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Category: Conviction

Virginity Stolen Through Sexual Abuse

Virginity Stolen Through Sexual Abuse

There are women whose virginity was stolen from them through sexual abuse and no fault of their own. Some were offended by my viral post encouraging young women to be virgins until marriage. How are they to erase the pain and guilt they feel from this happening to them? Are they “no good” since they can’t be virgins on their honeymoon by no choice of their own? I want to make it clear that my post was directed to those women who actually have a choice in keeping or losing their virginity before marriage NOT to those who had theirs stolen. So please understand the huge difference, but here’s what I say to those women who didn’t get to choose to be virgins on their wedding night.

My encouragement to them would be to learn who they are in Christ. They are new creatures in Him; the old is gone (2 Corinthians 5:17) and God restores the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25). They need to find their worth and value in Him since His love is unconditional and everlasting (Romans 8:31-39). Bitterness will destroy them (Hebrews 12:15) so they need to rid themselves of it. Those who violated them were walking in the flesh and being led by the prince of the power of the air, Satan. It is a spiritual battle being waged in the heavenlies (Ephesians 6:12) but greater is He who is in them than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). They will be transformed by continually renewing their minds with truth (Romans 12:2). It doesn’t mean they won’t bear the scars of their abuse but they can find healing through Christ.

I asked the wise women in the chat room for their advice for these women and here are some of their responses. Some comments are from those who have experienced sexual abuse in their childhood.

Stacey: “I don’t know – I wish when I was really hurting after the abuse someone told me that childhood rape was not me giving away my virginity; that it was stolen and God knows the difference between childhood rape and willing sex. I wasn’t told this and another abusive woman in my life called me a slut at five years old. So I thought I was!

“Until I learned the difference which, unfortunately, wasn’t until a few years ago, I thought I was just too dirty and sexually deviant because I lured a family member at such a young age. To the women actively struggling with this, being raped and molested is not a choice but instead is a sin committed against you. While we are responsible for healing, the sex crime is not their fault and does not need atoning.

“Now it doesn’t bother me but a while ago those posts would have devastated me because Satan used that teaching to scare me from God. Sexual abuse of children is such a deep, awful evil that infects the poor child’s body, mind, and soul. Satan sure devastates children with it; we have to be vigilant in helping victims. At least, I wish people were vigilant in noticing me and helping me. Praise God, I found wonderful people who He brought in my life. I hope that helps! Sorry some are hurting by your post. Unfortunately, Satan wants that, I think. Praying he loses ground and these women find peace and the innocence God wants for them.”

Cassie: “As a person who has been abused at ten and raped at fourteen and eighteen, I took no offense to your post. Part of it is their victim mentality. [Those who were sexually abused were victims at the time but they don’t have to stay victims with a victim mentality their entire lives. This only hurts them.] Once you lose your victim mentality and that everyone should feel sorry for you and walk on eggshells about what they say, there is nothing to find offense against. I honestly do not think there is anything you can say to comfort those who want to remain a victim against this offense. But they do need to understand that you teach to those who give it away or have the opportunity to give it away and that you are called to speak that truth to help those make better choices.

“They also need to learn to find healing from Jesus Christ and Him alone and allow Him to lift them up and beyond the devastating effects of those abuses. Once they learn to leave the guilt where it belongs and that is with the offender and not them, they will begin to find more peace.”

Lindsay: “It is precisely because virginity is valuable that what was done to them is such a terrible wrong. Of course, it is not their fault if someone abused or raped them. It’s not a sin on their part. But it was a terrible sin what was done to them, not only because they were violated, but because it robbed them of their innocence that should have been theirs on their wedding night. Rape and abuse leave scars that can be hard to overcome.

“The ideal is virginity and innocence on the wedding night so that husband and wife can learn together without fear or past memory getting in the way, but they were robbed of that through the sins of others. They can certainly go on to have a wonderful married sex life anyway, but the scars are going to be there, and that is a tragedy. It doesn’t negate the experiences of these women to point out that virginity is a precious thing to be saved for marriage. It affirms that great wrong was done to them. It should also be pointed out that no one said that the only valuable thing about a woman is her virginity. What was said is that virginity should be saved for marriage.”

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Basing Beliefs Upon Experiences Instead of Truth

Basing Beliefs Upon Experiences Instead of Truth

One reason given for women not teaching or having authority over men in the churches was that Eve was deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). I have been mentoring women for over 15 years. I have been writing for a blog for almost eight years. A troubling trend that I see among many women is that they tend to base their beliefs upon their experiences, emotions, and feelings instead of what is true. For instance, these are a few themes that women have commented to me on my blog or Facebook page.

“My husband physically abused me, therefore, women should not submit to their husbands and winning a husband without a word by godly behavior doesn’t work because it didn’t work for me.”

