Archive for the ‘Guest Posts’ Category

Part Two: Is Your Family An Outpost for Christ?

September 3rd, 2010

This is a guest post by Joy…see part one here.

 

In my first post, I wrote about the Christian tendency to retreat from the world and how this disobeys God’s command. Today we will discuss how to build your family into an outpost for Christ in your community.

We are commanded to show hospitality to all.

Romans 12:13 and 1 Peter 2:9 both command us to show hospitality. This is not optional, and it is for all of us. God sent us to make disciples, and that only happens by entering people’s lives, allowing them into ours, and living God’s unconditional love for them.

Is it always safe? No. Does God allow us that excuse? No.

We are not foolish, however. My husband and I want our children and their friends to gravitate here. We allow the children in the neighborhood in, we feed them, and we listen to their conversations. By opening our home, we know our kids’ friends, we know their challenges, and we know their location.

As we make our homes welcoming, we still maintain our standards. This is the difference between assimilation and immersion. We do not become like our neighbors, but we enter into their lives. Doing so allows us to model for our children how to interact with the world and to give them a somewhat controlled context in which to try it themselves. Hands-on experience is essential for them to develop discernment (see through the world’s lies), spiritual muscle (humbly yet firmly share their reasons for doing/not doing something), and hospitality.

I’ve struggled to gently maintain our standards of speech and behavior without creating an oppressive atmosphere that drives the kids elsewhere. With practice I’ve grown more comfortable gently sharing our rules with statements like, “We don’t speak that way in our family. If you choose to continue to use those words, you will need to play somewhere else.” We designate certain evenings and Sunday afternoons as family time, but this is the exception, not the rule.

Unpleasant encounters become redemptive conversations. Choosing to interact with people who don’t share our values and our faith does expose our children to worldly attitudes and actions. We see these as ripe opportunities to apply the biblical perspective to very specific situations. These conversations also provide better understanding of how our children are processing what they see and hear.

This summer, I overheard a conversation between my son and a friend. The friend was describing a hurtful and inappropriate way “make girls squirm.” My son and I spent that evening talking about what the Bible says about our bodies, respecting one another, and coming to someone’s defense. I wouldn’t have had that opportunity if the boys hadn’t been in our home to begin with.

It isn’t easy. Engaging with our community can be messy, noisy, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. But God didn’t promise us comfortable, calm, tidy, or easy. We pray that as we obey His command to go and share, God will guard our children’s hearts and be glorified as we show His love to the world outside our front door.

Joy blogs at Joy In This Journey (www.joyinthisjourney.com). She credits her oldest daughter Elli (now in heaven) with forcing her out into her community. Elli’s special needs required public education, in-home help, and the expertise of hundreds of people they would never have met otherwise. You can also find her on Twitter.

I’m a Tommy Mommy and can’t wait to tell you all about it real soon!

Is Your Family a Clique? (Part 1)

September 3rd, 2010

Today is a guest post from Joy, from Joy in this Journey.

Sarah Mae recently tweeted the link to an article delving into the weaknesses of home-schooling as an educational method (http://www.familyministries.com/HS_Crisis.htm ). The blind spots listed are: self-centered dreams, family as an idol, emphasis on outward form, tendency to judge, over-dependence on authority and control, over-reliance on sheltering, and formulaic parenting.

As a home-school grad, I found myself nodding as I read. I’ve seen them all, to varying degrees, among homeschooling families and homeschool grads I’ve known.  What struck me most is that all Christian families are prone to these, regardless of their method of schooling. These blind spots are not exclusive to home-schoolers.

My husband and I are raising three children (our fourth passed away in 2008), and we, like most parents, have spent much time praying about and studying parenting. We strive to be proactive in identifying blind spots and addressing them.

The Christian family’s tendency to hide from the outside world has always been a concern of ours. We share the desire to avoid the world’s corruption and danger and protect our children from it. But we began asking ourselves if hiding from the world is godly.

Our conclusion is a resounding NO. Why?

