Sunday, 28 April 2013

Be Brave!

So what is there to be afraid of?

Pope Francis has called on us to ask Jesus “what he wants from you and be brave!”
Wanting to be like this....not succeeding. 

I don't know about you, but at times I fear the culture as it is evolving around me. There seems to be such dogmatic belief in secular culture, enforced by the arm of the state for those not agreeing with the new creeds.  Cases like Adrian Smith's sends shivers down the spines of any government employee; which I was until recently.

Since I started blogging more frequently (previously my job ensured that I had little time to commit to this, despite my willingness to do so) you may have noticed a common thread in my posts. I believe wholeheartedly that our society has raised the material above the family and that the emphasis on equality has paradoxically diminished women, and instead glorified some jobs e.g. lawyers, doctors etc, over the role of raising children. Therefore, what distinguishes women as women, the fact that we uniquely have and nurture children, is devalued.  

However, the reality of leaving my job to do this has not automatically led to a clear understanding of this new role as housewife, mother, homemaker. Many of the blogs I have read about being a Christian SAHM has focused on these qualities.  Don't get me wrong, I think this is wonderful and incredibly challenging.  I am still trying to organise myself into some kind of plan so our home is welcoming and functional, I'm trying to learn to cook and raise and teach my child to a level slightly above the stereotypical mum in leather pants with a fag hanging out of their mouth standard. It is hard. I'm not very good at it.

It is Godly to want to change society.

Nevertheless alongside the need to get better at the management of a household and the belief that this is valuable is a wider desire to reach society and change it.  The two can be combined.  It is godly to want to change the world for the better.  Read woman of valor; 

"She spreads out her palm to the poor and extends her hands to the destitute....She opens her mouth with Wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue......a God fearing woman, she should be praised.......Give her fruits of her hands and she will be praised at the gates for her own deeds."

I love this proverb because of the strength and humility of the woman.  

It is important to note here that she spreads out her palm to the poor and destitute.  However, this need not be the financially poor, but the spiritually.  A source of spiritual strength has always been the family.  However, in the last 50 years the familial institution has been marginalised to the point that it is now a lifestyle choice.

How did we become so poor?

I think there are an awful lot of women and men who are tired, tired of the expectations that this brave new world has forced upon them.  When you are told often enough that you 'have to have it all' you believe it.  We tire ourselves out trying to achieve it to the point that we don't take time to consider do we even want it? We have overburdened ourselves to the point that women who want to put their children first no longer feel they can.  By building our lives around two incomes until we no longer believe we are able to live on one as we would have previously the only people we have served are the truly wealthy; we work harder to make them richer.  

There is a reason that Jesus said that we should go to him for rest, because his burden is easy, is yoke is light. 

How are we then to counteract this?

Firstly, as stay at home mums we need to understand that we are in a unique position - we need not be afraid for our jobs! If our husbands support us we cannot be sacked. We are therefore able to speak out where others fear to! 

This leaves only one other fear - the fear that we will be mocked or attacked for holding beliefs that challenge current attitudes.

One of the ways to overcome this is to prepare ourselves. We should therefore be teaching ourself not only what the Church teaches about the nature and importance of marriage, the sanctity of life, the role of women and their importance, contraception. We should be asking God to illuminate our studies in oder for us to understand why the Church's teachings are correct despite the insistence on the world that they are wrong.  We should also be studying to prepare ourselves to defend and explain these beliefs so that when we are challenged, with prayer, we can offer a defence for our beliefs.

Just think, even when Jesus was
like this Satan could not overcome Him.  
Note I said with prayer then.  This is necessary to not only win the argument, but to do so with love. "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge.... but do not have love, I am nothing..... Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

Who is there to inspire us?

If you are looking for inspiration for bravery in this matter think of William Wilberforce.  Not only did he stand against the consensus of the day - that slavery was good - and won, despite severe personal hardship, he stood against the moral malaise that engulfed Georgian society.  He stated clearly that God had put two things upon his heart; the abolition of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.

When I first began to desire changes in our society and its treatment of sexual morality I was told so many times that 'it had gone too far now'.  This is a key tactic of Satan - and I don't bandy that word around lightly.  Think how many times you are told that 'you can't turn the clock back'.  That this 'progress' being made is inevitable.  It weakens your willingness to fight. 

When you feel weak think of those like Wilberforce, crippled by illness and criticism, but able to overcome with the Grace of God. As Mother Theresa said; "God does not call the equipped. He equips those he calls".

Be brave.  We have not lost; Jesus promised the gates of hell will not prevail against us. This suggests a fight, but one with he knowledge that we will overcome.  Now that is inevitable.

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I welcome your posts whether you agree with me or not. Can I ask that people are respectful to each other; no-one has the right not to be offended, but I think that we can talk to each other without swearing or using personal insults.
If you want to use the whole "sky fairy" thing when you're talking to people with faith that too is your perogitive. Just know that for me and many others when you do you've lost the argument.