“My children turned out great and I worked outside of the home full time.”

“I was sexually assaulted in my past, therefore, all women who say they have been assaulted should be believed.”

“So-and-so (a famous woman preacher) brings many to the Lord so women should be able to preach.”

“This popular female blogger makes me feel so good about myself so she must be okay to learn from.”

All of these things I have heard over and over again to dispute what I write and what is truth. Many peoople wholeheartedly believe these statements to be true, regardless of whether they are or not.

If a husband physically abuses his wife, he is either a very troubled man or an evil man. Not one woman that I have mentored who has been physically abused by her husband has told me that their husband is evil. They all say their husband is very troubled and needs help. I encourage them to call the authorities if they are being physically abused and even separate for a time until he gets help. BUT this doesn’t make void God’s commands for wives to submit to their husband’s leadership and that women who are married to disobedient husbands are to win their husbands without the word by their godly behavior (1 Peter 3:1). God’s ways are “good, and acceptable, and perfect” (Romans 12:2) so we must trust and obey Him! There are TWELVE verses that clearly states a wife’s position under her husband. There’s no guessing game here.

Yes, some women can work outside of the home and their children turn out great but this doesn’t negate God’s command for younger women to be keepers at home. It doesn’t negate the studies that prove that children are more emotionally stable and secure who are raised full time by their mothers. It only takes common sense to understand that children need and want their mothers! Yes, it’s a sacrifice that mothers make to stay home but it is well worth the time, energy, and sacrifice, since there is NO greater joy than to have your children walk in truth (3 John 1:4). Satan’s goal is to kill, steal, and destroy. He loves to steal children away from the Lord. This is why mothers need to be home with their children full time to not only raise them up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord but to protect them from the schemes of the evil one and from the wicked culture that we live in. “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” (1 Timothy 5:14).

Some women have and will always be sexually assaulted by men. Some have even been sexually molested by their own fathers and it’s tragic. BUT this doesn’t mean that every single woman that claims sexual assault is being truthful. The facts must be studied and proven whether they are true or not. Yes, some women lie for their own gain. Yes, all women aren’t truthful. In order to believe that women never lie, one must believe that women are sinless which they are not. “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

Just because there are women preachers who seem to be very successful doesn’t make what they are doing right. In fact, it’s not right. It’s against God’s clear command that women are not to teach nor be in authority over men. They are to be silent in the churches and if they have a question, they are to ask their husbands at home. No, there were NO women preachers in the Bible since it’s against God’s will for them. Live your lives by truth instead of what you may think is right. “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:12).

There are many false teachers out there. Many of the “Christian” young female bloggers twist the word of God to make women “feel” good about themselves. The only truth that should make women feel good about themselves is understanding who they are in Christ, what He has done for them, all of their sins have been forgiven if they believe, and they will live eternally with Him. Our lives are to be lived as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). There’s nothing in the word about “me time” and spending time on our pleasures. No, it’s about living a life that glorifies the Lord in all that we do. We are to also call out sin when it’s clearly against the word of God, not try to make others comfortable in their sin since sin is destructive, and living in obedience to God is what we are called to do. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world”(1 John 4:1).

Don’t live your life by your experiences, what’s popular, what makes you feel good, or your emotions, dear women. Be in the word of God daily and renew your minds with truth. Ask the Lord for wisdom and He will freely give it to you. No longer be conformed to this world but be transformed by truth!

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2

Women are Made in the Image of God

Women are Made in the Image of God

Written By Lindsay Harold with some revisions and additions by my husband, Ken.

Women are definitely made in the image of God even though we generally do not have the masculine traits with which God has revealed himself to us. We have a spirit that communes with God and the ability to reason and moral accountability – all of these are aspects of the image of God and separate mankind from the animals. If women were not made in the image of God, then we could not be saved and we would be mere animals. It is our spirit, our intellect, our ability to love and be love; the list is long in what makes us in the image of God.

Both men and women are made in the image of God, but men reflect the glory of God in a different way than women because men have a similar role to God’s role, which is protector, provider, and leader. Women where designed by God to have a role of mother, nurturer and care giver. Although the roles of men and women do overlap, it is clear from God’s design that men and women are quite different, yet both show aspects of who God is and what He desires from the family of God. God is going about the business of taking one man and one woman and joining them together with all their differences in marriage to most fully reflect His image and glory.

The Bible at times uses the term “man” to mean mankind as a whole – both male and female as “Adam” (Man) stands as the type for all men and women. There are several verses which show us that women are made in God’s image.

Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created THEM.

Genesis 9:6 Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.

Here, the word “man” means all of mankind. This verse would indicate that it is only wrong to kill men and not women if women are not created in the image of God also. It is the image of God that sets mankind apart from the animals and makes it a capital offense to kill a human, whether male or female.