Because:

God’s family is our example.

God chose us, and Jesus died for us, while we were still filthy with sin and haters of Him. He adopted us into His family. His family is open to all who will believe, no matter their past, no matter their heritage. We believe our families are to be like His. We must not become insular or closed to outsiders.

Over-emphasizing family time makes your family a clique. It fosters arrogance and judgmental attitudes in your children. It draws everyone’s eyes inward in fear and pride instead of outward in love and compassion. And arrogance, judgment, fear, and pride will weaken, not strengthen, your children for the time when they must go into the world as God’s ambassadors.

We are commanded to interact with the people in our community.

God has given us a mission: to share the good news of how we may be reconciled to Him. In Acts 1:8, Jesus instructs the disciples to tell everyone about him, starting where they lived. “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

I have seen how families in our neighborhood who refuse to interact with their neighbors come off. Some interpret their behavior as suspicious and fear illegal activity (drugs, perversion, child abuse). Others read it as arrogance. Either way, it creates unnecessary antagonism, destroys any chance of being able to share the gospel, and represents an unbiblical and un-Christ-like image of God’s people.

In my next post, I will finish sharing why and how to engage the world for Christ in the context of our families.

Joy blogs at Joy In This Journey. She credits her oldest daughter Elli (now in heaven) with forcing her out into her community. Elli’s special needs required public education, in-home help, and the expertise of hundreds of people they would never have met otherwise. You can also find her on Twitter.

Some goodness to be revealed soon…in the meantime, have you been to TommyNelson.com yet?

A Dirty Little Secret

August 5th, 2010

Today is a guest post from my friend Michelle.  Enjoy!

I have a dirty little secret…

I don’t clean my kitchen floor.

I stopped 8 months ago. I don’t scrub my tub or toilets either.

Yes, I’m an at-home mom. And yes, I hired someone to help clean my house. {I can hear my mother gasping now.}

To be clear, I’m not rich, or spoiled (I think), and I only wish that I were a royal princess.

I’m only outing myself here and not on my own blog in hopes that my grandmother-in-law, the Mennonite “Martha Stewart,” never finds out. Wouldn’t that make great sewing circle conversation?

While it’s embarrassing to “come clean,” I do have a compelling argument for outsourcing:

  • Between being a natural messy, my ADD tendencies, and a healthy dose of perfectionism, I can turn a quick clean up into an abandoned organization of the lazy susan in 2 seconds flat.
  • Although I am a messy, I love clean. I love disinfectant and obliterating germs. But like I mentioned, a simple wipe-down usually snowballs into me steam-cleaning that unreachable spot behind the toilet.
  • I needed more time in my schedule. Hiring help allows me to work during naptime instead of clean, which makes my boss happy and allows me to afford it. {My cleaning person is very reasonable.}
  • Most importantly, I can enjoy playing with my boys having one less thing to worry about. For me the benefit outweighs the cost.

I know this decision isn’t for everyone, but maybe there’s a different way you can shift your load? If so, I encourage you to give it a try! Ultimately, it’s God’s opinion that matters. Getting help during a time when my light was more of a dying ember has preserved my sanity. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me. Oh, and it makes my husband pretty happy, too!

What do you do to preserve your sanity? Have you made any good decisions that you’re afraid to admit?

A note from Michelle: I blog (a little too honestly) at So, I married a Mennonite and Gather Inspirit. I’d love for you to visit, as I have lots more to say about this subject and many others!

Photo Credit: Can’t Stop Cooking

Recommended: Keep Calm and Carry On from Red Letter Words.

Are You a Bubbling Brook Or a Stagnant Stream?

July 27th, 2010

Guest post by Jaime @ Like a Bubbling Brook

Dr. Howard Hendricks once shared the story of a professor who stayed up late at night pouring over his books. A passerby asked him, “What keeps you studying? You never seem to stop.” His answer was, “I would rather my students drink from a bubbling brook than a stagnant pool.”

