What to do about Women... Take 2

A little less than a year and a half ago, in the fall of 2012 I wrote a post called What to do about Women. I covered some things I thought needed to be said about our responsibility as men, to treat women with a certain respect, to cherish them, and to honor them. Please understand, I don't feel like I'm the leading expert on women. Actually, I know for a FACT I am not a leading expert. However, I do know that God has taught me some things through other men, older men than myself, about what it takes to treat women the way God intended. It has also been made very apparent to me, again and again, in the last year and a half that a lot of you missed that post I shared. Because, you just don't get it.

This time, I'm not writing to men... instead I'm writing to all the boys out there. What I mean by that is I'm writing this for two people groups 1. Boys that by age are not yet men but will be one day, so they need to learn (we could argue when this changes, but we won't) and 2. Boys that by age should be men, but by maturity and actions are far from it. Brothers, please hear me when I say we have to change the way women are treated. I mean, what on Earth are we doing treating the heiress' to the Kingdom of God like this?? Why aren't we more focused on doing the little things that make them feel like they matter, because they deserve to know they do matter. I'm going to lay this out for you, and give you my opinion on the things that need to stop, and the things that should be happening in their place. As I said, I'm not an expert... I don't have all the answers... and I'm not the smartest guy I know, but these are things even the dumbest man should be able to do for the women in his life (and by plural "women" I mean that includes your mother/sister/friends/significant other... I don't mean multiple significant others, wake up!).

Honestly, I am sick and tired of hearing story after story about women, all kinds of different women, being treated like absolute crap by men who are acting like boys. If I could, I'd grab each of you by the shoulders and shake you back and forth while screaming "What the hell is your problem". Women are beautiful, complex and downright confusing beings... I get that, but they are also often times the most genuine, loving, kind-hearted, compassionate beings you will ever encounter. Why would you want to make her feel like an object or a possession? When God made Eve, he didn't look at Adam and say "I have made you a woman, own her, boss her around, treat her like the dirt that you walk on". NO! God created Adam to work the Garden, and then said "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him" (Genesis 2:18) Then he made a bunch of animals, let Adam name them, and then realized none of these beasts were a suitable helper for Adam. God put Adam to sleep, pulled out a rib, and created the world's first female human being. Adam woke up, looked at her, and said "WOAH MAN, that's awesome" and from then on, the female was known as woman... Okay, Okay, so that part isn't exactly Biblical, but I'm a man, and I know that's what 'ol boy was thinking in his head. What he actually said was "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man" (Genesis 2:23). Read that again men... bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. In the first post I wrote I used these scriptures to support the idea that women are to walk beside us, which is true... but I want to make a slightly different point here: again, Adam said bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Woman came from Man, woman is a part of man. As men, we demand respect because we are men! So, if woman came from man... doesn't she deserve the same respect we demand for ourselves? Shouldn't we love the women in our lives, as much as (if not more) than we love ourselves? I say we should, it makes complete sense. Woman was taken from the side of man to be his helper (and not in the sense that she's a subordinate), why wouldn't we want to treat women with the same dignity, respect, love and desire that we (most of the time) treat ourselves with?

Look, what I'm trying to say is... let's stop acting like boys and start acting like men.

Stop telling a woman you "don't really want to commit, but we can hang out". If you aren't interested in pursuing her heart, but rather just her body-- don't waste her time.

Don't ridicule her or put her down for things you don't understand. Women are (often times) more emotional than men, that doesn't give us free reign to mock their emotions (or get mad at them for being emotional) just because we don't understand... sometimes, they don't even understand why they are emotional (so I'm told).

Stop. Don't. Quit. Never. Are all words that should come before this phrase "make(ing) her feel unworthy". Guess what guys, WE are the ones who are unworthy. God created the most beautiful creature on Earth, and hard-wired her to love us. Don't take that for granted.

Unless your name is Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, or Atilla the Hun, you are not a conqueror There is nothing manly about "conquering" or "exploiting" women for your own sinful, sexual desires by "hooking up" with as many women as you can. Stop doing it.

Try taking interest in her and her interests... even if she's not a car, a sport, or a beer can (*please note, I'm not saying women do not enjoy these things). I'm not saying you can't still drink beer, watch sports, or drive your car like Mario Andretti, but it wouldn't kill you to watch a movie/show that SHE likes, to go cheer for HER teams, or listen to HER favorite radio station.

Pursue her heart. Make it your mission to find out everything you can about her, so that you can partake in her interests, maybe have some semblance of understanding of why she's upset with you, and know exactly what to do in those situations (at least sometimes). Don't just focus on how hot she is, focus on how amazing she is too.

