Expectations/Standards – too low?

I am a mother of two boys and I have noticed more now than ever the difference in standards when it comes to boys versus girls. It seems as though society has a lower level of expectations for men than women and this is extremely frustrating on many levels for me. Why is it an accepted and normal way of thinking that men will always lust after women. I have heard many say “they can look but not touch”, “boys will be boys”, and “they have needs”. I know women who allow their husbands/boyfriends to go to strip clubs, and this is acceptable? WHAT! Why would we let men settle to this way of thinking? Why would we let our significant other devalue a woman in such a way. How about the fact that they are disrespecting the one they are with? They are strong and very capable with resisting these behaviors; they are not mindless animals. The women that are playing into this stereotype often feel like this is the way to satisfy their men and keep them happy by not putting boundaries on them – Really! These women need to get a backbone and pick men that love them and are completely devoted to them, these are the men that do not need external stimulation to feel satisfied. Enough is enough with this weak view of men and women putting up with this substandard type of relationship.

I can’t handle that everything from food, cars, drinking, and sports (just to name a few) are sold with sex. Let’s be real they are not selling to women they are trying to entice men. Even our consumer market thinks males are mindless animals and if I were a man I would be insulted. This is the very struggle I have with raising my sons. I am very aware that men and women are completely different. I also understand that men are more physical by nature than women, however to believe that they can not live without subjectifying women is absurd. Society is guilty of putting this on our men and not expecting more from them. It is a known fact that individuals rise to expectations that are set for them, with knowing this we need to set higher ones.

Our men need to stand up too. Peer pressure from other men is just as bad as the constant bombarding that they get everyday from the media and society. We need to teach our sons that they are not weird and need to have standards. Not falling into these social norms does not lesson their manhood at all.

Allowing men to be a stereotype is also damaging to Marriages. These sacred relationships cannot thrive when one partner is behaving this selfishly. This lack of respect is appalling and so hurtful. It is a horrible example for children and again I will go back to how this hurts when raising them. A lot of times this is a cycle and and how can we expect young boys to resist this lifestyle when they are bombarded via the media, friends, and now . . . parents.

I love my boys and I want them to thrive in healthy relationships. I am truly blessed that their father is an amazing example of how unselfish devotion can grow a marriage. Let’s not forget that a marriage takes both partners giving all of themselves all of the time. Raising our children to believe differently will ultimately require a societal shift. This may seem overwhelming, but I know these types of changes begin at home.

-J

Love with out Action – is what?

To love someone is more than just having emotional feelings or saying that you love them, it is action. Love with out action is void and empty. How can I say I love you but never help you, take care of you, support you, or walk with you through something. Love requires a tangible action or it simply is not love.

“For God So loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe that in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). In this scripture we see God’s love expressed in a tangible action – He gave His only begotten Son. What was the reason He gave His only Son? So that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God loves us so much that He gave something, something extremely special and invaluable- His Son. This is probably one of the fundamental scriptures for believers. However, it should be more than our foundation for faith, it should be the foundation for how we Love others. As Christians we should be God’s example to the world and the best way to do this is to LOVE.

It is easy to say – I love everyone, I love people because they are God’s creation, or I am called to love you because I am a Christian. This is not love at all or at least not the type of love God showed us. His love had action, His example is true love. The good news is we can love like God, we can love others with action. I can say all day how I love children, but when my church needs volunteers for nursery or help teaching Children’s church and I constantly make excuses to why I can’t help am I loving?

I was taking my boys to school and my oldest was rushing me because he wanted to get out of the car quickly. I kept trying to get him to hold off, but that is when he said “she needs my help”. I looked over and a staff member was getting out of her van and going to her wheelchair in the back. I told him he could go and he ran to help her. He stood by her and got her belongings out of the van, walked beside her, and then held the door open for her. I was so touched watching him help someone when all the other children ran past them. He never cared about what others thought. He was in the moment showing “ACTION.”

Last Sunday we were driving to church and my seven year old saw a homeless man with a sign that said “anything welcomed”. We were running a little behind and it was the night my oldest was getting baptized, so I was trying to go through my mental list to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. When my son said “can we help him?” My husband asked “How would you help him buddy?” He said “Give him money”, my husband said “Wouldn’t it be better if we gave him some food?” This whole time we continuing driving towards church. I look at my husband and said turn around. I said we need to let him do this. We turned around and went to McDonald’s and let him pick out a meal to give this man. My son was able to give this man a warm meal, small Bible, and a letter. These moments help foster God’s teaching in our children.

I want my kids to truly love others and not just say “Oh I feel bad for them”, but to put God’s love in action – do what you can to help. This could be volunteering (homeless shelter, food pantry, church, schools, hospitals, or counseling centers – to name a few), praying regularly for those around you, and most importantly loving others you interact with on a daily basis at work, church, children’s schools, or events. Get to know others and be there for them, walk with them during good and difficult times, support them, and live this “love is action” life everyday in front of them.

Love others with action!

-J