Friday, August 31, 2012

the innocent inappropriate question

it seems like a natural, perfectly legitimate question to ask. i have been asked this question. i suppose i never really knew exactly how to answer it  - probably because the answer was really not the business of the asker. what is the often asked, super inappropriate question? it comes in various forms:

when are you going to start trying for a baby?
are you planning to start a family soon?
isn't it about time to have a baby? 

something happens in the minds of others the moment you say "i do." those two words trigger this when-you-gonna-get-to-baby-makin'-question train. but if you think the asking starts right after the wedding day, wait until you've been married 5 years and still haven't had a baby - you'll need to hire an assistant to field all of the baby questions. and the people asking aren't always the most obvious. you may expect it from mother-in-law or grandma - but the lady that sits a cubicle over from you, your dental hygienist, your 5th cousin twice removed you're meeting for the second time at a family reunion?

isn't the question of our reproductive plans highly personal? isn't it a discussion and decision to be had and made between the potential mommy and daddy? are you really prepared for the answer that may follow your seemingly innocent question?

what if the woman you're trying to make small talk with by asking when she plans to bring forth fruit has suffered numerous miscarriages, or has been trying for several months or even years to have a baby with no success, or has been diagnosed with a medical condition that may make it very difficult or maybe impossible to conceive, or the couple has been on an adoption waiting list for what seems like an eternity with a fallen through adoption and no leads in sight? and what if the couple has no desire for children at all? are you prepared to hear that answer?

what if your inquiry into a couple's baby plans adds more stress and sadness to an already stressful, sad situation? small talk should be reserved to weather, current events, and the cuteness of the other's shoes, not reproductive plans.

i realize people mean well when they ask a woman about her plans to become a mommy. it is such a joyous, exciting, and special decision. the happiness extends far beyond the pregnant couple and their immediate family - most people are tickled to hear of a new little one. however, this is a subject i don't even broach with the dearest of friends (ok, i may have asked one of them, but i did preface it with "i realize this is none of my business.") because i know how sensitive the decision and process of having a baby are.

wouldn't it just be best for us to patiently wait for our friends (or acquaintances) to come to us with the exciting news that they've decided to have a baby or are, in fact, expecting? we won't have to feel like we're prying or chance being faced with an answer we aren't prepared to hear. we will simply be able to celebrate the exciting news...and no one will feel uncomfortable!

apply this to existing mothers when you consider asking if she's "done" or if she'll "keep trying until she gets a boy/girl." just as the decision to start a family is highly personal between husband and wife, the decision to not have any more children is equally as personal with just as many emotions playing into it.

so the next time you're chit chatting with your childless hairdresser or your dearest friend since kindergarten who as of yet has not popped out a youngun, don't go below the belt - it's personal, sensitive, and really none of your business down there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

whatsoever things are...

it has kind of been an unspoken rule since anthony and i started dating that he would not mention when he thinks another woman is attractive - famous or otherwise. i don't know why it has been that way; i guess i may be a bit sensitive to such things. to be honest, i really just think he shouldn't be looking at other women to rate their attractiveness. i mean, hello!

at the same time, however, i don't give two thoughts to saying when i think another man isn't bad to look at. ant even jokes around about it occasionally referring to a certain actor as "your boy." i suppose this just displays the differences in men and women. and while i don't think it is a sin to say, "s/he is attractive," there is a point when it can become sinful - comparing your spouse to another person and/or fantasizing (sexually or not) about someone other than your spouse is sinful.

recently i've heard a few women (women who proclaim Christ as Savior) say they are looking forward to june 29th. channing tatum has a new movie coming out that day. maybe you've heard of it - magic mike. channing tatum is a handsome man. there is nothing wrong with saying that. this new movie, though, goes a bit beyond merely saying he's attractive. magic mike is a movie about male strippers. now, i don't know about you ladies but if my husband told me he was looking forward to seeing a movie about strippers i'd be a tad ticked. there is no need for my husband to see any other woman besides me naked or partially naked. the same is true for us. we have no business looking at any man other than our husbands in various states of undress.

you say, "my husband doesn't mind if i see the movie." well, he should, but even if he doesn't God does.

"But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:28

that verse works both ways, girls, and it applies to the married and unmarried alike. while it is possible to notice a man's good looks without lusting after him, my guess is that when you watch channing tatum disrobing you won't be thinking, "he is such a handsome man. i bet he is sweet and kind and a great listener. i bet he loves Jesus." 

this flesh is sinful. this flesh wants to see muscle-y men taking their clothes off. this flesh and this world tell us that it is no big deal to go watch a movie about strippers - it's not hurting anyone; i'm not actually having an affair with another man. every single day is a fight against what pleases this flesh and what pleases God. if we feed the flesh we will get nothing but disappointment and heartache in return.

"For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life." Galatians 6:8

if we nurture our relationships with God, it will be oh so much easier to fight the flesh. of course, we will never reach sinlessness on this earth. but it should be our goal. we should strive to live a life pleasing to the One who saved our souls. we will fail, but we should keep trying. we know that there are things in this world that are not pleasing to God. we know that there are things we can do that may seem harmless but that will not be an accurate reflection of the Savior who lives in our hearts. 

what we do for entertainment affects not only our own relationships with God but the relationships others have/will have with God. it may not seem like watching a movie will really affect the salvation of someone else, but we are walking mirrors of the Savior. if we do something contrary to His character, it does affect how unbelievers view Him. when making decisions about books to read, music to listen to, or movies to watch the Lord has given us a great checklist to put everything through:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8

does magic mike make the cut after putting it through that checklist? i see decisions for entertainment i've made that do not pass the above test. i'm thankful for a Heavenly Father who doesn't leave us in our sin but points it out and helps us to not repeat it.

i hope that when you are deciding to see any movie or read any book or listen to any music you will think about a couple of things: 1) is it honoring to my husband if i do this 2) will unbelievers see an accurate reflection of Jesus if i do this and most importantly 3) is it honoring to my God if i do this?


Dates Diapers & Deity