Give her butterflies. I'm not talking insects here brothers (unless she's into that sort of thing?). I'm talking tell her she's beautiful, cook dinner AND do the dishes, buy her flowers on a day other than Valentine's day, do something spontaneous, plan a date of the things she likes to do, compliment her when you/she walks in the door, hug her, send her good morning texts to let her know you thought of her when you woke up. Make her feel so special that when she tells her friends about you, they struggle to believe you exist. Trust me when I say that if you can do this, it not only makes her feel special (as she should) it will make you feel like the tallest man in the world.

Be vulnerable. I know that's a scary word for us men, but let her see that there's more to you than sports, cars and beer. Let her know that you have interests that don't include building stuff and blowing it up. It's okay to tell her how you're feeling, in fact, it might just make her love you more.

Be genuine. Because guess what, you can stop/start doing all the things above, and they won't mean diddly unless it's from the heart. Don't deceive her, just  be real. If you can't do that for her, break up with her, give her the chance to find someone who can.

I said it in the beginning, and I'll say it again. I'm no where near an expert on women. The things I'm saying here aren't difficult to understand. Stop living by the standards of the world, and start living as a man of God. Guess what, if you have a woman in your life currently who cares about you, respects you, honors you, or even can merely "puts up with you", she deserves nothing other than your best.

What to do about women, you ask?

Honor. Cherish. Love. Pursue. Respect.

If I've learned anything from the amazing women I've gotten the chance to be impacted by, it's that those things are enough... and anymore, they're rare. Let's bring chivalry back, let's make a stand.

Grace and Peace


Holiness, Genuineness, Humility, and Love.


 I've been spending a lot of time thinking about the word church over the last few weeks. I've been spending a lot of time wrestling with the idea of the disconnect that I see so often between Jesus and church, or even more prevalent, Jesus and religion. Many of you have probably seen the Youtube Viral video Jesus > Religion aka Why I love Jesus and hate religion by Jeff Bethke. I'm not going to repeat what he says, even though I think there is a lot validity there. What I'm going to talk about is why people's perceptions of the church are hindering their perceptions of Jesus, why we are the problem, and why I, at least in some small part, am the solution.

There's been a lot of talk lately about church in Christian circles. In case you haven't picked up on that, just do a Google search on Donald Miller and his opinions on going to church. People have destroyed this guy for his views... and it's not okay. I'm not saying that I 100% agree with every point he made, but the point is he's bringing to light a huge issue that a lot of people are starting to talk about. That is, what is it about the church that's damaging people's viewpoints on Jesus. Before I go any further, let me make a distinction. I think that people have an issue with the church as an insitution and I think that that is a vastly different (not rightfully so) thing than we the church or the body of Christ. In order to make sure this distinction is clear throughout the rest of this post, when I'm talking about the institution I will refer to it as the church, and when I'm referring to us as the church I will call it the body. Okay, now that that is established let's get to the nitty gritty... and no we are not going fishing in the dark.

Let me just throw down from the get-go with this: The whole reason I'm writing this post, is because my heart has been breaking the last few weeks for those that don't have a relationship with Christ in a whole new way. I realized today, that the reason my heart is breaking is because as the body we are called to love people, yet, our own perceived righteousness often breaks others. I think it damages those around us that don't know Christ, and too often we are completely oblivious to this happening around us. I'm guilty of it too. Sometimes I get on my pedestal and push God aside and say, "HEY LOOK AT ME, I'M RIGHTEOUS TODAY BECAUSE I _____________ (insert random service/task). I make things about me, not Jesus. I'm not proud of that at all, in fact, I despise that about myself. Now, I could easily sit here and say things like "I'm human" or "It's okay because everyone else does it too" but those things don't make it justifiable. I don't want to be that person. I want to help people see the love of Christ by being the body outside of the church, and within it.

The simple fact is, that I'm wretched in my sinfulness. That these people that I have ostracized in my own perceived righteousness are not so different from myself. That became really apparent this morning during service when we touched on what Paul writes to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:15-17:

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-- of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example to those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."  

You see, I'm like Paul in that, when it comes to the sinners of this world, that Jesus came to save, I am the worst. I think that Paul meant that he knows that he's the worst because his sin is the only that he truly understands and knows within his core. He follows Christ and yet he is still a sinner who needs a savior. It brought to the light, in an even brighter way than ever before, the disgust with which I view my sin. Which is really funny, given that I still project this perceived righteousness to other people. That's something I want to break free of... and that's why I do this. Here's a side story-- I love side stories just an fyi...

Last week, someone asked me about why I blog. I mentioned that it's a way for me to be transparent and real. He wanted to know why it didn't bother me to share my sins/struggles/victories with people all over the world that I had never met, and most likely won't ever meet. I realized this morning the real answer is that because I want to break free of my own perceived righteousness, and I want to right whatever wrong notions I have given others about myself. The words above, talking about being the worst of the sinners, those words are true. I'm not righteous, I'm no different from anyone else. I'm a sinner, I'm a wretched, lowly, terrible sinner. What's different isn't me... what's different, is Jesus. I am saved by grace, I am saved by HIS righteousness, not my own. That's why I write this, and that's why I struggle with the heartbreak that I feel when I realize that the church is damaging the potential some of these people have to have a relationship with Jesus.

