When Shame was a Good Thing

When Shame was a Good Thing

Warning: My thoughts below will likely offend or “trigger” many. Rather than taking your anger out on me, why not direct that emotion and energy toward the real problem?

Do you feel shame when you ignore God?

Do you feel shame when you ignore God?

I’m in that weird stage of life where I’m not “old,” but I’m not “young” anymore either. I am still young enough to know what’s going on in popular culture today (probably thanks to my children), but I’m also old enough to remember a different time in our nation.

For instance, there was a time in our nation where a bride wearing white was a symbol of her purity. Today, women walk down the aisle for their second or third marriage wearing white. I don’t think most brides even think about whether or not they are “candidates” for wearing white for a wedding. I’m old enough to remember when it was shameful for young ladies to give birth to children without being married. Today, out of wedlock births are not really a big deal. In fact, 43% of children born in America today come home to just one parent. Let that sink in for just a moment—almost one-half of all children born are born out-of-wedlock. Simply put, we are no longer ashamed. Our conscience has been seared with a hot iron.

Instead of feeling shame, young people today lash out at those who might “judge” them. High schools open up nurseries to accommodate the expanding population of students who have babies. Parents get mad at the church for not having baby showers for their daughter who is pregnant out of wedlock. And society keeps convincing us we should be tolerant of everything.

Shame is defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. But parents don’t want their children to feel humiliation or distress. So instead of instilling strong conscience about things like sexual purity, we relax our morals and values. As a result, our nation has successfully altered what is viewed as acceptable or normal behavior when it comes to sex outside of marriage.

However, God does not change—He is immutable (Malachi 3:6). Whatever He has deemed as good and right is not subject to the whims of our culture. Just because a large percentage of the population is doing something does not make it right or good. Good is what God wills!

God Himself formed the institution of marriage and the family (Genesis 2). The Bible says that he who finds a wife finds a good thing (Proverbs 18:22). The Bible speaks clearly about the sin of fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18-20; Galatians 5:19-21) and keeping the marriage bed pure (Hebrews 13:4). Sexual immorality is something that can keep someone from spending eternity with God in heaven (Revelation 21:8)—it’s a serious subject in the eyes of God.

Why? Because there are huge consequences when a child is raised in a home without a father. (I’m not saying it can’t be done or that it is a sin…I’m saying there are serious consequences). For instance, fatherless homes account for:
53% of teen mothers
63% of youth suicides
71% high school dropouts
85% of youths in prison
90% of homeless/runaway children
And these are just a few of the consequences the child will face.

This also means that guys do not get a free pass. As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” How many guys are walking down the aisle pure? How many guys are “manning up” and being father’s to the children they produce? How many young men are setting aside their video game controller and actually assuming the role of spiritual leader?

Rather than Christians getting comfortable with out of wedlock births maybe we should bring back shame. I know that sounds harsh and judgmental given our politically correct climate. But maybe we should develop a Christian atmosphere where anything that God disapproves of is looked at as wrong and sinful. Maybe as a Christian family we should not be supportive of behavior that the Bible says will lead someone to a lake of fire. Maybe we should not throw celebrations for sin. (This doesn’t mean we don’t love children born into those situations. It simply means we don’t celebrate the sinful behavior.)

Instead, maybe we should hold our children and ourselves accountable to God. Maybe we should stop allowing our culture to dictate what is okay or acceptable. Maybe we should raise children who desire to be holy instead of desiring to live like the world. Maybe we should raise children who don’t want to feel shame and displease their heavenly father. Maybe we should raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord…

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God Will Provide

God Will Provide

In the Old Testament we read the story Abraham offering his son Isaac.  God told Abraham, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Genesis 22:2).  So Abraham went, and he took Isaac with him.  When they got to Mount Moriah where Abraham would make the offering, Isaac asked about the sacrifice.  In Genesis 22:8, we read: “Abraham said, ‘God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.’ So they went both of them together.”  After God stayed Abraham’s hand, and provided a ram for sacrifice the Bible says, “So Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The LORD will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.’”

God will provide.

God will provide.

We all have tests and trials to go through in this life.  There are times of uncertainty, trepidation, worry, and fear.  As we live by faith, God promises to be with us as He was with Abraham.  We deny self, empty our lives to God, and become that living sacrifice that He wants us to be.  Before Abraham could offer up his son to God, Abraham had to offer up himself trusting that God would take care of him and his family.  His proclamation to Isaac, “God will provide,” gives us hope that when troubles arise in our life God will be there for us and provide what we are needing for the moment.  It is hard to relinquish control to God, but in doing so, God will conform of us to image of His dear Son, who gave up everything to teach us who God created us to be.  God bless you and I love you.

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Unwanted Items

Unwanted Items

Last weekend was the “100 Mile Yard Sale Tour” here in Northeastern Oklahoma. People throughout several towns for “a hundred miles” around sought to sell thousands of personally unwanted items they had amassed over the years, while bargain hunters by the hundreds went out in search of that certain something that they just couldn’t live without – at a “steal” of a price of course.

Unwanted, broken, without value.

Unwanted, broken, without value?

My wife and I went out and made the shopping circuit on Friday, while sitting at home on Saturday and watching a fairly steady parade of bargain-seekers stopping by a neighbor’s yard to peruse their old and unwanted items. At one point, some folks in a fairly nice pickup truck with a boat and trailer in tow pulled up and parked near the neighbor’s driveway, so that they could get out and take a look at the items for sale there. And I got to thinking…

Just imagine with me for a moment, the following scenario…

A family gets up bright and early on Saturday morning to set up their once a year yard sale. In the process of putting their no longer wanted items out on display, they happen to drop one of the old, chipped, china cups that they were going to seek to sell for a meager ten cents apiece. It hits the concrete driveway and shatters into a dozen different pieces. The person who dropped it picks them all up and casually tosses them into the nearby garbage can. Later on that morning, a brand new, fully-loaded, highly-lifted, heavy duty, top of the line pickup truck worth around $80,000, towing a brand new speedboat worth in excess of $80,000, pulls up to the yard sale sight. The driver gets out, sees the busted cup in the garbage can, AND LEGITIMATELY offers to give those folks both the truck, boat, and trailer – straight up even no less – for just the broken cup!

Now, at first you would probably think this guy was crazy. After all, who would pay such an infinitely high price by comparison, for such a useless, ‘worthless,’ busted and broken vessel? The fact is, that almighty God not only would, but absolutely did – paying infinitely far more by comparison for each one of us broken, empty, and sin-stained human beings, than even the “extreme” illustration cited above would seem to indicate (1 Ptr. 1:17-21)!

And so, the only question that remains is: If a person/family can/will get up that early on a Saturday morning to set out a yard sale in hopes of making a few bucks that will most likely be gone by Monday, how can they or anyone else then, knowing the infinite price that God paid for them, not be grateful and thankful enough to get up on a Sunday morning and come to worship? To celebrate and appropriately say “Thank You” to this all-loving God for the inestimable price He paid for them, and His priceless present that will last, for all eternity (Romans 5+6)?

 

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