Gay Marriage: What’s All the Fuss About, Anyway?

Disclaimer: I would like to preface this post by stating that I am not a “bigot,” I do not “hate” gays, and I am not “homophobic.” I believe without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus teaches us to love others; but I also believe that He encourages us to speak out against sin. Love the sinner, hate the sin. It is the physical act of homosexuality which I am referring to in this post. Okay, now that’s out of the way, let’s get on with it.

One question that liberals are fond of asking Christians is this:

“Why do you object to gay marriage when it doesn’t have anything to do with you, and won’t have any impact on your life?”

To these short-sighted liberals, it’s as simple as this:

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If it were that simple, then I can honestly say that my objections would end right there. I realize that I cannot force my Christian beliefs onto others (even those who call themselves “Christians”). I cannot make others see something as sinful when they believe it is not. If it were simply a matter of live and let live, then I would not be sitting here typing out this blog post right now.

The problem is that it is NOT that simple. Proponents of gay “marriage” are not content with “equal rights” and nothing more. There is an agenda there, even if you refuse to see it. They don’t simply want the right to have their unions recognized under the law. They want religious institutions (often times, institutions with which they do not normally identify themselves) to be forced to marry them. They want children to be taught about their unnatural lifestyles from an extremely young age. They champion for schools to make terms such as “mommy and daddy” politically incorrect. They want the courts to go after anyone who holds an opposing view. In short, they want to force their beliefs onto us, and force us into silence if we have even the most remote objection. They want to destroy the institution of marriage as we know it, as well as destroy anyone who supports the true institution of marriage.

Don’t believe me? Look at Canada. Look at Australia. These countries allow homosexual unions, but the homosexuals are not happy. They are doing all of the things I listed above, including indoctrination within schools and attempting to legally redefine marriage. There are also long-term implications that people are refusing to see, and that is the lasting effects this leaves on our children. I believe Life Site News states it best in this article:

“The greatest tragedy resulting from the legalization of homosexual marriage would not be its effect on adults, but its effect on children. For the first time in history, society would be placing its highest stamp of official government approval on the deliberate creation of permanently motherless or fatherless households for children.

The article goes on to list study-proven statistics regarding children raised in motherless and fatherless homes. Substitutions to traditional marriage are proven to have permanent effects on society. Children raised in motherless and fatherless homes (and yes, this includes homosexual relationships in addition to divorced heterosexuals) are proven to have higher rates of premarital sex, premarital childbearing, drug use, behavioral problems, school failure and even expulsion, and much more. When we undermine the traditional family – the very foundation of our country – we do damage which goes much, much deeper than we may first see. Future generations will see the impact, and it will be great indeed.

The lesson to be gleaned here is this: if we value the future of our children, we simply cannot stand aside and allow our nation to continue its current downward spiral of morality. History has shown us what happens to once-great nations that turn their backs on God, and America will be no exception.

What is “Modesty”?

I have always been of the opinion that when Christians have a question, we should first and foremost look to the Bible for answers. So why is it then, that when approaching the issue of modesty, we so often look to society’s standards and not God’s? The answers are there, if we are willing to look and listen to what the Lord has to say.

Sometimes, as we all know, we have to cross-reference different passages in Scripture in order to gain a clear understanding of God’s position on things. In my extensive research, here’s some of what I’ve found pertaining to modesty. (The emphases are mine.)

A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 22:5)

And you shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs.They shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they come into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister in the holy place, that they do not incur iniquity and die. It shall be a statute forever to him and his descendants after him. (Exodus 28:42-43)

I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. (1 Timothy 2:9-10)

I think these verses paint a clear paint a pretty clear picture as to some basic guidelines for how to dress ourselves. We should make sure we are covered from waist to thigh to cover what the Bible defines as our nakedness; women should not dress like men, and men should not dress like women; and we should dress in a manner that does not draw attention to ourselves. There’s more, however:

Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves. (Luke 17:1-3)

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! (Matthew 18:6-7)

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

So, while the Bible does not clearly define the breasts or cleavage as “nakedness,” it IS clear that women should be very careful not to tempt men. Our culture has sexualized breasts, and breasts are something that women know full well they can use to their advantage over men. Understanding the verses above, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that we should dress in a way that covers our breasts and cleavage, so as not to be a stumbling block to the men around us. If we desire to trust the Bible to be applicable to all aspects of our lives, then I believe that, per the Bible, these are the guidelines we should use when selecting clothing: women should dress as women and not as men (skirts and dresses, anyone?), they should make sure their bodies are covered even down to the knee so as not to expose our nudity, and we should also adequately cover our breasts as they are widely seen by men as sexual objects. We should dress with discretion, taking great care to make sure that we are drawing attention to our hearts and minds, not our physical assets.