How about those you have relationships with? Are they drinking from a bubbling brook or a stagnant stream? The wellspring of wisdom is as a flowing brook (Proverbs 18:4).

This illustration always stayed with me and, as I was completing my master’s degree a few years ago, my heart grew heavy. I’d spent many years obtaining a formal education, reading books assigned by professors, studying subjects dictated by degree requirements, but I had neglected my study of His Word, His divinely-inspired love letter to me, the most important book of all.

And then, as my master’s program neared an end, it was if God whispered into my heart, “Let me be your professor.

That single sentence shattered my thinking and broke my heart. I was hit with the realization that formal schooling had quietly become my idol; I had made my schooling more important than my spiritual growth. Then I remembered the Great Commandment (Luke 10:27), which instructs us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. How could we love Him with our mind?

With God’s help, my husband and I made significant changes in our lives that year. We read through our Bible in entirety and spent special times in prayer and fasting. We desired to let God speak to us, teach us, lead us.

We studied the Word and sought to understand it for ourselves, both privately and in the context of our family and church. We prayed that we would be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2), and cultivate a greater intimate relationship with this God who created us.

We began to realize that, like every other aspect of our being, God created our minds to be used for His glory. Our failure to allow God to actively develop our minds will cause us to be stagnant streams, unable to sustain a vibrant spiritual life or offer refreshment to our husbands, children, and communities.

Letting God renew your mind is not about reciting facts, having the right answers, or obtaining a formal education. It’s about letting Him shape how you view the world.

When we pursue truth, when we pursue God’s way of relating with our families and the world around us, it bears fruit in our life. When we offer our minds to God, that’s when our behaviors finally start to change into what He desires of us. When we pursue Him, we are increasingly led to worship Him because we begin to understand He is infinitely greater than we could ever imagine.

Read your Bible; pray; learn; grow; always pursue truth. Speak His truth into the lives of your children and others around you. Grow in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and others (Luke 2:52).

Your kind of intelligence, your background, your pattern of thinking is unique and valued by God. What are you doing with it?

Jaime G is blessed with an amazing husband and two sweet boys. She is a homeschooling mama who writes about faith, family, and food on her blog, likeabubblingbrook.com.

If you didn’t win the Raising Generations necklace from Raising Homemakers, you can purchase it here for for 15% off with code: GENERATIONS15 (you have until July 30th).

If you want to see the Good Morning America clip about Like a Warm Cup of Coffee, click here.

Putting Women in a Box

July 2nd, 2010

Today’s post is from Jasmine Baucham….

The other day, a really sweet lady from my church called to tell me that she wanted to give away a huge box of books that she thought I would especially love. They are never opened, second editions of a Britannica Great Books set which include Locke, Hume, Tolstoy, Descartes, Goethe, Smith, Chaucer, Darwin, Bacon, Augustine, Rousseau, and Montesquieu, among so many others. To say I was thrilled would be the understatement of the year.

When I tell people that I am planning on living at home and serving my family until (if the Lord wills) I become a helpmeet and homemaker in my own home someday, they tend to assume that I’m your average Susie Homemaker, a June Cleaver/ rip-off who enjoys dancing around her kitchen in pumps and swing dresses while she cooks gourmet dinners with ingredients from her garden, trying to hurry through dinner so she can get back to her French needlepoint.

I’m not knocking gourmet meals or gardens here, but such a monolithic understanding of the word “homemaker”  or the phrase “stay-at-home daughter” have given us women a bad rap –especially women like me, who tend to be much more adept at working as their dad’s research assistants than putting craft tutorials online.

I love that there are artsy, crafty home-lovers out there… and I love that there are wordy, bookish home-lovers out there; in the same way, I love that –should the Lord send me a husband –I fully expect him to need me for my mental powers as he needs me to care for the children. And, yes, although I realize that the term “barefoot and pregnant” is fighting words… I’ll let you throw the first punch while I fantasize about reading Orwell between laundry loads while my burgeoning baby belly blocks the sight of my bare feet from wistful eyes.

