On Not Accepting Who You Are: Surrendering Defensiveness

On Not Accepting Who You Are: Surrendering Defensiveness

“Get your life together. Start exercising. Get good grades. Wear pants more. Is this you? You’re in a good mood when you’re suddenly seized by nagging doubts that you need to improve yourself? If so, then you, like over 20 other Americans, may suffer from personal goals: The irrational desire to improve your life through effort.” You're Special So began the satirical faux pharmaceutical advertisement by Studio C, a sketch comedy group on YouTube. What makes this sketch so hilarious is how it touches on a commonplace and very real worldview in our culture, one that is held by many Christians too in fact. It’s a fatalistic view of life, a worldview proclaiming that we can’t change the way we are…and that’s okay. We don’t need to seek to change ourselves or better ourselves because…we’re fine just the way we are. Or as Malory declares in the fake ad, “Then I discovered, ‘You’re Special,’” a mythical product that gives one a “high does of self-esteem without the hassle of personal achievement.” But if “You’re Special” isn’t enough to cure that pesky sense that you should improve yourself, you can always try their “extra strength product, ‘You’re A Natural.’” “You’re A Natural” will give you, “the self-assurance that your traits and abilities are fixed from birth, and totally unchangeable.” Though “You’re Special” and “You’re A Natural” are fake products…it really seems like a lot of people are on these two drugs. Often in relationships, we will hear people say things like, “This is just the way I am, and you have to accept me.” However, more often than not, this...
Contrary To Data, I Actually Do Want To Marry A Strong Independent Woman

Contrary To Data, I Actually Do Want To Marry A Strong Independent Woman

“These days, women don’t need a man’s permission to take charge of her own life and totally kick *** at it.” So began an article describing why men are so intimidated by strong independent women. When it comes to radical Feminists, there are two things you can count on. 1. Profanity (‘Cause they’re so hip and cool and tough), and 2. They will act like little children (Although I feel I’m doing a disservice to little children by associating them with Feminists). But let me back up a second. Is it true that men are intimidated by, and wouldn’t want to marry, a strong woman? I can’t speak for everyone, but in my case, this isn’t true. I DO want to marry a strong woman. Of course, it’s important to define what we mean by “strong”. What the world calls a “strong independent woman” is actually a misnomer: they aren’t strong, or even independent. The (NOT) Strong Independent Woman What the world considers a “strong independent woman” today is basically a woman who puts her self, first. She can take care of her SELF and she puts her OWN desires, needs, and ambitions ahead of everyone and everything else. “Firstly, strong independent girls have their careers always at the forefront of their lives” - LifeHack.org And, of course, most of all, “has no practical need for a man rather than for emotional support and love,” - Thought Catalog Although I think Thought Catalog is generous here. I think many radical feminists would say that a strong independent woman doesn’t need a man for emotional support or love either. Instead,...
I Don’t Want My Wife To Love God More Than Me

I Don’t Want My Wife To Love God More Than Me

You hear it all the time. Find and marry someone who loves God even more than they love you! "I just want my spouse to love God more than they love me." That all sounds well and good, and it is certainly theologically sound... But what if, deep down, you don't really want your future spouse to love God more than you? What if that phrase secretly makes you uncomfortable? What if you actually, truly, want your spouse to love you more than anyone or anything else? Is that so wrong? I have to admit... I didn't really want my future wife to love God more than me. Now, of course, in my head I agreed with that statement. I knew that she should love God more than she loved me. But when I asked myself if this was what I actually wanted? I had to say "no." I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one who felt this way. Has this common phrase ever made you feel uncomfortable before? Maybe not. Maybe I am the only one who has had this hang-up and I'm just super selfish, which is a likely possibility. However, I have since realized my problem lay in my understanding of the phrase, rather than the phrase itself, or my jealous desire for my future wife to put me first. Our God Is A Jealous God Jealousy Eww. Bad. Sin. Right? Not quite. "You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God..." - Exodus 20:5 Our God is a JEALOUS God! Wow! And...
I AM Desperately Excited To Fail In Front Of You