As I’ve said, we can gather through these verses that it’s a grave sin to cause someone else to sin. And according to Matthew, a man merely having sinful thoughts about a woman is equivalent to adultery. As Luke says, we need to watch ourselves. Are we intentionally dressing in a way to bring attention to ourselves? Women, we need to ask ourselves, will our short skirts or shorts, tight clothing, or low-cut tops cause men to lust after us? If so, we are in direct violation of God’s command. Jesus went to far as to say “woe” on us if we cause someone to stumble. I don’t know about you, but I never want to hear Jesus look and me and say, “woe is you” for something I’ve done! That’s a scary place to be!

I know that it’s unpopular to dress modestly in our culture. I realize that it tends to make us stand out like a sore thumb, and many people don’t want to make such a big, bold statement declaring that we are different. Christians nowadays want to live with one foot in heaven and one foot in the world, but this is not what God wants for us! We are called to be set apart – we are not of this world.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)

We’re only on this earth a very short time; do we want to spend our time bringing glory to ourselves and our own bodies, or do we want to spend that time focusing on expanding God’s body, the body of Christ? Pray about it!

Evolution of the Swimsuit

A must-see for anyone who values modesty! Granted, her bathing suits are still more revealing than anything I would wear, but I think this is pointing women in the right direction – back to valuing our bodies, and understanding that our bodies are meant to be temples for God’s glory, and NOT to bring glory to ourselves! Please take a few minutes out of your day to watch this short video.

My Testimony

It has been on my heart for some time now that I should take some time to write out my personal testimony, and how I came to faith in Jesus Christ. It’s not easy to write these things down, to see in writing the mistakes I’ve made. It’s been such a long journey, and there are so many choices I’ve made that I am not the least bit proud of; but truth be told, I wouldn’t change any of it if I had the chance, because the mess I made of my life is what led me to my complete and utter dependence on the Lord.

So, here goes.

I suppose that the best place to begin is at the beginning. I was born in, shall we say, less than ideal conditions. My father was abusive and addicted to God only knows what kinds of drugs and alcohol. My mother was terrified of him, and so she stayed there with us kids. We moved around a lot, and there were even times when we were homeless. When I was 4, my father shot a man and was imprisoned for attempted murder. Not long after, my mother had an emotional breakdown, and left my brothers and myself with our grandparents. I was bounced around between family members and the physical and emotional abuse continued until I was 10, when I moved in with my father’s sister. Looking back, I can see that was the first point in my life when God began planting seeds in my heart. My aunt had never married and never had any children of her own, so she was able to focus her time and energy on helping me begin to heal from my childhood. She is a strong Christian woman, and immediately began taking me to church with her. Shortly after, I accepted the Lord into my heart and was baptized. (I was to learn later that there is a difference between being saved, and being surrendered!)

After moving in with my aunt, life really settled down for me and became somewhat “normal” for the first time in my life. In addition to my aunt, I also had my paternal grandparents nearby to help her raise me, and how they spoiled me! I truly felt loved and wanted – though I needed many years to heal and become a normal child. With the Lord’s grace that did eventually happen; however, some scars are never truly healed, and when certain things are done to a child, they have a permanent impact that often are not seen until the child is older. Of the many forms of abuse I suffered, one was molestation at the hands of my father. That, along with his sudden departure from my life led to me being obsessed with acceptance from males. I didn’t recognize it at the time, of course. I just thought I was a bit “boy crazy.” In high school, I could never go any length of time without a boyfriend. In my freshman year, I was particularly smitten with a rather popular boy. He knew this, and he knew that I was not among the more popular kids. He wooed me, and then led me to do physical acts with him that I am now very ashamed of. He never did ask me to be his girlfriend; he just used me and moved right along. I was crushed, and it further caused me to desperately seek after a guy who would actually stick around. In that attempt, I dated many boys, and gave pieces of my heart to every single one of them. I also gave too much of myself physically, because I truly believed that those were the sorts of things that boys wanted from girls if they were going to stay together.

