Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Am I "Homophobic" Parent?

This is an honest look at some of the reasons Christians may be nervous about ministering to homosexuals.

Fear of AIDS.  That would be number one.  Why?  This may sound utterly pathetic, but I'm afraid of disease.  Especially incurable ones.  And I happen to know that there is a higher rate of the incurable HIV/AIDS in the homosexual community than in the heterosexual community.  I took the classes in school, the ones that said, "You can't catch AIDS by..." and then listed everything I was afraid of.  For Pete's sake, I'm a toilet paper draping person in public restrooms, and have a good relationship with antibacterial soaps.  Once my OB told me that the rate of STDs that he sees in his office would shock me.  He said when he does surgeries, he wears double pairs of gloves, face shields, the whole bit.  Even with that precaution, he said every so often, he finds blood inside his gloves from a nick.  He said that as a physician, he expects to eventually contract and perhaps die from one of those dreaded diseases.

 (I've even heard people say they were afraid some activist would stick them with a dirty needle on purpose.  That reminds me of being afraid to talk to Muslims lest one blow you up.  All I have to say on that is that fear can be paralyzing and not useful at those levels.  What's the worse thing that can happen?  Being killed for the cause of Christ?  I can think of worse endings...) 

Fear of my Children being Exposed to Deviant Sexual Behaviors.  As a parent of young children, I must protect my children from as much exposure to sin as possible.  People like to say that we shouldn't put our children in a greenhouse.  I say that a tree grows best when it puts down roots in a safe environment.  There will be plenty of years for the rains and winds of life to test and strengthen those roots.  Practically speaking, I'm simply not going to allow certain people access to my children.  This does NOT mean that I believe all heterosexuals are safe childcare providers (yeah, right).  This also does NOT mean that I believe all homosexuals are potential child abusers.  However, kids are often exposed to deviant behaviors by people the family trusts.  I ask God for wisdom, and do my dead-level best to keep any predators away from them.  Eventually they will learn much about the evil of the world, but I plan to carry the suitcase of that information for them until they are strong enough.  (Corrie Ten Boom and her dad's illustration)

"It's A S-- Thing".  The church has done itself a disservice by not talking about God's role in human sexuality.  The world talks about it ALL THE TIME, but it's so very twisted.  My Pandora station recently had an ad that said, "So you finally moved in together?  It's about time!"  Recently someone teased a friend about his (normal and godly) sex life in front of an open homosexual.  The homosexual blushed.  Blushed.  He was embarrassed to think of this man having a sex life, while he wears a wedding band to celebrate his relationship.  OK, then.  So twisted.   Until the church gets comfortable talking about sex biblically, it can hang it up when it comes to helping addicts to pornography and homosexuals.  

So where does this leave us?  I'm careful about hygiene.  When I'm around known homosexuals, I'm even more careful.  Speaking of being careful, there's so many diseases out there, just thinking about it makes me want to walk around in a Hazmat suit and duct-tape my windows.  The lady I saw wearing surgical gloves while cutting her steak in the restaurant may not have been so crazy after all ;o)  However fear of disease is not going to keep me from loving others. 

I'm refused to be guilt-tripped into allowing questionable people into my kids' lives.  There are NO sleepovers, no unsupervised visits.  And if I don't feel good about a nursery worker, I don't care who they are related to or how weird I may be perceived to be.  My children are only children once, and I'm the only mom they've got.  It can be tough sometimes, but if I hurt some feelings inadvertently, oh well.  I try to be discreet. 

And we talk about sex.  Off and on.  Whenever the kids ask, we talk.  We keep the details age-appropriate, but my kids know there are wicked, sinful people out there who like to hurt children, they know who is allowed to touch their bodies, they know it takes a daddy and mommy to make a baby, they know mom and dad 'snuggle' when they're asleep and how to respect a locked door.  They know God designed their bodies to do some interesting things and that changes are coming.  They know what privacy is, and how to get dressed alone.  They even know that there are some people who think that it's OK for two men/women to be 'married,' and that it's wrong.

I want my kids to see sex as the beautiful gift it is, to desire it in marriage, to see its precious value.  I want them to see that the fire that warms and gives comfort and ambience in the fireplace will burn the house down if pulled out of its proper boundaries.


Sunday, September 02, 2012

Inspired by Sarah Fry's daybook approach this morning.  Thanks, Sarah!

Outside my window... The sun is coming up on the back corner of our home and the crickets are singing- not the frantic buzz of summer.  A more sleepy sound that says fall is on its way. 
I am thinking... that I am avoiding working out.   
I am thankful... for my poor sick hubby and two of the sweetest kids in the world who are at this moment, fast asleep.  The hubby in a darkened room trying to breathe.  The kids, in some weird contortion all over their beds.   

In the kitchen... Sunday morning cinnamon rolls coming up.  Then for lunch, a basic pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans (made a la Cracker Barrel), rolls and leftover cake from the football party last night at Rocky and Joyce Sagely’s place.  (Whoever heard of a Duncan Hines Fudge Ripple cake mix without the fudge packet?!  Yep, I took a plain yellow cake.)
I am wearing...Workout gear.  See above.
I am creating... a Shutterfly book called “What We Pray For.”  With pictures of family, friends, places, things, I’m trying to give the children a visual aid to prayer.
I am going... nowhere for Labor Day.
I am wondering...if my kids will notice the neighborhood kids out playing tomorrow while they do homeschool.  I’m going to adopt NEXT Monday as Labor Day, so we can hit the zoo or someplace without the crowds.   
I am reading...
  The Father Brown Mysteries of G.K. Chesterton.  There is something about Mr. Chesterton that makes my mind happy- all my little brain cells jump up and shout, “YAY!”  ;o)   
Also, Romey’s Place.  I kept hearing that this book was fine literature that should be read at least once in a lifetime.  Through the first chapter- riveted, I must say.   