I AM Desperately Excited To Fail In Front Of You

January 2nd, 2017 — Southwest Florida. I clicked “Publish” and then sat back in my chair, wondering what I had just gotten myself into as the fear of failure washed over me. The first video in my long-awaited “Build Your Online Business From Scratch” video series had just launched. Can I actually do this? Can I build a successful online business from scratch? Plus I’ve only given myself a year to complete this goal… Really??? I must be out of my mind! What are people going to think if this doesn’t go as planned, as hoped? All of these thoughts, and more, raced through my head after I published my first BYOBFS video on Monday. I wasn’t sure if anyone was going to watch it, or if anyone was going to like it… And yet, the response so far has been incredibly positive! (Thank you so much to everyone who has watched, commented, or voiced your support!) But this almost didn’t happen. Many times leading up to this first video, I contemplated calling off this series. I didn’t have time… I didn’t know enough… I don’t have what it takes… I’m an introvert, I can’t do this… Alas, all of the promotion I had been doing, all the work, all the build-up, all the expectations prevented me from backing down (there’s a lesson for you right there!) Do you fear failure too? Fear, and especially the fear of failure, as incredible destructive and stifling power, and the demise of this fear should be ruthlessly pursued! There Is No Reason To Fear Failure: So if I’m going to tell others to...
What Does It Mean To Be A Spiritual Leader

What Does It Mean To Be A Spiritual Leader

I Never Wanted To Be The Spiritual Leader... When I was young, maybe early teens, I remember hearing about how a husband is supposed to be the spiritual leader of the home. I recall listening to speakers at homeschool conferences saying if a young man wanted to court a young woman, he needed to have: A detailed plan for his life An idea of where he was going A strategy for how he was going to lead his wife spiritually. I could be pulling a Brian Williams here and be “misremembering” what was said, but regardless, this was the impression my young self took away from some of these speakers… An impression that could be summed up as, “Wow, marriage is hard. I could never do that.” And for a good long time, I held out, determined that I would never get married. Being single seemed to be the easier, far superior state of existence. God had other ideas (but this is a story for a future post). But was my young self correct? Was I right to fear the weight of being a spiritual leader? Is it really too hard? Well, actually, yeah. The task assigned to the husband actually is too hard, and impossible for any man to carry out…on his own. The task assigned to the husband actually is too hard, and impossible for any man to carry out… Click To Tweet Some have recognized this impossibility, and summarily determined that they should not strive to fulfill their role as result. "It's impossible. Why even try?" Others continually strive through their own strength, and continually fail, which throws them...
How To Never Be Offended Ever Again

How To Never Be Offended Ever Again

Do you like to be offended?   Isn't it thrilling to feel that indignant outrage rise up within you? Oh, how wonderful it is to feel that soothing pain of offended-ness...right? Probably not. I don't think many of us would say we like being offended. And yet...our society seems to relish being a victim, and being offended! We are so easily offended today, so much so, that we've even had to make up new terms to describe why we are offended, or how something is offensive. We say that someone was using "micro-aggression" to justify being offended at something that is actually very benign. Or, we will say that we have been "triggered" if anyone says or does anything that we don't like or believe, thus legitimizing our "right" to be offended and the other person's abusiveness at causing such an offense.   But I have good news!   I know the secret to never being offended ever again! Yes, that's right! This secret is very profound! It will blow your mind when you hear it, so make sure you are sitting down. Okay, are you ready? Here it is:   The only way to not be offended is to die.    There you have it! You don't have to be offended anymore! You just have to die! You know how "dead men tell no tales"? Well dead men (and women--don't want to offend anyone) also take no offense! Contrary to popular belief, dead people do not turn in their graves when anyone anywhere in the world utters something that would have been offensive to them if they were alive....