Eyelashes and Morals

BB-BeaIt doesn’t take much life experience to know that, given a choice, a young man will choose a young woman with a beautiful face and gorgeous figure over an average woman with weak eyes. Even biblical patriarchs were susceptible to an attractive external. “Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. Jacob loved Rachel” (Genesis 29:16–18a). He picked the pretty girl. And in a time before Maybelline, she was probably born with it. She didn’t beat Leah at the win-the-man game because she was better at application and had contacts. God made Rachel more beautiful than her sister, and it won her the love of the husband. Continue reading

Facebook, Privacy, and Marital Oneness

IMG_4614Maybe it’s me, but there seem to be an awful lot of couples posting things on their facebook accounts to each other about their relationship. From “you’re the best boyfriend ever” to “he said ______ when he proposed” to “I’m pregnant, Honey”.

Now, the emotional side of a relationship is just as real as the sexual one. Making out in public is unacceptable, but the emotional equivalent is almost expected online. Nobody minds if a couple holds hands, or gives each other a peck on the cheek, but even unbelievers keep public displays of affection under control when there are other people around. But so often, Christian couples are “over the top” in their emotional interaction online. Continue reading

Mentoring 101

1024px-Pieter_de_Hooch_-_At_the_Linen_Closet“Mentoring is so American,” a friend from another country told me. We were talking about older women mentoring younger women, and she had a different take on it than most people around me. “Where I’m from, people would never do it. They just take part in the life of the church and try to be faithful in their personal lives.” What she meant was that the early 21st century American version of mentoring—more of a Evangelical, programmatic Titus 2 system—was something unique to this culture. And she is probably right: the one-on-one coffee dates, note taking, and arranged, lay shepherding isn’t exactly something that has a timeless or universal feel. Not that this “American” version of mentoring is wrong, it’s just a cultural expression of Protestant America trying to help the older women teach the younger women. Continue reading

Of Course Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed

early dateSo is dating. So is marriage. That’s because the people in all of these situations are sinners, so anything they touch will, in some way, be damaged by sin. But blaming “courtship” (or your Vision Forum straw man version thereof) for “dragon” fathers, spineless spinsters, and poor young men who are getting crushed by the courtship machine seems extreme. At the very least, it indicates the need for an understanding of the biblical concept of covenant headship. The arguments in this article are so fundamentally flawed, one has to wonder what sort of homeschooling education produces this logic, or what social bubble spawned the idea that “courtship dads” are more abusive than others. Caricatures are simply not helpful; here are some counter points that may help clearer thinking about courtship. Continue reading

Open Letter to a Woman With an Adulterous Husband

1024px-Briefoeffner_mit_kuvert_und_hand_fcmThe following blog post is an anonymous guest contribution; the author wants to come alongside and comfort women who find themselves in this very painful circumstance.

I’m so sorry to hear of your husband’s unfaithfulness to you. From my experience there is nothing more deflating, demoralizing and hurtful more than this type of rejection. I could say, “I know how you feel,” but the circumstances and situation from affair to affair are all different. So I can’t say with all confidence that I know exactly how you feel. The truth is, only God knows this type of rejection. Continue reading

What A Christian Woman Knows About Beauty

120px-Shadow_me There’s been a lot of talk about beauty around here lately. One friend has even labeled the ongoing conversation TBD—The Beauty Discussion. We’ve dragged Augustine, Reformers, Puritans, philosophers, and the Mahaneys into the discussion to help us and our daughters think about women and beauty as Christians. Here are five points:

Physical beauty is as real as spiritual beauty. Our culture tells women that physical beauty is all that matters. Some Christians react to this by saying that spiritual beauty is the only real beauty. But that’s not true; God created real, physical beauty, and in this world we see lots of it, including in other people. Something purely physical can be beautiful (a flower, sunset, and Taylor Swift’s hair), and we can be thankful for it. There is a tension between physical and spiritual beauty as we strive to maintain body and cultivate soul, but one is not less real than the other, though one is less valuable than the other. Continue reading

My Mother Doesn’t Live In Town

Segantini_Le_due_Madri Like millions of other women, I don’t live in the same town as my mother. Some women have bad relationships with their mothers, and so living in another town is a relief. But for most, living in the same town as your mother means you have local encouragement and help from someone who has known you for life and loves you anyway.

Part of me wants to address the issue by saying to myself, “Boo-hoo, stop it with the princess-martyr complex: ‘My mother’s not in town so I can’t go shopping by myself, nap, or get my nails done every Friday’.” Continue reading

Mommy Guilt and The Cross

wall Is there a mother out there that doesn’t feel guilty about her mothering? Maybe most of it, maybe some of it—all of us are committing or omitting things that make us feel guilty. When you know that a dependent person whom you love is counting on you for pretty much everything (from food to medical care to memorable holidays), it brings the weight of responsibility and the burden of imperfect performance.

But I’m not sure that sin is the cause of most mommy guilt. Continue reading