Thus, when you have a verse like this one:
Exodus 21:29 “If, however, an ox was previously in the habit of goring and its owner has been warned, yet he does not confine it and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death.”

This is evidence that killing a woman (through negligence, in this case) bears the same penalty of death as killing a man because both men and women bear the image of God.

1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.

This verse is where the error occurred in thinking women do not bear the image of God. But it does not say here that woman is not made in the image of God. Rather it says that man is both in God’s image and designed to bring glory to God. Women are in God’s image, but designed to bring glory to man (especially their husbands). It is pointing out the one major way women differ from men, and it is not in lacking the image of God, but rather in what they bring glory to.

Romans 8:29-30 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

Here we see that salvation is about being conformed to the image of Christ. This is drawing on the language of mankind’s creation in the image of God to say that we were created in God’s image, but the image was corrupted through sin, and now we must become conformed to the image of Christ to restore what we were meant to be. If women were not created in the image of God, then women cannot be saved because how can they become the image of Christ if they were never in the image of God?

I Corinthians 15 uses the analogy of Adam being the first man, created in the image of God, and Christ as the second Adam who came to redeem us. In verse 49, it tells us why this is important. “Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.”

Again, if women do not bear the image of God, then salvation does not apply to them. We must bear the image of God in the earthly sense, being human beings, before we can bear the heavenly image of Christ through salvation.

Even Jesus’ words make this case.

Matthew 22:19-21 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Jesus’ point here is that while the coins of Rome bear the image of Caesar and should be given to Caesar when they are due, humans bear the image of God and thus belong to God. We should give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to Him – i.e. that which bears His image, which is ourselves. Again, if women do not bear the image of God, then they cannot be saved.

Good theology is important, and while there are those who wrongly claim men and women are the same and have the same roles, it is also wrong to claim that women are not created in the image of God. We must distinguish between the image of God, which separates mankind from the animals and which makes women a suitable helper for their husbands because they share the same nature, and the different roles which God has ordained for men and women. Men have a role that is more similar to God’s role toward mankind and thus bring glory to God more directly while women have a role that is designed to bring glory to God more indirectly through bringing glory to their husbands. But both men and women share the image of God and are equally capable of bearing the image of Christ through salvation.

HERE is a good article by John Piper on this topic for further study!

Social Justice and the Gospel

Social Justice and the Gospel

There is a statement on social justice and the gospel being spread around and anyone who believes that it is true is encouraged to sign it. This is the basis of it: “WE AFFIRM that the Bible is God’s Word, breathed out by him. It is inerrant, infallible, and the final authority for determining what is true (what we must believe) and what is right (how we must live). All truth claims and ethical standards must be tested by God’s final Word, which is Scripture alone.”

I believe this with all of my heart, mind, and soul. I believe the word of God as written and don’t try to water it down or twist it to say something that I want it to say. I love the Lord and His word. I teach all that it has to say concerning biblical womanhood every day. I see way too many churches having women preach, women preachers/teachers teaching false doctrine, and “Christian” bloggers tickling their readers ears. This is an important document as we see the Church growing more and more lukewarm.

Here are two of my favorite things that this statement affirms. Please study it and sign it if you agree. We sure did!

Sexuality and Marriage

“WE AFFIRM that God created mankind male and female and that this divinely determined distinction is good, proper, and to be celebrated. Maleness and femaleness are biologically determined at conception and are not subject to change. The curse of sin results in sinful, disordered affections that manifest in some people as same-sex attraction. Salvation grants sanctifying power to renounce such dishonorable affections as sinful and to mortify them by the Spirit. We further affirm that God’s design for marriage is that one woman and one man live in a one-flesh, covenantal, sexual relationship until separated by death. Those who lack the desire or opportunity for marriage are called to serve God in singleness and chastity. This is as noble a calling as marriage.

“WE DENY that human sexuality is a socially constructed concept. We also deny that one’s sex can be fluid. We reject “gay Christian” as a legitimate biblical category. We further deny that any kind of partnership or union can properly be called marriage other than one man and one woman in lifelong covenant together. We further deny that people should be identified as “sexual minorities”—which serves as a cultural classification rather than one that honors the image-bearing character of human sexuality as created by God.

The Church

“WE AFFIRM that the primary role of the church is to worship God through the preaching of his word, teaching sound doctrine, observing baptism and the Lord’s Supper, refuting those who contradict, equipping the saints, and evangelizing the lost. We affirm that when the primacy of the gospel is maintained that this often has a positive effect on the culture in which various societal ills are mollified. We affirm that, under the lordship of Christ, we are to obey the governing authorities established by God and pray for civil leaders.

