A sweet friend from our Sunday School class came over a few weeks ago and she and I were talking about Christians blindly accepting so many of the world’s views and following suit. We have accepted societal norms even when they don’t line up with the Word of God. I’ve done it. (More than once, unfortunately.) And I’m ashamed to admit I still do it sometimes. I see it often, even in well- meaning believers. We see our other Christian friends making choices and we follow in their footsteps, or base our decisions off of what we want or think is right without truly seeking the Lord. I’m trying to be more prayerful and study what the Word says rather than making decisions based on “self” or what is normal and expected. I have to KNOW the Bible in order to live by it.
So yes, this might be the most “blunt” I have ever been in a blog post, which naturally means someone will be offended. That is not my intention, but I think as women we need to get REAL about what the Bible says and stop watering it down for all this “feel good” mess. Most of these are personal convictions from what I have learned in studying the Bible. And please know that if you’re not a believer, I don’t expect you to agree with (any of all of) these. However, if you’re a Christian, I encourage you to read this and then go DIG IN THE WORD. Study it for yourself. Examine what Scripture says and pray through it. I know there will be some comments from Christians who don’t agree, and that’s totally fine. However, I do hope it challenges you to know WHY you don’t agree. It is coming from self? The church? It’s just the way you “feel”? (Hate to tell ya ladies, but our feelings can lie to us. Check out Jeremiah 17:9.) I know there are many more, but here are a few things I think have become commonplace thoughts and choices in today’s society. Some of these are the reason non-believers think many Christians are hypocrites and why the church isn’t being the light we are called to be. And the worst part? The enemy has blinded us to all of it and we are believing his lies that these things are “okay” or “not that bad.” Again, some of these are things I have done or struggled with, so I’m not over here pointing fingers. I am just trying to give some food for thought and asking you, as a woman of God, to truly consider what the Word tells us about these things.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:15-17 (When you get a chance, read the whole book of Ephesians. It is powerful.)
*Sex before marriage. In today’s world where sexual immorality is flooding our minds from every outlet, it has become completely acceptable and even encouraged (despite what the Bible says about sex being a gift reserved only for the marriage bed). I can assure you, this sin will lead to destruction. If you get married, this is basically adultery. God designed sex to be pleasurable. Think of it as a fireplace. Don’t you enjoy a fire in a fireplace? It provides warmth…it’s nice to look at…it smells good…and you can make s’mores. (Ha!) But consider a fire outside of that fireplace. It will burn us, our possessions, and can cause turmoil. Sex is the same way. It is awesome within the bounds of marriage, but outside of it will lead to turmoil.
*Putting off having children. I know so many couples (us included, and one of my biggest regrets) who have a plan to enjoy being married and wait for a few years to have kids.” I’m not saying it is a sin to wait, but what if that isn’t God’s plan? I just know that for many people, this choice is more about their plan than seeking the Lord for his timing. The Bible tells us that “Children are a heritage from the Lord” and “blessed is the man whose quiver is full.” I wish we hadn’t put it off and waited till “we were financially stable.” Our best years have DEFINITELY been since we have experienced the joy of having sweet babies.
*Birth control. I won’t get into all my thoughts on this either, but as a believer, I highly encourage you to look into when and how birth control entered into the U.S. and what birth control, IUDs, etc. are actually doing. The early churches and great preachers preached strongly against it because they knew the value godly offspring have in this world. Here is my encouragement to you. Research how birth control works, and pray about if you feel comfortable with that. Do not just accept that “other Christians take birth control so it must be fine.” I’ve heard all kinds of things- some women taking it for bad periods, some women like me taking it for acne, etc. t’s between you and the Lord, and no judgment, but it’s a personal conviction for me. After praying about it more, I will not take it ever again. Some research suggests that women taking birth control for an extended period of time can lead to a difficult time conceiving. And did you know that hormonal contraception is categorized on the WHO and American Cancer Society's lists as a Group 1 carcinogen? That is as high as it goes. That is the same category as cigarettes and asbestos! I took birth control for a while (I started taking it for my acne because it was my hormones causing it) and took it up until we started trying for Jase, but like I said, that is the last time. Now, for health reasons (because I had a c-section with my first baby), I needed to wait at least 18 months to get pregnant to give my body the best shot at VBAC. I did not take birth control for 18 months, and we managed to not get pregnant. There are other ways, friends. Maybe check out NFP. And on another note with that, I truly believe one of the BEST ways Christians can help bring some light into the world & positively impact others for Christ (aside from growing in our own walk to be more like Christ) is to HAVE MORE BABIES. (Or consider adoption and help other children who might not ordinarily be brought up in a God-fearing home.) We need more men and of faith who love the Lord and want to serve him. We need more strong men who are willing to lead, and more kind/loving women willing to serve. I know the words “birth control” are not found in the Bible, so study what the Word says about children.
