Here’s a collection of posts that have been written recently that I think are worth taking note of or are just cool.
If someone kicks you out of an airplane at 10,000 feet, and you’re lucky enough to be wearing a parachute, you have two options: pull the rip cord or become a greasy spot on the ground. Now, make no mistake, the decision to pull the cord and open the chute is all yours, free and clear…Do you see where this is going? The guy who kicked you out of the plane made your choice for you when he kicked you out of the plane and left you with only one viable option, BUT, he can distance himself from you choosing to open the chute because, technically, he wasn’t there when you made this “choice”.
Lisa Bertolini guest-posted on Quivering Daughters about Spiritual Abuse Awareness, something I think needs more press. I, myself, wasn’t even aware of it until someone told me I had been spiritually abused. (Here’s a post Lisa also wrote on what spiritual abuse is; Quivering Daughters also wrote about it here.) Lisa writes,
No matter what denomination you are struggling in, or have escaped from, there is hope, there are genuine believers out there, and authentic functions of spiritual leaders who can help guide you through the process of healing. You’re not alone.
Quivering Daughters wrote a great post titled “When Parental Obedience Brings Rejection“. Here’s a quote from that one:
I often hear from ostracized adult daughters who have made life decisions their parents believe are in disobedience (rebellion) to them and their teachings. Most of these women report that the difficult choices they make are a response to God’s calling for them. Parents counter that God wouldn’t ask them to do something that contradicts what they have taught and their understanding of Scripture.Yet these same parents teach their children to obey God first, regardless of the cost, regardless of the suffering and sacrifice, regardless of what other people think. These same parents generally encourage their children to stay in the Word and ask God for wisdom. To grow in the knowledge of Him, take up the cross, and follow.
When these women obediently do so, they are condemned, emotionally (and sometimes physically) severed from their families, and rejected.
A Young Mom wrote recently on spanking, which I think is worth looking at. The more I think about it, the more I’m leaning away from the idea of “thou shalt spank thy child” as the only way to discipline. All commands to discipline come from the Old Testament. While I don’t necessarily advocate throwing out the Old Testament, I certainly don’t advocate doing everything commanded there. Anyways, long story short, here’s a quote from her post:
Is pain really an effective “fear freeâ€ way to establish authority? I would argue that the reason a parent can get short term compliance by spanking a child, is because they are afraid of getting spanked again. Sounds like fear to me. And hasn’t this approach been used before historically? Look at the Inquisition for example. Obviously I am not talking about using the methods of torture they used, but the mindset is the same. Use pain to force compliance and get results. Get people to recant their heresy and say what they were supposed to believe. And yet, did that method really work? Yes, maybe some people “convertedâ€, but many recanted later, and some went to their death rather than change their minds. Why do we think that spanking can open the door to a life of Christian faith?
Vyckie Garrison posts her answer to the question, “Why Do You Dwell in the Past ~ Why Don’t You Just Forgive and Move On?” I’ve written a little bit about why I do on my About the Blog page, and this is a great addition.
I believe that the more of us who are willing to speak up about the abuses of the Quiverfull philosophy and lifestyle, the harder it is becoming for QFers and their teachers to ignore our collective voice.
Charity Grace (who’s not blogging anymore right now) posted this review a while back on the Botkin sisters’ book”So Much More”.
The Botkin sisters claim to write a book that expounds on God’s will for unmarried girls and women as revealed in scripture. However, they clearly show ignorance of basic interpretive principles. Conservative Bible scholars (across denominations) interpret the Bible by a set of simple objective criteria to ensure that they do not filter the Word through their own opinions. Does this mean that correct interpretation can only be achieved by specially trained Bible scholars? Of course not. However, many churches I know of fail in genuine discipleship, including training Christians how to study the Bible for themselves. Consequently, many well-meaning Christians apply all kinds of meanings to Biblical texts that are not there, simply through ignorance. (I’m no expert on this, but it’s something I’m working on. A full discussion of biblical interpretation would require its own conversation. I can recommend a few good, conservative books on the subject if anybody’s interested. My husband is the expert Bible scholar in our family.)
Vyckie also writes about legalism and has some great points.