 As the body, we are called to let other people know this. This is where Chuck's message points this morning break down what I'm trying to say (Thanks Chuck!)...

There are a few things we can do to help combat the struggle people have with the church. As the body, as individuals we should be doing these 4 things (let's be honest, there's more than four, but this is what Chuck gave me to work with)

1. Pursue holiness. Ephesians 5:1-2 says this, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as CHrist loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." We are called to pursue holiness by being imitators of God. We should be loving those around us, we should be sacrificing ourselves for the sake of others, the way Christ sacrificed himself for us. Now, some of you may be thinking... "Dude, there is no way you, or I are willing to hang from a cross and die a brutal and painful death for these other people." I would say you're right, only because, I know we don't need to die that death. When I say we must sacrifice ourselves, I don't mean we have to be crucified for others. I mean we have to give of our time, our talents, our finances, our hearts, and our lives to others in order to lead them onward towards a relationship with Jesus. That's how we pursue holiness. We live like Jesus, and preach the life of Jesus to other people.

2. Pursue genuineness. Refer back to Paul's words to Timothy that I shared above. Paul was being true and genuine when dealing with Timothy. He was being real, vulnerable, and transparent. We can't put on a perceived righteousness or holiness just to give others a perception of ourselves. It's damaging to the message of Christ. The genuine truth is, that when it comes me... I'm far from being a good person. Granted, I would like to think by the world's standards I am a good person, but by Christ's standards (which is what I want to live by) I'm no good. Isaiah 64:6 says "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf and like the wind our sins sweep us away." My good works are no good, and others deserve to know that. In order for me to share Jesus with others I have to be willing to be myself, and be honest about the fact that God deserves all glory, and that without him I am nothing. In order for others to see the love that Christ has for creation, they have to be able to understand the grace and mercy he has shown me.

3. Develop humility. Philippians 2:3 says "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Humility is something we all struggle with. The world has taught us that only the strong survive, which has led us to believe that if we are surviving it's because of our own doing. How often are we quick to blame God in the bad things? Yet, just as quick to praise ourselves in the victorious moments? Humility, as defined by the dictionary, is a modest or low view of one's own importance. Look, I still struggle with this daily, but deep down in my heart I know that I am not important in the grand scheme of things, what is important is Christ, and sharing his love with others. In a conversation I had just last night, about a new opportunity to walk side by side with an amazing girl, I said that my focus is to put God first, then her, my family and friends second, and myself last. Ultimately, I am here to be an imitator of Christ, and if that's true of me I have to develop humility and realize the lowly importance that I possess.

4. Share Jesus. Yeah, I made that one bigger than all the others... wanna fight about it?? (I kid, I kid). Honestly though, of the four points, I think this one is the most important, solely because it is the culmination of the other three. The church shouldn't be damaging people's views of Christ, we should be sharing Jesus. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I think a lot of times the church is perceived as rules and regulations that people have to follow, when Christ is really about relationship. On the phone yesterday, Price said this: "All relationships are the same, your relationship with God, your parents, with Megan, with your roommate, with me... they are all about love, and that love is about putting that other person first." If Christ is about relationship, then in order for me to have that relationship with him, I have to put him first. In order for me to share him with others, and honor my relationship with him, I have to put others first. Which means I have to develop humility, I have to be genuine, and I have to pursue holiness. 

Please understand, I'm not saying that the church is a bad thing. It just needs to be re-calibrated in a lot of ways. I think that the focus truly needs to be relationship and sharing Jesus, with those that are a part of the body, and those that are not yet a part of the body. I just want to see a change in the church as an institution. I want to stop perpetuating the idea that the church is about rules and regulations, not relationships. We have to humble ourselves and realize that for centuries things like power corruption, hypocrisy, false teaching, and unfair associations have been the problem, and we as people are in a lot of ways the root of that problem. This isn't a comfortable idea, but that's the point. Being a Christ follower isn't comfortable, it's blissfully uncomfortable. There's joy in ripping away the comfort that the world offers for the love that Christ gives freely.

In fact, sitting at Starbucks near some of our high school youth, that I know have a real grasp on the things that I'm talking about above. I asked them, "In four words or less, what would you say being a Christian means"... Here are the responses I got:

Loving others like God.

Being Jesus to the least of these.

Striving to be Christ-like

Representing Christ on Earth

Shining the light of Jesus

Loving God with all your heart

Glorifying God

 This is what gives me hope that we can re-calibrate the church, and get the church and the body back on the same page.

This is what we need to do in order to share Jesus with others.

This is what love looks like.

This is what humility, genuineness, and holiness look like.

This is real understanding of the joy of a relationship with Christ.

This. Is. The. Point.

This is the body, and this SHOULD be the church.

Grace and Peace