I’m doing likewise this morning. Some of the conversations that have been occurring around the place build up a theme. Let’s start with what Elspeth wrote:
Married women need to know that there is hope for their marriages, and that the standard for obedience isn’t a moving target that adjusts in relation to their husband’s level of religious devotion. I can help them with that. I have no idea what it is to be a devout virgin bride marrying a devout virgin groom. I can only share from what I know.
Being thankful for what we have is in no way an attempt to diminish the gravity of our past sins. To wallow in guilt for two decades rather than celebrate this precious gift of redemption and a loving and passionate marriage is to dishonor the work that God has done in me, in my husband, and in our family.
And Hearthie adds to this
It’s time to get up, put on the mantle that I’ve been *given*, and wear it. I didn’t make myself, I didn’t save myself, I didn’t sanctify myself – so standing up straight doesn’t say anything about ME – it says something about my Father. “I’m not worthy” – well, no, I’m not. And? I’ve been made new in Christ, and it’s time to start acting like it. I don’t have to shame myself to continually remind myself of my unworthy nature – because that’s twisted pride. That’s putting the focus on my weaknesses, not His strengths. Jesus freed me from those chains, and I’ve been carrying them around like a security blanket.
I can’t be lovely if I’m whacking myself with the shame stick. *I* didn’t make myself pretty, God did. Hiding that is … refusing the gift I’ve been given. It’s taking away from my husband, who is entitled to a pretty wife
We are Christian. Our master ate with sinners, remaining sinless. We are taught the chief aim of man is to know God and enjoy him forever. That includes enjoying the blessings of this world. We need not live in false humility or be joyless because of the errors or sins of the past. We are called to freedom in Christ, so we can do his work, so we can choose to obey his leading.
16Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Now, we live in an anarcho-tyranny. There are too many laws in place, and we all can be charged, with multiple things, because we will have said something that is accounted hate speech or broken one of the many thousands of regulations that have the power to be counted, in the USA, as felonies — the equivelent of assault, theft, rape and murder. (The institutionalized culture within prisons of assault, theft, rape and murder is part of this process. It means people plead guilty to limit or avoid jail time). The American Gulag is to be feared, and smart people, as Vanessa says, use workarounds.
So, you’re saying that our current state is competent to enforce contracts… any contracts? That is your beginning premise, which I would vigorously dispute. One only has to look at the financial industry, including the real estate market, to see what a farce it’s making out of contract law. The state can’t even manage to keep the megabanks from laundering money for terrorists, and you think they’re going to protect your wedded bliss? What about all of the hapless people who bought marriage licenses and then watched in horror as no-fault divorce tore their families apart? Talk about throwing good money after bad!
The state giveth, the state taketh away.
The idea that the state protects my marriage is absolutely laughable. With the financial incentives it gives to divorcées, its bizarre and ever-changing view of the matrimonial institution, and the constant attacks on male heads of household, the state only endangers marriage. The less the state has to do with my marriage, the better off I’ll be.
Would you want the devil to babysit your children? Probably not. Then why would you want the Great Satan to babysit your marriage?
If that sounds hysterical to you, then I would suggest you haven’t been paying attention. If you allow a corrupt state to define, license, and control marriage then you must understand that the state will corrupt the marriage. It has the reverse-Midas touch, and I don’t want my marriage to turn to shit.
I am perfectly happy with marital law being reduced to canon law and prenuptial agreements for those that desire them. If nothing else, I would like to have the choice of my marriage being protected from the state or not, as I wish.
We are in the weird situation where the state is punishing us for breathing. It does not want us to exhibit the fruits of the spirit or live joyfully in Godly marriages. Instead, it is tainting everything we do.
We are commanded to pray for our rulers and obey the laws, true. And indeed we should, particularly when the times are evil and the institutions of the world promote the same. But we must not be evil, or do evil, or act on the agenda of those who are evil.
If we are a woman, we must not accept the shame thrown at us: by the islamists who would blind you and bind you in their rules of hypermodesty or the feminists who would enchain you in a constant sense of victimhood. You can enjoy being pretty and being a girl. There is nothing wrong with that — and when a woman stops having a girlish part to her and butches up, the beauty in this world is decreased.
You can rejoice that once you were living in evil and now you have moved on.
You can be proud of your children’s accomplishments. And you can show in your life the qualities of God in how you are caring, gentle, kind, generous and self controlled. The quiet witness of the fruits of the spirit has saving power without words.
The state may be a jealous god, but it is a mere Idol. Live for Christ and how you should live, not as the state demands.