Trying to read Hitler in the Crosshairs, too.  The huge difference in writing styles blows my mind.  I (with my limited skills) could probably write the Hitler story, but Romey’s Place smacks of fine thoughts and great writing.

I am hoping..that Nathan won’t laugh at me when I ask for a bike for Christmas.  I’m tired of jogging beside the kids’ bikes.  Plus, I have such negative memories of bike-riding.  I inherited a massive old thing from the seventies (or earlier, perhaps).  Today’s bikes are so much easier to ride. I plan to find out, anyhow.

I am learning... to let the house go during homeschool hours.  It’s crucial for me.
Around the favorite fall decor has come out of the boxes.  I have a thing for tall skinny ceramic people.  I have two sets of pilgrims that just make my heart smile.
I am I can bless the people of our church this morning.  How I can bless my own family.  I find smiles and hugs to go a long way in both groups.
A favorite quote for today... There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.
~G. K. Chesterton, Heretics (1905)
This is so true.  When I was a college student, I needed an art credit.  I was in the mood for something bizarre, so I chose History of Oriental Art.  Our professor had lived in China and studied in? the Forbidden City for a number of years.  It was an early morning class, and I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat to hear about the glazed pot she was holding, or caught up in her description of the artwork.  Amazing professor!
One of my favorite things...simmering cinnamon sticks, cloves and some citrus peelings on my stove.  Note to self:  it’s officially September, so I can do this now!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Homeschooling Alex and Kathryn- week 2.  Picking out a piano duet that Connie Snodgrass and I can do for church- fun!  (I’ll make sure to give her the hard section ;o)
One of my guilty pleasure..  to listen to ooshy-gooshy love songs when I’m in the car alone, and let my mind think on my man.  It never fails to make me smile.  Another guilty pleasure, an occasional Mocha Frappe from McDonald’s.  Come to think about it, I don’t feel too guilty about either one of those pleasures!
 A Pet Peeve.... is that I never can select a grocery cart (or buggy, as we call them down here in the South) that just SLIDES OUT of the line.  Why must I engage in judo chopping, kicking, pulling a muscle and basically looking like an idiot to buy food for my family?  And unlike normal people, who gently test each rack for a easily removed one, occasionally I get it in my mind that I WILL WIN THIS BATTLE, and I’ll engage in warfare on a level that must be amusing to any passersby. 
Oh, pet peeve number two.  Medical specialists who are so myopic in their area of medicine that they seem completely unaware of how the body systems affect each other. 
Something new about me.....hmmm I’ll get my braces off next spring, and then I will have a new smile.  Without mouth sores, poky wires, and general mouth malaise. 
A peek into my day...  would show a very real person trying to walk with God.
 Here is a picture to share: How I feel at the end of my days right now

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Gay Christians

Every time I proclaim some kind of 'series,' I rue the day.  I then begin to have all kinds of other bloggable thoughts, but feel restrained until I FINISH THE JOB.  I've been wrapped up in homeschool prep, but here on this quiet Saturday morning, let me wrap this topic up.

The question I posed previously was "Can a Christian be gay?"  There are actually three thoughts that come to mind here.  If I consider active homosexuality to be a sinful behavior, a disobedience of the Word, then the answer is no.  1.  No, an active homosexual cannot be walking by the Spirit at the same time.  2.  Can an active homosexual repent and receive the saving mercies of our God?  Of course!

Now we come to the third thought:  What can a new believer expect to happen to his/her same-sex attraction?  Will he/she be delivered?  If not, were they really saved?  Remember the verse "such were some of you?"  Do they need to stay under the spout 'til the glory comes out? (as they used to say ;o)  Perhaps homosexuality is conquered through complete surrender, through entire sanctification.  Doesn't true sanctification make us Christian robots, with never a temptation, never a care?

I JUST had this conversation with a dear friend who struggled for years with smoking.  She was wondering out loud why God had not delivered her.  Having observed Nathan teach new converts over the years, it seems some are delivered instantaneously from sinful lifestyles, others are not.  Inevitably, those who are testify brilliantly to the power of God, and those who are not sink a little lower into despair in their presence.  In small group settings, I've even seen them turn on each other and question the other's walk with God.  Years ago, Nathan had to intervene in one exchange as it was utterly demoralizing (definitely not edifying as the role of the church should be).  I thought I would share what he said:

"Person Struggling with X, if I wanted to build muscle, what would I need to do?  Add resistance, that's right.  We build muscle by pushing against something.  Spiritual muscle is built the same way.  Each time you acknowledge your utter dependence on God, each time you say NO!, muscle is built.  With time, you will be stronger and stronger.  Person Delivered Immediately from X, God doesn't place on our weight bar more than we can bear.  God knew you would be crushed spiritually by your addictions, and He decided to deliver you in His great mercy."  In other words, any instant deliverance that God works in our life is not a point of spiritual pride/superiority, rather a point of praise for the mercies of God.

I believe it is entirely possible for a growing Christian to still be attracted to the same sex, possibly even for life.  I would guess that with time, strong Christian support, and a total commitment to holiness, the temptation may subside, but I don't think we should expect them to suddenly be attracted to the opposite sex instead.  (In fact, the new temptations would still be... yep, temptations!  They will still have to learn to RESIST!)  Again, God has called us to holiness.  To a life lived apart from sin.  Instead of me criticizing the kinds of weights someone still has on their bar, perhaps I could be a spotter instead.  Cheering them on, helping them when needed, teaching them wisdom from the Word.  That's called edification:  it's what the Church is supposed to be about.