Sunday, March 13

The Truth...

Jesus says, "I am the Truth [John 14:6]  and if you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."[John 8:31-32]

The Presidential election cycle is once again upon is. It's been fascinating to watch Christian friends and acquaintances become emotional, unpleasant, condescending, insulting, and down right rude. I have experienced this personally, especially when I highlight the lies and deception of certain "Christian" candidates and why they accept such behavior.

The Truth is, where else in a Christian's life would he/she condone such deception and lying? Would it "not be a big deal" if a spouse deceived and lied? Is is acceptable for church leadership to deceive their congregation via lying? What about their child's teacher? What Christian would condone such behavior by their children? In their household?  

I can't fathom why deception and lying (and other ungodly behavior) are so easily dismissed as inconsequential when it comes to voting for our country's leadership. Maybe, just maybe, if Christians stopped condoning, excusing, and accepting such sinful behavior and if we expected, even demanded, men/women with the character to run for political office, our choice wouldn't be who has least ungodly character.

The truth will set you free. That's true because Jesus said so. But, that freedom doesn't makes the Truth more palatable. It does not magically make life any easier or prettier. It certainly doesn’t absolve us of the responsibilities the Truth requires of us. One of the biggest responsibilities is bearing the burden that we've been conditioned to believe, and even worship, Satan's lies for so long that we've become bedfellows with them. 

When the Truth exposes those lies, it hurts. It offends us. It angers us. We cannot hide from it. That's what God's Word does because its quick and powerful. Living and active. Sharper than any two-edged sword. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

So, why is the Truth so easily discarded for elections?


Tuesday, February 2

Sex, Lies, and The Christian Girl

Laura Sessions Stepp, author of Unhooked, examines how teenage girls and young adult collegiate women pursue sex and delay love. She concludes that girls are the losers in this game. She does not soften the vocabulary, that's often raw and blunt, as she records girls and young women detailing their experience where "hooking up" ranges from just kissing to intercourse and everything in between.

Let me first say what every girl should know. Guys will gladly allow them to take charge in this chess match. To lead. Make the first move. Set the pace. And every other cliche, as long as they get what they want... sex. Why inform her she's been bamboozled? Can we be honest? This a great gig for guys. 

Hooking Up was a paradigm every girl, who was interviewed for the book, had believed they had created to engage in a sexual chess match. Their goal was to usurp the power from guys. They were now the pursuer, not the guy. The irony in that is every female eventually confessed that the casual sex, that defined their new aggressive culture, wasn't fulfilling, emotionally or physically. 

Why continue?  One, they truly believe they're too busy to invest in a serious long term relationship and their circle of girlfriends had replaced the deep intimate supportive relationship with the opposite sex. Two, peer pressure from those friends is a huge factor, if not the primary force, why they engaged in giving away what should be highly valued and precious.    

Most of the girls believed The Lie that they were in control and pulled the strings, when in reality, they removed the one part of the game guys hated. Hated. Loathed...which was the approach. Guys are willing to do almost anything to avoid approaching a girl, much less risk being rejected by a girl. Guys would rather not wade into that territory.  

The most vulnerable moment for a guy is right after he asks a girl out. All of that control has been surrendered to her. There is no escaping it, there aren't any loopholes, or fine print. Few things are worse than being rejected by a girl... a girl he likes. A girl that makes him look twice and get nervous. A girl that he's wanted to know, but was too afraid to approach. It's that girl he actually wants to impress and  a "no" from her can be a crushing, life changing event. 

Guys are happy, even giddy, to stand against the wall, watch the competition unfold between girls for their attention. The reality is girls haven’t gained anything, power or otherwise, when they now pursue guys with the expectation of sex set in advance.

Here is a tip, guys aren't picky. They will have sex with just about anyone. If he's not her first choice, so what? Not even her second, third, fourth... if I may, so what? Big deal. The outcome is all that matters. If the girl feels better because, she believes she's choosing the guy to sleep with and that's different than allowing just any guy to sleep with her, so be it. 

The outcome is the same (SEX). The guy's night ends as he wanted (HAVING SEX). He's happy and satisfied (GOT SEX). Again, let me stress, the best part (SEX), the sweet spot (SEX), the fruit (SEX) with no labor happened without the worst part, fear of rejection, and being removed from the game. He gets the same reward, without the risk.

In fact, in this culture, the girl assumes all of the risk. The risk of pregnancy, disease, sexual assault, and the emotional toll it levies. Guilt. Regret. Shame. Low self esteem.  Destructive behavior. Poor academic performance. The list goes on. Girls from the book confessed to being treated for STDs, being a victim of a sexual assault, and some were raped. Scars were left. Baggage now exists for the spouse to be named later to sift through and deal with.  

