Why Is Shaming Men OK, but Shaming Women isn’t?

whitenight shamer

I’m not sure when men decided that 30 was the new 15. When men thought it was better to remain independent than making a commitment to another. When men we’re courageous in business and battle but afraid to be fathers. I’m not sure when video games and “guy night” became more important than tee-ball and date night. When 4 year relationships weren’t long enough for a proposal. When staying out became cooler than showing up. I’m not sure when men became boys.

Our culture has a boy problem. In Italy, they call it Peter Pan Syndrome. I call it immaturity and selfishness. Men so focused on their dreams, their visions, and their desires they find themselves wealthy, known, and alone.

The adult world doesn’t need more boys. We need men who will grow up, know up, and show up. Who will fight for romance and commit quickly and stay indefinitely. To turn their hearts toward children and work to raise them well. To be friends who grow friends. Not just by compliments, but accountability and conviction. We need more men.

We need more men of integrity and character. Those who will hold a moral code and not compromise it. Those who love women, treat them as they would their own daughters and lead them when everything doesn’t make sense… They would lead. We need more men.

Today, I turn 31. I’m a man. And I’m proud of that. Please share as a birthday gift smile emoticon#EveryPostALesson #DaleyWisdom

So I saw this on my facebook a day or two ago, and saw some female friends reposting in agreement.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting marriage and family, most women want this (including myself, obviously), but it’s interesting that we don’t see how ugly this is in light of the legal ramifications for men who do actually want marriage.

It also is ugly in the way this man is writing it to other men attempting to shame them.  He is “the only man in the room.”  He feels like he’s better than these other “boys” because he’s taken the risk of marriage.  It’s just kind of ugly, honestly, and I doubt it’s well-received by most men in the generation Y age-range he’s trying to shame.

 

So… I took the liberty of rewriting it and posting it on my facebook to try to show how it looks when it’s written with the same tone and same self-righteous, but towards women.  It looks pretty bad.  It’s ugly.

So if it’s ugly and yucky for women to read… what makes us think that it’s ok and that we should praise this guy for doing the same thing to men?

Rewritten for women:

“I’m not sure when women decided that 30 was the new 15. When women thought it was better to remain independent and strong than making a commitment to another. When women we’re courageous in business and battle but afraid or ashamed to be mothers (and aborting their unwanted children).

I’m not sure when shopping and “girls night out” for moms became more important than getting married and raising healthy families. When putting off stable relationships till they were done with the bad boys and wanted to get married at 29 became acceptable. When staying out and getting drunk and sleeping with random men all throughout their college “careers” became cooler than raising a family. I’m not sure when women became irresponsible girls.

Our culture has a selfish girl problem. In history, they called it a recipe for society disaster. I call it immaturity and selfishness. Women so focused on their dreams, their visions, and their desires that they are starting to find themselves wealthy, known, and alone.

The adult world doesn’t need more irresponsible and selfish girls. We need women who will grow up, know up, and show up and support a functioning society with morals and values. Who will fight for romance and commit quickly and stay indefinitely. To turn their hearts toward children and work to raise them well (seriously). To be friends who grow friends. Not just by compliments, but accountability and conviction. We need more women.

We need more women of integrity and character. Those who will hold a moral code and not compromise it. Those who love their husbands, treat them as they would their own sons and follow them when everything doesn’t make sense… They would follow. We need more real women.”

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Staying Focus: Don’t Let Anyone Look Down On You Because You Are Young

Most, if not all, of my spiritual growth posts are self-reflective (meaning for myself mostly to contemplate).  This is not one of those posts.  Although it fits right in line with what God’s been showing me lately as far as Staying Focus, I have no doubt that someone else out there needs to hear these words.

 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”  1 Timothy 4:12 (ESV)

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”  (NLT)

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I recently was told last week by an older, female friend and mentor whom I’ve known for years now, that there’s something about me that can sometimes convict a person.  Something about me… the way I act, what I do or say (or write here on the blog), that sets them off, and they usually react badly to it because conviction hurts.  Seeing me (or having my life or actions displayed in front of them) hurts.  This older friend with much more life experience than me (in her 40’s) told me that there’s nothing I can do about this.  If I’m living an obviously good life, trying my best in everything because it gives me joy, being a great mom to my kids, treating my husband wonderful and enjoying an above average marriage with him for 8 years, losing the baby weight within 2 weeks because I exercise and take care of my body, and writing articles that are appreciated by many people online on how to be a good wife to your husband, then there’s nothing I can do to help the certain set of people who will look at these things in real life or online, and feel conviction that makes them uncomfortable or even upset in how they are choosing to live their own lives differently.  All these things are positive choices I make in my life everyday, but the unfortunate thing is that they can bring to light other people’s bad choices they are making, taking away their justification for those things and making them feel convicted.

