Monday, January 31, 2011

To Take Care of Boys

"Uncle, I have discovered what girls are made for."
"Well, my dear, what is it?"
"To take care of boys."

Most would likely read this merry, sweet ending to Louisa May Alcott's Eight Cousins and simply think "Awww, how touching!" or at the very least smile at the sincere thought and love written in every word. But I do believe there is more, much more, to the simple statement "To take care of boys" than we would readily give credit to.
What ARE girls made for?

One of my dearest, closest friends whom God has blessed and honored me with knowing said something once that stuck fast in my mind. You may or may not think that this pertains to the subject topic, but really I think it has much to do with it.
She said, (a little paraphrasing is involved), "We girls are really engaged to one man from our very first breath. God has picked this one man for each of us (except those whom He has chosen to have serve His kingdom as singles) since before we ever thought about boys. We should behave as if we DO have a ring on our finger that means 'I am going to marry this man' before we've ever met him. We should understand and respect ourselves as one prepared to be given to that one man already. That way, when we do marry that special, God prepared man, we present to him without shame a helpmeet kept safe, unused and faithfully tended JUST for him."

With that also in mind...what ARE girls made for?!

The answer was given us in His word, as are most answers to many of life's questions.
Genesis 2:18, 22-24.
Yes, I would rather you go look it up for yourself. That way, you'll read it with your own eyes and can't even pretend I imagined this answer up.  ;)
Pay close attention to verse 18.
"...I will therefore fashion a helpmeet suitable for him."  (Emphasis mine.)
The conclusion?
Girls were made to help boys. For boys. Because of boys. To care for boys.
More specifically, women were created to help men in honoring and serving God.
There are most likely, rather than not, more than a few girls snorting and shaking their heads thinking "Yeah, maybe, but what about us? Can't we have a life too?"
Of course!!
But we have to ask ourselves: if we are true women of God, and Proverbs 31 women at that!, what other aim could we possibly have in life other than to serve our Lord, Jesus Christ?
The Prov.31 women didn't sit around simply keeping house and rearing children and being cheery 24/7. (Not that that is a bad thing.) She put her mind and body to work!
Furthering her husband.To help her husband. To please him. Not only because she loved him but because she understood herself to be honoring God in doing so.
And not just after she married him, but "...all the days of her life."
That implies way before she even liked boys as people and not as dirty, obnoxiously annoying specimens that happen to live on this planet. (not that guys are always like that, not in the least! We just tend to think of ya'll like that when we're younger.)
I could make many a speech about how our culture has so twisted and perverted the order God created.
Women were, and still are!, to be the homemakers, the child bearers/rearers, the helpmeet's  to their husbands!!
And to be those things requires channeling our God given intellect, ambitions, love and life into the role, the very PURPOSE, of being a helper worthy of "praise in the gates."
From all that you might think, and understandably so, that I am completely against such things as working outside the home (having a career), going to college, etc.
 Not necessarily.
On working outside the home: I see no problem with young ladies (unmarried) working outside the home to help take some of the burden off of their parents, Even simply for the experience perhaps, depending on the job. Particularly where buying clothes, going out, etc. is concerned. It IS nice to not have to wonder if you're taking some of the grocery money to go out for coffee with a friend or two.
On married women working outside the home...that is between you, God and your husband. Also, financial issues can be a factor. The wife might have to work just to help put food on the table.
Personally, I believe as a married woman my job will be to take care of my husband, our children and our home.
There may come a day when I will have to work outside the home, but I sincerely hope not.

Going to college: it used to be that while the young men were gleaning an education at college to equip them to wade into life fully capable of being men, and the man of the house too, that we young women were at home learning to care for the household and all that that entails.
We really, very truly, had no need to go to college.
Not that getting a more intense, perhaps thorough, education is at all bad. No, not at all!
But I ask you this: what could you possibly want to study that you cannot learn at home?
We are surrounded by technology that makes this possible.
I understand that there ARE certain things that are almost quite impossible to learn at home.
But then that begs the question: are you going to further your future in the world as a business woman...or to, in the future, be a blessed help to your husband?
We are all endowed with certain talents/gifts that will determine what we do and what skills we develop with more attention and thoroughness. But those talents were given you to be a complement to your spouse (when you attain one, if you're unmarried) and to be a help to him in furthering his ministry .
For example: I want very much to study music.
It is likely I will attend college, if I must.
But everything I can study for that course beforehand, I will. I, as of now, cannot find a way to get college level training in music from home. Though if there is a way, God willing I will find it.
Why do I want to study music?
To make a long story short, because I am convicted that God wants me to, for whatever reason. I have a feeling it will in some way promote my husbands ministry, whatever that may be. (when I say ministry, I do not necessarily mean actually going into the ministry as we recognize it today.)
I have no idea what my husband will do; not one inkling.
But I want to complete my musical education because I know it would be a failing not to nurture it to the fullest extent so that it may bless, not solely my husband (though mainly him), but those God will put around me, and God Himself, foremost of all.
Now why did I explain all of that?
To show you that just because I have the ability and the means to "go somewhere" with my gift, doesn't mean I should.
If I get my college training and never use it but to entertain my family, then it is still worth it.

You might be wondering what happens if you're in your late 20's, maybe early 30's, and you're still unmarried.
Do you just live at home?
Why not? Why should you not live at home, work, and be a help to your parents in whatever they're doing, whatever their ministry is??
If you set about being a woman that is used of God as He intended you won't be a burden.
You'll be a blessing.
And if you crave space away from them, have you ever considered turning the garage/old shed, into your own space?
And yes, I am serious. There are creative ways to remain under the umbrella of your parents while being a help to them. Though maybe not in such close proximity, hhmm?   ;)
If you feel living away from home is best, that is between you and God and the godly counsel He has given you.