My life went on like this for years, with me repeatedly offering my heart to boys, and it always ending in heartache. I had three back-to-back long term relationships (one, two and three years, respectively). The last and longest relationship was with someone I was actually engaged to, but we had grown apart, and it ended very badly after discovering he was cheating on me.  At 22 years old, I was a completely broken mess. What I had learned from life at that point was that no one could be trusted. Everyone I loved and took a chance on (with the exception of my aunt) had walked out on me. I became even more desperate to FINALLY find someone and fulfill that dream life where I would have a wonderful husband who loved me, someone with whom I could have children and a happy home. It was at this point that I was introduced to my first husband. He walked into my life and completely swept me off my feet with promises of never ending love and a picture-perfect future. With everything I had been through, it’s not hard to understand why I fell for it so easily. Just 6 weeks after meeting him, we were married. The honeymoon was short-lived, sadly. Immediately after the wedding (which was held in the middle of the week at a courthouse, dressed in regular clothes, with no friends or family in attendance) he began to show his true colors. He was violently angry and abused me emotionally, physically and sexually. A couple of months into the marriage, I discovered that I was pregnant, even though we had been on birth control to prevent it. When I told him, he made promises that he would change, but it did not last long. By the time I was 3 months pregnant, I knew I had to leave. Any man who could put his hands on his pregnant wife and violently beat his dog was a man who was capable of harming his baby. When he discovered my plans to leave, he trapped me in the house and attempted to rape me. Thankfully, I had been able to call 911, and with the help of the police I was able to escape. My aunt, who had raised me, once again took me into her home in my hour of need. My then-husband was not going to let me go so easily though, and he ceaselessly harassed me and made all kinds of threats, including threatening to take our unborn child from me. I naively believed it could happen, and I was terrified.

There I was, broken and empty and at rock bottom. I had lost everything I had worked for when I hurriedly left my husband. I was pregnant, alone, and scared for my life. I finally had the meltdown that had been building for 22 years. When I looked at my life, I clearly saw the mess I had made of things. I repeatedly ignored the Lord’s tugs at my heart. I insisted of having control of my life and making all my own decisions. It was clear to me that whenever I was behind the wheel, it always ended in me crashing and burning. Finally, 12 years after asking the Lord into my heart, I became a surrendered Christian. I cried to the Lord to help me fix the mess I had made of things, for the sake of my child. And did He ever come through! The first answer to prayer was that the courts awarded me full custody with no visitation to my ex-husband, as well as a restraining order – and this was all done and finalized before my daughter was even born. I was able to breathe a sign of relief knowing that she would be safe. My aunt helped me raise her, and we were quite happy. I still had a bit of the boy-crazy bug, but it slowly went away. I finally gave up searching for someone to complete me, and gave that desire over to the Lord. I asked that God would give me a good man who would be a father to my daughter, but I was at peace with the idea that it may never happen. I focused on being happy as a single mom, and I knew joy and contentment as I had never known it before.

And then, the Lord answered my prayers once again. He put a friend into my life, who eventually began to mean more to me than just a friend. I fell in love again; but this time I knew it was for all the right reasons. God gave me a wonderful treasure in that man, and when my daughter was 2.5 I married again, knowing that this time it would be for keeps. The following year he adopted my daughter. It was not a perfect marriage, and we had (and still have) our struggles, but we have both been 100% committed to making it work.

One of the biggest trials for us early on was infertility. I desperately longed to have another baby, but month after month we were unsuccessful. We saw an infertility specialist, and after many tests were performed, we were told that we would never be able to have children naturally. We prayed about it, but we knew that IVF and IUI were not an option for us, so we left it in God’s hands. Shortly after that, we were overjoyed to discover that we were pregnant! God is full of surprises, however, and we ended up having three babies in less than 2.5 years! God has continued to bless us and work on our hearts. We have been convicted on a number of issues from trusting the Lord with our fertility, to the importance of modesty, down to the entertainment in our home. We live very conservative lives now. We homeschool for the emotional protection of our children, and we will be encouraging them to consider courtship when they are grown. It is my prayer that my daughters will be able to avoid the heartaches I endured as I gave my heart away again and again. I will encourage them to keep themselves pure and to save themselves for their husbands, because I know firsthand the pain caused by giving yourself to men who do not love you and will not treasure that special gift. I hope to impart wisdom on my children, and that they will learn from the mistakes I made. I pray that they will love the Lord with all their hearts, minds and strength, and that they will allow Him to guide their paths. I am still healing from my past, but I know that God is in control. There are still days when I am overcome by shame for the choices I have made, but I remind myself that God has forgiven me, and I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t made those mistakes and been allowed to learn from them. I have peace and joy, and I am excited to see where the Lord will lead my family in the years to come.