To be bothered at all by any of this, is traveling down one of those roads that leads off of your purpose.  When you start to take that exit, going down that road, you’re taking your eyes off of what God wants you to stay focused on – His Will for your life, His purpose.

If you are young and reading this blog on marriage, spiritual growth, and anti-feminism, you are more than likely doing many things right in your life, and have been for quite some time, and yet you still may get looked down upon because you are young.

If you are a generation Y’er… I am 100% sure you understand what this feels like.  We are termed “The Generation Everyone Loves to Hate.”

It used to be very strange and even emotionally upsetting to me, to find that things I learned and implemented in my marriage at the age of 20, when we literally first got married, were things that people in their 40’s didn’t even understand.  The emotionally upsetting part was being looked down upon by those people who are older, and yet have problems in their marriage that we’ve never had because we were wiser and avoided those pitfalls.  To be at a further stage in maturity and marital growth than couples who had been married as long as we’d been alive, was disturbing and emotionally upsetting.  But to be looked down upon by those people, or discounted, was frustrating or even infuriating.

I once even had an older woman come right out and tell me that even though what I was saying was exactly correct advice for her marriage, that because she was offended at my ability to understand or know it, that she was rejecting it.  Someone that was my age (22) at the time, shouldn’t have been able to advise her correctly on her issues when she was in her 40’s, and when I did, it made her extremely angry.  And to think, she had actually come to me asking for my advice!

Things like this used to bother me.  It hurt to have my wisdom or knowledge almost be “despised” because of my youth.  Like because I was so young, that my knowledge didn’t matter or even count for anything.

Why did it bother me so much back then?  Because I allowed it to.  The feelings of being discounted because of my youth, because we looked like babies (well, we still do…), got the best of me, and I strayed off course into a pity party of complaining to God about feeling so misjudged or misunderstood.

It’s not your job to make everyone understand or “get” you.

You may be young, but living life trying to do the best and right thing, and be ahead of many of your peers, but there will always be people who will try to define you, and completely get you wrong.

This was a lesson that took me a long time to learn.  Being someone who loved people, and wanted to have unity and peace, I constantly sought for understanding, even when someone was resistant to it like a duck is to water.  Sometimes, understanding or peace never came, only God can soften hearts that have been hardened.  The Bible talks about prophets shaking off the dust from their feet when they were rejected in certain towns.  Likewise, you must shake off the dust from your feet when you have tried to achieve understanding or unity with someone who is resistant to it.  The prophets were prescribed this practice of shaking off the dust from the place of rejection because it literally represented shaking off the emotional entanglements of that frustration so that they could then refocus on their next journey, their next town that God would send them to.

Shaking off the “dust” or frustration of being rejected or misunderstood is critical to being able to Stay Focus.

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I don’t know why, but I’ve always had the desire in my heart to seek out wisdom.  When I was only a little girl, I would pray for God to give me wisdom, and by the time I was in my late teens and early 20’s, I was regularly the one my friends would come to for advice, especially on relationships.  God gave me a spirit that is teachable, a spirit that wants to learn.  It is also a tenderhearted spirit, that has often been too naive in trusting others or believing they have good intentions because they call themselves Christian.

Even though God’s blessed me in this area of my life, I have felt the sting of having been judged and looked down upon by people twice my age, who didn’t have as great a marriage as I have had, who, to be honest, didn’t even understand many things about marriage or healthy maturity that I actually understood at that time.  So when Paul wrote to Timothy, not to allow anyone to look down upon him just because he was young, I get it.  It’s part of Timothy’s journey to stay focus and not be distracted by the pain of being judged by ignorant, older Christians who want to define or limit Timothy, his ability, and his life.  There will always be people who will want to define you and your life, even though they will get it wrong.  Trying to explain yourself or explain the plans God has for you to people who are defining you wrong, is futile.  They should not be defining you, period.  God is the one who is marking out your path, He is the One who helps you stay on course.  Dialoging with people who want to define you wrongly, or put limits around what God is doing in your life or will do in the future, is straying off course, and is taking attention away from what you should be focusing on concerning your purpose.