*Going to college. Obviously college was not even an issue when the Bible was written, but God covered everything for us. This is NOT the only option, but for some reason (I have my thoughts but I won’t even get into my conspiracy theories about our government’s agenda) we are pushing everyone to pursue secondary education. Have y’all read what this is doing to our nation? The debt? The “extended adolescence”? The inability to find jobs? The entitlement mentality? This is the first generation who will not be more financially well off than their parents’ generation. (And while it’s not all about money, it is scary to consider the DEBT our nation is taking on as a whole.) Although there are several factors playing into this, it’s a scary place to be. We are destroying entrepreneurship across America. Don’t get me wrong- I enjoyed college, and I’m not anti-education by any means. I just don’t think it is for everyone. Have you considered, for example, the gap in construction? In a few years when this baby boomer generation is (hopefully) able to retire, there will be a huge gap because my generation has all gone off to school and won’t have any of those skills. Construction projects will either become CRAZY expensive, or they will all be subbed out to illegal immigrants who are willing to work for cheap labor (and won’t be paying taxes on that income). I am SUPER thankful Jonathan is highly skilled in several construction fields. Not only has it saved us a LOT of money around our own home, but he can also pass those trades on to our boys and give them a highly valued skill set that is becoming a dying trade. One last thing about pushing advanced education on everyone. We are teaching our girls that it is not okay to “just be a wife and mom” and thus diminishing the importance of that role. No wonder our society is a wreck! Plus, girls are getting married later in life so they can “experience life” or “sow their wild oats” first. Newsflash: that immorality being promoted in the college years has consequences. The Bible is clear that you reap what you sow. Again, I’m not saying college is the devil. I have a bachelor’s, Master’s, and Specialist’s degree, so I did all that. I just wish someone would have told me I had other options- especially with grad school and advanced education
*Debt. How have we come to accept debt as such a normal part of life? Debt is not okay. Our AdvoCare team is currently on a mission to help our teammates collectively pay off a million dollars worth of debt over the next year. In coaching people through this process, you would be AMAZED at the number of people who tell me “We don’t have any debt. Just our car and house payment.” Or “Our only debt is our mortgage.” Since when does a mortgage not count? Why do we think it is good debt? Consider this - 55% of Americans break even or spend more than they make each month. 57% are not prepared for a financial setback and the average American has $150K in mortgage debt and $45K in credit card and school loans! The Bible is clear that “the borrower is a slave to the lender.” We need to learn to pay off debt so we can give more, and the only way to do that is to live beneath our means.
*Women working outside the home. I am not saying it is a sin to work outside the home. I did for 5 years and I LOVED teaching. There have been lots of women who have and continue to positively impact society with their work. Working isn’t the issue for me. However,I feel like we need to address the opposite side of that coin. Women do not have to work outside the home to be “productive members of society.” The issue for me lies when career is placed ahead of the home and our husbands, children, and homes are getting our leftovers. When this happens, the “work” needs to be reevaluated. Women are created to be a help meet to their husband. (If you are a Christian, there is just no arguing that. Any comments against this, which is CLEARLY spelled out in the Word, further validates & confirms for me that Christians are being deceived into accepting societal norms.) I know that is not a popular concept, but that is what the Word tells us. Eve was created out of Adam’s rib to be a helper to him. Not to be independent (you see where that got us), but to be a helper and companion for Adam. Society (the enemy, especially through the Industrial Revolution and the feminist movement) has perverted the concept of submission. That’s why so many marriages are struggling and ending in divorce rather than thriving. I think you can at least agree with me that our world has NOT become a better place in the last 60 –70 years since moms have left the homes in masses to enter the work force, right? Crime rates, STDs, drug abuse, etc. have all risen at astounding rates, and I think it’s in large part because kids have too much freedom and don’t understand consequences for their actions. It surprises me when husbands would prefer their wives work. Jonathan Butler would dig ditches 24 hours a day if he had to so I could stay home. (Of course I don’t want that- it is really important to me for our boys to have as much TIME with him as possible so he can model for them how to be a godly man.)
