27 May 2008

I Didn't Mean It That Way!

This post was written in response to a question about God's grace and tattoos, and why I think God meant never to get one. Um, I don't think that. It was more an "ask a silly question, get a silly answer" sort of bantering between my boys and me, and not meant to be a doctrinal statement. But I'd be happy to outline a few of my doctrinal thoughts on questionable issues. Please, please, PLEASE bear in mind that I am not a Bible scholar and reserve the right to change my opinion. If you feel the need to correct what I have written, do it in the spirit of meekness and mercy. Otherwise, I am not publishing your comments nyah, nyah! ;] Here goes:

My opinion

Can I just gently say that we get too hung up on artificial standards and forget God's truth occasionally? If my boys were to run out the moment they turned 18 and get tattoos, I'd be shocked and horrified, yes. But more because of the fact that "it's so permanent," not the idea that they are going to HELL and damnation for disobeying a command of God. Same with earrings, nose rings, etc. etc.

Jesus says that not one jot or tittle of the Law will pass away. Jesus fulfilled all the laws that were ever set forth by God. Today, we need to be reading the Bible with the idea that while we are under grace, there is also the principle in the Law we must still obey. Some ideas, and feel free to add your own:

Sabbath Day

Do you keep it? Strictly? Well, good for you if you do. The Pharisees were a little (!) overlegalistic on this issue, but today we tend to think we can just skip it over if and when it's convenient for us. The children and I attend church and D usually gets the day off from work. I'm honestly not sure sometimes if we have the right balance of rest and work on Sundays.

Dresses and Hair

Do you figure that you HAVE to wear a dress if you're a woman? How long, exactly, does it have to be? I totally get the "no cross-dressing" idea from the Old Testament. To me, though, if I'm buying it from the women's department and it covers me reasonably well, I'm good. You go ahead and have a higher standard on the clothing issue with your children and yourself, but don't hold me to it. Promise you I'm not a hussy because I wear jeans. I even cut my hair sometimes, too. I feel convicted about it, but I have some mixed feelings. Would God enjoy seeing me get snarls and terrible headaches so I can keep my hair long to please Him?

Then again, aren't I a bit of a hypocrite to pray for the people who are today's martyrs, but I can't do this one thing for Him? When it's spelled out clearly in God's Word? Nope, I could not tarry but one hour with the Lord... Maybe it's just an excuse, but how am I going to be a NICE Christian woman of God consistently if I get horrible headaches every night? Oh, nevermind, I'm not nice even when I have my hair lopped off.

Working women

Yep, I am going to get trounced for this. There is nothing in the Bible against women working. In fact, you see the Proverbs 31 woman seems to have a home-based business. Try going off to darkest Africa or deep into the jungles of South America ... go somewhere where people REALLY are struggling to live and tell them to "just rely on God" and have the wife stay home. Sometimes God really does help those who help themselves. And yes, I know that "verse" is not in the Bible.

On the other hand, please prayerfully consider the effect on your children before you leave them in the care of a non-relative for most of their waking hours while they are young. Please carefully consider the effect this has on your family and society at large that this is seen as a normal thing to do. Consider this idea of "socialization." It isn't being stuck in a room with 20 of your agemates and only one adult. I suppose it comes down to the idea that you do what you have to do sometimes (I'm thinking especially of the single moms who need lots of extra grace and love) while understanding that the ideal is a family that is stable and prayerful regardless of location and circumstance.

Drugs

Smoke 'em if you got 'em! Ok, no, just kidding. Sorry to disappoint you.

Your doctor is not God. You are not God. You get to make decisions as to what to put into your or your childrens' bodies. You should do this in consultation with your doctor(s) and prayer to God. I think the state has no business prosecuting families who earnestly and prayerfully refuse medical intervention and treatments. Yes, that means even preventable infections and simple-to-cure stuff. This is a slippery slope and I don't want the government involved with my health care directly, thank you. I know this isn't quite a "Bible" issue, but I feel (see? opinion) that there are things that should be the family's dominion and only a few things should be the state's.

Conclusion

Did you read this whole essay? Wow. I'll read yours if you put it in my "comment" section.

14 comments:

  1. oh my lady, you tread where angels fear to tread! LOl It looks like likewe feel about the same on these issues.:)

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  2. Me, too. I agree on everything. I cut my hair (though it's long), I wear jeans, but intentionally don't let myself look manly. I don't want the government in my business, AT ALL. And I have lived the working mom nightmare - couldn't agree with you more on that.

    Now, take on submission. Yeah, that'll make 'em sweat. :-)

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  3. When our husbands love us like Christ loves the church, we can get more serious about this one LOL!

