Archives for October 2012

Why Men Aren’t Asking Women Out

Why Aren’t Men Asking Women Out?

Every now and then, a woman will sneak up to me after we speak at an event and with teary eyes choke out, “I’m not very attractive and men don’t ask me out.  Like EVER.”

My heart aches when I see a woman in despair and hopelessness.  They desperately want me to have a fix-it-all answer and I am left stuttering. 

Helping a woman date well is pointless when there are no dates to go on.

I usually respond by going back to God’s word and reassuring them of his ravishing love for them and their true worth and beauty.  But in all honesty, it’s a hard sell when a woman believes she is an ugly duck and no man is willing to fight for her heart and convince her otherwise. 

Ruth Rutherford’s blog –I Kissed my Date Goodnight explores this topic in greater detail.

Although I am weak on answers, my husband and I do have an opinion as to why this scenario is playing out more and more often with single women.

And it’s not because we are JUST an image obsessed culture.  It goes much deeper.

The Problem

The problem is the over-sexualization of our culture. And porn magnifies this.

When men watch beautiful women expose and degrade themselves on a regular basis they begin to subconsciously believe they are entitled to a hot chick that operates in the same fashion in real life. 

But there are a limited number of women who meet this elite criteria.  That leaves the rest of us.

Prior to the first Playboy in mass circulation, it seems as though men were more likely to move towards marriage and relationship.  A below average looking guy would pursue and love a woman who might not meet all of the societal norms of beauty. 

Unfortunately, these days he would rather stay single and settle for his hand and a box of Kleenex.  Real women are complicated and take effort but a fantasy porn woman will bark at his command. 

Porn is cheap and easy.

Many men’s expectations have become so distorted by pornographic images they lose the ability to even be intimate with a woman not digitized on a screen.  As more and more men isolate, real women suffer the consequences and ultimately men do too, although they may not realize it until it’s too late.

The truth is we have an enemy who loves to destroy relationships and porn ruins a man’s ability to engage in healthy dating relationships before he even begins. 

It’s not like this is a new scheme of Satan’s.  Reading throughout the Bible, rampant promiscuity is not fresh to modernity.  It’s just getting more prevalent and widespread with technology.

No Easy Solution

Sadly, there are no any easy or pat answers.  I have a teenage son.  I know all too well it’s a battle men face on a daily basis with an adversary who plays into their weaknesses.

I wish it were different.  But until the day Jesus returns I believe many of us will be left wanting and craving for something more.   

What do you think?

Photo Credit: Via Pinterest

Trophy Child

 

Perusing through the bookstore, a catchy title caught my eye and I yelled for my husband.  There the two of us stood, mouths agape, as we stared at the cover of Trophy Child…and the parents that enable them.

The book had a cover of a sports star kid and his adoring parents fawning over him.

This book hit way too close to home –in an irritating and pissy sort of way.

I didn’t even want to pick it up.  I knew what it would say and I didn’t really want to hear it.

The truth is parents of kids who excel either in athletics or sports or even the arts DO treat their kids differently. 

I know this because I have two other kids along with my trophy child.

I’m certainly not spending a fortune on private coaches and speed training and all the little extras we do for Kyle on my other two.  To some extent I even expect Faith and Kolby to sacrifice for their brother. Our whole family is behind him and together with my ex-husband we are Team Kyle

I openly admit I give this kid special treatment.  I don’t wake up at the crack of dawn to make a hot meal for anyone in my family but my son.  We drive an extra distance to his private school. I run over to the school whenever he calls to bring him little things to make his life easier.  There are late-night runs to Sports Chalet and I help him with homework when he is too tired to hold up his head.  We go out of our way to meet his needs, even if it means the other two suffer a bit in the process.

I don’t do this for my girls.  I love and adore and treasure my girls but I’m not a butt kisser to them like I am my son. But it doesn’t mean if they had a dream like Kyle I wouldn’t be willing to do the same for them.  In fact, I hope and pray they do!