Hey, you’ve got your fantasy, and I’ve got mine!

Several weeks ago, I wrote an article for Ladies Against Feminism called A Dream Deferred–the feedback was mixed. For the most part, I had quite a few concerned readers bemoaning the fact that I had given up my desire to become a Ph.D. or a screenwriter all for the sake of serving my family –one email told me that I had “quashed” my dreams! On the other hand, though, folks seemed to understand just what I was trying to say: embracing a homeward calling wasn’t about beating out those “non-housewifey” aspects of my personality –it was about realizing that the Lord gave me the unique gifts, calling, and abilities he gave me, not as an excuse to run off helter-skelter with whatever aspirations I could think of… but to apply them within his design.

He made me a lover of books, ya’ll… and then he put me in a household that was full of them –not only that, but he gave me a dad who is constantly in need of a research assistant! Someday, he might give me a husband who needs one, too! But even if my husband’s a plumber who really has little use for Descartes, the Lord has also given me a passion for teaching… which I can apply to my own children (who will be reading Virgil by the time they’re four… you know, maybe).

Five years ago, I realized  that –more than the world needed another Pulitzer Prize winner or Academy Award hopeful… it needed a daughter willing to stay at home and serve her family; because the biggest unit being attacked in our culture isn’t the film world or the academic world (although both are under fire): it’s the family. And the family takes primary importance over those spheres because, like it or not, it is the cornerstone of society. Strong families = strong cultures. And individualistic aspirations tend to weaken a family. So I began to see my dreams in light of those truths….

And I threw out all of my literature books and took up knitting.

Actually, no. While I did learn to love the tasks that I used to put aside for those books of mine (it’s beautiful how that love grows when you’re doing something for the glory of God), I also learned that I could be an individual and a stay-at-home daughter at the same time.

Who knew?

Biblical womanhood doesn’t come in a box –I hear you. But calling women to embrace a homeward calling isn’t boxing them in: it’s pointing to the Word of God as our framework (Titus 2:3-5) and employing our gifts in biblical contexts. Paradigm has become an ugly word –but, truly, God’s Word should be the filter through which we evaluate our dreams, our goals, our aspirations… and our quirks.

I am a stay-at-home daughter. I believe that the Lord has called me to serve Him and my family in this way. I love home-management… and I love George Orwell. And my family needs both aspects of my personality to run this ship, just as I suspect my future household will as well. I have lost nothing in pursuit of a homeward focus –but I have gained accountability, community, discipleship, and blessings beyond measure by living here. More than that, I have gained the satisfaction of following God’s calling on my life.

If you’re afraid of losing your individuality by coming home… don’t be. All you have to lose is the presupposition that states that homemakers fit into a nice little box aside from every other kind of woman that there is. It just isn’t true. And I’m so glad.
-Jasmine

Jasmine is the oldest of Voddie and Bridget Baucham’s six children. She is a homeschool graduate who enjoys studying and writing about areas as varied as theology, philosophy, political science, art, film and culture. She is also an aspiring author who currently lives at home where she continues to assist her father in his research, is completing a degree in English literature, writing a book based on her blog, Joyfully at Home, and is blessed to assist her mother with the care of her younger siblings.

No Biblical Family Model?

June 29th, 2010

Honored to have today’s post written by Jasmine Baucham (read more about her at the end of the article)

There is no biblical family model.

In our day and age, a sentence like that comes off as something warm, fuzzy, and accepting –in a culture where diversity is next to godliness, a sentence like that takes the pressure off of blossoming Christian families –instead of encouraging them to delve into God’s Word for biblical principles, the phrase encourages them to go with the flow and to do what feels right… because there is no right answer –no one-size-fits all approach to family life. So heave a sigh of relief, ladies –the Bible doesn’t judge you, so your fellow Christians shouldn’t either.

Well, there ya go.