    I do believe someone has to captain the ship, but I also am going to make my opinion very well known. MOST of the time I'm not too contentious about it. ;]

    And thanks, Mrs. Darling!

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  4. hmmmm...I have the chance to write an essay and I can't think of anything to say. I have worked part-time jobs, only when the kids could be with dad (mainly because paying a babysitter isn't worth it).
    I dress however I please. But since I have 3 daughters that I do want to be modest (as in not dressing to attract LOTS of attention) I do dress modestly. like my bottom doesn't hang out of my shorts and my top doesn't hang out of my shirts. LOL
    Seriously I do realize that my actions affect my children's decisions and that really makes think more about what I do.
    BTW Lioness has a cousin who does piercings for pay. She has offered to do some for Lioness several times. Lioness wants them so bad (especially a nose stud). Yeah not while she's in my house!!
    The cousin has them just about every where, but I can also say she is one of the sweetest teens that I have been around.

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  5. See, you can't judge a book by its cover, but I don't want my kids putting a cover on their books that will get judged. :]

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  6. I just had an interesting discussion about Sabbath....did Jesus mean it to be for God or for US? I used to think it was just for God, but now I'm wondering if it isn't moreso for ourselves, to rest. Jesus was accused of breaking the Sabbath and when you study his response, it gives pause. What do you think?

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  7. Wow this is one of the most commented posts you have had in a long time C. I wear jeans and shirts. It is very rare that I wear a dress because frankly I look horrible in the because of being so fat... I do have a long skirt that I love and that my husband has commented on which is a big thing for him. I wear my hair long until I get headaches and I cut it a little. I keep it longer because my husband likes that.
    I used to work from home but like you am now a homeschool domestic engineer. I think that's it though.
    Aunt B.

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  8. Loved your comment about the Proverbs 31 Woman! Yes, she did have a home based business and people are just starting to get that now! And it's not just the toddlers who need an adult home, it's our teens as well, who can get into so much trouble getting the wrong advice from their peers because mum or dad are not around at the time to ask. I thank God He gave me a business to work at home before my 5 girls reached their teens - all are now in their 20s and I've been home for them during their most needy years.

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  9. On Sundays, I told my hubby that I'd like that to be the day we eat out in between services so I don't have to worry about cooking or cleaning up. It is a nice break. :)

    I don't have to wear dresses but I love them! Especially summer dresses and cute sandals. I realize that I act with more confidence when I dress it.

    I agree about the tattoos! I just think, especiallya woman, if she gets a tattoo of a dolphin on her tummy.... it will turn to a whale when she gets pregnant. Then that poor dolphin will never look the same again. Ha ha. People don't take it into consideration that you never see a tatted out elderly person. It would not be pretty by that age.

    I only keep my hair long because I love it! It doesn't cause me headache because my hair isn't heavy. It's very fine.

    I think its really, really sad that women would put their kids in daycare for someone else to raise. It breaks my heart. On top of it, they say it's because they can't afford not to. But... you see them with cell phones, two vehicles, a big house, etc. I can talk because I've been there. There was a time where my husband lost his job. We had to move into a one bedroom, tiny apartment, with our two boys. We had no vehicle. He got a job for $4 less an hour but we just worked through it. He had to take the bus to work. I could've chosen that time to get a job but we just worked through it. We made it with less stuff. I look back on that time with gratefulness because I see that God provides. We are so spoiled in America we think we need so much "stuff" or we have to work to get it. Now we are blessed, have a home and two vehicles. And I didn't have to get a job to get it! It took time but I know God blessed us because of our decisions and patience.

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  10. Stacey, I wasn't ignoring the question. Had to think about it.

    Is "both" a weasel answer?

    I'm thinking God doesn't need our praise, but as a mom I want to spend time with my kids... so I think maybe God wants to spend time with us. BUT I don't want to put God on "our level" or anything.

    Just thinking out loud here.

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  11. Nope, my friend, I do not think it's a weasel answer at all...I don't know the answer either, honestly. This is a fantastic discussion...keep up the wonderful work! Oh, btw, I don't remember if I told you what I was thinking last night--you are looking fantastic! xo

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  12. Where does the Bible "spell out clearly" that a woman shouldn't cut her hair? What gives you the idea that "a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her" (1 Cor 11) means that you cannot cut your hair? How long is long? How short is short? These are not defined terms. But, Paul does go on to say, "we have no such custom, neither the churches of God." This was not a new heavy burden that Paul was laying on the church. He is talking customs, not commands.

    Just somet thoughts to set you free from guilt when you decide your hair needs a trim! :-)

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)