Why did Paul feel he needed to write this passage to Timothy?

Because people who are older have a tendency to look down on people who are younger.  They want to feel as though they know or understand more, and if they see that a younger person knows or understands more than them, they may not have the humility to admit it.

It comes natural for the older Christians to prejudge the younger ones, to think they don’t know as much as they know about marriage or life.  To have misconceptions about them and their life experience.  To think that they can’t know or understand what they actually do know or understand.  It can be simple ignorance in not understanding (or even knowing) the young person they’re communicating with, or it can be a very nasty sin and situation of looking down on others in pride and ambition.  Whether it’s done out of ignorance or out of pride, it can be dangerous to the younger people as it usually hurts them to some degree.

They may feel like their opinion, even if it is wise, doesn’t matter.  Or that their own personal life experience, even though they have overcome great challenges and learned secrets of success in a variety of trials, is completely disregarded because of their age.

Let me tell you, young person who may be reading this:  Your opinion does matter.  Your experience matters.  Your wisdom that God has given you by grace, matters – it matters greatly!  You need to share it.  If He’s put these words in your heart and given you all this knowledge in your head… you have a responsibility to share it.

Because You Are Young, You Are God’s Weapon

God uses the simple and the young, to shame the complicated and old.  He uses what looks to be foolish, to shame what should be the wise.  You… are His chosen weapon.  You… in all your youth and lack of age or life experience, have the ability, the God-gifted ability, to shame someone twice your age with the beauty of the knowledge and wisdom that He has blessed you with.

Don’t hold it back.

Stay Focus.

And don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.

Pregnancy Update – Honesty About Motherhood, Abortion, & Conviction

29 weeks baby 2

30 weeks of pregnancy have flown by… I’ve finally started to experience the all-over body aches and pains of having a heavy & huge-feeling belly.  Whether I’m sitting or standing, riding in a car, or lying on a soft bed, everything seems to hurt (in an uncomfortable, dull-pain kind of way).  Every time I acknowledge the uncomfortableness, I try to thank God that these unpleasant symptoms waited this long to show up, and that it’s so close to being “over.”  Only 7 to 9 more weeks to go and we get to meet our new baby boy!

It’s amazing how different this pregnancy is from when I had my 4 year old!  We had been married for 3 years, but we were terrified at the prospect of actually being parents.  I had never been around babies (let alone infants), and had never even changed a diaper.  We were still in college (both of us!), and working part time jobs… how we’d be able to manage being good parents as well, was beyond us.  (Side note: We definitely read a few great books together in those months, we did what we always do as a couple, search out knowledge and wisdom of what works and what doesn’t).

My son was a surprise – one that I wrestled with in my own struggle to see myself as capable of being a competent mother.  I would look at our other married friends, most of whom were older, and compare myself to their having kids in their 30’s, I looked at my own mother, who didn’t have her first child (me) until she was 32 and had been married for 8 years – it was one of the only times I’ve actually felt envy (something I normally am not tempted by ever).  I envied their experience, maturity, and confidence in their parenting, and I viewed myself as “less than” because of my young age (23 throughout the pregnancy, and then 24 when he was an infant).

We were extremely short on resources and went to Planned Parenthood for a free official pregnancy test so that we could receive governmental aid (yes, we were that poor & that naïve/irresponsible in failing to plan effectively for a possible pregnancy).  The nurse was a woman probably in her 40’s, she looked nervous when she gave me the positive results – and asked me quickly if I wanted the baby.  If I didn’t the next step would be to plan for & schedule the abortion.  My own answer surprised myself, I had been tempted in the weeks before this appointment to consider abortion (but we went into this appointment knowing we would keep it).  When faced with this question directly, I was suddenly very sure I wanted this baby -studying biology in undergrad, I knew there was only “one chance” for this uniquely designed child – the same child would never come together in a masterpiece of DNA and personality ever again, in the whole universe.  The nurse let out an audible breath of relief perhaps, and looked happy for me – congratulating me on the confirmed pregnancy.

Did I want this baby?  Such a loaded question.  To be heartbreakingly honest with you, no I didn’t “want a baby”… it was most definitely not the right timing for us, and I didn’t feel like I had any business being someone’s mother that young when I still had so much to figure out about life for myself.  You might think that since I was married that it would somehow make a difference, but I know I’ve seen that married couples use abortion just the same when birth control fails and they aren’t “ready yet” or at the time of life or their careers that they had imagined themselves to be when ready for children.  It’s ignorant to assume that only un-wed teens use abortion to fix irresponsibility.  The sad and sobering fact is that many people use abortion even when married or in a stable financial relationship.