“WE DENY that political or social activism should be viewed as integral components of the gospel or primary to the mission of the church. Though believers can and should utilize all lawful means that God has providentially established to have some effect on the laws of a society, we deny that these activities are either evidence of saving faith or constitute a central part of the church’s mission given to her by Jesus Christ, her head. We deny that laws or regulations possess any inherent power to change sinful hearts.”

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

None of Us Want to Grow Old?

None of Us Want to Grow Old?

“Dr. Bernard Nash is a social worker who’s considered a pioneer in the study of aging. He points out the paradox that we all want to live longer . . . but none of us wants to grow old! And that’s true today.” This quote was from Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ blog post about her upcoming 60th birthday. We may have been born on the same day!

Unlike the quote, I am thankful to be growing old. I could have easily died when I was 45 years old and my sodium level was 110 instead of 137-147. This has happened several more times since then. They consider 110 sodium level “death level.” I have also survived two brain surgeries. Last May, I had a bad reaction to my thyroid drug and my blood pressure was up to 222/110 at one point which is stroke level. Yes, I am thankful to be alive at 60 years old. Perspective is everything!

I turn 60 years old today. Each day is a gift. Overall, I have felt better the past few years than I have in the 30 years prior. I never thought I would feel good again but I have some very good days. It’s fun to be able to enjoy life and be able to work hard and serve others.

I followed Jeremiah’s Thomas’ struggle for life on Facebook. He was only 16 years old and died of cancer a few days ago. He loved God, preached the Gospel, and fought hard against abortion. He had a bright future ahead of him but God used his illness for good. Many thousands have heard the Gospel and learned the value of the unborn while watching his fight for life. His life was short but it was used for the glory of God. Jeremiah would have loved to grow old.

My mom passed away a few weeks ago. She lived a long and good life. She never had to see a spouse, child, grandchild, or great grandchild die. Yes, she saw me through my sufferings and it pained her but she never had to experience an untimely death of one she loved. She was blessed, yet she definitely had her struggles and sufferings but she never complained about growing older since she knew this was a part of life and all of life was a gift.

If you are growing old, be thankful. If you are getting wrinkles and gray hair, be thankful. Our culture worships youth but I sure don’t. Wisdom and experience are priceless things we can learn from growing old. I don’t mind my gray hair and wrinkles. I am happy to have them! I am happy to be growing old with the husband of my youth who still finds me attractive! I am happy to have children in their 30s and being called a grandma. All of these are huge blessings to me.

God is good and His ways are good. I don’t know what His future plans are for me but I do know that they are good even if they include suffering and sorrow. Sufferings and sorrows remind us that this isn’t our home and a new heaven and a new earth are awaiting us. This life is a blip on the scene of eternity. Enjoy each day and understand that it is a gift not to be wasted with frivolous things like seeking pleasures but living it to glorify God. I am thankful to be growing old!

With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.
Job 12:12

She Loves Jesus and Cusses a Little

She Loves Jesus and Cusses a Little

There is a post going around Facebook that was written by a popular “Christian” woman named Rachel Hollis. I am going to share it with you and my comments are in parenthesis. Her type of thinking is lukewarm at best and doesn’t present the Gospel of Jesus Christ at all. This is why it’s so popular among the masses. She wrote from her emotions and feelings (as many women are doing today) instead of from the truth of God’s Word. Please, dear women, be very careful whom you learn from.

I love Jesus, and I cuss a little. ( I love Jesus and I don’t cuss because God doesn’t want any unwholesome words to come out of our mouths.) I love Jesus, and I drink alcohol. (I love Jesus and I don’t drink alcohol. No, it’s not a sin to drink alcohol as long as it “just a little” or “not much” as clearly outlined in Scripture; for we are commanded to be sober.) I love Jesus, and some of my best friends are gay. (I love Jesus but my gay friends are struggling against their sins.) I love Jesus, and I adore hip hop music. (I love Jesus, and I adore worship and praise music! Most hip hop music promotes worldliness which we are to have no part with.) I love Jesus, and I totally read romance novels where vampires fall in love with librarians or school teachers or female detectives with a tortured backstory. (I love Jesus and I try to only read those things that are true, honest, just, pure, and of good report as stated in Philippians 4:8.)
If you’re looking for someone who’s perfect, you’ve come to the wrong gal. (If you’re looking for someone who’s perfect, I can point you to the person of Jesus who is perfect and He lives within me mightily! He gives us the will and the way to live righteous lives in this sinful world.) If you’re looking for a community of people who are just like you, you’ve come to the wrong tribe. (We are commanded to walk with the wise and warned that bad company corrupts good morals, so I love to find a community who are like-minded that love the Lord and His perfect ways.)
Diversity is our jam. (Christlikeness is our jam.)
Judgment is our enemy. (We are to make righteous judgments and clearly judge between right and wrong. “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” – Romans 12:9)
Encouragement is our aim. (Encouragement to become more like Christ?)
I love everyone AS THEY ARE and if you’re in this community that means you commit to loving everyone as well. You know, just like Jesus would do. (The same Jesus that said that if your right eye causes you to sin, then pluck it out and if your arm causes you to sin, then cut it off? And the same Jesus that told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more? Are you talking about this Jesus? Yes, He loved people but he hated the sin that so easily entangled them and kept them in bondage. He came that He might bring the truth and the life and He died to set us from from sin! Please, read and study Romans 6 and 8. I love you enough to tell you that Christ has set you free, if you will believe in Him.)

