Thursday, 30 October 2014

Family: The 7 Worst Parenting Mistakes Ever

I'm sure you heard about the 4-year-old girl in Delaware who gave tiny packets of cocaine to her
daycare classmates because she thought it was candy. Her mother, who was arrested earlier this month, said she gave her daughter the wrong backpack and couldn't tell police how 249 packets of cocaine ended up in her possession.
Every week I hear similar stories of children suffering because their parents used horrible judgment. Like the Ebola virus, bad parenting seems to be spreading and the church is not immune. We had better get busy teaching Christian parents how to raise their kids the old-fashioned way, because recent trends are scary.
I made a list of some of the most disturbing trends in modern parenting. I am sure you can add a few more:
1. Whacky names. We joke about the ridiculous names some film and music stars give their kids: Pilot Inspektor, Denim, Camera, Blanket or Diva Thin Muffin. Yet the common people come up with even stranger names for their babies: Facebook, Hashtag, Aquafresh, Cheese, Chlamydia, Random and get this Felony. Do these parents want their kids to be bullied? I'm all for creativity, but if you name your child after a dairy product, social media or a sexually transmitted disease you are setting them up for abuse.
2. Allowing kids to "explore" their gender. Our culture today has gone insane when it comes to gender rules. In some schools, teachers are urged not to "impose" gender on boys or girls but to let them "decide" which gender they are, regardless of reality. And there are parents who insist that their fourth-grade boy be allowed to go in the girls' restroom because he "feels" he is a girl. Am I the only person who believes that the "psychologists" responsible for this trend need therapy themselves?
3. Sexualizing children. Back in my day kids really didn't think about sex until hormones started kicking in at age 13. When I was 9, I was playing with Lincoln Logs, watching Johnny Quest cartoons and learning how to tie square knots. Today, experts say children show sexual interest and engage in sexual behavior earlier than ever. Much of this is fueled by pornography, but television, music videos (think Miley Cyrus' influence on tween girls) and even toys are also to blame. The popular Bratz dolls feature young girls dressed in fishnet hose and miniskirts and wearing heavy makeup. And why did Victoria's Secret produce underwear last year featuring the words "Eye Candy" and "Wink Wink"—and then market them to pre-teen girls? Parents who expose their kids to sexually charged media or clothing simply invite trouble. Learn to put guardrails around the media your child is exposed to.
4. Showcasing kids. At the risk of offending church moms who put their daughters in pageants: Please stop it. We all know there's only one reason a mother would force her three-year-old daughter to wear mascara and tons of hair spray to compete with other toddlers in a beauty contest: It's all about the mothers. The girls are the victims. It has already been proven that girls who are subjected to these expensive pageants suffer from eating disorders and other self-image issues. Forcing your child to live out your fantasies is cruel. (FACT: Did you know that some American families spend more than $75,000 a year on child pageants, and that the entry fees are often priced higher than the awards given?)
5. Not showing affection. I can't tell you how many times I've asked a group of grown men how many of them had fathers who hugged them during their childhood. Often not one hand goes up. The concept of a loving dad who wrestles with his kids or bounces them on his knee has become a fairy tale to many people—and the lack of affection shows up later in insecurity, depression and a host of other psychological problems. Doctors have proven that human beings need seven expressions of meaningful touch every day. Depriving kids of wholesome affection is as serious as withholding food and water.
6. Abandoning your kids. One-third of all children growing up in America today don't have a father in the home. And the U.S. Census shows that this number continues to climb. Children who grow up in single-parent families face higher risk of poverty, and many end up delinquent, addicted to drugs or alcohol or in jail. This crisis represents a huge mission field for churches today, but we can't fight the abandonment epidemic unless we can convince more parents to consider the kids before they break up a family.
7. Giving your kids everything they want. Author Elizabeth Kolbert wrote in The New Yorker two years ago that American kids are "the most indulged young people in the history of the world." The word discipline has become a dirty word in our lexicon. Children today have all the toys and expensive gadgets they want, but they are not expected to share in household chores and don't even want to tie their own shoes or take out the garbage. It's no wonder some 30-year-old men end up living with their parents and playing video games all day: They never learned adult responsibility, so they are stuck in perpetual adolescence.
Ps. 127:3 says: "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord." I'm afraid we've squandered the privilege of raising them. What we need today is a massive movement to reclaim biblical principles of protective love and strong discipline—along with a huge dose of common sense.