For me, I was not able to be the help meet I needed to be when I was working outside the home. I was a busy body and always on the go. I actually prided myself on that until I realized that my home was being neglected. Yea, maybe I cooked dinner and kept it pretty clean, but I wasn’t being a true help meet. Now let me say this. The Proverbs 31 woman is not lazy, and in fact, she does work to bring in an income. However, she makes sure she takes care of the affairs of her home first and foremost. That is our primary calling- to be ministers IN the home. (Again, Christian ladies.. please feel free to share Scriptures that don’t back this up if you find them. But everything I have EVER read in the Bible addressing God’s design and role for women supports this.) How can we minister to others when we aren’t even taking care of our own four walls?? That being said, I also know some women whose desire is to be home but their husbands prefer them to work. In this case, I believe she should be submissive to her husband and the Lord will honor and bless her while she prays the Lord changes her husband’s heart. I’m still working on this one myself BIG TIME, but we are a lot more likely to win our husbands by being ‘quiet and meek’ and prayer warriors rather than whiney & demanding. There are several Scriptures to back this one up too.
*Needing 2 incomes. This goes along with the whole debt issue (which is also a Biblical issue). The reality is, most of us don’t need two incomes, but we choose to live beyond our means. We are a society with more valuables than values and more stuff than memories. It is sad. Most people believe the lie that they truly cannot survive off one income, but that’s usually because they are unwilling to recognize the sacrifices that can be made. I recently heard someone say “If you have sable or a smart phone, you don’t have a money problem- you have a choice problem.” And that is so true! I just wanted to share this because I think so many young couples assume that you HAVE to have two incomes to survive. That is not necessarily the truth, and it’s important to seek the Lord to determine what He wants for your family (and your finances).
*Gluttony. We have a tendency to categorize sin, but I feel like as Christians we often think gluttony is (more) acceptable than some others in the “list.” I can think of some times I have majorly struggled with this one. It is not okay when health -related issues are the result of gluttony, and thus keep us from serving others the way we are called to serve. We are called to be disciplined and demonstrate self-control.We are a society that completely lacks the concept of “moderation,” and that allows other things to become idols in our life. Gluttony can lead to idolatry, although we rarely see the correlation. The reality is, the Bible describes gluttony as a sin, and there are consequences for our sins because God loves us. The Bible is not a rule book with a bunch of rules and regulations meant to keep us from enjoying life. It is meant to allow us to live a life of JOY and freedom rather than bondage.
FYI: Quick story. Someone commented and suggested that me living in a nice home is “gluttony.” I wanted to share a quick story with you (paraphrased from The Legacy Journey) that will hopefully give some insight in to judging others’ finances in that aspect. There was a time when I looked at wealthy folks and judged them for not “giving everything to the poor.” In reality, there is a likely chance they give more (proportionally to their income, of course) than I do. For example, the story in the book was about an extremely wealthy man who drove a $150,000 car. People judged him for driving that nice of a car and said he should have been giving more money to those in need. However, that car, in proportion to his income is what most people spend on a latte. So…are you drinking lattes?? That’s some perspective, huh? That same man was also giving MILLIONS to those in need each year, so that $150,000 was a drop in a bucket compared to what he made and gave. SO, because you have no idea how much money we make, tithe, give, etc., it is silly to make an assumption that the home God gave us (and yes, we do believe that because we fervently prayed we would end up exactly where HE wants us to live) is gluttony. (Now, the 7-8 protein bites I ate today…ya might have me there. Ha!)
*Drinking. I am not anti-drinking and I don’t judge others for having a drink. Jonathan and I personally do not drink anymore at all, and again, that is a personal conviction for both of us. We have alcoholism in our family and we are worried that it could be a gateway for our children to struggle if they see us drinking and think it’s okay. The issue for me is that there is such a fine line with having a drink or two and becoming drunk, and the Word tells us in multiple places to not give in to drunkenness and to be sober. I have never heard anyone say “I started drinking and my life became so much better.” Have you? I think Lori covered this topic really well in this post, and if you disagree with me on this one, I highly encourage you to check out her viewpoint: How Much Alcohol Should a Christian Drink
*Divorce. The Bible tells us that God hates divorce, but we all know the statistics. Unfortunately the church’s divorce rates are pretty close to non-believers.Satan is destroying the family unit and perverting marriage by having us believe divorce is an acceptable answer. Usually, divorce roots back to the fact that one or both spouses are unwilling to change. “You love your kids enough that you would die for them without hesitation; but do you love them enough that you’re wiling to change for them?”