Except… rather than closing the door on a host of problems, this approach to family life opens a whole ‘nother can of worms. This past week, I’ve read that sentence from two extremely different points of view… from Christians advocating a non-judgmental approach to family decisions… to homosexual activists using the sordid family lives of the patriarchs to justify their monogamous lifestyles (http://www.newsweek.com/2008/12/05/our-mutual-joy.html).

See, that’s a problem for me, and not just because I have an axe to grind –I do not write this article from a position of perfection –not only do I not have a perfect marriage… I’m not even married! But, at twenty, someday, I’d certainly like to be married… and I think that the best time to hash out family issues is before I’ve walked the aisle… not afterwards. And so, armed with a legacy passed down from a dad who is passionate about the biblical family unit (and yes, I think there is one), and a mother who has worked with him to instill the desire for a biblically-structured family in their six children, this is a question that I want to dive into:

If there is a biblical family model, where can we find it?

The first thing we have to keep in mind is that narrative is not normative. So just because Hosea married a prostitute, Abraham had a concubine, or David and Solomon had a gaggle of wives does not mean that modern-day Christians should follow suit. Just because something is recorded in the Bible does not mean that it is commanded of us in the Bible. The only man we should strive to emulate in Scripture is Christ Jesus, and we ought only to emulate others insofar as they are walking in his ways.

But

what about the passages that are normative?

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

 

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” ~Eph. 5:22-6:4, ESV

I don’t know about you, but that looks like a lot of directives to me. In fact, if you add in the fact that Paul is hearkening back to Deuteronomy 6 in his passage about teaching and training children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), and that, later on, he gives further instruction to wives in passages Titus 2:3-5 and 1 Peter 3:1-6, the argument that there is no biblical pattern for family life sounds… well… not of the spirit, but of the flesh (“I really don’t want to hear what you have to say about biblical family life… so there’s no such thing!”). Given that all Scripture is inspired by God, the words of Paul –a single man writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit –should hold a little more weight than, “Well… you should just do whatever works for you!” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Just as an aside here, I am not arguing that all families should look alike –there is incredible room for diversity and growth within the biblical pattern for family life (I know that phrase makes so many people cringe). But, as with so many other facets of our lives, the fact that we claim the love and serve the Lord with all that is within us should impact the way we do family (and the way we do church… and the way we do education… and the way we do government… but those are whole different cans of worms).

Marriage is carefully defined in Scripture –and families are given a pattern to follow in God’s Word. Now, where the Scripture does not speak, we ought to be silent –this is not about fettering families with extra-biblical rules or sending them on a guilt trip. What it is about, though, is understanding that, as believers we aren’t as free in our family choices as we’ve been led to believe we are –in fact, as slaves to Christ (Romans 6), the decisions we make as families (or, in my case, as young people who will someday be going in to families) are incredibly important. Too important to be cast aside with the very non-judgmental-sounding-but-very-dangerous in reality, “There is no biblical model for family life.”

As Christians modeling the Savior who died for us, and called to obey his commands (John 14:15), we ought not be so quick to silence His Word on the matter.

-Jasmine

Jasmine is the oldest of Voddie and Bridget Baucham’s six children. She is a homeschool graduate who enjoys studying and writing about areas as varied as theology, philosophy, political science, art, film and culture. She is also an aspiring author who currently lives at home where she continues to assist her father in his research, is completing a degree in English literature, writing a book based on her blog, Joyfully at Home, and is blessed to assist her mother with the care of her younger siblings.