You Can Overcome Your Limitations

1. Start working toward your goals every single day:
Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen.
Get out there and DO something! The harder you work the better you will become.
2. Start taking full accountability for your own life:
Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them.
Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will. And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own.
You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. And no, it won’t always be easy.
Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them. But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles.
3. Start actively nurturing your most important relationships:
Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis.
You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty.
Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.
4. Start concentrating on the things you can control:
You can’t change everything, but you can always change something.
Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation. Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.
5. Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes:
The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing.
Positive emotions are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward.
Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on.
6. Start noticing how wealthy you are right now. – Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”
Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective. Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful to God for all the things He has done in your life.
May God perform a perfect miracle in your life before the year ends!

Cast Off Indolence

TEXT: LUKE 19:21-28
Key Verse: “Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?” (Luke 19:23).
A story was told of a young man who rounded off his apprenticeship at a tailoring institute. On his graduation day, he was given some money and two different sewing machines as a settlement. His elder brother also gave him some amount of money to enable him start small, but he wanted to start big like his master. He wanted a whole building as a starting point and different kinds of sewing machines. In the course of his waiting, the money he was given got lost and fire gutted where he packed the two machines and he went back to square one.
Had the boy rented a shop to start with, he would not have suffered so much loss. His mates who put the little thing they were given into proper use are today flourishing in the business.
This was the point our Lord Jesus Christ drove home in the parable in our text. He had told His disciples of a certain nobleman who, prior to embarking on a long journey, called his ten servants and delivered one pound to each of them. On his return, all the servants, but one, gave glowing account of how profitable they had been. They had wisely invested the pound and gained many times over. But this one exception came back to his master with his one pound. If he stopped at handing back the pound to the master and walking away, that would have been bad enough. But then, he verbally attacked his master. He accused his master of always wanting to profit from the efforts of others. His master was furious. Now, the master would judge the servant according to his words, describing the servant as wicked. He then took the pound from the servant and gave it to the man that had gained ten, again stressing a vital point that the more you use your talent, the more profitable you will become.
It is an act of foolishness to refuse to use the talents God has deposited in you. In fact, such foolishness is sinful. It denies God His due pre-eminence in your life. It means you have refused to be useful to your fellow human beings, and above all, you have neglected to obey God.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Do not despise the day of little beginning.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

"My Life Is In Your Hands" By KIRK FRANKLIN (Video)

You don't have to worry
And don't you be afraid
Joy comes in the morning
Troubles they don't last always
For there's a friend in Jesus
Who will wipe your tears away
And if your heart is broken
Just lift your hands and say
I know that I can make it
I know that I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands
With Jesus I can take it
With Him I know I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands
So when your tests and trials
They seem to get you down
And all your friends and loved ones
Are nowhere to be found
Remember there's a friend in Jesus
Who will wipe your tears away
And if you heart is broken
Just lift your hands and say
With Jesus I can take it
With Him I know I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands.

Singles: 8 SHOCKING FACTS ABOUT S*X & LOVE, Be Wise !!

1. Sex is NOT love. Love is not sex.
2. You can have sex and not be in love. You can be in love and not engage in sex.
3. A man may hate you and still have sex with you. Be wise.
4. Using sex to manipulate a man will eventually fail.
5. It is self deception to think that giving him sex will make him love you.
6. True Love will never force you to engage in sex. A lover who forces you to engage in sex is fake and should be avoided.
7. If he tells you to ‘prove your love’ by having sex with him. He is only using you. Run.....he is fake.
8. Making yourself his ‘sex slave’ is foolish, Love will never shame or degrade.
By Joseph.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL ! Do you know that?