*Judgment. Sometimes we are quick to judge, and I know there is nothing that turns non-believers off faster than a judgmental Christian. We don’t have to and shouldn’t accept the world’s views (hello, that’s what the whole post is about). And we have to be really careful finding the balance between loving the person but hating the sin. The only way to draw others to Christ is to LOVE them. The two greatest commandments are to Love God and Love others. In Sunday school this week we were talking about who constitutes as our neighbor, and y’all, it’s everyone. Now, that being said, I want to cover the other side of that coin. Sometimes as Christians we are so worried about being called judgmental that we become tolerant of sin. I do want to suggest that there IS a difference between judgment and discernment. As believers, we should be able to discern good vs. evil and Biblical truth vs. worldly views. The Holy Spirit gives us that discernment, and that is a good thing. Check your heart to decide if it’s your discerning spirit telling you something is going against God’s Word or if you’re being judgmental.
*Laziness. The Bible is clear about the consequences of laziness. We are called to work hard as if working for the Lord. What are we modeling for our children in this area? Would you be satisfied if your child’s work ethic mimics that of your own? I feel like the obesity epidemic goes back to laziness. Moms aren’t putting the work in to learning how to prepare healthy meals, and convenience foods aren’t cutting it nutritionally. It’s easier to put our kids in front of a video rather than chase them around the house playing with them and watch them as they play. (We watch videos too. I’m not saying they are bad, but kids are spending more time in front of electronics than they do running around.) Often times we dismiss not having a tidy home, but the reality is it leads back to us spending more time on social media than being busy inside our homes. I personally enjoy working out, but there are other types of work that keep you in shape besides going to the gym. Yard work, house work, chasing around kiddos. Not only am I referring to laziness inside the home, but even when people do go to work, many times they are just waiting for time to pass and aren’t giving their best. I am SO thankful for those that do give their best and the positive impact that has on society.
*Selfishness. We are called to honor others above ourselves. Selfishness is the root of half of society’s problems in my opinion. I know that most of the disagreements in any relationship are rooted back to selfishness. The entitlement mentality that is wreaking havoc on our economy is tied back to selfishness. We are a society taught to look out for #1 and put our own needs above anyone else’s, even though that is the exact opposite of what Jesus epitomized during his time on earth. As Christ followers, isn’t our goal to be more like Jesus? Marriage is the worst place for selfishness. I love this quote: “Being a little boy's mama means loving your husband the same way that you'd want your son to be loved." Isn’t that a great filter & perspective? Be the kind of wife you want your sons to marry. Love your husband the way you want your sons to be loved by their future wives.
*Pride. The is one that I personally struggle with, and as I see it in others, it REALLY makes me want to get a grip on it. It is AWFUL, and it is the worst being around someone who is arrogant and always thinks they are right.It’s hard for Christ to shine through with the glorification of self, and the worst part about pride is that many times the most prideful people are too proud to recognize it’s even a struggle. Pride is destructive and has ruined more marriages, churches, and relationships than we can imagine.
Whew. I know. I know that is intense. I know that is some “old school” views and not very popular. I know lots of people, even believers, will think this is ridiculous. But take one look at the world we live in. Do you feel like things are going well around us?? What has changed? I am all about grace and mercy, but I am not all about accepting society’s norms that blatantly go against the Word of God. And when I study the Word, these are some things that stick out to me. No, you’re not going to see “college” or “birth control” in the Bible, but God is omniscient and omnipotent, and they are covered in the Bible. You may just have to do some digging & studying & praying! I have personally had to repent for several of these, and I realize my ignorance doesn’t make them any more okay. We have to study the Bible to know what it says, and then choose to follow it despite what the world and the modern church say. I hope you heard my heart and that I didn’t offend you, but if you were offended, maybe consider WHY. I wish someone had shared some of these truths with me (in love) when I was younger. This post was not meant to be condemning, but rather thought provoking and challenging. I hope it helped you consider a different view on something that maybe you blindly accepted as truth (the way I have so many times).I hope this challenges you to dig in to Scripture for yourself and prayerfully seek the Lord on choices and sins you may have tolerated. And before you comment, I would love for you to include the Scripture to back up your thoughts. I am not offended by commenters who disagree by any means (and I will post them as long as they are not inappropriate), but please understand you are just further proving my point that we are blindly accepting society’s ways if you post an opinion not backed by Scripture.