Married men: your porn habit is an adultery habit

I’ve wanted to write a post on this topic…especially after reading articles like this(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25090896)…but this post says it so much better. So Thank you Matt for your post!

The Matt Walsh Blog

I know a guy who cheats on his wife. He cheats on her every day. He cheats on her multiple times a day. He’s a husband and a father and a serial adulterer.

I shouldn’t know this fact about him, but it came up in conversation a few days ago. We were talking about the divorce rate; both of us gave our theories as to why the statistics are so high. I mentioned in my diagnosis a few studies that show pornography to be a root cause in over 50 percent of divorces annually.

He laughed. “People don’t get divorced over porn.” He went on to explain that porn isn’t a “big deal” to most people. It’s not “like it’s cheating or something.” He told me that he looks at it multiple times daily. His wife, he insisted, might be a little peeved if she knew the extent of…

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Did you know…

We’ve started a new year of BSF…and the study is on the Book of Matthew this year. I’ve done this study before so it’ll be cool to see what I remember from eight years ago, as well as what has changed in my growth since then. We started with a look at Jesus’ genealogy…which is pretty amazing in itself:

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
….[skipping some names]….
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
….[skipping some names]….
Matthan the father of Jacob,
and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary,
and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

Notice anything unusual about the genealogy? Hint: I’ve bolded and changed the color of the text. When was the last time a historical genealogy in a patriarchal society include WOMEN in it? And of the five women, only Mary was Jewish. And only Mary didn’t have a colorful history worthy of modern-day tabloids.

Tamar (Click on her name for the Biblical account) – The father of her child is also her father-in-law. She was a Canaanite woman who used the means she knew how (i.e. dressing as a prostitute with whom Judah, her FIL, had drunken relations with) in order to be part of the family that received a great promise from God.

Rahab – A local prostitute in the city of Jericho. She helped the Hebrew spies escape the city on promise that she and her family would be spared because she believed in their God.

Ruth – A Moabite, basically an enemy of the Hebrews, widow who chose to leave everything she knew behind her in order to follow her Hebrew mother-in-law back to her country. She desired that Naomi’s God also be her God and gave up her best chance at remarriage and having her own family.

Uriah’s wife aka Bathsheba – The mighty King David spied her bathing one night, sent for her, and knocked her up. And then when he couldn’t cover his tracks, he had her husband, Uriah, killed in battle, and then he married her.

Mary – Unwed, virgin, teenager…who becomes pregnant by the Holy Spirit. How do you tell that to your Dad? Or to your fiance??

And these were the women so honored to be recorded in Jesus’ genealogy. Pretty incredible. Some of them literally could have been killed for what they did…but they had faith in the God they heard about. And they wanted to belong to Him. Do I have that kind of faith? I can only hope. But certainly knowing these women and their colorful stories are included in Jesus’ family line gives me, and hopefully all, hope that it really doesn’t matter your past…and it certainly doesn’t matter what your “pedigree” is. If you seek to be included into God’s family, you will be.

(Image not mine) I also totally recommend reading “A Lineage of Grace” by Francine Rivers which paints a picture of how their stories might have taken place as informed by the Bible.

“Feminism”

What does it mean to you?

Conversations related to this topic crept up in different circles of late. Some great thoughts were exchanged and the dialogue was interesting, entertaining and stimulating. Yesterday a girl friend asked me what it meant to me….

When I think about feminism, I tend to think about women who seem to hate men, or women who want to prove that they can do everything a man can and do it better, or women who want to prove the world doesn’t need men, or women who are always angry about how unequal things are, or women who think “equality” should make everything a 50/50 split between themselves and men.

My own definition of being feminist is having choice. Choice to build my career or choice to build my family. Choice to study engineering or choice to study the arts. Choice to be breadwinner or choice to be homemaker. And to know what consequences each choice could result in. And to not feel because I am a womon, or 21st century woman, I “should” be one way or another. Certainly there are societal structures that need to change to increase the opportunities for women to make that choice but I don’t think we’ll ever get a 50/50 split….nor do I think that’s necessarily the best thing for society. I’m not really bothered by it. What I am bothered by is women being seen as things or property, and not respected as another human created in the same image of God that men are.