Several years ago, my family changed location and moved from one state to another - quite far apart. My siblings were not around, so I was the only one who made the trip with my parents. I remember feeling dejected and downcast about the change of location because I was being uprooted from my place of birth where I already established friendship and had connected with lots of people. Being a shy and introverted teenager, I just wasn't sure how to go about establishing new connections because verily verily, in a completely new environment, one needs lots of self-confidence to establish oneself! Also, the teenage period is a period of life where most teenagers struggle to figure out who they really are (physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, etc.) and they need some form of 'time-to-time' reassurance and confidence boost from peers and significant others.
So, there I was, in our new location, alone with parents, and no friend or sibling to interact with. One afternoon, I set out to run an errand for my mum. As I walked down the street, lonely stranger, shy and self-conscious, I felt like fish out of water. I kept walking, not even trying to make eye contact with no one, and then, out of the blues, one of three guys who had just slightly walked past me spoke loudly to my hearing, "She's pretty." He turned to one of his friends and said, "Tell her she's pretty." They offered me smiles, which I returned with a shy "Thank you," and went on their way. Wow! Someone here thinks I'm pretty! I walked on the clouds all the way to where I was sent and back home. You may have no idea, but that simple compliment did me a whole world of good - it simply made my day a lot better and raised my self-confidence a notch higher!
So, what's the story really about? Compliments! Compliments are good. I do not think there is anyone who does not like to be complimented. Compliments have a way of boosting self-confidence, even self-worth in individuals. For instance, if you are not sure how you look in your new dress, or how nice your new pair of shoes fit, or how well your new hairdo frames your face; if you are feeling self conscious about the make-up you just tried on, all it takes is a nice, little compliment and you are as sure as dawn! Compliments put smiles on the face, happiness in the heart, and a leap of joy in the soul. Compliments feel good!
It's no secret that the three-fold ministry of the devil is to kill, steal, and destroy. He goes about this in many ways. One of the ways he accomplishes his mission is by flooding and attacking our minds with corroded messages and feedback from our immediate environment (people and things around), which spring a chain of ugly reaction in us. With shattered confidence, we feel inadequate, feel less than worthy, feel like we're not good enough; gloom becomes our friend; we become scarred, dejected, helpless, and hopeless; we mope around; we barely make it through a day; we scramble for just about anything that will get us a little seemingly positive attention; and we grapple everything that seemingly feels good. The list is endless. Truth be told, the devil has dealt horribly and horridly with so many!
Well, I have come to pay you a simple compliment - YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL! Take a quick look at the Mirror of life, the Word of God:
"God said, "Now we will make humans, and THEY WILL BE LIKE US" God created humans to BE LIKE HIMSELF; He made men and women........God looked at what He has done. All of it (including YOU) was VERY GOOD!" Genesis 1:26a, 27, & 31a (CEV – emphasis mine).
“And I praise You because of the WONDERFUL way You created me. EVERYTHING You do is MARVELOUS! Of this I have no doubt.” Psalm 139:14 (CEV – emphasis mine).
Did you see that? Do you understand what the Bible is saying here? You RESEMBLE GOD!!! Do you now believe me when I say you're beautiful? God is the MOST BEAUTIFUL and you look just like Him! Oh, what blessedness!!! By beautiful, I do not refer to the physical beauty alone, I'm talking 'bout the total package, inside out! Don't listen to the lies of the devil – whatever lie he's feeding you with – you're simply beautiful! You have the image of God, the likeness of God, the mind of Christ; you can do ALL things through Christ; you are a royal priesthood, a peculiar person; you are unbeatable, unstoppable, unshakable, un-molestable! You can accomplish what you set out to accomplish because you carry God's fragrance. You are F-I-N-E!!!
"He watches you. His eyes are on the sparrow. He knows all the pains you've been going through. Do you know you're the APPLE of HIS EYES? Do you really how BEAUTIFUL you are? The Spirit of the Lord lives and dwells in you. All over the world, NO ONE looks like you. You can put a smile on your face. YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL!" (A Song)
Friends, permit me to say, once again, that you're beautiful - so very beautiful. Let this truth sink in deep inside of you. Today (and everyday), raise your head and shoulders high, walk tall and straight, and say to yourself (and of course, the devil), "I AM BEAUTIFUL." Now if you're convinced, join me, let's shame the devil as we sing this song:
"I am fearfully made. I am wonderfully made. I belong to God. I resemble Him. That's why the devil trembles whenever he hears me singing. I am God's own, the apple of His eyes."