I am a Christian but I fully love and accept you and want to hang out with  you if you’re a Christian or Muslim or Jewish or Buddhist or Jedi or love the opposite sex or love the same sex or love Rick Springfield circa 1983. (I am a Christian and we can hang out if you are a Muslin, Jewish, Buddhist, Jedi, or love the same sex but expect me to do all I can to lead you to the Savior of your soul since only Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and no man comes to the Father except through Him.) Not only that, but I think the ability to seek out community with people who are different from me makes me a stronger, better version of myself. (This is only true if you are hanging out and following the examples of those who are strong in their faith and in their walk with the Lord. I don’t want a “better version of myself.” I want to become more like Christ.)
There are so many different versions of each and every style on this planet. There is beauty in that dichotomy. (Yes, there is beauty in dichotomy but not in sin or in those who will receive the wrath of God if they don’t repent and believe.) The kingdom of God is in that dichotomy. (No, you fail to present the Gospel which clearly states that one must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. The kingdom of God lives in the hearts and minds of those who have received King Jesus as Lord and Savior by believing on Him. Period. There is no dichotomy with this and there is but one narrow path to God by way of His Son who came and died to set men and women free from sin, not free to sin.)

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Proverbs 13:20

Are You a Christian, Christian?

Are You a Christian, Christian?

Written By Ken

Lori and I are big believers in grace. Ask anyone of our children and you will find that we tried to be like our heavenly Father towards them. When they failed to live up to God’s admonitions, grace abounded towards them but we never give up on the established standards because of sin. We gave them God’s ideals daily, demanding that while they lived in our home they followed the precepts of God’s Word. For this is what God requires of us as parents to not allow our love for our children to blind us training them in what is best for their lives.

If you are not familiar with the word “antinomianism” look it up. It means that some in the church follow a heresy that God’s grace is so pervasive in the life of a Believer that the Christian can go on practicing sin, or living in sin, and no matter what they do God’s love and grace forgives them. Some have made a mockery of God’s abundant grace, and although God’s grace will cover a multitude of sins for the Believer (past, present, and future), those who continue to walk in sin are missing the point that they may not be saved in the first place. Yes, it is not a loving God that one should fear when we continue in sin, but rather our God who has wrath stored up for sinners who do not walk by faith into righteousness. After all, the same great salvation that saves us for eternity also saves us from our sins in the here and now.

Many in the modern-day church seem bent on wiping away God’s demands on our lives. Our churches are failing to teach God’s standards and ideals with any conviction that they are to be pursued in spite of Christ’s words, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” It seems every post Lori produces that explains God’s best and His ideals for life and godliness is met with another Christian blogger waxing and waning on how horrible it is to not focus almost exclusively on God’s love and grace. Hey Christian, did you ever consider that a large part of God’s love and grace comes by heeding His admonitions so you don’t live your life filled with regrets for your sins? Why not try to stop the person diving into the shallow side of the pool before they dive head first instead of administering love and grace after they hit head first on the bottom?

There is plenty written on love and grace in the church, but the time now for young men and women is to decide to do things God’s ways so they can reap His many blessings. The loss of one’s virginity before marriage, debt, and not putting great energy into one’s family because of a career, are all preventable if one is shown the better way of God’s will by His Word. There is an important place for God’s admonitions to follow His ways and a place for love, grace and acceptance when we fail Him. But let’s not be so quick to jump on the grace bandwagon that we neglect to speak the whole truth of God’s Word that warns us to avoid “the sins that so easily entangle us” and can ultimately ruin so much of the good life God has in store for His children who do things as He instructs.

Moreover, should not the love of Christ and His great work on Christ compel us to obedience if we see no reward in this life? Is that not what putting on Christ and His Lordship is all about for the true Believer? “For the love of God controls us, having concluded this… that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who for their sake died and was raised again” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).