Legalism is not just thinking you can be justified or earn God’s favor with your works. It’s living in terms of elemental physical principles instead of spiritual freedom. It’s imposing those terms on both yourself and others, in order to (as Galatians 3:2 puts it) “be made perfect by the flesh.â€ It’s thinking you can become part of God’s extra-special people (“God’s Green Berets,â€ my religious group used to say) by choosing a “sold-out” lifestyle. There were all kinds of things we didâ€“ all kinds of sacrifices we madeâ€“ not to earn favor or salvation, but to be more holy.
A Young Mother writes about being a young mother after growing up in a quiverfull home. I can identify with a lot of this! (Though to an extent my chores lessened when the younger girls got older…I say to an extent because even though I only had a few chores, I was held way more responsible for what the other kids were doing than I should have been.)
I was not ready to be a mom when I was 12. But in many ways I was expected to be one. No, I had not given birth, and I never had exclusive care of any one child, but at times it came close. Throughout my teens I made breakfast and dinner each day, I was in charge of deep cleaning all 3 bathrooms each week, maintaining the cleanliness of several rooms, and did several loads of laundry each day. I dressed, fed, bathed, and taught siblings.Â I remember asking my mom if I could have an hour to myself each afternoon where I could do whatever I wanted to and not be interrupted. She replied that it was fine for me to have free time, as long as I finished all of my responsibilities first and I understood that she would still call me if she needed my help. My responsibilities were never fully met, there were just to many of them. Sometimes I would sneak out of the house and read my book on the roof, so it would take her a little longer to find me, it was the only “free timeâ€ I had. I hardly ever went anywhere, so I was always able to be on hand to help out. As the oldest, when my mom was too sick or too tired to get up, I was in charge of the entire household. Children, meals, housecleaning and laundry included. Sometimes mom was laid up for weeks or months.
There are many times that I don’t realize just how much strange teaching I’ve had to “un-do” in my life until I try to explain them to someone else. This happened to me the other night. A dear friend and I were talking about our kids and how to help them transition from children to adults. The topic of dating and relationships came up and we started talking about my story. Sometimes it’s actually comforting to me to be met with blank or incredulous stares from people I consider “normal”, good Christians. It somehow validates my belief that some of the teachings I grew up with were very wrong.
I’ve also lately started facing the ways in which the teachings of “emotional purity”, (a la Josh Harris, the Ludys, and others) have damaged the part of my brain that makes healthy relationships function.
I define “emotional purity” in the same way that popular homeschool writers have: it is the idea of “guarding your heart”. Which sounds all noble and righteous and everything but in this context is really just a facade for fear. Fear of loving and losing. Fear of making the wrong choice. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of being damaged. Fear of not measuring up. In my life it meant never having a crush on a guy, never allowing myself to “fall in love”, basically training myself to shut down a normal, healthy, functioning part of my human heart.
Pain indicates that something is not as it should be. We flinch at the sight of blood. We learn to bandage soul-wounds so tightly that bleeding stops, and we think the tougher the skin, the stronger we are. Sometimes we must be strong to survive those midnight moments when relief seems light-years away. But what if, in a frantic quest to end our grieving, we miss the secret treasures which can only be learned through grief?
It was just a few seconds of kindness. It might even just be viewed as part of the job of working at Harry Potter World. But that — more than the multi-million dollar rides, more than the authentic butterbeer or the cauldron made of chocolate, more than the remarkable effects in the castle, more than anything — that is what Elizabeth will remember, perhaps even for the rest of her life. A young woman probably making something like minimum wage, wearing a robe and a badge, had made Elizabeth feel special and magical. I thanked Katie the Prefect before she went off to help other customers, but I’m not sure she heard me, and I’m not sure she would have understood anyway. There’s so much we can do in this crazy world with a little effort and imagination. There’s so much we can do that it’s easy to miss what we have done … even after it’s over.
My friend Kiery wrote a great book called “The Balloon Lady“. It’s primarily a children’s book, but it isn’t merely a children’s book; it has some insights into the life of every woman who misses the family that has basically disowned her. It made me cry to read it.
And the two last but not least are just for fun. Still Life Still Alive is really neat. The artist is really talented! And just for fun, Quivers of Men (a satirical blog making fun of VF/P/QF type people and is sadly pretty accurate) writes about being your husband’s helpmeet and keeping him from straying.
Hope you enjoyed these!