Monday, 27 October 2014


Another parable He put forth to them saying, " The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way". -Matthew 13:24-25
You know something is popular when you start seeing It's imitations everywhere. When someone comes up with a new design for sad something, it isn't long before everyone starts producing a fake version of it.
In the same way, whenever there is a genuine work of God, we can always exoect to see the devil's imitation.
If there is a path that leads to God, there will be other paths that lead away from God. If there is a way that leads to heaven, there will be a way that leads to hell.
Jesus told the story of the wheat and the tares, in which a man went out and planted a field of wheat. But in the night, his enemy came and planted tares among the wheat.
Tares actually resembled wheat in the early stages if growth. If you were to see the two plants side by side, you would not be able to notice a difference.
But after a period of time, the tares would show itself for what it really was. Tares were just worthless weeds whereas wheat provided nourishment.
Not only were the tares an imitation of the real wheat, they were also vicious that they tried to actually displace the wheat from the field.
Our world offers so many imitations for the soul that is seeking for salvation. And the fact that there are so many imitations only confirms there is an original.
Jesus is the one true and original Saviour of the world. Put all your trust in Him.
Prayer: I acknowledge You Lord Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Scriptural Reading: Matthew 13:24-32

Prayer for the last week of the Month

This last week of October, the mountains shall be made low and fountains of water shall spring up in your desert. Every impossible situation in your life shall be turned around by God's supernatural favour in Jesus name.

Those who gather to scheme evil against you will never succeed. Be still. Hold your peace. God is fighting your battles. Your victory is certain in Jesus name J

Happy New Week from us ASB-World. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


One day a woman
wanted to know how the husband would
react if she left without telling
him where she had gone. So she decided to write
him a letter saying she is tired of him and didn't
want to live with him
anymore and
after writing she put the letter on the table in the
bedroom and then hid under the
bed... When the husband came
back home, saw the letter and read it, he
replied on the same paper and then began to sing
and dance changing his clothes. He got his phone,
dialed someone then said:
"Hey babe, am just changing clothes
then will join you, as for the other fool it
has finally dawned on her that I was fooling
around with her and has left. I was wrong..really
wrong to have married her, I wish I had known
earlier. See you soon
The husband walked out of the room and
left. In tears and very upset, the woman
got up from under the bed and decided to
go and read what the husband wrote on
the letter. When she got the letter, it said: "I
COULD see your feet under the bed, I didn't
make any phone call.. I am going to buy
bread. Stand up, stop your silly games and
prepare me a meal...
By kehinde.


But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. - Titus 3:9
The early Latin writer, Tertullian of Carthage, is said to have remarked that the one thing that converted him to Christianity was not the arguments they gave him, because he could find a counterpoint for every argument they would present. "But they demonstrated something I didn't have..The thing that converted me to Christianity was the way that they loved each other", he said.
Sometimes we get caught up with a desires to prove that what we believe is right and get involved with comparative religious arguments.
We allow those who oppose our faith to draw us into useless debates that lead to bitterness, anger and insults. In the end instead of showing Christ to our world, we show the world the worst side of our unidentified character.
Our world is not looking for new arguments for Christ but a new life that makes Christ real. Our lives speak louder than all the Bible verses we can quote to prove our point.People can laugh at our devotion, propose our
counter arguments for every point of view we have and even appear more successful than us but they cannot ignore the witness of Christ -like life.
When we are considerate to others and exhibit moral uprightness in both our personal and professional conduct, we present an unchallenged argument for the living Christ.
In our offices, schools and neighborhood, many watch us to see whether the Jesus we profess is real or just a religious dogma.
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you and there will be no need for bitter contentions.
PRAYER: Teach me Your ways O Lord, and let my life speak more than my words.
Scriptural Reading: Titus 3:1 -11

