Archives For September 2010

Children love putting on adult shoes. At 18 months old, my son put his grandmother’s snow boots on and tried to walk around the house.  My daughter loved traipsing around in my heels as early as 2 years old. I remember that she’d ask me if she could have my shoes when she grew up. I always said yes!

The old saying goes something like “don’t judge another until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”

There is so much truth to that. We shouldn’t be quick to judge someone else because we really don’t know what it’s like to live his or her life; we don’t know how heavy the burden is.  Because if we really knew, we wouldn’t be so harsh or quick to judge. If we knew, I think we’d have more compassion.

I remember years ago, I was in the grocery store with my two little children and one of them was having a little hissy fit. Nothing I did or said got him to quiet down.  I even tried ignoring his behavior. Nope, that didn’t help, either.  Needing food for the week, I decided to keep shopping, much to the dismay, I’m sure, of the other shoppers. One lady glared and huffed at me.  She let out a moan and a sigh that was clearly meant for me. I felt horrible. And alone. And like a bad parent.

Yuck! I wanted to stop my cart and ask that lady if she had forgotten what it was like to raise children (she was an older woman). I wanted to ask her if it was easier for her to glare at me than smile. But I was too occupied with the screaming child that was calling me mommy! 

Now, when I see a young mother with children who aren’t acting like she’d want them to, I say a prayer for her, smile at the children, or say something like, “Hey, someday you’ll laugh about this. Or you’ll write a blog about it.”

It hurts to be judged. It stings like the dickens to be looked down upon. Lord, help me have compassion and love for others, especially when I don’t know what it’s like walking in their shoes!

Born this way

Jeff Olson —  September 17, 2010 — 24 Comments

At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards this week, Lady Gaga announced the name of her upcoming album—Born This Way. I think most understood her new album and comments at the VMA Awards to be an implicit statement about her lesbian ideology.

I want to say thank you to Lady Gaga. Not that I agree with her (although she’s free to state to her viewpoint).

I’m  grateful for the opportunity she’s provided—the opportunity to talk about another explanation for why people could feel same-sex attractions other than “born this way.”

While we can’t put the same hat on everyone, there is another explanation that takes into account several factors including the way people personally interact with a painful, broken world that can keep them from seeing the truth about who they are as a male or female.

You see, God has marked the soul of every human being with a gender identity. He created us in His image as “male and female” (Gen. 1:27; Mt. 19:4). And He fully intends for us to discover a deeper and fuller sense of ourselves as a man or woman. But for many reasons, some have significant struggles making this critical discovery about themselves. As result, unnatural passions can form.

It’s important to understand that sexual orientation is neither chosen nor set in stone as an adolescent enters puberty. The object of a boy or girl’s blossoming sexual desire is shaped and developed by what is unknown to them. Most adolescents who connect with and become familiar with their same-gender parent, siblings, or peers grow to be sexually attracted to the opposite sex because there is a lot about the other gender that is so unknown. This is the natural process of sexual development that God intended.

But sexual desire can turn in an unnatural direction at puberty for those who didn’t experience some degree of healthy same-gender relationships. Combined with other factors like physical or personality traits that made them feel inferior and different or over-identifying with the opposite sex, they struggled to identify with and didn’t have the opportunity to become familiar with the world of their own gender. For them the same-sex world remained a huge unknown. It became their opposite. And as the saying goes, “Opposites attract.”

For some adolescents, same-sex attractions occur quickly. For others it takes years. In either case, same-sex attractions grow out of an unfamiliarity with their own gender and a sense of what’s lacking in them as a male or female. That’s why most become attracted to those who seem to possess certain gender qualities they believe to be lacking in themselves. In that way, the sexual attraction is often less about the other person and more about what they perceive is missing in them as a male or a female.

Okay, I admit that’s brief and a bit clinical. Other factors can come into play and so much more needs to be said and thought through as to how these things can play out in a person’s story. But I hope enough was laid out to ponder and discuss the idea that sexual attraction for the same-sex is something that develops after a person is born.

This is the verse that we discussed yesterday in church. It was in the context of marriage. When our spouses won’t, or can’t meet our needs, we can rely on the promise of God that He is our strength and all that we need.

It’s hard to completely grasp what that means when a spouse doesn’t meet your needs. I mean, what if it’s a pretty big need, and he or she just isn’t rising to the occasion at all. What if he or she is absolutely failing at giving you what you long for?

Depending on the circumstances, whether you stay in your marriage, or leave it, God gives us the security and significance we need and desire.

I need to know I am loved no matter what. I don’t have to be perfect; I’m loved as I am. Don’t have to work for it and can’t do anything to lose it (Romans 8:38-39.)

I also need to know that what I do today has eternal value, that my work here isn’t going to end when I die.  I want to know that I matter and that I can make a difference in my relationships that will last forever (Ephesians 4:11-16, James 1:12, 1 Corinthians 13)

So, it’s good to remember that whatever my spouse isn’t giving me doesn’t need to define me. I am not a prisoner to what others can do for me. Yes, it hurts and it hurts badly sometimes. I can look for comfort in healthy ways, like talking with a trusted friend, reading Scripture, discussing it again with my spouse, etc. But I don’t have to believe any lies that my enemy whispers in my ear.

God wants me to know that I’m secure and significant.  My enemy wants me to believe that I shouldn’t be so sure of myself and that I’m not all that important.  Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing he softly speaks, “Hm, you and your marriage mustn’t be all that great if your husband/wife won’t (fill in the blank.)”  or “You deserve to have all your needs met by your wife/husband so you go ahead and demand it” Or “There’s no one who can take care of you. It’s up to you to take care of yourself.”

Let’s reject the lies and grab a hold of the truth that God wants us to believe to set us free.  Through Jesus Christ, we can have our deepest needs met.

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Alyson Kieda —  September 5, 2010

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