Most young women would love to have a guy be so interested in them, to "like them enough" to ask them out. Have dinner. See a movie. Anything other than "Netflix and chill" with an alcohol induced romp kicker to close out the night.  

What happens when men finally come of age and exert their natural instinct to be the pursuer? To be the aggressor? How does the girl respond? The expectations of a generation of possible mates has been established... wait and she'll come to me.

Females have grossly misjudged the male persona. They have ingrained in men that girls do not expect any kind of real commitment, and need very little effort, if any at all. 

Casual sex. 
Friends with benefits. 
No strings attached.

If a woman declines, fine... he will simply lean against the wall and wait for the next one, because he's learned a yes is easy to get.

What about the young women who, against peer pressure and societal expectations, demand respect, hold fast, wait, do not compromise for any reason, for any boy? They who believe what God says is good? Who trusts God's Word and believe she is worth waiting for?  Certainly not in movies or TV.

But, make no mistake, those girls win in love. Those girls will be blessed with a perfect guy who will be willing to pursue her, to commit to her, adore and cherish her, dote on her, love her, respect her, and encourage her to be her true self. It is that girl who will be blessed with the husband of her dreams. He will be the father of her children. He will be a man who will honor the privilege God bestowed upon him as the head of their household. He will lead. He will protect. He will provide. 

And, the sex will be what God intended.  What God designed. Intimate. Passionate. Physically and emotional fulfilling. All encompassing. Her cup will overflow. 

That's what should be celebrated. That's what should be written about, but isn't. 

That is, until now.

Until Something: A Contemporary Christian Romance Novel by Scott Patrick

Saturday, September 19

Our Marriage... 5 Words

My wife will tell most people that we've "... been married 21 years, but together 24 years." Those three years are important to her. Most women understand the nuance those three years connotes. Most men take the comment as it is stated... we dated for three years before we married, so what. I assume every marriage has watershed moments. One of ours occurred with FIVE words.

We have three kids. Our morning routine, at this time, begins five minutes after the last one is put on the bus with my wife's "I-love-you-have-a-great-day." That morning starts like any other morning.

We would lay on the couch to watch whatever TV series "we are on". I'm not a big TV person, so she picks what we watch. We talk a lot during this time too. Kids. Friends. God. Money. Bible study slash small group. She might ask, "What did you and your mom talk about last night?" Some discussions actually stop the binge watching and it is those talks that always seem to eventually focus on us, our relationship, our marriage, etc.

This specific morning is great. We're on the couch. After we transition into our day, I'm sitting in the living room working on the laptop. She's back and forth doing things. Then, out of the blue, she plops down on the end of the couch that shares the end table with the chair I'm in. She lightly taps my foot with with her foot.

She says, "I need you to close that for a minute."

Laptop closes. I notice she's wringing a balled up dish towel in her hands.
She says,  "I need to tell you something."
I say, "I can tell."
She comes right out and says, "I need you to pay attention to me."
I reply, "I do."

I immediately think she's upset because I'm on the laptop, working, and ignoring her. My mind whirs, compiling a list of tangible evidence, all objectively provable, to show her my effort. The ways I dote on her every day. How we snuggle on the couch, watching TV. How I fix breakfast and dinner regularly. How I take the kids to the bus in bad weather. How, like now, when she wants my attention, I give it to her. The Rolodex whirs until I think I have enough to prove I listened to what she told me she needed.

While I'm busy mentally readying my list, she says, "I know. I need more."
My Rolodex... POOF. Gone. 
My defense team... dismissed. Fired.

What I heard... despite the time we spent together, she's requesting big gigantic blocks of time. That's how men think, or maybe it's just me. I need to fix the car. Big block of time. Watch a game. Big block of time. Cut the grass, chop firewood, cook, teach our kids how to drive... all require big blocks of time. I could not have been more wrong.

Concisely put - she needs small gestures, throughout the day, that show her... I GET HER. I SEE HER. I had been doing that. She simply needed more.

Now, I kiss her when I pass her sitting on the couch on my way to the kitchen. It's not a vanilla and beige kiss. We always make eye contact. I usually put my hand behind her head for a quick full kiss. I tell her "I like her" and how pretty she is and how she is "my type."

Just like "... been married 21 years, but together 24 years" are so important to her, the fact I don't just walk by and ignore her is more important.

Thursday, November 13