October 12, 2016

What Is the Difference?

I'm going to show you a couple pictures. And then I'd like to hear what your honest reaction to each one is. I think I already know what the majority will say. But I'm interested to see if I'm right. Anyway, here's the pictures and then I'll share my own thoughts below. You ready?

                                                          (the new covergirl boy)

(girls wearing boys jeans/shirts)
My guess is that most of you were disturbed by the first picture, but not the second at all. In fact, you're probably confused as to why the second one would even be an issue? Let me tell you why I think it is.
Our country has been racing down a path of sexual immorality for years now. The most recent and saddening turn on the path being gender confusion, especially in children. Believers or those who are more conservative in their views are quick to express outrage and disbelief over stories/pictures like the first one above where a young boy has been chosen to represent a popular make-up line. They ask questions such as why would anyone want to do this, how did we get here, or other similar expressions. But the thing that I see as being most confusing (and dare I say, hypocritical) is when they blame the world, the left, the liberals, etc and completely fail to point any fingers where they should rightly belong.......the church. How many girls and women claiming to be Christian's do you know that gleefully follow the fashion of the world without thought as to if it's feminine or masculine in style? I've personally been told by multiple women including but not limited to a pastor's wife, fellow homeschooler, family members, and random acquaintances about instances where they shopped for their daughters or even themselves in the men's clothing department because their pants "felt better" or "fit better" than the ones from their own section. And let's not forget the number of Christian families that encourage their daughters to play sports....where the girls wear the exact same uniforms as the boys do and think nothing of it. Or how cute and funny they think it is when the opposite sex ends up in an outfit that exactly matches each other.
(*Let me just take a second to be clear here and say this post is not about starting a discussion on being for or against women wearing pants of any kind, in any way, for any reason, as much as it is about pointing out inconsistencies in beliefs/standards and how that affects our argument against sin by using the Bible as our basis for morality.*)
There are numerous places in the Scriptures that point out how important the differences between men and women are. And that not only are they to be enjoyed and celebrated but that we should also take care to make them obvious. But how often do we fail at that and then excuse it? How desensitized have we as believers become to the lack of differences in the sexes when it comes to clothing/behavior for ladies? But yet we are outraged that there are now boys and men who want to explore the opposite by wearing dresses and makeup and behaving more womenly! Am I the only one who notices the irony of this? We talk about slippery slopes but I think we don't really want to consider that maybe our acceptance of something that was never God honoring is one of the things that pushed our culture down the hill. 
I'm not na├»ve enough to think that there wouldn't still be sin in the world or that the kind of things like that first picture wouldn't ever happen if the church didn't compromise. But that in no way changes our responsibility in choosing to come out and be separate. Because if we don't stand up and show them a difference, who will?
Styles and standards of dress may look a bit different for each family; but if we are going to the Bible and studying out God's truths and praying for His guidance, rather than blindly following what the world and yes, even mainstream "church people" believe is okay, I can guarantee that there won't be any confusion when others try to figure out what gender we are. We claim that people who are teaching their sons and daughters that being the opposite gender are so confused.....but maybe they are just as confused as to why we are judging them so harshly without judging ourselves first? In fact I know they are because I've seen the comments from them on Christian blog and facebook posts that are belittling boys for dressing/looking feminine, while their own profile pictures depict themselves or their daughters looking/acting rather masculine.
I'm not saying any of this to be hurtful or offensive (or God forbid, to sound self-righteous) but because it breaks my heart to see how the church has lost its' ability to be a light and a witness in these days. Maybe you're reading this and thinking this isn't an area you struggle in, but are there others? That's what we all need to be asking ourselves. Because I see a lot of unbelievers today looking at those of us claiming to be Christian's and asking, what is the difference? And if the answer we give them, even if only by our actions, is that there is none.....then why would they want what we have?
(I realize this subject is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to talking about how believers should be separate from the world. There are numerous other areas we could look at such as modesty, masculinity in men, attitudes, etc but for the sake of time and discussion this is the one I chose and also because that's what kept coming to my mind and heart when I was reading about the covergirl story. As I said above, we need to be asking ourselves what God's standards for us are in ALL areas of our lives. I pray that we can all be challenged to let not just our words but our actions show unbelievers what a difference Christ can make!)