Photo credit: A Family Bond

Over My Shoulder: Memories Of My Home Education

March 26th, 2009

Today’s guest post comes from Breezy, an 18-year old near-homeschool graduate from Indiana who enjoys drawing, painting and illustrating, music, studying History, writing and reading, and looks forward to someday sharing the joy of catching tadpoles with her children. You can visit her blog “A Bowl of Moss and Pebbles” here. She also has an etsy shop where you find her lovely artwork.
With my homeschool graduation fast approaching, Mom has been making a scrapbook of my life thus far. Returning to memory via hundreds of pictures, we can’t help but reminisce over the many events, and not-so-eventful days, what God has taught us, and where we’re still headed. So poignant and real they’ve become, I’ll try to give you a glimpse.
If I could paint a picture of all the memories, you would see a conglomeration of romps through tall grass and woods, and determination while creating backyard forts and hand-sewn dolls. There’s a furrowed brow over sharps and flats, and soiled but maturing hands reaching to caress the pets of all kinds. The combining of baking soda and peroxide sparked my interest in the mysteries of nature, and I was enthralled with the world of calligraphy.
Good books were constantly read aloud to me and my sister. We heard of brave maidens and pioneer women throughout history, and I longed to one day join the ranks of trial and victory. While listening and dreaming, I drew plans for underground tunnels to save refugees, lists of provisions for the Oregon trail, and careful drawings of the white gown I would wear the day I would begin a new journey with my knight in shining armor. I also remember family devotions around the Bible when Dad would read to us adventures and truth and reveal its Wisdom.
The canvas is deep and textured. But were these “activities” necessary? Was that really an equivalent education to the public schools? I did have book work, read plenty on my own, and yes, there were tests I took (and still have to take). But I have learned that education isn’t how much you can cram into your brain before a test. It is knowing how to learn and loving that knowledge that is the truly valuable education.

Looking back over my shoulder, I see an abundantly blessed life and I am thankful beyond words for the life God called my family to live. I don’t draw secret gondolas for escaping down the Venice Canal anymore, but I have been trained to think “multigenerationally” for my children’s sakes. Will I be ready to safely guide them to scripture as my parents have with me? By the grace of God, yes, and on the memorable foundation laid by my Daddy and Momma.

Homeschooling Is Our Lifestyle . . .

March 26th, 2009

Today’s guest post is by Emily Rose of Simply Vintagegirl. She is a Christian young lady whose goal in life is to give glory to God by enjoying Him forever. He has saved her with His amazing grace and is continually molding her. She is an incredibly talented photographer and graphic designer… she also happens to be my fabulous blog designer! You can find her wonderful creations at her etsy shop.

Homeschooling is our lifestyle . . .

. . . but it didn’t start out that way. We held the view that homeschooling was weird, strange, and only reclusive people did it (a common misunderstanding and stereotype).

My parents intended for both of their daughters to go to public school — we even moved to another town so that we could be in a better school system.

The Lord had different plans for us. In Proverbs 16:9 it says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” God directed our steps down a path that we did not even think would be possible, let alone desirable.

My sister, Breezy, was in the middle of first grade and I had not started school yet. Just two years before, God called Momma out of the workplace. That was only the beginning of the adventure . . .

He laid it upon my parents hearts to homeschool us, Breezy and Emily Rose, then 6 and 5. Transitions had to be made.

My parents removed Breezy from the public school system (letting her stay an extra week so she could experience her promised class birthday party for her seventh birthday).

Home, sweet home

That all happened eleven years ago. Since then, Breezy and I have became the best of friends (and still are). We have been able to spend extra time developing important skills and working on our talents. We have been able to spend extra time together as a family.

Not everyday has been easy, though. There were days where one of us would cry over her math and the other would cry over her art lesson. I’m sure there were days where Momma wanted to cry, too.

Has it been worth all the pain? YES! The problems might have seemed extreme when they happened, but looking back we can laugh at those once upsetting moments.

The school years are the most influential years of a person’s life. From Kindergarten to the High School years we are very impressionable, and what we are exposed to will have an impact on our lives.

When parents are not around to teach their children, things can enter a child’s mind that the parent may not know about. Those things can be misunderstood by the child and not understood with a biblical worldview.

In homeschooling we have been shielded from the wiles of the world that we would be openly exposed to in public school. That doesn’t mean that we do not know what is out there.

Instead of peers with an unbiblical worldview telling us about the evils of the world (many times in an “it’s okay” light), we have been carefully exposed to them with a biblical worldview (when we were mature enough to handle it).

