Patriarchy: Biblical or Dangerous?

I’m a Reformed Baptist, conservative, complementarian, homeschooling mother of nine children. I believe in the sufficiency, inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture. I believe in the headship of man in the church and in the family. I believe that men are, overall, better leaders in the government and business than women, not  due to superior intellect but to the way God has created men and women. That said, my mother was an excellent business woman and Margaret Thacher was an excellent Prime Minister. I am not a supporter of patriarchy or of the patriarchal movement and believe when it is compared to Scripture it shows itself to be a dangerous, legalistic warping of Scripture that encourages abusive behavior towards wives and children. That doesn’t mean all families who tend towards patriarchy are abusive; most aren’t. But when you put someone in a position of authority that they aren’t meant to have, abuse can and does happen. It’s not my point or purpose to engage in a full-blown examination of patriarchy; that’s been done before. I do, however, wish to throw out a few tidbits for thought:

Patriarchy teaches that women are naturally rebellious and need their man to keep them in line. Don’t believe it? Look it up. It teaches that women have no say-so, unless their husband grants it, in their homes, over the raising of their children or even over themselves. It has given rise to such heinous books as Me? Obey Him? by by Elizabeth Rice Handford (daughter of John R. Rice) and Created To Be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl.

Me? Obey Him? teaches “The Scriptures say a woman must ignore her “feelings” about the will of God, and do what her husband says. She is to obey her husband as if he were God Himself. She can be as certain of God’s will, when her husband speaks, as if God had spoken audibly from Heaven!” The book goes on to say that if a husband commands a wife to do something contrary to the Word of God, she must obey him as if he were speaking for God while trusting in God to protect her from evil. 

Created To Be His Helpmeet teaches that You (a woman) are created to make him complete, not to seek personal fulfillment parallel to him.”  “You can freely call your husband “lord” when you know that you are addressing the one who put him in charge and asked you to suffer at your husbands hands just as the Lord suffered at the hands of unjust authorities.” “The chain of authority must never be broken, even if it means allowing some abuse (of the husband’s role).”

When we search the Scriptures as the Bereans did, we will realize that those are false teachings. Sadly, many who read them don’t have a full or deep understanding of Scripture and will be taken in by them and hurt because of it.

Should the husband lead his family and his wife? Absolutely. But when we exalt him to a level he isn’t meant to have, we are making an idol, a false god, out of him. The Patriarchal movement has, over the last few months and years, seen some of its leaders fall. That saddens me. What saddens me more is that so many Christians were so shaken by their fall. Our faith must be in God and His Word and never in any man.

Men are meant to lead their families. The complementarian position is, I fully believe, the one supported by Scripture. But complementarianism and the patriarchal movement aren’t the same thing. The patriarchal movement as it has been laid out over the last couple of decades isn’t biblical, it’s dangerous. May God provide us with leaders who love Him and His Word enough to discern, and teach, the difference.

Taking a Stand for Modesty

“yes, girls, it’s our fault if we strike the match to ignite our thoughts with lust, but you don’t have to pile up twigs at our feet and douse them in gasoline.” J. D. Greear

Modesty is an attitude of the heart. When a woman loves the Lord most of all, she will rejoice in her ability to serve her brothers in the church by clothing herself in ways that don’t lay a stumbling block at their feet. When a woman loves herself most of all, she won’t.

There are times that a woman may want to serve the Lord but still fail to dress modestly. Perhaps she wasn’t ever taught how visual guys are, maybe she doesn’t think of herself as having any physical assets, maybe she is still growing spiritually. If her heart is right, she can be taught. She’ll welcome the teaching.

It’s an uncomfortable subject….

To read in full, please go to http://joyfulmother.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/taking-a-stand-for-modesty/

Sweet Memories

I have some really great children. Older ones, younger ones, I love them all. Below are some photos of some of my children from last Fall just about this time of the year. The pictures were taken over several days in our front and back yards (and one was taken in the house while playing Twister). Our house, our town, is different now but the love remains. You kids are great. I love you all so much. ~~ Mama :)

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Yanni, Nadia, Nicolas and Tia having a laugh. What’s so funny, guys?

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Tristan, my oldest. Preacher man of the future. I couldn’t have been blessed with a better oldest son.

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What’s with the faces?

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Smile BIG now!

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Inhale…now breathe!

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Pretty Nadia running. You go, girl!

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In the back of big brother’s truck!

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I got you, Yanni!

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Ready, Set, Go!

