than their own spouse and shatters the unity of the marriage then divorce may be an acceptable option. However, the Biblical teachings on marriage make it clear though that unfaithfulness does not end a marriage people end marriages. In other words, unless two people are willing work together toward healing and restoring the unity of the marriage covenant then the unity of the marriage is irreparably broken. One person cannot make a marriage work no matter how hard they may try.

Jesus was saying, that when a person divorces their spouse, just to be with someone else, then they commit unfaithfulness of the highest sort because they are going against God’s intent for marriage. He is not saying, that when a divorce person remarries it is automatically adultery, although it has wrongly interpreted this way. Jesus does not under any circumstances condemn divorce or remarriage. He rather seeks to correct the notion that divorce is an acceptable way to get rid of your spouse so you can live with someone else. Marriage is to be taken seriously and sacredly but God does not condemn us for failure; God forgives, God heals, and God restores.

(TO BE CONTINUED —)