Recipe: Honey Kokoro (corn snacks)

Honey kokoro snackToday I am venturing into the world of Nigerian snacks. Kokoro, is one of the snacks i enjoyed eating in my primary school days in Lagos. I remember, when as kids we will compete for whose crunching sound will make the most noise when chewing. Kokoro is basically a combo of groundnut and corn . So you get to have your Guguru and Ekpa (pop corn and groundnut) in a different way.

So here goes, something to entertain guests with if you don’t want to offer a meal. Enjoy the crunch!
1 cup Corn Grit
3/4 cup roasted Groundnut (ground)
3 tablespoons Honey
1/3 cup water
3/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon ground dry Pepper
1, Blend dry corn and sieve into not so fine flour. The texture of the flour is slightly gritty.Tip: corn is quite difficult on the regular domestic blender so it is advisable to do this at the millers in the market or neighbourhoods.
2, Blend the groundnut into powder
3, Mix all dry ingredients
4, Mix the honey and water
5, Pour the honey mixture into the dry ingredients and need into a a firm dough. Kneading should be just about 1 minute
6, Take a little of the dough per time place between you palm and roll into ‘sticks’. Alternatively you can do the rolling on a smooth surface. The slimmer the sticks the crunchier .
7, Place gently on a baking tray  and bake for about 15-20 minutes. After baking on one side for about 10 minutes gently turn each stick on the other side to brown.
8, Allow the Kokoro to cool completely and crunch away.
You may wish to leave the Kokoro in the fridge as this helps to keep the crunchiness.
Kitchen Tip: Preheat oven to gas mark 400 before you start mixing your ingredients.
Honey kokoro snack

The way to Influence Your Teen to Love God

Even the best of parents must make some changes in the way they parent as their children grow up. The old methods of relating don't work the same way anymore. In fact, they seem to cause problems instead.
Of all the changes teens make, the most important one is probably the adjustment in their relationship with their parents. They're moving from a parent-child relationship to an adult-adult relationship. Unfortunately, some parents never make the shift. They continue to treat their teens as if they're still eight or nine years old. Honor helps parents recognize the changes and make the necessary adjustments.
Although you may be able to "control" young children, the key word for teenagers is "influence." Here are five words that describe different ways you can influence teens.
1.    Teach—Provide them with new information or help them understand another facet of life.
2.    Encourage—Remind them of the benefits of moving in the right direction.
3.    Entreat—Earnestly ask them to act in a mature, responsible and wise way.
4.    Admonish—Warn, caution or advise them by anticipating possible negative consequences.
5.    Persuade—Use relationship, incentives and natural consequences to motivate them to make wise choices.
Remember that you don't have to accomplish everything in one interaction. Change takes time, and your influence over time will produce the greatest results.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Overcoming Procrastination

