Friday, September 23, 2011

Confessions of a 'Material Girl'

It surprises me sometimes how very different the mindset our Western World is from other cultures and that of our Biblical Ancestors.

A Contest:
In Biblical Times woman considered the command to be fruitful and multiply as serious business. In fact, if they weren't multiplying, they were giving over their maidservants to multiply for them. Just look at the story of Leah and Rachel in Genesis Three for one example. It was literally a contest to see which wife would have the most sons.

Quiver Full:
The more the merrier was seriously acted out. Lots of sons was considered a blessing from the Lord. "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."

Barren Woman:
Isaiah 54 even tells "barren" (childless or infertile) woman to rejoice and not because they are childless but because there are so many children that need a mom. So many! More children than the fertile woman.

Sweet friends, I'm not judging. I was once very westernized in this area as well and in some ways, still am. Each time the Lord says "go. adopt. go. now." I indeed go and go happily BUT think and even say "this is it Lord, I'm done. No more." The Lord is showing me the error of my western thinking slowly. There has not ever been one huge revelation, one giant leap where I said "I want a gazillion kids." I am stubborn. And the Lord is patient to work slowly on my heart. But as he does, I see it. I see the falsehoods I once held too.

My western thoughts included:
1 child, esteemed private schools, an escalating career, a beautiful car, exotic vacations, lavish dining, beautiful furniture, and a very large knock-your-sox-off-diamond ring (you get the picture)

I grew up and loved (and still to this day dance to)...Madonna's Material Girl: We-are-living-in-a-material-world-and-I-am-a-material-girl. Yep, even typing it makes my shoulders bounce. It's a great tune. But, its meanings run deep within us and shapes who we become, what we decide, what we hold to and yes, even how we JUDGE others (oh, no, judge? did I just say judge? Us, conservative Christian gals would n.e.v.e.r judge, now would we? Oh, yeah....I did.)

Judging. So what did I judge? Whom did I judge? Shall I tell you? Will you loathe me? Will you judge me back? I judged the mom with lots of kids. Yep, I did. I judged the stay at home mom. Yep, I did. I judged the mini-van driving mamma. Yep, I did. Honest engine. I did. I even made terrible, unrelenting comments that were nasty-heart-sickening-comments repeatedly saying all them mommas did was watch soap operas and eat bon-bons. Lord, how naive. Insensitive. Judgemental. Selfish. Cruel. Unloving. Un-christlike I was. Lord, forgive me. All moms, everywhere, forgive me? Please. I have seen the error of my youthful thinking.

Now gals, if you think I have changed 180 degrees the other way and am now judging you because you: have a career, use private school, have only 1 or just a few children, drive an expensive car, go on exotic vacations and have beautiful furniture. You're wrong. I made envy you to great lengths but I'm not judging you. Now you know envy and judging are 2 different sins and I can only work on one thing at a time, alright? Be patient with me. God's not done with me yet.

We are accountable to the Lord. Only the Lord. Not to a subscribed western way of life. Not to modern ideologies. Not to each other even. Only to the Lord.

The only thing I want to share is that once I opened up my heart to the Lord in this area of my life, he began revealing to me a plan, a master plan. A plan that I never dreamed up. But he didn't reveal it all at once or I might have shot myself or maybe drank one too many martinis. Okay, I've never had a martini, seriously. But had the Lord said "You will stay home, homeschool, have 5 (or more children), drive a mini van and live for bon-bons" I would have seriously taken to Martini's and burned my Bible. I am so glad he was slow with me. I am so glad he was patient. I am so glad he changed me, is changing me.

Open your heart to the Lord today. Lay your plans down right now. Surrender yourself. God will make you a new creation. God will bless you richly and shower his love upon you so much your heart will burst.