Friday, May 14, 2010

Where is Childhood?

Hi Girls,

Ever think that the kids now in days are growing up really fast? Like growing up faster than we did? Or did your parents ever comment on how you grew up faster than they did? If we look way back in history, there wasn't such a invention of teenage years. The whole teen period didn't happen until much later, in the mid to latter half of the 20 century. But now we have childhood, than teenager and then adult. Yet, have you ever noticed that childhood is becoming increasingly shortened and teenager is becoming increasingly longer? Sometimes there isn't much of a distinction between teen and adult until someone reaches their 30s?

If we just look at young kids today, like 8-10 year olds, you can already see them trying to be like teenagers. Sometimes the clothes the young girls choose to dress themselves in is totally inappropriate for a child. Kids are trying to act like, and look like, teenagers. What's with the rush to grow up? I mean, this is nothing new really because kids have always been excited about their next birthday and excited to get the privileges that come with growing up. But at least in the past, their was more emphasis on the protection of innocents and the desire to keep corruption from children.

If we look at the whole biological side of the issue, we see that girls and boys are hitting puberty earlier and earlier. It's really sad actually. Yet why that happens is probably a result of many issues, lifestyle, diet... Yet it also means that girls and boys are becoming physically mature before they are emotionally mature. That creates a whole bunch of problems. Kids are taught about puberty, how to deal with it, what it means but this doesn't mean they are emotionally ready. They may not have the capacity to understand how it could affect them and how their choices now can lead to consequences and choices later as they become teenagers and adults. Emotional readiness has to come but I think parents can take steps in equipping their children to understand choices, and then protecting them from harmful influences until they are emotionally ready to confront these choices themselves.

Childhood is so important for growing up properly. It's so necessary that parents do their part and not leave the responsibility to other people, like their children's teachers at school. I can vouch for the importance of childhood because I enjoyed a long one. It wasn't until I was older that it became clear to me the importance of parents taking steps to shelter their children. However, sheltering cannot be blinding. Children need to be taught about the negative elements out there and taught the proper way to approach them. Innocents and awareness can work together. After all, we don't want our children to be innocent and ignorant. That can most definitely harm them.

Anyway, those are just my comments on childhood because I think it's sad how kids rush ahead to be older and some parents don't do anything to protect them, guide them, guard their innocents. So if you're a parent reading this, maybe this will encourage you to keep sheltering and protecting even when they protest and complain that they can't wear that mini skirt or watch that restricted movie. And if you're like me, don't have any kids yet, maybe we can keep this in mind for when we do and pray for those we know who have kids.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why Sex is Good

Hey Girls,

I know, some of you may be thinking, isn't that obvious? Sure, it does have an obvious factor but it's more than that. If we look at media for why sex is good, all we get are images of instant gratification and personal pleasure or selfish drives for pleasure. Very rarely is it about giving or acting selfless or sacrifice even.

Anyone who is married can surely comment on this- I hope. But I also think it's important for girls who aren't married yet, in relationships and single, because this is something we all think about. It's important to have knowledge, to be aware of truth and situations before we experience them. Sometimes I don't think that young people aren't educated enough on sex; their surely not educated properly. I mean, do you remember sex ed in school? Yes, thank you for giving me the biological/physical information on how it's done. We can thank the education system for equipping teenagers everywhere to have sex, and use protection (safe sex is such a debatable term). How often are teens education about the consequences or the emotional changes? Are they ever told that their one night stand can last them the rest of their lives? Whether they choose to listen or not, that's an entirely different story.

We're gonna look past the whole physical aspect of sex for now and look at the relational, emotional sides. It's pretty common knowledge that sex is a bonding experience, bringing two people together. It creates and confirms trust, love and commitment. It's a physical demonstration of the marriage vows. You spoke the words that you would be committed to one another for life and then you demonstrate it by becoming 'one'.

It's also a comment on your relationship. Think about it, if you're angry at your husband, having sex is the last thing you'll want to do. You wouldn't want to show vulnerability or give love in that mood. Yet when you're able to become intimate with your spouse, that's a demonstration of the peace and security following in the relationship. If something is wrong, it will show in your lack of physical intimacy. If you don't feel you can trust him, or don't feel loved or special or cherished, all that will become obvious in how you approach the subject of sex. If it's a approached as a service job, like something to get over with, get done (like an oil change on your car..haha) than something is not quite right in the relationship; it's obvious you're not feeling all that special and respected. When everything is good, sex will be good too. If something is not right, than it will become clear in the way you treat your husband, and the same goes for the way he treats you. If he's not feeling welcome or needed, he may act cold. Or if he's feeling disrespected, ignored or not cared for, than he may become demanding or pushy.

