December 16, 2013

Mama Wars....the Good & Bad {part 2}

*If you haven't read part 1 yet then click here.

Last time we talked about what I consider some pointless subjects for mama's to war over. Things that while very important are still personal decisions that each family must make for themselves and should be respected by others. The ones I mentioned are by no means an exhaustive list and I'm sure there are many more like them pertaining to individual families but suffice it to say I am totally for not getting all excited over what others do or don't do in a lot of areas.

But on the flip side of that I'm also fully convinced that there are some things that we should be fighting for as a mama....and I truly believe the Lord has been showing me some things to enforce that belief even more just recently. While there may be several things that I mention here that seem separate, in reality they are all very closely related to each other. I hope that sharing here helps your own heart to be challenged to go to war with me!

~ Modesty: Yes, I know, it's an old subject that gets brought up pretty often by some and can be a huge controversial issue. But y'all, it really is important or the Bible wouldn't have it in there! It's an area that has long been near and dear to my heart and one which I believe is becoming more and more needed to take a stand for as time goes on. Regardless of your thoughts on what style of clothing choice is right for women (and men) the truth is that there is an overall, Biblical standard of modesty if you search it out that should apply to everyone. It's important for SO many reasons not limited to but including-being honoring to God with our bodies, respectful of ourselves, others, and most especially our spouses, helping to prevent struggles with lust, and showing a difference from the world and those who don't know Christ. If I hadn't already been taught how we should be set apart in this area there have been a couple of things I've experienced just recently that have confirmed the conviction in my heart even more.

One such experience happened at a parade, where we ended up standing next to a family with the mom, a daughter, and two sons. The girl was probably about 8 while the brothers were older with one of them probably being about 13 or so. As the first band that had cheerleaders/dance girls walked by the sister loudly proclaimed that her brother would like seeing them and joked about him looking at them, etc. The mom laughed and played along with her even though the son was seemingly embarrassed by it. Then the little girl heard the next band and peaked around us to see the most scantily clad girls yet and proceeded to laugh gleefully while once again telling her brother that these would be his favorite of all while the mom laughed when he asked her to hush and said she's got your back. I just stood there completely stunned and saddened by the entire episode. How awful that not only did this young girl already have such a skewed view of how dressing immodestly attracted the most attention, but she also viewed the idea that her brother lusting over the ones with the least amount of clothes on was totally normal and expected. The worst part? Her mom encouraged it and was amused by it! Even after knowing how far our world has come in the area of what is appropriate and Biblical in showing nakedness and Godly, sexual behavior I'm still shocked every time seeing or hearing it first hand.

Another instance recently was when taking the girls to the Nutcracker on ice performance. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed seeing the play but afterwards while waiting to be picked up the behavior and attitudes about modesty were once again extremely disappointing and saddening. 3 of the girls were supposed to be Arabian dancers and while their performance really wasn't over the top suggestively their costumes left a lot to be desired when it comes to covering up. (think Jasmine's outfit from the Aladdin movie) As they pranced around in the lobby having pictures snapped I noticed the older man dressed as Santa Clause giving them extra special attention each time he passed. And even going so far as to sneak in "playfully" on one of the pictures while putting his arms around the girls bare backs/stomachs to pose. Did they know him? It seemed like it. Was it still appropriate? Not in my opinion. Oh, but the worst part once again? The adult women/mothers who were joyfully taking their pictures and bragging about not only how fabulous the costumes were but one went so far as to say that they picked the perfect girls for them because of how good their bodies looked in them. And everyone smiled and agreed like that was such a good thing! Not to mention they all seemed to think that the older man's attention was just all in good fun. Needless to say, I was once again totally amazed by it all. 

I shared these two incidents to not only show just where things are in regards to how people view modesty and covering up, but to also point out that there are so many that actually know better who instead of fighting it choose to just look the other way, excuse it, or go along so as not to "hurt anyone's feelings". I'm declaring today though that this is an area that I think is worth battling over, both for our sons and our daughters! Modesty (both outwardly and inwardly), sexual purity, and standing against the world's view on these matters ARE important to the Lord. (1 Tim. 2:9, Matt. 5:28, 2 Cor. 6:16-18, 2 Tim. 2:4 and many more scriptures) And that makes them important to me too! Jesus loved sinners while he walked on the earth but He always, always stood against their sin as well. Sadly, just as in His day the ones who are sometimes the ones that fight against what's right the hardest are those who claim to know Him best. But that just makes the battle so much more important so that we can show those who don't know Him what the truth really is!