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Looking a bit tired after a long day of study and fun.

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Cute kids, silly grins!

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Yanni having fun.

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Pretty in gray.

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Lady Tatiana (Tia).

Sweet Memories

Nicholas looking surprised.

 

Let's twist again!

Let’s twist again!

Pile up!

Pile up!

Tickle toes!

Tickle toes!

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May I have this dance?

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One, two, three, spin!

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Wiggling, jiggling, giggling.

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I’ve got you now!

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Jumping for joy!

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Watch me do a handstand!

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I’m tired.

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How high can your hair bounce?

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And we all fall down!

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Let me catch my breath!

Where Fear Can’t Find Us

Hello, dear friends. I’ve written down a few thoughts on fear, things I myself have been pondering. Truths I need as much or more than anyone….

 

1 John 4: 18, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

I’m tired of being afraid. I’ve lived with fear for so long. Fear of need and want. Fear of pain and confusion. Fear of attacks, lies, brokenness. Fear of the abnormal continuing on forever as if it were normal. Life events caused such fear. My childhood, certain events of my adulthood, fed the fear. Only Christ casts out such fear. Only Christ brings healing. For someone like me, someone who has had many, sometimes endless, reasons to fear, trusting Him to is an on-going battle but also an absolutely joyous one.

We all long for a safe place, a place of peace where love surrounds us and fear is unknown. Many spend their entire lives searching for such a place. For some, the search costs everything and they end up with nothing. The good news is that the only true safe place costs us nothing. It’s a free gift of God’s grace. It is the place I’ve longed for my whole life. It is the place I call home.

When life spins like an out of control tilt-a-whirl, unless we’re grounded in God’s love our foundations can be shaken. When waves threaten, and they will, a child of God must keep her eyes on the Master of the waves and not on the waves themselves. It is an on-going process. The further along in our faithwalk, the greater our trust that Jesus is our refuge and the quicker our impulse to run to Him.

Jesus is our safe place, our rock, our refuge from all storms of life. He is our only hope of heaven, the truth that we can always lean on. He is the one and only place where fear can’t find us.

 

Do You Love Jesus?

Is your love for Jesus truth in action, lived out in the painful realities of life, always faithful, always trusting? Or is it emotion, built on a song, happy and trusting one minute, doubting the next?

Does His praise dance on your tongue though you struggle to make it through the day? Or does He see you turn away when the realities of life just become too real to trust in Him anymore?

Does He hear you stand for truth no matter how many you love deny it? Or do you accommodate other’s beliefs, even support them, even when they don’t line up with Scripture?

Do you believe His Word, every word of His Word? Or do you hedge around those areas that are uncomfortable for you?

Do you stand strong in the faith, believing and living the truth handed down through the generations? Or do you believe that the Bible is old-fashioned and must change with the times?

Do you give of your time, your money, your talents to serve Him? Or do you just know He’ll understand  that you can’t because you are so very busy?

Are you a friend to the poor, the broken, the suffering, the widows and orphans, especially those of the household of faith? Or is it just too uncomfortable for you to get involved and, anyway, someone else will do it?

Do you love Jesus? Does He know you love Him?

What the Abused Really Need

I remember the morning my Daddy jumped up and, cursing, screaming at Mama, “I’m going to shove your *** teeth down your throat!”. I can’t say I remember what happened that lead up to his outburst (though they were common) but I clearly remember jumping between them and yelling at him to “Leave my Mama alone!”. Mama was trying to pull me back, afraid of my father’s reaction. Instead of acting at all, he stared at me and turned and left the room. My memory ends there though I wish I could remember what came next. What did Mama say to me in those moments following his attack? Did she scold me for interfering? Did she hold me close and cry? Did she quickly dress me and herself and leave the house? I simply don’t know. Mama’s been gone for a long time now and even when she was here, asking her questions about my father led her down a pathway I seldom dared to tread.

Mama was an abused woman. I was an abused daughter. I married into an abusive family. The seeds of abuse grow in the hearts of those who have not the love of our Lord Jesus Christ and lay to waste precious lives. Abuse is sin, plain and simple. Those who live in abuse, grow up in abuse, have a difficult time understanding the love of God, trusting God or even understanding human love and trust. When your sky has been black around the clock all of your life are you really going to believe someone who tells you that where they live and, indeed, everywhere else, the sky is blue during daylight? Who could believe such a thing? That would be…weird.

To read in full, please go to What the Abused Really Need.