Category Archives: Writings

The “S” Word: A Biblical View on Submission

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Many of you will approach this article on submission and encompass one of a few different reactions.  You may read this article with the intentions of ignoring biblical principles in order to criticize my position.  You may read this article with the earnest thinking that you may find some cultural tidbits to add to your own “submit women” ideas.  Or you may read this article with openness and see that maybe, just maybe, the radical idea of biblical submission could actually add joy to your life and marriage.  This article is written with marriage in mind, though it can equally be applied to singles in regards to preparation for marriage and submission to other authorities, such as government, employers, and pastors.

Our culture generally has a negative view of submission within marriage.  Women who would dare say they are submissive to their husbands will be viewed as doormats, unable to think, weak, and somehow inferior to men.  Contrary to culture, the Bible exhorts women to submit to their husbands (Eph 5:25, 1Pet 3:5, Titus 2).  Does the Bible command women to be weak?  Absolutely not!  It is within the pages of Scripture that we see some of the strongest women in history.  We see women who risk their lives for country and faith.  We see women who go against the cultural status quo.  Also, the Bible tells women to honor their husbands.  Does the Bible in teach that women are less than men? Quiet the contrary!

Where the truth of Scripture has been preached, cultural lenses toward women have been revolutionized.

Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  Women are image bearers of God. In 1 Peter 3:7, Peter exhorts men to “…show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life…”  In a culture where women were objects, less than animals, and the property of men, the gospel came to life as it loudly proclaimed that women were equal to men in dignity, value, and worth.  They were to be treated as equal heirs of eternity and salvation with men.

Does this radical proclamation give the idea somehow that the Bible puts women down as less than men?

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A Cleaner, Teacher, Wife, and Mother: Finding My Identity in Christ

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With so much at stake these days I see more and more commercials that have to deal with protection from identity theft.  I have experienced identity theft more than once and much more was at stake than my social security number and bank account.  And the major problem was that the person stealing my identity was me.

A few years ago I cleaned houses with my best friend.  While we scrubbed down other people’s bathrooms and took out their trash, we often talked about what we really want to do with our lives.  I mean, we were college graduates with big fancy degrees and we were cleaning houses for a living.  I did not really mind cleaning houses, but I did tend to have a problem when people asked me the “all so regularly” asked and dreaded question…. “So, what do you do?”  What do I do?  Well, I clean houses.  But I always wanted to follow that answer with… “But I have a degree, and I would like to change the world, and I think I am going back to school, and don’t judge me because my job is a house cleaner.”  What was the problem here?  The problem was that I was using a false identity.  I was placing my identity in what I did for a living and not in something far more valuable.

Many life-changing conversations took place sweeping floors and dusting windows.  It was inevitable with such a friend.  One conversation came as a challenge.  My friend asked, “Are we placing our identity in what the world claims as important, or are we placing our identity in what God says is important?”  What a pertinent question for such a time.  Indeed, I longed to answer the, “What do you do?” question with an answer that would satisfy the world.  “Well, I am a doctor, or a lawyer, or a teacher.”  I felt that in a way I lacked an identity, because I did not have a career.

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Misunderstanding Adoption: My Growing Love for Orphans

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Though I have not yet begun the adoption process, my adoption journey began some time ago with matters of the heart and my preconceived notions.  Like many, I misunderstood who were the children being adopted, and who it was that adopted those children.  I had no idea there were (and are) 147 million orphans around the world today.  I assumed that all orphans were in nice little orphanages with sweet little grandmother-volunteers soothing them when they cried, and rocking them to sleep.  I had no idea that if an orphaned child is lucky enough to be in an orphanage, he didn’t bother crying because no one was there to answer his cry.

Secondly, I misunderstood who adopted children.  I assumed that only those who could not conceive a child on their own would consider adopting, after spending thousands of dollars on fertility treatments.  And indeed, I do believe adoption is a beautiful solution for couples who long for children, but are unable to have them on their own.  I am against the notion, however, that an orphaned child is the answer to a problem they had.  What kind of understanding do we have of children and adoption if we view helpless children, whose parents died or abandoned them, who have no money, no things, and probably a load of physical and mental issues, as if they are the answer to a problem that WE have?  It breaks my heart that so many close their homes to children because they do not have a “problem” that needs to be fixed.

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The Pessimistic Pansy

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My life is rather wonderful right now.  When I contemplated writing about my life, a thought immediately popped into my head.  “I’m not experienced enough to write on this topic.  People will just assume I believe my life is wonderful because I only have one baby.  And they often have said, “Wait until I have two, or three, or four, or ten, then maybe I can give my opinion.”

I had to cast away that thought quickly, choosing not to give heed to the person who would discredit my happiness.  You know the person I am talking about.  This person sees you young and in love, and says, “Just wait until after the honeymoon, then you will see what life is really like.”

You know these types of people, don’t you?  They wish away your happiness.

This happened to me a few times, so with a little fear, I waited until after my honeymoon and oddly enough found that I was still happy—really happy.

This person said, “Wait until your first year of marriage, then you will see what life is really like.”  Again, wishing away my happiness.  So with a bit of fear, I waited for my first year of marriage and found after it was over that I was actually still happy—really happy.

This person saw my happiness with a bit of disgust, and they said, “You are still in the honeymoon phase, and wait until you have kids, then you will see what life is really like.”  And once again, wishing away my happiness.  So with a bit of fear I waited for the birth of my first and found that after she arrived I was happy—really happy.

This person then said, “Wait until you have two little ones, then you will see what life is really like.”  And once again, wishing away my happiness.  However, now I do not anticipate that next phase in life with fear.

After experiencing these different phases, I have come to realize that my happiness is not contingent on my circumstances or the phase of life that I am in.

I am happy while single.

I am happy while married.

I am happy with one kid.

I am happy with ten kids.

I am happy because my happiness is rooted in Christ Jesus.

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.  Now remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:9-12).

I am happy because I remain in his love and his joy has made mine complete, which is indicated in the phrase “lacking in nothing.”  I have entitled this post “The Pessimistic Pansy” for two reasons.  First of all, this person whom I am describing ispessimistic.  They have a negative outlook on life, not finding their joy in Christ, and therefore not being complete in him.   And secondly, this person is a pansy— meaning weak or fearful.  Their happiness is rooted in their circumstances, so they fear each new phase, and resent those who are genuinely happy.

I choose to be confident that I will be happy no matter my circumstance, because my happiness is rooted in my salvation in Christ.

I remain in Him and He alone sustains me and offers grace for each new season of life.  So, without fear, I say, bring on the babies!