I truly think that we can live out a Biblical standard of modesty ourselves, speak the truth in love to those who will hear it, and then separate from those who won't that would be a stumbling block to our own families. Not to be prideful or arrogant or bring glory to us but to honor the One who we belong to and be more holy and pleasing to Him. "But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved,  but whom the Lord commendeth." 2 Corinthians 10:17-18
"As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1: 14-16

This has become a much longer post than I intended and I've only hit on one thing that I wanted to talk about "warring" over! I guess this may just have to turn into a longer series than I thought. Before I go let me just say that I think the BEST way to fight these issues is with prayer. For us as mama's to have wisdom, for our children to be protected and become discerning of what's right and wrong for themselves, for our husband's who are bombarded with images (both real and not) that make their battle for purity more challenging, and most of all that those around us who are choosing the wrong path and maybe not even thinking about where those choices may lead them, their children, and others as well. But after we pray, pray, and pray some more then I think we also need to take action. 

What are your thoughts about mama wars? Do you agree that there's some things we have to fight for? I'd love to hear from you while we wait to continue the discussion next time.....


(linked up at The Modest Mom blog here) 

December 8, 2013

Mama Wars....the Good and Bad {part 1}

I'm going to write about something that's been on my mind and heart a lot lately. Hopefully it will come out as well in words as it has in my thoughts so that it can help someone else! We've all heard about "mama wars" over various subjects and just to be honest I think most of it is silly, immature bickering that everyone needs to stop making such a big deal over. Notice I said most of it, which means I obviously do think there are some things worth fighting for. Now I also think there's a right and wrong way to go about it, but still some things do require a battle. It's just part of the world we live in due to sin and our human nature. Before I get into what I think we should be warring over though (which will probably be in part 2), I'm going to share a few things that I don't feel are appropriate or worthy battle grounds. So here goes....

~ What you feed your kids, when you feed your kids, how you feed your kids, etc. Now don't get me wrong, I have very strong opinions on these things for my own family; partly because I've had to. And there are tons of stuff out there that I think is pure junk and shouldn't be given to anyone! BUT if your idea of what's best (or what you can afford) is different from mine and it works for you (or even if it doesn't!) then it really isn't any of my business. I will gladly share my thoughts if asked but until I am any of them expressed are just my own opinions and lifestyle and in no way meant to induce feelings of guilt or inferiority in anyone.

~ To vaccinate or not vaccinate, ah...that is a HUGE question these days, right?! But once again as stated above, one that although I hold very strong opinions on myself is in no way what I think should be required of everyone. I love researching things and prayerfully considering what's best for our family and I think everyone should be doing that, but giving or not giving shots once again just isn't a decision anyone can make for someone else. Now I will GLADLY tell you what I found out in some of that research and may even secretly hope it changes your mind since I think most vaccines are horrible (just keepin' it real!) but I will also fully respect if it doesn't. And furthermore just keep my mouth shut if not asked to share. No warring here, mkay?

~ Natural childbirth vs medicated, breastfeeding vs bottle, birth control vs not preventing (unless it's abortive of course and then I'll probably be pretty outspoken about it), natural medicines vs conventional, homeschool or private, Christian school (no I don't really consider public school a valid option, even though I still wouldn't tell you that if you choose it unless you specifically ask me), debt-free vs credit cards, and any other number of similar, personal choices that a husband and wife make for themselves!

Seriously, this list could go on for a while since there really are a LOT of these kind of issues that just aren't something that can or should be decided on by anyone else but you in your own way (hopefully by prayer and scripture for most of them!) and for your own reasons. I guess that gives an idea of what I mean when I say most of the typical things that trigger "wars" are just pointless though. Now that we have that part out there I'm going to be sharing what for me are some things worth fighting for. Ones that I feel like God has really placed on my heart, especially recently, for a reason. And I'm praying that it may just help some of you join the battle as well! Until then what are your thoughts on this subject? I'd love to hear them!


*linked up here at The Modest Mom blog*

(ps. I should have added that I do often share things on my personal FB page or here that I'm rather passionate about......some that may not be exactly right for others and some that should be important to everyone! My giving out info there or on the blog isn't always meant to change minds or disagree with others but may just be part of me being me. But then again I read stuff all the time that helps me better myself in many ways and I think that's a good thing so there may always be a reason for what I share that can help someone else!)