Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don't Judge Me

Okay, is it just me or is this people's favorite saying in regards to Christianity: "Don't judge me."? Or: "Jesus said 'whoever is without sin cast the first stone.'" BUT, what did Jesus say after that? He told the woman to "go and sin no more." Sin destroys. Sin also misrepresents Christ. That is who we represent as Christians. I know there are many passages about not judging others. When you search for the word judge in the new testament there are many verses that come up telling us to not judge. HOWEVER, there are so many verses about the atrocity of those calling themselves Christians who are acting like the world. Jesus said a tree can be judged by it's fruit. Those who say they are followers of Christ can be judged by their actions.

Paul said in 1 Cor.5 "I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."

Is it just me or does that sound judgmental? Paul instructs the church to expel such wicked people! We are not to even eat with them. I believe we are to be this severe because sin is serious and people need to take it seriously. By continuing to hang out with people and allow them in the fellowship we are in a sense condoning their sin. It says in verse twelve that we are not to judge those outside the church (those who don't call themselves Christians). God will judge them. BUT, those who say they are representing Christ will be judged by their fruits and as brothers and sisters we are called to judge them. This is also important because Christ said that many would come to Him calling Him Lord that He would not allow into heaven because He "never knew them." Wouldn't it be loving to confront someone living sinfully and ask them (as Paul does in numerous letters) to examine their faith and make sure they truly know Christ?!

The most loving thing we can do is hold our brothers and sisters accountable. For example, I dated a non-believer at one weak point in my life. No body confronted me except one person. She said to me: "Katie, I don't care about anything else involving this guy. If he doesn't love and fear the Lord he is not for you." I was so angry at her at the time. But after I finally broke up with him (it was only a month that we were together but it seemed like forever because I was being disobedient) I was SO THANKFUL to this friend. She was the only one who loved me enough to give God's perspective on my sin.

Why do we hate confrontation so much? Why do we hate to be rebuked or corrected? It is pride. I don't like people telling me I am wrong because I am prideful. I can't think of a time where someone has confronted me on something and they weren't right. As Christians we grow much more from constructive criticism then we do from compliments. Compliments usually just build up our flesh.

It is important that we "judge" those within the church. The world is already judging us. They see an unholy, unloving, hypocritical church and it is our duty as those within the church to confront one another, IN LOVE, so that we may grow and win a dying world to Christ! If you don't want to be judged, don't say you are a follower of Christ...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Good Wife Stuff

I was emailing a friend this morning some "good wife stuff" that I read off of: nogreaterjoy.org (Michael and Debi Pearl). I hope it convicts and encourages you as much as it did me! (It may seem a little jumbled/out of order because I copied and pasted from various articles).

"The first and the most important thing you will ever do as a mother in training your children is to reverence your husband, delight yourself in him, love to obey him, feel honored to be married to him, joy in his presence. In doing so, you are building up your house, you are creating a home, you are establishing a foundation. It is this first and most important ingredient in raising happy, obedient, creative, respectful children, children delighted to be part of the family. This kind of atmosphere in the home causes your children to love each other, to enjoy being with their own brothers and sisters.

Oh, your teens might see that you are not Mr. and Mrs. Perfect, but they will delight in the fact that their parents really like each other. It makes for a very happy, peaceful home life. It makes the promises found in the Bible become a reality. It is the reason some parents who seem to do everything wrong are still able to raise good teens, while other parents who do everything right raise sour young people.

Ladies, we have in our grasp the opportunity to reverence our husbands, thus teaching our children how to reverence God. I can change eternity by choosing to delight myself in my husband, obeying him, loving him and causing him to stand before God free from the shackles of domestic condemnation. As Mike once said, “When a wife suggests that a husband take the lead, any leading he does after that is just following her suggestion.” When you decide what course the family should take and then seek to bring your husband into compliance, you will not only spoil your marriage but your children as well.

ALL men share many of the same “faults”, and ALL women spend their time and emotional energy trying to correct those faults and are frustrated when he is man enough to stand firm against it. A splinter in a man’s eye is hard to get out when a beam is in your own eye. Love, joy, and peace will never come until you lay down your expectation for your husband and learn to cheerfully appreciate him as he is.

In the dominant role, a woman quickly becomes emotionally and physically exhausted. God made us the weaker vessels. If you are in this exhausted state, then chances are you’re carrying a lor thatad not meant for you. It is not for you to press your husband to do his duty to be spiritual. You are to live joyfully in the context he provides.

God designed us, so he knows what our husbands need in order to function properly in their roles as men who cherish the woman in their life. By nature, men need honor (this includes not questioning their decisions). They need respect (treated as if they are wise). They need reverence (daily admired as a man who is accomplishing great things). They need to be accepted for who and what they are, just like they are. Men need to feel they are in command and doing a good job.

An important part of man is a God-given, natural instinct to bring his wife pleasure. If a woman is to be greatly treasured she will choose to find pleasure in the way the man presents himself and his care. All these traits are basic masculine needs. We were created as a helpmeet to the man we married, fulfilling who and what he is. This is God’s will for us as women. When we as women obey God by responding to the needs of our husband, we are worshipping and honoring God. “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man (1 Cor. 11:9).”

A man cannot cherish a strong woman who has expressed her displeasure with him and is holding out until he fulfills her ideal. You say he should have Christ’s love. Is that what you want? Do you want your husband to have to seek supernatural power just to find a way to love you? What most men cherish in their wives is the memory when love was fun and free, with no demands—the time when she smiled at him with a sweet, girlish, “I think you are wonderful” look. She was so feminine then, so much the woman. It was a time when he wanted to hold her just because she was his, a time when he wanted to give her everything. A vague memory keeps him hoping. He is as disappointed in love as you are, maybe more. He is just as lonely. He just fills up his loneliness doing things that will distract him from the reality of the emptiness he knows is there but does not know how to fix. His helpmeet is not pleased with him. He is a loser.

God’s reward is without measure. Men are like clay in the hands of a woman whom they can trust with their hearts. A man, lost or saved, responds to a woman who honors him. When a woman looks to her husband with a face that is full of laughter and delight, he will look forward to being with her. If her voice speaks words of thanksgiving and joyful appreciation of him, he will want to listen to her. If her actions are full of service and creativity, and if she has goodwill towards him, he will be drawn to her as a bee is to honey. This kind of lady is altogether feminine. She is what God created and gave to Adam.

I've asked a male or two this question in a over a dozen foreign countries: "What is the most valuable and attractive attribute a woman can have in your culture?" The answer has been consistent in every country, Happy, cheerful, fun, joyful, smiling, good attitude...etc.