When there are problems with physical intimacy and couples don't deal with it, it can spiral out of control and effect every other area of the relationship. Often though, the problems with sex, don't have to do with sex itself, it has to do with the way spouses relate to each other. There is another root other than sex but the problem is demonstrated through the entire issue of sex. Sure, this is not that way all the time and couples can have trouble resulting from sex itself.

Sex is way more complicated than it's sometimes made out to be. After all, for many years it was that awkward subject no one really approached. Your parents didn't talk about it openly, did they? Or it's played out to be something really simple, no big deal- which totally diminishes it's importance.

People want to fill fulfilled, loved, cherished, secure, honoured and respected through their physical/emotional relationship. Sex is a great way to demonstrate this. It's a great way for a husband to show a wife how much he cares about her, by taking the time to make sure she's happy. It's a great way for a wife to show her affection for her husband by giving of herself.

It's also important that couples don't let excuses build up, such as 'I'm too tired'. If that is said day after day, night after night- something's not right. Maybe you need to make time for each other that doesn't involve late night hours. Go on a date, make sure everything is good between the two of you because sex will naturally follow out of a union where both spouses feel loved. Sure, sometimes you may feel not in the mood or tired  but part of loving your husband, part of sex, is sacrifice, selflessness. It's saying, ya I'm tired but I'm willing to try. And we often hear of how men want to go quick eh? Cut right to the good part? Well husbands, maybe this selflessness for you, this sacrifice, is to take a long time in the pre-show with your wife and let her dictate the speed of your love making. After all, sometimes the best intimate times arise when both spouses decide to give of themselves, to make sure that their spouse has the best time possible, maybe that means sacrificing their own wants or plans but it results in a much more loving relationship environment.

Well I've rambled long but I think this is one of those topics that just gets skipped over all too often in talks about marriage. It's easy to think of sex just as an act and not as a process, as a integral part of showing love in a relationship, a bond that lasts. This is why sex is good. Love, basic love, is a lifelong process. Marriage love, and all that entails, is another life long process, one of continually giving, continually reaching out and receiving love.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Being Yourself

Hey Girls,

How often are you truly yourself? Not hiding anything and not pretending or trying to be something your not? Hopefully all the time. This is something a lot of people struggle with. It's really sad when girls, especially young teens, start to be more concerned with being like someone or liked by someone that they lose sight of themselves and become unable to like themselves. Some get older, accept themselves and grow out of this. Yet others struggle with this throughout their lifetime. It's important that we just accept who we are and look for God's approval about ourselves.

Another question then, who are you most truly yourself with? Hopefully, for you all married or in serious relationships, that it is your significant other. Yet, what about God? Are you totally honest and open with God? I know I've posted in the past how it is important to just be you with God. Well, today as I was reading the Bible, I found confirmation for that.

John 4: 23-24 says "It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration." This is The Message version and I just like how clear it makes this verse out to be. God wants you, just you. Not a fake you, one trying to act 'spiritual' but just as you are and then you can communicate fully with God, holding nothing back. 

So don't hide behind the makeup or the clothes. Don't try to pretend to be something your not. It's never worth it. God loves you for you, just how he created you. Approval in the eyes of other people in this world is something we don't need to seek after. Yes, we want to be loved by others and accepted but the cost of who you truly are is a price that's too high to pay. God will fill you with love and acceptance in him. That's what we need to hang onto when the pressure to change comes around. You're awesome just as you are. Imperfections, everyone's got them and God has the power to change them. He will help you make positive changes that need to occur, that will deepen our relationship with him. 

Sometimes just being you is the hardest person to be after all because it shows everyone a vulnerability. Well, good. There is nothing wrong with just being you. When you know who you are in God, and get your approval from God, the opinion of the world doesn't matter. Sure, it still hurts to face rejection or ridicule but truth be told, you can't please everyone all the time anyway. God will help you through that and as long as we stay focused on him, it'll be okay, you'll be okay.