Procrastination, the habit of putting tasks off to the last possible minute, can be a major problem in both your career and your personal life.
Side effects include missed opportunities, frenzied work hours, stress, overwhelm, resentment, and guilt.
The behaviour pattern of procrastination can be triggered in many different ways, so you won't always procrastinate for the same reason.
Let's now address these various causes of procrastination and consider intelligent ways to respond.
1. Stress:
When you feel stressed, worried, or anxious, it's hard to work productively. A wise solution is to reduce the amount of stress in your life when possible, such that you can spend more time working because you want to, not because you have to.
2. Too many things to do at the same time:
Sometimes you may have more items on your to-do list than you can reasonably complete. This can quickly lead to overwhelm, and ironically you may be more likely to procrastinate when you can least afford it.
In this case the message is that you need to stop, reassess your true priorities, and simplify.
3. Laziness:
Often we procrastinate because we feel too physically and/or emotionally drained to work.
Once we fall into this pattern, it's easy to get stuck due to inactivity because an object at rest tends to remain at rest.
When you feel lazy, even simple tasks seem like too much work because your energy is too low compared to the energy required by the task.
4. Lack of Motivation:
We all experience temporary laziness at times, but if you suffer from chronically low motivation and just can't seem to get anything going, then it's time for you to let go of immature thought patterns, to embrace life as a mature adult, and to discover your true purpose in life.
5. Lack of Discipline:
Even when motivation is high, you may still encounter tasks you don't want to do. In these situations, self-discipline works like a motivational backup system.
6. Poor Time Management Habits
Do you ever find yourself falling behind because you overslept, because you were too disorganized, or because certain tasks just fell through the cracks?
Bad habits like these often lead to procrastination, often unintentionally.
The solution in this case is to diagnose the bad habit that's hurting you and devise a new habit to replace it.
7. Lack of Skill:
If you lack sufficient skill to complete a task at a reasonable level of quality, you may procrastinate to avoid a failure experience.
You then have three viable options to overcome this type of pattern: educate, delegate, or eliminate.
8. Perfectionism
A common form of erroneous thinking that leads to procrastination is perfectionism.
Believing that you must do something perfectly is a recipe for stress, and you'll associate that stress with the task and thus condition yourself to avoid it.
Procrastination is unfortunately something that a lot of us suffer from regularly. Procrastination can often hold us back from what we really want in life, and unfortunately, it's something that can crop up at any time of life, no matter who you are.
A lot of people often assume that procrastination is simply being lazy, but this isn't always the case.
Often, feelings of tiredness, hopelessness, panic or even depression can cause us to put things off and avoid reality completely.

Monday, 20 October 2014


I Am the good shepherd; and. I know My sheep, and am known by My own. - John 10:14
The Lord is not just our shepherd, He is our Father. He is not a hired labourer who has been given the task to watch over the sheep of another. He is both the Creator and owner of His sheep.
The Shepherd knows His sheep. He has intimate knowledge of all His sheep. He knows us by name. He knows our personalities.
He knows our strengths and weaknesses. He knows our dreams. He knows our fears. He knows us so much that He can read our innermost thoughts even before we construct them into ideas. Nothing about us escapes His attention.
Not only does He know our natures, but He knows our needs. Don't forget that the Lord Jesus knows what it is like to be human.
He knows what It is like to face the limitations of humanity because He lived amongst us and experienced what we experience. He knows what it is like to feel the pressure of temptation. He knows what it is like to experience loneliness, sorrow and joy.
Today, you can come to Him with all your concerns and pour out your heart to Him in prayer. He is ready to help and guide you. He is more powerful than your enemies so you can trust Him to deliver you from the hands of those which seek to bring you down and destroy your life.
Your Good Shepherd cares about you.He knows what it is like to be a sheep. And He knows what you are going through. He wants you to trust Him today with your worries. He wants to deliver you and fill your heart with joy and peace.
Prayer: I come to You Lord, with my burdens; deliver me and give me Your joy and peace.
Scriptural Reading: John 10:7-21

Relationship: Where Are the Christian Men?

She was a single Christian friend (totally just friends), venting her frustration about immature men. It was casual, because that kind of venting is common. It was over coffee. It cut deep.
"Christian men . . . ugh."
As a male Christian college student with no wife, no steady job, and no financial independence, I squirmed with unease and insecurity. She wasn't attacking me; just issuing a general complaint to the universe. The words effortlessly flowed out of her mouth like she had said them a million times before, and I wasn't prepared for the adjectives that would be slung in the conversation: "Immature." "Childish." "Lazy." "Weak." "Pathetic." Wait for it . . . "Man-Boys."
At a level, the tone we use to speak about young Christian men today would be self-evidently disrespectful in another context. And to state the obvious, it cuts the deepest when coming from our single female counterparts. There are a slew of legitimate reasons why a single Christian woman would be tempted to rag on immature men. (1) Secular women offer a pre-packaged and intuitive man-boy bashing liturgy. (2) She (or a friend) dated a guy, got burned, and reinterpreted him through the lens of hurt as a "man-boy." (3) Taking jabs at immature men is a fun and easy way to sequester the chilling reality of singleness.
It's understandable, but can I please say this? It's not okay. The term "man-boy" (sometimes "man-child," "baby-man," etc.) is a slur. It is used to personally demean and debase a class of Christians. It is a put-down. It expresses contempt and exhibits haughtiness. And, worst of all, it defines the value of humans in God's image according to their gender performance.