Are you a Christian?
Far too often after a post on simple admonitions of serving, submission, and keepers-at home, we hear, “You are not a Christian!” or “You are doing damage to Christianity!” It is amazing how challenging the status quo of a modern society that is bent on doing what it wants, and shoving women out of the home and into the workplace, can conjure up such consternation. Some cannot seem to separate respect for a person from a disdain for the ideas they espouse on their blog. The personal attacks are unwarranted and hurtful coming from Christians whose desire is not to dialogue but to shut Lori down. After all, Lori is just teaching what the church has taught for almost 2,000 years, but now they perceive that very same teaching as detrimental to the church, to society, and particularly to women. Take a look at any of the well-respected older biblical commentaries, which Lori regularly does, and they all agree whole heartily with what she teaches. But those old scholarly and godly men are no longer to be believed in a Christian world filled with prominent female leaders who preach grace and positivity instead of Biblical Womanhood.

So What Does it Mean to Be Christian?
The answer is that the word Christian simply means “to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.” A theologically Christian can be defined as “one who has made a real decision to follow Jesus by repenting of their sins and accepting the saving grace that only God can give based on the blood of Jesus shed on behalf of all sinners. It is a free gift from God to all who believe in Jesus as the Son of God and as their personal Savior of the World.”

Lori and I are willing to accept all who claim the name of Jesus as Savior as our brothers and sisters in Christ. We do not expect everyone to believe just as we believe about God’s Word and how God wants Christians to live their lives. The church is made up of many members and many gifts and each of us are at different stages of our Christian walk and influenced by the experiences God and life have brought to us. Whether a wife works and leaves her children at home hours a day, and expects her husband to help more around the home, even fully tattooed, has nothing to do with saving grace that makes one a Christian. For we are not saved by any works we may do, but only by the grace of God.

Becoming a Christian is open to all sorts of sinners, but once saved, God turns us into saints. Yes, within the instant that we accept Jesus as Savior, we are told that God’s power of regeneration makes us into the “righteousness of God”; for we are “in Christ Jesus.” Read Romans 6 where we are told that we “died with Christ,” “are buried with Christ,” “have risen with Christ,” “alive in Christ” and now “dead to sin” and we are to now to “walk in newness of life.”

Unfortunately, most Christians seem to get stuck in Romans 6, or worse yet in the sink hole of sin of Romans 7 where Paul exposes the cycle of sin that traps the person into a vicious struggle of try and fail, try and fail, trying in our own power (the flesh) to conquer sin. Thank God He has a solution for sin and that is to stop focusing on the flesh and instead learn to “walk in the Spirit.” For if you live after the flesh you will die” (Romans 8:13).

Remember those “antinomians” who believe God’s grace covers them if they keep on sinning? Well, this verse makes it clear that if they keep on practicing sin they need to question if they truly are Believers. Are they really saved? “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9).

But what if I keep sinning?
No one, including God’s Word, has said that the Christian will never sin again. The privilege of sinlessness that we long for will not arrive until the moment we are transformed out of this body into a life of God’s grand eternity where we will meet Him face to face and put on the white robe of righteousness reserved for us in our eternity with Him. But as for now, we are to walk in newness of life putting off the old man and putting on the new man as our new identity. We are to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh seeking those things which are above, no longer with a mind set on things of this earth.

Too many Christians want to rest in God’s salvation without a godly desire to obey God’s admonitions. The motto “Begin with the end in mind” is where our minds should stay, thinking of those last hours before we go home to be with Jesus, and asking ourselves what regrets and joys will we have when that day comes when eternity is drawing near. You Christian, you Saint and Holy One, your salvation should feel secure, but you also should have a strong desire to please your Lord Jesus by obeying Him at His Word. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has preordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). After you accept Jesus as Lord of your life, it is no longer about your will, your flesh, and your ways, but God’s will, God’s Spirit living mightily in you, and God’s ways. Our modern day society says, “Just do your own thing for you are in control of your life,” and God’s Word says, “You are a child of the living God and his love controls you to be His faithful servant.”

Lori’s ministry was born out of regret with both of us wishing we had been willing to faithfully follow God at His Word earlier in our marriage, not having wasted so many precious moments of our early married years. Lori beckons wives who are filled with disappointment, dissatisfied, and self-focused to take another look at God’s perfect ways that do not fit well with a modern feministic society. A multitude of women have sent Lori notes telling her how much they appreciate not only her encouraging words but the results in their own lives, marriage, and family by deciding to do things according to the plain admonitions God gives us in His Word.

How Do You Know You Are a Christian?
Some believe that you can never know for sure if you are a Christian until you get to heaven. We see this as an awful way to live the Christian life as God’s Word and His Spirit gives us all we need for the full assurance that we are indeed saved. Here are five simple tests of your salvation:

First, we are told that the one who believes in Jesus as Savior will also accept Him as Lord of their lives. This means that we have a hunger for knowing how God wants us to live and we model our lives after the God-Man Christ Jesus. Lordship is not required for salvation, but it is a sure sign of who is indeed saved as Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of all.