Unwanted… “a” baby was unwanted… but this baby, my baby, my first born & conceived child to be… yes!  I did want this baby.  It was in this transition of accepting this unborn child as a gift from God that gave me a renewed faith in the midst of my unethically-based, scientific studies I was immersed in during my undergrad.

This pregnancy is just so beautifully different.  I’m so different.  I know what kind of mother I am, my son is turning out amazing and wonderful, he knows he is “my treasure” and returns such a beautiful appreciative love back to me!  The family that we’ve created is just so beautiful.  My husband was always an amazing man, but he’s become more so with fatherhood – he is beyond comparison when it comes to leading us as a family – and setting a perfect example for my son to follow.  There’s a different atmosphere that we’ve created – the atmosphere of a beautiful family that is involved in not only our son’s life, but the lives of others that we reach out to in our community.  I’m no longer naïve and feel too young, I get to help and mentor teens that come to me with questions about sex and their high school relationships, and I understand how to actually help them.  I’ve experienced firsthand, God’s perfect ways, and He’s given me a confidence and compassionate heart to be able to mentor without judgment, but with assurance of what is right or wrong.  Teens are not looking for someone who will just passively listen to them, I’ve had girls ask me outright what the right thing to do is – they want solid answers from someone they can admire and trust – someone who’s life looks beautiful to them.  It’s sobering the kind of integrity of character I better have so that my life doesn’t hurt them in some way – we have IMMENSE responsibility as women who are nearing 30 and above – to live a righteous life for the ones who are watching us, that are younger and desperately needing examples to follow.  I am actively seeking out who God wants me to be, but I also appreciate who is the woman I’ve become throughout these years.  I’ve successfully managed our household, raised a child through their toddler and infancy stages, built a beautiful marriage most people would kill for, and have tried to learn from and admit my mistakes and personal failures in order to see God use them in a redemptive way.

I recently was misunderstood by a friend, and accused of being “set in my ways” because I have convictions in controversial topics, but the reality is that I’ve spent years now searching out truth and trying to discern what is right or wrong, we are called to “stand firm” in God’s truths – our children, our friends, spouses, family members, and people who look up to us need us to have strong convictions.  It doesn’t mean we have to be judgmental, in fact we are charged with needing to have mercy and tender gentleness, but mercy and tender gentleness does not equate with “weakness” of convictions or a lukewarm kind of wishy-washy faith that is ultimately useless as it gives no one direction when they view our lives looking for solid answers.

God calls us to be merciful, kind, loving men and women, but also to have “iron in our bones,” and to stand firm in our faith  – to admonish each other (warn each other), and help each other become who we are supposed to be (encourage each other in spiritual growth).

I’m excited in this stage of life, we’re so ready for this new baby boy, and can’t wait hold him and see the person he’s going to become.

Inspiration

I’ve posted my age before. I love being in my late twenties, and yet, I know there are still so many more things I need to discover and figure out in life.  I want to inspire people in their 20’s, to let them know that life isn’t necessarily about “making it” in this chapter of your life.  It’s more about choosing a path for your life & figuring out who you truly are… choosing you who are becomingIt is never too late to make a change – so don’t be afraid of it!

I’ve known too many friends and associates who got derailed in their twenties – and not because anything bad happened, but just because life “didn’t turn out the way they had planned.”  I know people who had grand plans of entering medical school (and various other graduate schools) that are stuck in dead-end jobs for years because they didn’t get in the first try (my encouragement to them was “Don’t give up!  You can always try again, right?”)  But they didn’t seem to get that.  It is cruel to yourself to carry huge weight of “you must do/accomplish this task by the time you hit 30!” 

Success usually doesn’t come in your 20’s – at least, maybe not that kind of success

To me, the real success is figuring out exactly what you want in life, and going after it without wasting time.  The ability to enjoy  your life with contentment for blessings already given to you.  Maybe you had an unplanned pregnancy, I did too.  Maybe your life got derailed somewhat, mine did too.  But I wouldn’t give up my life and what I have now for the world.

I don’t usually read (or always agree with) Relevant Magazine, but this article was my inspiration today.  For all of you in your 20’s, or for those who know all too well:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/5-lies-every-twentysomething-needs-stop-believing (Relevant Magazine)