Friday, April 30, 2010

29 April 2010

Another Essay Crafted in a Way That Seems Destined to Upset Nearly Everybody.

If I hear a woman again say that she is not homeward orientated, that she doesn’t enjoy preparing food, cooking for her family or regularly opening her home to visitors. If hear a woman saying keeping a home in order, nurturing, teaching and guiding children, managing a household budget is just not her thing. If I hear a woman saying that I would much rather be in an office or work place, doing a job, making a career and being an independent woman I no longer will say, well done, absolutely, get out their girlfriend and represent yourself show those chauvinists that a girl is equal to a guy. Instead I’ll ask who was your abuser sister? who was the first man to take away the sense of value, dignity and worth your sex deserves? Which man first made you feel that to be good enough being out there with a job was key? Which man demonstrated that you had to look after number one because no man could ever be depended upon?

Just in the last few days two men have, without pause or shame, used humiliating and mocking words about their wives to me. They used words designed to demean the name of the woman with whom they are in a life time covenant and who is the mother of their children. How sick is that? To make matters worse both these men have broken that covenant and no longer live with to protect and honour these women. That is the pride and arrogance of unrepentant sinners who probably never knew how to love their wife and wallow in ignorance. Is it any wonder they get so angry when you break through their thin veneer of pseudo ignorance and share a truth with them? I met a woman today who longs to be married to the man with whom she lives and have his children. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that accepting his goods and services in exchange for sexual intercourse is prostitution. I did though mention to her I was on the Jesus Christ team and that I admired her insistence on commitment in the form of marriage before starting a family – incidently she asked if I would speak with her ‘partner’. So don’t tell me that my first paragraph is hyperbole, I just experience too much evidence of physical, cultural and spiritual abuse of women each day of my life not to know that this true.

So at the next polite party when I hear a woman repeating the feminist chant about being a working woman or a career girl I’ll say “great, that’s great, I applaud a woman who has a profession or is qualified”. “I would encourage any daughter of mine to go to college, study and get a degree”. “Furthermore I would say travel, experience other cultures and serve people around the globe”. These are all good things but not at the expense of denigrating the great role of wife and mother. It is one of the greatest lies of the 20th century that feminism has liberated women. Feminism has done nothing more that allow overbearing chauvinistic men to push women into the workplace and then so often, so tragically abandon them. You need to know that being a wife is an honourable calling. It is a dignified role to be respected. We keep the groom waiting at the alter for a reason. It is to wait for the presence of the crowning glory of his marriage, of their spiritual union and the person who is, if blessed, to carry the burden of childbirth and the awesome responsibility of much of the early years, in most families, of teaching children. Woman was created after man because she is the apex of God’s creative, wonderful and beautiful creation.

The truth is that a wife and a mother, for those who are fortunate enough to have children, is a position of immense responsibility. It is to be valued, invested in, prepared for, worked at, supported and encouraged. If the best a father can do is treat his daughter like another one of the boys and then illustrate his standard of marital fidelity by abandoning her mother, it can hardly be surprising that the woman accepts a life of abuse at the hands of men. If she witnesses a mother working her fingers to the bone to please a man who cares more about his soccer team, beer, bookies and tobacco, it should hardly be surprising that she accepts the cultural mandate that women have to work to earn independence and respect. Women are getting qualifications for a job in preparation for their inevitable divorce, how sad is that? It shows their great gift of foresight and planning that a good woman brings to a marriage. Making contingencies, being conscience of the future, of the legacy we are preparing for our children, that’s what women are so good at and that’s why marriage is a beneficial union between a man and woman. Genesis says that the woman is a man’s helper, that she is equal, an image bearer of God. The Psalmist also says that God is our helper and that a Wife is to a Husband’s crown. These are titles of reverence, of respect and of immense importance.

I interrupted a conversation between two younger women, about 16 or 17, at the Starbucks in Gloucester the other day. One of these two delightful and beautiful girls was saying that she wouldn’t get married, it was a thing of the past and pointless. This was my cue to step in. I assured them that there was hope, that there were good men out there. I gave them a brief idea of the purpose of a real man as warrior, provider, protector and cultivator. I told them that not all men were unpleasant predators as I had once been, that not all are lazy and just accept the convenience of their wife’s earning power without due consideration of the consequences, as I had done. What’s so intriguing is that they seemed really interested. They were encouraged to learn that what they knew from popular culture and the examples they had in their lives weren’t necessarily how it had to be. Thankfully I was able to underpin what I had to say with Jesus’s name and we parted company all of us happier and, hopefully, a little wiser.

The point is that there is nothing you can do to help your relationship with your wife or husband, it’s doomed. When you put two sinners together, each with their own minds, ideas and multiple perspectives, from a culture that tells them that the truth of equality and diversity is the key to happiness it’s going to be bad. How’s this for equality and diversity? – there’s one God, His name is Jesus, He died and rose from death for our sin and if you try to live your life separated from Him your eternal soul will spend the remainder of eternity in the conscious, physical torments of hell. There is one mediator between heaven and earth that’s Jesus and he’s the only counselor that can help with the despondency, disillusion, conflict, friction, bewilderment and occasional bouts of loneliness that seem accompany your relationships.

It’s simply grace. My sons have needed to do nothing to get me to love them, I just do and there is nothing they can do that will stop me loving them, it’s a father’s unshakeable love. That’s the whole deal with Jesus Christ. You are a sinner, God is perfect, there is nothing you or I can do justify ourselves in the sight of just and loving God so Christ paid the price for our sin on the cross, he took on your sin, what Marin Luther called the great exchange. His death for my death. He loves you beyond all measure but you keep turning your back, running away, rebelling and fighting. If you insist in keeping yourself in bondage to false gods, worshipping idols like success, intellect, money or sex. If you have faith and trust your life and soul to scientific theory and reject His love the melancholy, sense of frustration, boredom and darkness will continue. This is a message of powerful hope that the rest of your life could be lived with a transformed heart, a heart that loves Jesus. A life of service, with purpose, meaning and a promise of a new Kingdom without tears, pain or sorrow. A home where the beat of the music is awsesome, the beauty is breathtaking and the source is love, light and power. Our cowardly first father Adam invited sin into the world, it still imprisons us and only through repentance of your pride and idolatory can the grace and power of the Holy Spirit release you from your bondage to a new life, a new heart and the joy that comes from believing in the truth of his death burial and resurrection. Stick that in you equality and diversity pipe and smoke it Satan!

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