This leads us to a natural second test of our faith as we follow in the footsteps of the Suffering Servant. Let me say this very plainly, that if both husband and wife are not set on serving each other, and especially investing their lives in their children so that they will grow up into the nurture and admonition of the Lord, then we have to wonder if such a person is saved. We are shocked by the Christian comments of those offended at the thought of joyfully serving a husband by doing an extra share of housekeeping. As one married to a wife who has been often ill, I have at times been called upon to do much more than my share of family duties. If you are a Christian, you cannot miss the fact that Jesus calls you to become “the servant of all,” and that this must start with your spouse and family then extend to all others.

The third test is a simple understanding of what the fruit of the Spirit brings. We are told that those who believe on Christ are made new creatures as God takes our hearts of stone and replaces them with His very own Spirit. And what are the fruit of the Spirit if not “love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23). How does your life display these things, Christian? Are you shining the fruit of the Spirit when you write your angry filled messages on Social Media, or you go after a fellow brother or sister with personal attacks because you disagree with them theologically?

The fourth test of whether one is a true Believer or not may be if they walk in the flesh or in the Spirit. We are told that the flesh and the Spirit are at war with each other and that the Believer chooses to walk in the Spirit by regularly saying “No” to their flesh. Lori focuses quite a bit of her writings on this very matter, challenging Christian woman to think about how they dress, how they eat and take care of themselves, how they put off anger and disdain, and put on love for their husbands and children. Each moment of the day, we have a choice to walk in our dead flesh or walk in the Spirit who lives inside of us. Walking in the Spirit moment by moment each day is a sure sign of salvation and spiritual maturity.

The final test of Salvation comes in the end as the true Believer believes all the way to the end of their life (Hebrews 10:28-29). It is not enough to believe in Jesus and sprout up a life that looks like a Christian only to eventually die out, like the seed of the parable Jesus gave that was thrown onto rocky ground. The true seed is planted on the healthy soil of Christ Jesus Himself and grows deep roots into Christ as it grows up to bear fruit. Tell me, Christian, are your roots growing deeper into the Word and obedience to what God is asking of you, while also growing up and outward into bearing much fruit for the Kingdom of God?

Life is but a vapor that is best summed up as a series of choices and decisions. We each get to choose how to live our life and how to best walk with God. We are not asking you to follow us, or to follow Lori’s ideals that are counter-culture, but rather that you be challenged by her words to think and study on your own to come to the best conclusions for our own life before God.

Please do not fault Lori for her faithfulness to what God has called her to do in teaching the younger Christian women. If you cannot join her, why not choose to pass on by and allow some disagreement over what the Word teaches and how our society is best served by cohesive families? After all, we are one in the body of Christ, or at least part of America where ideals should be allowed to be expressed freely without harm and persecution over our disagreements.

And if you, like Lori and me, have failed in some of God’s best for your life, it is then that we run headlong into the arms of Jesus begging for his grace and mercy on our lives. His grace and love do indeed abound even to the greatest of sinners. It is often out of regrets for past sins that ministry is born trying to stop as many others as possible from committing the same stupid mistakes that God has warned us about over and over again.

If you are in need of God’s grace, grasp ahold tightly to His promises that you are indeed a new creature in Christ and all your past sins have been placed on Christ on the cross. But never fail to realize that as new creatures, Christians, we are to walk in newness of life, leaving a life of sin behind. For we are no longer Sinners but Saints. Now may we grow up into this new life of righteousness that God has graciously given to us. And may we teach our children and others in the church that God’s grace begins when we heed His many admonitions and walk in obedience to His calling.

Love is Not Easily Offended

Love is Not Easily Offended

Written By Israel Wayne

There is probably no way to say this without someone getting offended…

But why do people always have to get offended about every living thing?

As a speaker, I find it incredibly distracting to have to put in a billion qualifiers to everything I say so people won’t be put off by what I say.

For example, if I say that marriage is important, and a God-honored institution, the singles in the audience get offended, and tell me that Paul said it’s better not to marry.

If I say that fathers are important, single-parent mothers get offended, and say that I’m being discouraging to them. Or just mothers in general feel like I’m saying they don’t matter.

If I say that God intends marriage to be for life, people who are divorced get offended, and tell me that it’s not always your fault if your spouse leaves you.

And on, and on.

Look, I get all of that. Honest I do. I’m just wondering why people assume that if you affirm one thing, you are somehow speaking disparagingly about another? Couldn’t we just accept statements that are generally true, without assuming that there is a sweeping denunciation of every other category in the universe?

I can certainly add a host of disclaimers and exception clauses all the time to try to keep everyone happy (and usually do), but it gets old.

I didn’t have this problem 15 years ago. For the most part, people just heard you out, and used a filter of common sense to understand what you were saying. What has happened in recent years that has made so many people emotionally fragile and defensive?