The Problem Is Not Laziness

"But," you say, "there are a lot of Christian men who exhibit disappointing behaviors." This is true, but I'm not convinced categories like sinfulness or laziness, common explanations, properly capture the issue. Perhaps laziness points beyond itself — maybe it is symptomatic of a more systemic problem. Let's interpret the classic "man-boy" behaviors through a lens other than laziness:
   Delaying marriage can help: avoid shared physical, emotional, and spiritual space, and retreat into personal space.
   Neglecting the Bible and church can help: avoid divine intimacy, and retreat into personal life.
   Floating without ambition can help: avoid work hours, and retreat into personal time.
   Playing video games chronically can help: avoid external reality, and retreat into virtual reality.
   Living at home can help: avoid external pressures, and retreat into internal comforts.

Modern-Day Fig Leaves

"Lazy" is a surface-level description. "Avoid" moves us toward an explanation of the heart. Scripture tells us that the heart is always active (Genesis 6:5;Deuteronomy 11:6Jeremiah 17:591 Peter1:22), so our description of the heart should always be in the active voice (I'm not saying avoidance is the problem, but it helps us get a bit deeper than the laziness concept).
"Avoid" is a door to a slew of other active words and a host of other realities of the heart: fear ("What if I fail?"), anxiety ("I can't handle this!"), depression ("I hate myself/life"), feelings of insufficiency ("I am not enough"), self-deprecation ("I am stupid/dirty/undesirable"), shame ("God and neighbor are disgusted with me"), and a thousand more. "I would rather escape than publicly be put to shame" (cf. Rev. 6:16).
These categories give us a new perspective. "Man-boys" aren't first and foremost struggling with being men, but with being human. Singleness, solitude, laziness, video games and Mom's house are modern-day fig leaves—self-made coverings for men who are stripped of competence and deeply ashamed of their inability to engage with the realities of life because of their experience with the Oppressor (Is. 14:4), who seeks to spread confusion and chaos among God's people (John 8:44; 2 John 7; Rev. 12:10).

The Solution Is Not 'Try Harder'

The need of the day is not for the church of Jesus Christ to rip away the leaves but to start clothing them with the God-made garment of the gospel (Gen. 3:21). The solution to immaturity among young Christian guys is not remembering truths or tightening regulations, but a Person who did not avoid our realities but rushed into them for our sake: Jesus (Luke 2:52Phil. 2:6-9)—Jesus, with his intercession, charity and grace.
Surely women aren't to blame for male immaturity or responsible for changing men. But what can single Christian women do about this phenomenon of immaturity—for their brothers in Christ—besides vent and name-call (Matt. 18:15; 1 John 3:14)? Here are some ways that they can help:
1. Intercessory Prayer
Pray for more fathers to take seriously their role to teach their children how to engage the world and not avoid it. Pray for men in general to do the same for guys without fathers. Pray for men to change, not merely at a behavioral level, but at a heart level—to move toward God and neighbor in the midst of indwelling sin and external oppression (Luke 10:27).
2. Charity
Speak well of others (Eph. 4:31). Treat the immaturity of young men the same way you would treat any other issue in the church: with diligence, faithfulness and love—the very same traits Paul includes in his imperative to "be men" (1 Cor. 16:13-14). This means that women are not reacting with cynicism or using the term "man-boy" (Eph. 4:29).
3. Faith
God is disciplining immature men to grow them up (Heb.12:11). He doesn't need your snide comments to help (Prov. 11:12). Trust that God has not abandoned men to immaturity, but is finishing the work that he began (Phil. 1:6).
4. Grace
All temptation is common to humankind (1 Cor. 10:13). The fear that exists in a man's heart may manifest itself in different (gender-specific) ways in your life. No matter whom you date, he will be a sinful man (Rom. 3:23) who is immature and afraid, and if he is a Christian, God is overcoming evil that is against him and in him (Phil. 2:13Rom. 16:20). I'm not saying Jesus wants you to date a loser. He doesn't. All I'm saying is this: Don't just date a gospel-centered Christian; date like a gospel-centered Christian (1 Pet. 4:8).
Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said that nature has affectionately equipped women "with an instinct so sensitive that by comparison the most superior masculine reflection is as nothing" (Sickness Unto Death, XI, 162). Sisters, prove Kierkegaard right. Outdo us in prayer, charity, faith and grace, and we men will try to outdo you in godly discipline and ambition. Then, perhaps mutual awe of the One "who helps us in our weakness" will bloom in due course (Rom. 8:26).