Another blessing of being homeschooled is having delight directed studies. Delight directed studies is where we spend extra time developing our talents (this has been especially important during the high school years).

We are now almost finished with our “formal” home education, but we’ll still be learning because learning is a part of life.

Homeschooling is our lifestyle. It is not a year-by-year choice, but a life decision. It’s something that happens whether it is a school day or a weekend. It’s what I would call a never-ending adventure — and it’s a wonderful one at that!

Self-Entitlement

March 23rd, 2009


This week I have a wonderful post for you from my friend, fellow blogger Laura from 10 Million Miles. Laura is happily Ryan’s wife, Vivienne’s and Lia’s mommy, and a child of God: She’s blessed to have a life that can focus on these joys. She loves finding the Truth in unsuspecting songs, books, poems, and people. She adores teaching her children well and watching them fall in love with Jesus. Most of her blog is about those things.

What is Self-Entitlement and How Do I Get Rid of It?

Self-entitlement: The attitude that lurks just under my skin, ready to emerge whenever I’ve worked my rear-end off and think I deserve some sort of a pay-back. (Also, when I imagine that people are deliberately disregarding my time or work.) (Also, when I self-righteously call myself a “servant”, but expect to be treated like a “queen”. I once heard a pastor say, “If you want to be the servant of all, expect to be treated like it.” Who wants that?!)

Its appearance: I’ve noticed ugly self-entitlement in my own life when I demand a “break” from the children, a mind-reading husband or a clean house (“I just cleaned this entry-way! Who left their shoes right in the middle of the floor?!”).

Its symptoms: So, what begins as an ugly thought, becomes a silent-though-deadly sigh, which becomes a snippy comment (“I said, who left their shoes right in the middle of the floor?!”), which becomes resentful behavior (shoving shoes into the closet), which becomes a sulky, mean, and demanding me.

Its friends: I find that when I am indulging self-entitlement, I’m simultaneously indulging discontentment, resentment, pride, selfishness, and independence. ‘Must be what Paul was talking about when he wrote, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:16)

Its food: Somehow, self-entitlement seems to gobble away the lovely things in life like relational peace, service, contentment, and joy.

Its fault: It turns out that, even if I did work my rear-end off, picking up those shoes is yet another practical way that I can serve the shoe-owner who – let it be known – did not intentionally leave his shoes there just to make me mad, or to disrespect my hard work. Rather – now that I think about it – he worked just as hard as (harder than?) I did and happened to leave his shoes on the mat on one (very) ill-timed occasion. And chances are, he didn’t have time to put them in the closet because he was rushing to relieve me of a whining child, a load of laundry, or a burning pot of beans, which made our house spell like cigarette smoke for days.

Its freedom: The way I see it, I am entitled to 2 stunning rights:

To love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength
To love my neighbor as myself. (Of course, these basically open a glorious storeroom of rights to me: the rights to serve others, love others, and to enjoy peace, kindness, and gladness to my heart’s content.)

Beyond that, though, I’ve got no self-entitlements. None.

I am not entitled to sulk, complain, demand, destroy, or resent. If my husband needs to work an extra hour on Tuesday night, or leave his shoes in the doorway; if my child needs me to leave a friend’s house early because she is strung-out from that 10 a.m. cupcake, or if she needs me to use that precious nap-time to plan healthier snacks for the week, bring it on. Let the thanksgiving commence! Let this woman say, “Praise the Lord! He has entitled me to love!”

It’s fought with: Philipians 2:3, James 3: 16, Romans 12: 1 – 2, Philipians 4: 4 – 9, Galations 5: 22 – 23

(Don’t worry! The author of this text took plenty of feminist-theory classes in college and has read piles of books about a woman’s rights, privileges, and expectations. She concludes that the feminist mentality doesn’t hold a candle to the glories of living a feminine life of Christian service and sacrifice that glorifies God!)


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    I'm Sarah Mae. I'm figuring out how to fit perfect into fallen skin. Stick around for the stretching...your soul is welcome here.

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