Now, part of our special treatment is directly related to Kyle’s effort.  The kid has heart and discipline and strives at a level I am in awe of.  He wakes up at 5:45am every morning to stretch before weight-lifting.   He does extra workouts on his own, on top of the extra workouts we schedule for him.  He is committed and focused and I want with all my heart to help him achieve his goal of playing college football.   He works hard in school and performs at a high-caliber.  It doesn’t hurt that he also a really nice and amiable kid. 

We expect a lot and he over-achieves on every level.

But where I know we fall into the trophy child trap is putting his success before the rest of the family and sometimes even before God.  Football takes all his time and at least during the season, there is no time for extras.  Youth group goes by the wayside.  Service is missed.  It’s about all I can do to shake him out of his stupor on Sunday mornings to get him to stumble in to church with me.

He suits up for three games a week.  He practices twenty hours.  The abuse on his body by week eight of the season is intense.  Every inch of Kyle has a bruise or a cleat mark.  His pinky is a puff-ball of black and I am deeply grateful we have gotten this far in the season without any major injuries. 

I know there is probably an appropriate balance between sports and God and not allowing our son to get a big head; I just don’t think it’s as easy or trite as some make it out to be.  Commitment means sacrifice.  But God is clearly a non-negotiable. 

And so we must teach our son to weave him into every facet of his day, into each game and during the seasons where he is deeply engaged both on and off the field.

So here’s to trying to living by God’s priority and not our own in the midst of raising a trophy child. 

 

A Soppy Dog Day

A long time ago I made a list of how God sees me.  I read and re-read the list over and over for years until I memorized and internalized certain truths about my identity.  When a bad day hits, I go back to the verses and remind myself of whom I am in Christ.

It gets me through THOSE kinds of mommy days. 

Like yesterday, when I pulled out all the fixings for dinner and discovered I had purchased hot dog buns for Sloppy Joes instead of hamburger buns.  My kids looked at me like I had been smoking crack and even though I tried to explain it was an accident, they gave me the LOOK like I was losing my marbles. 

“Mom, hot-dogs and hamburgers are very different,” my daughter Faith explained in her snotty Jr. High voice.

Ya think?

Even little Kolby gave me a hard time and refused to eat her “sloppy dog” (except she called it a “soppy dog” because she struggles with her “L’s”).

Then there are the days like Monday when I set up a princess tea-party for my girls with home-made chocolate chip cookies and sweets and crisp white linen cloths with an elegant tray.  Kolby and Faith donned their fanciest gowns as I carried the lovely china bursting with yummies outside to our front porch.

The clouds were supposed to part and the harps were supposed to sing…right?

But just as I placed the feast down on the table, we were accosted by the roar of a Carpet Cleaning Van parked in our neighbor’s driveway and a hot wind blowing an inferno in our face.

COME ON!  Princesses aren’t supposed to sweat profusely in mid-October or have to shout over rumbles.  I wanted serenity and girl-time, but instead I got sweaty pits and a migraine.

These are the days I try to remember my God affirmations.  I have to repeat over and over, “I am a good mom and a loved child of God, even when I screw up Sloppy Joes and my princess party fails,” instead of berating myself for the mishaps. 

I want to think about things that are good and true and noble instead of focusing on the bad. 

But geez…it’s so dang easy to complain. 

Lately, God has been nudging me to stop focusing on the little irritants and keep my eyes focused solely on him.  I wish I could say it was effortless, but the truth is, it’s a hard road for me to navigate. 

I am a woman after all. We like to complain. It bonds us.

Most days I feel like Peter walking on the water, eyes squared on the BIG man and then suddenly I drop off into oblivion when a gripe seeps out.

Walk, drop, swim…walk, drop, swim…

Over and over I play this game. 

Sometimes it feel s like I doggie-paddle more in the deep than I walk on top of the water, but I am determined to keep paddling towards the only one who can lift my soppy dog head out of the water again.