To take care of boys doesn't mean only your husband when you are married to him.
It also means learning to care for your father/ brother(s) in the proper, respectful and biblical way.
My mom once told me that God gives us the men in our lives before we are married as practice for when we ARE married.
How you treat your father/brother(s) will determine how you treat your spouse. Believe it or not, it will. The home is the training ground, the establishment of your character starts there and solidifies there.
This is can be a  challenge. You may not find it easy to respect and honor the men in your life. But we have to.
You know all those day dreams of happily ever after and prince charming and the perfect life of love you'll live after you're married?
It won't be like that. Maybe it will occasionally in little moments, but most of the time it's just gonna be living with that one person whom you really do love with all your heart but who right now is bothering you because maybe he stomps his feet or leaves the towel off of the perfectly good towel rack, or whatever that little pet peeve might be. Learning to live with those things and yet show honor and respect 24/7 is no walk in the park.
That's why we have to start learning to think, feel and act this way now.
We have to be ready to live it out everyday. Eph.5:33 "...and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband."
Some of you might be wondering why I haven't suggested loving our men.
That's because to men, respect is love. Yes, love them! By all means we should and we need to and they need to know we love them! But respect is of more importance to them; respect is love to them. Honor is important too, just as is admiration and esteem.
Respect is to men as love is to us women. Our most deep need is to be loved unconditionally by one man (outside of Christ's never ending love). We start having that need met when we start respecting them no matter what.
That's a bit of a different topic though.

Titus 2:4b-5 "...young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored."   (emphasis mine.)

Do not go solely by what I say. Never believe someone simply because what they say appeals to you or because you know them, or for any reason.
ALWAYS compare everything to the Bible.
And there's always the chance I copied a verse out wrong, but please search and pray for yourselves.
And as most of you probably thought throughout the reading of this "She's not married, why does she talk like she has been?" please feel free to critique, advise, etc.
You're right. I'm not married. But I would sure love to be someday.  =)
If this has come across as do-or-die, my apologies. I'm still learning.

So...for me, the question of what are girls for was answered some time ago, though I only very recently began thinking about why I believe the way I do and what basis do I have for my manner of belief.
Now I have a question for you all: did this answer that elusive question?
I pray it did.
We were made "To take care of boys."

Blue Like Jazz...If only...

I read the book Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller and was astounded.
I wish so much that I could write like him!!
He is open, honest, realistic, funny and says what everyone else is thinking and admits to feeling things that we've most likely all at one time or another felt.
And he is real.
Real about life, real about Christianity. Or rather, as he calls it, Christian Spirituality.
As to why he calls it that, you must read the book yourself. 
I know, I know, "Just tell me!" but what fun and adventure is that? Besides, it is a book more than worth your time and thought.
I recommend reading it on a day when you quite literally have nothing else to do, for if it pulls you in like it did me, you'll read it in one sitting.
No joke.
It's that good.
But what really makes me desire to write like him is this: he writes from the heart, without condemnation of you, what you believe, or anything else. No judgment. Just simply lays it out there for you to analyze, then humbly asks you to consider what he has written about life and God.
He doesn't write in a chop-chop, do-this-or-die, fashion at all.
He, honestly, lays it before you with the love of Jesus in his heart.
And that makes it so worth while to read!
I laughed out loud more than once (ask my friends who were with me!) and I paused and sat for minutes on end pondering what he had said way more than thrice. Much of it such simple, everyday truth that it is profound in its simplicity.
You may, and probably will, think much differently about it than I do once you read it. Everyone has a different view on everything, after all.
If only I could write like that...
I'm afraid my writings are much more chop-chop and sharp. Demanding even, perhaps. I know my mind and what I think and how to say it, and I do.
And that's part of the problem, I think.
I am practicing and trying to soften things. Don't know if it's working or not.
I suppose I use the Notes capacity on facebook for testing. I can get feedback from you all and judge how I'm doing by that, though so far the things I've really expounded about have been very sure subjects for me. But with me, I treat everything like a sure thing, a known thing; something to be talked about with definite, solid opinions. I suppose that's why my good friends pick on me about knowing everything, and rightly so.
I sure sound like it.
But for the record, I don't, not even close. I just like to think I do, it messages my ego.
I need to be reminded every now and again to chill out and quite thinking I have to get my thoughts/opinions out there all the time.
You learn more by listening and pondering than by making yourself heard, I've noticed.
And people are generally more willing to listen to you if they've asked for your opinion than if you just give it like a fountain sprouts water.
Blue Like he knows how to write all those things I want to write, and in the manner I long to write.
Thank God for my friends who love and accept me despite my blunt, blow-up-the-bush-instead-of-beat-it, self!
And for all of you who actually read my lengthy thoughts.
If you don't know me all that well, I come across as rather hard and do-or-die sometimes.
If only I COULD be Blue Like Jazz...

Why on earth did I write this?
Not entirely sure. I suppose I had to get it out of my head, even though I talked it over with a few girlies of mine already.
Thanks for reading it, if you managed to survive the muddle of my mind until this last thought!

P.S: you really should read the book now!!

Particles and Purpose

I actually wrote this a while back...maybe a month or so. It's been sitting on FB for a while. 

Why I'm Starting This Blog