Biblical Answer to Broken Relationships

Marian Evans, who wrote under the pen name George Eliot, described the beauty of friendship: "Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words but to pour them all out together, knowing that a faithful friend will take and sift them, keeping what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."
David had a friend like that, but something terrible happened. The friend turned against him. Psalm 55 pours out of David's heart as he struggles with the unbearable emotional pain of abandonment, betrayal, disillusionment and disbelief.

Internal nightmare

David begins with a plea for God to listen (v. 1). The "listen" is punctuated by urgency: "Do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me" (vv. 1,2). Did David fear God would be as insensitive as the departed friend?
Quickly, David summarizes his deep depression (vv. 3,4) and poignantly notes the horrible physiological and psychological trauma he experiences: "Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me" (v. 5).
Emotions like this never arise with the loss of a casual acquaintance. Such wounds can only be made by someone close to you. Who has left you that you loved? The excruciating present feelings far surpass the former comfort in friendship.
You now long for escape from the hurt but can't find anywhere to run. "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. ... far from the tempest and storm" (vv. 6–8).

External danger

Some breakups in close relationships are not accompanied by the external dangers confronting David in this psalm: violence, strife, malice, abuse, threats and lies. However, such terms do describe the devil's assault: "Destructive forces are at work" (v. 11).
The enemy's deeds are never constructive. He is interested only in our defeat.

Unendurable loss

A grieving divorcée asked for prayer: "I just can't bear the pain. My husband, my closest friend, told me he had to leave me because he was gay. I never saw it coming. We had such a caring relationship. I don't know if I have the strength to go on living."
The betrayal of a spouse, a friend, a relative, a close companion is very hard to take. David speaks for all who have been so wounded when he laments, "If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you ... my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship" (vv. 12-14).
Intensifying the pain is the remembrance that the "sweet fellowship" had included spiritual togetherness ("as we walked with the throng at the house of God" (v. 14). He never expected the companion who loved God with him to turn against him.

Anger vented

A husband, whose wife had left him for another man, admitted, "It was all I could do to restrain myself from going to her new home in the middle of the night and torching it with her and her lover in it."
David is no stranger to those emotions. He wishes the worst to happen to the one who hurt him—sudden death or being buried alive.
The Psalms continually illustrate how to deal with anger when we are hurt by others. The Lord gives permission to express that anger to Him, but it is not acceptable for us to act on the anger. Maturity in Christ takes us along an even higher and more difficult path: forgiveness and overcoming evil with good.

One dependable Friend

Other persons may disappoint us. God won't (vv. 16-19). His action is always consistent with His speech. We can rely upon the Lord; therefore, David closes this psalm with a word of advice—picked up by Peter in the New Testament: "Cast your cares on the Lord" (v. 22; 1 Pet. 5:7).
It's hard. I want to solve my own problems so I can get the solutions I desire. Prayer makes me desire His solutions.
Is a broken relationship with a close companion plunging you into the emotional fight of your life? God must be involved. Put the matter in His hands.
We began the psalm by demanding God's immediate attention, and after a season of struggle in prayer, quietly relinquish our situation into the Lord's care, "But as for me, I trust in you" (v. 23).
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...