Posted by: zephaniah317 | January 3, 2008

Wired

How are we wired, as human beings, exactly?  To worship God and bring Him glory.  To love others as He loves us.  And those two things take on so many forms, as they should.  We are imaginative, creative beings created in the image of the Creator, wired, as He is, to be kind, humble, gentle, passionate, loving, caring, witty, joyful, you name it.  (and yes, that’s Zeph’s list, not the actual fruits of the Spirit.  Go here for that)

So what’s wrong with us?  More specifically, what’s wrong with American culture?  Where did we lose our way?  Why do we put on fake disguises and try to unceasingly impress others with something we are not?  Because the enemy has done his job very well.  We do not believe that we are good enough for anyone to love us, be it other humans, or the Creator.  We are driven to capture another person for a relationship, as if we are hunting for prey.  And so, either passively or actively, we hunt and track down and subdue and, in some cases, devour.

We are required by the world to be “socially acceptable” and “cool”.  I have fallen prey to the first two beliefs; the first was ingrained by my parents, the second by society in general.  I find myself following more than leading and separating from these rules, cowering in my disguises more than shining through my paper walls.  The other day I became fully aware that I don’t have any “skills” to “impress” or “win” a woman, a requirement by my ex-wife that was a source of much strife.  And on the heels of that internal discovery, the realization (thanks, Father) that I don’t need any.  Neither does anyone else.  Loving, and falling in love with a person, means you love them, and fall in love with them, just for who they are, not for how (or whether) they “turn you on”, “make you hot”, or any of that crap.  This is not to say that couples shouldn’t put each other first over themselves, and do things to show that they love each other.  No one wants to spend their life with someone who doesn’t show affection and love in some form or fashion.  But this is a fruit of the love in the relationship, not a requirement from the other person for staying together.

On the other hand, women in general have sadly fallen prey to the belief that they need to be “sexy”.  Not only in dress and appearance, but in attitude and conversation.  You know the type.  You see it on TV every day.  I saw it in middle school and high school as girls went from cute and personable to “popular” and “sexy”.  I saw it all those years I was in bondage to pornography.  I’m a firm believer that how pornography screws a man up emotionally and spiritually is not through the nakedness of the female form as much as the attitude and expression on the woman’s face, the demanding and alluring seduction that so many men have fallen prey to, both through the media and in real life.  And it saddens me, now that I’m on the other end of freedom.  This is not how God wired women to be, far from it.  And, while I can’t necessarily put my finger a single thing that describes a godly woman, nor on how much it excites me and impresses me to meet one, I can say this:  a godly woman is humble and modest.  Regardless of outward appearance, these things naturally say, “come hither, it’s OK”, and offers a place of safety, not performance-based acceptance.  “Sexy” says, “Get over here and pay attention to me, or I’m not interested.”  This is how the enemy has so brutally attacked females in our culture.  Made them, as Eldredge has said in his books, “more demanding than captivating”.

Why this post today?  Because I’m a man who slips into (and upon) these lies when I spend too much time in front of the TV (and I only have 12 channels!)  A man who still needs an Internet filter on his PC because of his past.  A man who is still too hard on himself when he slips, loses sight for periods of time that God loves him unconditionally, regardless of how he’s treating his heart and soul, the treasures of life that Jesus came to earth and died for.  But, also, a man who’s come to realize the flaws in his failed marriage for what they are:  flaws, but not fatal ones; they are very common, accepted and followed by people every day.  Flaws that God is faithfully programming out of his life and restoring the wiring that was there over 20 years ago; and He has used the marriage as that catalyst, no matter how messed up things were.  And I needed to organize these thoughts and be vulnerable and honest about them, so there.  :p

Thanks for reading.  May God bless you with a mature and pure heart and mind today, and re-wire you, if need be, to reveal the real you.  It’s more than enough to survive today.

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Responses

  1. Thanks. I needed to be reminded of this. Something I am working on myself. That worthiness thing. It occured to me this past week that as long as I keep my focus on Him everything else seems to fall into place. No matter my circumstances, married or single, I need Him to be the center of my life. It’s the only way anything works. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to figure it out.

  2. Ok, so I have no idea what made me click on the link to your blog today. It was still saved in my favorites since your trip with J. Holy cow…did I need to hear what you wote today! Actually I do know what made me click on it…God’s leading You are an amazing man of God who spoke exactly the words I needed to hear. God is working through you to help others and I am so very thankful. As I am typing this the song “Word of God Speak” is playing on my computer. He is speaking…I just need to regain my focus and listen. It is far too easy to listen to the world instead. Thank you for helping to bring back a bit of perspective.

  3. Okay, okay, I *promise* I’m not a stalker. 🙂

    After responding to your email, I was curious to see what other posts you’d had. I had been intrigued by your blog name, and can only thank God for putting it on my heart to look further into what you’d written.

    As a woman who struggles with hopes that someone will one day find my general clumsiness to fit their definition of “sexy”, it’s encouraging to be reminded that the only one I need to seek to please is our Father, and that with my heart fully in His hands, I have no need for concern.

    I do promise I’m not a stalker, but I will be following your blog. Thanks also for the general feeling of happiness that I get whenever I find another believer online… we seem to be few and far between these days. Especially in this political world where the precious name of Jesus is pandered about and used as a political weapon rather than a prayer. And as a bit of a self-proclaimed pundit, I hear it quite a bit.

    Thanks again. Prayers are with you!

  4. In general, what we lack in America is the knowledge of real truth. What is REAL. Reality, being the thing that matters. Stuff, jobs, looks, i.e. sexiness are so transient. And we seem so determined to focus on them as the whole point of our lives. If we could just look at reality as a whole, all of those masks and falsely alluring things would not even be tempting. We would cease to wear the masks and cease to be attracted by them. Good for you in your journey to get there. May we all be real about who we are and really love who everyone else is, as God does.

  5. Good post Z. Can’t wait for Thurs. night! till then…..

  6. […] become increasingly aware of the lack of love and God in our society lately.  In my last post, I spoke of males and females and how they/we portray each other, what we’re […]

  7. Thanks for your post. Thanks for your candid thoughts on culture and our crazy needs for affirmation. I’ve often struggled with the exact same things (who hasn’t). I tend to make a very sophisticated suit of fig leaves, like Adam, to hide my shame and guilt.

    Thanks for being honest about your previous struggles with pornography. I am an employee for Covenant Eyes, a Christian software company that gives tools for people to protect themselves from the dangerous effects of pornography. I’ve seen firsthand (in my own life and in the testimonies of our customers) how destructive it can be.

    Personally I agree very much that the attitude and expression on the woman’s face (in porn) is more destructive than the nakenness. Her expressions communicate far more than her body does. Perhaps that’s why Solomon focused more on the “lips of a forbidden woman” (Prov.5:3), her “eyelashes” (6:25), her “smooth tongue” (6:24), her seductive speech and compelling words (7:21). When I deeply struggled with pornography addiction, the most addictive quality in it was how the seductress was able to reinforce my twisted, self-centered view of intimacy through her words and non-verbal communications.

    Thanks again for your post!

    PS: One of my favorite verses is Zephaniah 3:17.


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