Tag Archives: women

ground rules

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So I know this may not come as much of a surprise, but I love having fun. I love playing games and being crazy. But one of the most important things you have to take into account when having fun is you have to make sure everyone understands the rules. As recently as this week, I was part of one such occurrence. This Monday was our annual Memorial Day picnic for our church. Since it was going to be roughly about 1,000 degrees outside, my wife and I decided to fill up water balloons to bring to the park for the kids. But before the battle could ensue, I had to make sure everyone understood the ground rules. No hitting anyone in the face. Little kids this is your bucket and big kids this is your bucket. Make sure you step five steps away before you begin to throw. And thanks to these simple ground rules, everyone had fun, no one got hurt and we all were able to cool off for a little bit.

I feel like lately though, we as adults have forgotten how to have fun and get along. Even in the church we have allowed ourselves to succumb to worldly division and talk that just doesn’t belong. Remember Paul said to the Philippians once upon a time regarding the world and the church that, “Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven.” – Philippians 3:19-20 So to help us on a little refresher course and make sure everyone gets along, I decided to help us out with a few ground rules today.

  • In the Kingdom of God, it is never okay to refer to other children of God as animals. Regardless of what someone has done, Jesus died to save us all. Sure in Scientific classification we are all animals, but this is the church and not science class. Therefore let’s all refer to each other as humans or even brother or sister.
  • In the Kingdom of God it is never okay to compare a person of color, particularly an African American, to a monkey or an ape. This is not only dehumanizing but historically very racist.
  • In the Kingdom of God we don’t fly or promote symbols that are linked to racism. And although you may claim the flag of the Confederate States of America is historical in nature, it was a history that fought to keep my son in chains and for the right to own people. Let’s keep it in the text books and out of our yards or off our clothing.
  • In the Kingdom of God it is never okay to refer to women as gals or chicks or anything that would make them feel less than the equally gifted and called children of God that they are. And let’s also stop blaming them for the violence, abuse and even rape that for centuries has gone unreported, even in the church.
  • In the Kingdom of God we don’t think less of anyone because of their country of origin or their international and/or undocumented status. We seek to be Christ to all because at some point someone was Christ to us.
  • In the Kingdom of God we seek to know a person’s name and award them their humanity regardless of their perceived status. A whole lot of misunderstanding and hurt will be avoided if we simply get to know each other.

I know sometimes that people think the world has become insane or difficult to manage, but these ground rules really aren’t that hard to follow. At the end of the day if we simply start treating other people as if we are all one, instead of us versus them, we would get a lot further. After all, Paul said in his letter to Galatians, “There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28 And if you are still struggling as to how to implement these simple ground rules, maybe we can take it back to the words of Christ himself, “Therefore, you should treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you; this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12 I hope this all helps. Now go out there and have fun and love people for the children of God they are.

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hey ladies…it’s okay

I think it’s safe to say that our industrialized Western society puts an undue amount of pressure on people. But if there’s one side of our society that bears a majority of those undeserved pressures, it is our women. They feel pressured to look a certain way, dress a certain way, keep their house a certain way, raise their children a certain way, perform in the job marketplace a certain way, cook a certain way, the list could go on forever…but can I say something to you today? It’s okay. You don’t have to measure up to any of these standards, because these in no way, shape or form contain your worth. Your worth is not defined by your house. Your worth is not defined by your kids…or even your ability or inability to have them. Your worth is not defined by your income or your ability to balance job and home. Your worth is not defined by your ability to cook or your appearance or anything else that can be quantified by a “women’s” magazine.

There was a recent hashtag trending on Twitter that was pretty discouraging to read: #thingschristianwomenhear. It was mind blowing to go through the 100’s of messages that we as the church deliver to women to make them feel less than or less valued. Fortunately a day or two into this phenomenon a new hashtag appeared: #thingschristianwomenshouldhear. These were messages, predominately from men, that attempted to redeem some of the hurtful and damaging rhetoric that has often been directed to women within the walls of the church or in the name of religion. Because let’s be honest; when it come’s to the reputation of the church and our ability to lift people up, there is always room for improvement.

Often times when it comes around to this time of the year (Mother’s Day) women in the church feel the need to evaluate themselves. Why in the world a Hallmark Card holiday would bring about this type of self-evaluation, I don’t know…but the phenomenon exists all the same. One of the passages of scripture that often gets pulled out for this type of self-inventory is Proverbs 31:10-31. This passage of scripture is known traditionally among the Jewish people as Eshet Chayil or The Woman of Valor. And if we read it at face value it can be intimidating…can a woman really be expected to do all of these things. But historically before every Sabbath, a husband would read this poem to his wife to praise her for all that she is (not all that she has done). It wasn’t a score card…but an embellishment and adoration of all that she was and meant to her husband before they entered into the rest of Sabbath. It reads a lot different now.

So ladies…may you be praised for who you are. May you not find yourself lacking because of what someone else thinks or because of how someone else is living their life or because of what some magazine or social media post says. After all, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30. May you find your worth and full acceptance in God and live out of that love and grace that you seek to embody it to those God has surrounded you with.


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