So that’s me. I could be misinformed or whatnot…would love to hear more thoughts…at the end of the day, I’m just looking for mutual respect, and who ever needs to play whatever role to get something done well…then that’s what needs to be done.

God values women. He does!

(Image not mine)

Some would view the Bible’s mention of how some women were treated in her day as means of proving Christians or Bible-believers or even God Himself to be sexist and misogynistic in their view of women. Unfortunately there have been many who for their own motives of exerting power, used certain verses in the Bible to mean that women are of less worth than men, and should be treated as such, but I do not for a moment believe that is how God sees women.

I think we’re forgetting some very important roles held by women mentioned in the Bible. We have Deborah, from the Old Testament, who was a judge over Israel and led an army to victory when the man who was supposed to do it chickened out. In the same story, Jael, another woman, tricked the general into her tent where she put a peg through his temples while he slept. Yet another woman was recorded to have killed a high ranking man by dropping a millstone on his head. Something that embarassing done by a woman to a man would’ve never been recorded in historical texts of the day. There’s also Priscilla in the New Testament who was a deacon, and she was often named before her husband…which also would’ve never been allowed in their historical texts. Many other god-fearing women were named in the Bible…far more than say, the number of Pharoh’s named in the Bible. Christian women were also able to worship in the same room with the men which is also unheard of for Jews and Muslims, even today.

Just because cultural norms of the biblical period was recorded (i.e. women as chattel) doesn’t mean that’s how God meant for women to be viewed. It’s just how men in Middle Eastern cultures viewed women at the time (or maybe even today) that was recorded. In the New Testament you read many accounts of Jesus breaking those customary norms to elevate and defend women in their culture. He was the first feminist! Certainly misguided men in the Western world (or perhaps it was deliberate) have used and continue to use certain verses to justify their incorrect positions on the value of women under the guise of religion, but there are many more passages in the Bible that show how women have risen up against what their cultures expected of them. The fact that the Bible records not just their actions, but their NAMES, shows they were of high enough value and regard to be included in the historical accounts of the holy scriptures. I think that says a lot about God that is different from what many want to believe about Him. God DOES value women. We are His precious daughters with equal inheritance as His sons….and co-heirs with Christ!

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. – Galatians 3:26-29 NIV

Just not the same

(Image not mine)

I know this is a can of worms. My intention isn’t to delve into all aspects of this topic…but just to point out an observation.

It’s funny how we put so much value into what men do….and totally ignore the incredible value of what women do well. In the Western World we’ve established that women ARE of equal worth to men as humans, that women are not chattel, that women can make great contributions to society, that women can do what used to be reserved for men and do it well….it’s fantastic and I am blessed to be born into a country with this kind of equality. True there are still some prevailing negative attitudes out there toward women, and certainly those need addressing…usually more by parents while a child grows up as opposed to by law makers. But on the whole, there IS equality and respect for women. Just contrast against the tragedies in India for a moment.

However, and this is my observation, some feminists now don’t just want equality, they want to be like men. “As a woman, I’m going to be a better man.” That just tells me they don’t value their own strengths unique to them as women. Shouldn’t the focus be to contrast and emphasize the value of what women bring to the table instead of vying after what the men bring? You undermine your own worth as a woman by placing all the worth on what men do. So what if he got to be CEO? So what if he’s the main breadwinner? Do I have to attain those titles and statuses in order to show my worth? I understand it’s hard to see “worth” without seeing dollar signs, an unfortunate result of our consumeristic culture, but some things truly are priceless. To give it a dollar amount almost cheapens it.

My thought is just this…that men and women are of equal value and worth. Equally valuable, equally capable of doing great things AND equally flawed….but we are still DIFFERENT. Physiologically and emotionally…these differences make us much better in certain roles than others and these roles are equally valueable to society. In fact, to ignore or devalue the roles we’re meant to have creates societal imbalances…at great cost. At the end of the day, though we’re of equal worth as humans, men and women are just not the same. We’re not meant to be.