Charity…Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.
1 Corinthians 13:5

Younger Women Bloggers Divorcing

Younger Women Bloggers Divorcing

Written By Redeemed, an alias for a woman who commented on one of my posts, Teaching Others Without Time-Tested Experience and Wisdom about the fact that God has specifically called older women in age to teach the younger women.

I have often wondered about the wives and moms who have blogged over the years since newly married and with young(er) children, offering their (seemingly mature) thoughts and advice to all the readers, but now are divorced! Those once husband-and-family-encouraging blogs, have been turned into how-to-recognize-when-your-marriage-is-over musings and encouragements! As well as how divorce IS an (easy) option, a very freeing one, to be able to carry on with one’s (much happier, now) life!

I also wonder if just possibly(?) these wives had lived their lives as was expressed by Lori and Mr. Challies above, based on God’s perfect design and biblical principles for us, as women, might they not be experiencing the joys of reaping a fulfilled marriage.

I often laugh out loud thinking of some supposedly helpful, “mature, spiritual advice” I passed on when I was 30 with several young children, pregnant, (more children were added since then) and now being one of those “aged” women, with some married children, a grandparent, and having experienced some trials and heartaches along the way with hearts crying out to the Lord and time spent on my knees!

“Humility comes through these trials, not apart from them, as you face your utter inability and lack of answers. Humility comes as you realize how little you really know and as you cry out to God for [H]is help.” Mr. Challies nailed it! What wisdom and perspective the 30+ years I have been given since then! Plenty to help me realize my thoughts and advice back then were “foolishness.”

Yes, just going about the business of being a wife, mom, and homemaker while depending on the Lord’s wisdom, learning to trust Him, and be faithful in ALL areas of our life (from the loads of laundry to intimacy with our husband) is what younger women are to be focusing on (and we older ones are to continue on maturing in these, too). THIS is what builds toward earning the reputation and wisdom of being the “aged” women and brings glory to God and not blasphemy to His word.

I think one of the truths I’ve gleaned over the years that develops wisdom and maturity (especially spiritually) is that of just being “in the Word.” As much as I can, I put scripture in my mind and life. Memorizing, listening to messages whenever feasible, and catching those quiet moments to simply read and meditate on God’s Word all add up over the years to renew our minds and give us answers when someone asks for our insights. It’s really HIS wisdom anyway that provides a basis for the practical advice I may give out.

Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
1 Timothy 3:6

Does God’s Grace Allow Us to Sin?

Does God’s Grace Allow Us to Sin?

Some women have told me that I don’t show enough grace in my posts. I focus too much on teaching women how they are to live their lives: be sober, love and obey (and submit to) their husbands, love their children, be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, and good so that “the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4, 5). I teach women to not teach men nor be in authority over them and to be silent in the churches (1 Timothy 2:11, 12). If they have a question, ask their husbands at home since it is shameful for them to speak in the church (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35). I teach them to be modest, shamefaced, have meek and quiet spirits, and if they are married to husbands who don’t obey the word, then win them “without the word” (1 Peter 3:1) by their godly behavior.

Many women don’t like being taught these things and being told what to do, even Christian women. They cry, “Where is the grace?” and “You are judgmental!” Grace doesn’t give us the license to sin. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1,2).

God’s grace is what redeems us from our sins and gives us the ability to walk in the Spirit. It’s God’s favor and kindness poured down upon us when we were yet sinners. We deserved nothing from Him but eternal wrath and condemnation but once we confess His name and believe that God raised Christ from the dead, we are washed clean from ALL of our sins (past, present, and future) and His command to us is simple: “Go and sin no more.” He’s given us His Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead, and tells us that His Spirit works mightily within us. He has clothed us with His righteousness and reconciled us to God! (Memorize Romans 6 and 8 to clearly understand your new life in Christ.)

Yes, we still sin and His grace covers our sin but we should never willfully sin or practice sin as believers in Christ Jesus (Read 1 John). We will fall into the mud but we need to jump quickly out, remind ourselves that we are dead and freed from sin (Romans 6), and begin again to walk in newness of life; for He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.

What is our reasonable service for all He’s done for us? Is it to continue to live in sin and keep reminding ourselves that His grace covers us? NO! “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1, 2). What is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God for women? It’s clearly outlined in the first paragraph of this post! He wants our obedience to His commands since His commands are for our protection. They are boundaries and they are good.

We are commanded to exhort (to use words or arguments to incite to good deeds) one another daily (Hebrews 3:13), especially as we see the day approaching; for the deceitfulness of sin hardens hearts and sin must be warned against continually because we forget Truth so quickly.

Satan’s goal is to kill, steal, and destroy so I am going to continue to teach Christian women to be godly women who walk in newness of life and obey God in what He has asked them to do. It is our reasonable service. It’s the least we can do in return for what He has done for us and it’s for our protection. He is our Creator and He knows what is best for us.

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 3:13