Do you ever struggle with complaining?  How do you keep your thoughts positive on a bad day?

 

 Photo Credit: From nowserveme.wordpress.com

Cheerleaders, Pink Push-up Bras and a Cause

It’s that time of year again –when the leaves start to drop dead from scorching heat and the vibrant green fields of football in HD take on a lovely pinkish hue. 

Pink?  Oh, right…apparently orange and brown have lost their edge.  These days “Fall”is so blasé.   Now it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Season.

I think Breast Cancer Awareness used to be a day, then a week, but somehow it’s morphed into an entire season. 

It ALSO used to symbolize supporting women who battle a deadly disease, but more and more it’s become a tawdry fashion statement and a way for retailers to exploit people’s compassion.

When I see NFL players in pink shoes and gloves I applaud their effort to raise awareness.  If Facebook turns pink or Google goes a light red for a week…Yeehaw! 

But when I see NFL cheerleaders in hot pink bras or neon pink cut-off tees just grazing their bodacious bosoms I think it’s gone too far.

What MORON makes these calls?  I’m guessing it’s not a woman.

What woman who has lost her breasts feels honored by a twenty-two year old girl shaking her fake oversized boobs clothed in pink?

The “I Love Boobies Campaign” is TASTELESS, pink push-up bras are LAME (in this context), and Jr. High kids running around wanting to buy new pink football shoes when they can’t even articulate what Breast Cancer is seems POINTLESS.

Is it about money or women?  Does raising money for research justify trashing the very object it’s supposed to fight for?

Breast Cancer is a frightening, painful and awkward disease.  Losing a breast doesn’t make a woman feel sexy, it’s terrifying and overwhelming in a way few can understand but the survivors who have made it to the other side.

Isn’t there a way we could celebrate this disease in a more honoring way, maybe an empowering way?

For the kid who has lost his mom to the ravages of cancer, a cheesy plastic bracelet does little to assuage his devastation.  The kid just wants his mom back.

I would love to see Breast Cancer Awareness find a way to CELEBRATE women instead of the message getting lost in an over-sexualized culture that subtly degrades the breasts it claims to champion.

 

 

Traveling Light

This might sound crazy to some, but I was slightly depressed the day I couldn’t fit all of my stuff in the trunk of my car.  Renting a U-Haul to schlep all my junk was so…emotionally draining.

Did I really need all this STUFF? 

Need or Want?

It’s a question I battle every time I go to Target.  I fill up my cart and then before I check out, I stop and go through each item asking myself, “Is this a need or a want?”

Need: Toilet Paper   Want: Hunger Games DVD

When I saw this article on Nicolas Berggruen, “The Homeless Billionaire” something within my spirit resonated. 

I strongly believe in simple abundance and I found a billionaire who follows my ethos!

What is Simple Abundance?

Here is what simple abundance entails: It’s the idea of not being tied down to stuff or allowing THINGS to control me.  Simple abundance knows that every new thing carries a cost of maintenance and it only allows the truly important things to define me.

Nicolas sold both of his homes and his personal island, now traveling the world with “what little he owns in storage and travels light, carrying just his iPhone, a few pairs of jeans, a fancy suit or two, and some white monogrammed shirts he wears until they are threadbare.”

Now, I am not as extreme as Nicholas.  I have a mortgage and I deeply value both home and family.  I want to create a safe haven for my loved ones, but Nicholas reminds me I don’t need to collect and hoard things.

In the words of Pastor Kenton Beshore, “It all goes back in the box someday and you can’t take it with you.”

What defines you?

So instead of buying boats and clothes and more STUFF, I want to collect relationships and experiences with people.

I think Jesus would have been a simple abundance kind of guy. He traveled light. 

How about you?  What do you collect?

For a great fashion blog on this concept, check out The Twenty Pieces Project-Life With Less.

Photo Credit: From isleofviewblog.tumblr.com

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