By Glyndora Condon M.S., M.F.T., L.P.C.
It is ironic as we observe our Culture today. So much progress we claim as we see the advances in science and medicine; advances in the mechanical and technical possessions. Advances in the ability to clean up waste, purify water, grow more food; and advances to filter pollution from our air. We have cheaper fuel in abundance and it amazes us as to how difficult life once was and how easy it is today as convenience and entertainment (instant gratification) seems to drive our motivation to spend money on tangible items and entertainment. Our identity seems to be driven by what we look like, what we have, and who we know. With all of this stuff-then we should be happy, yes? Yet greed, jealousy, hate, intolerance, addictions, poor relational issues, fewer intact nuclear families, less motivation to persevere, and the wish to settle with a bare minimum of effort on our part as we expect full wages and acknowledgment on their part becomes the norm. The more we press our wants and beliefs upon others with the expectation that they owe us-the less others are listening, respecting us, or willing to understand what we are trying to do. I thought we were moving forward yet it appears that the real and unseen treasure of healthy minds, hearts, and souls have been sacrificed for the tangible items.
One choice has the power to change one's life; the family, the community, the nation, and a world either to the negative or to the positive direction.
Women have been attempting to increase their station, their value, their acceptance, and their reception of needed and wanted respect. They will march for their rights to be heard and shout to their right and need to be paid the same wages; when they qualify for the same positions of men-yet are paid less. They march for better health care and child care (which is especially important when they have little ones to care for as a single parent) who has to work since the father may have rejected his obligations and responsibilities for each child that he has provided a seed to.
Men often escapes the parenting of children that they procreate and advise the woman to abort or else they will flee. Women buckle due to their want for the man in their life.
Instead of woman being as irresponsible then should not we women be more courageous and of a higher standard to manage our children and the work we must do-with help from church, the work place, and family? Should we not be speaking to the men to step up and to be responsible? If a man and woman procreates- then a baby was given life, and requires parents to love and to care for them appropriately, either by their own parents who procreated them; or by adoptive parents who prayed for them. For either man or woman to choose to enter into sex, to not use protection, and then to choose to escape the consequence of that choice-is NOT a forward or positive movement. It is not progress when neither are accepting adult responsibility for an adult action.
Instead of woman regressing to meet at the same low standard that the man has set-then would it not be a more respected choice for the woman to hold herself to a higher standard with a heart and mind to be true to self and to be responsible for that little life?
Men have long since bragged of the multi-sexual conquests without much conscience as it is easier for them to escape consequences; but this does not mean that they have no consequences. Each time they use a woman for their own pleasure-they disrespect her; and this disrespects and dishonors him. With sex, then emotional attachments often formed on her part, yet he often has no emotional investment, yet he has more control over her. The new woman rejoices in her choice to live life without restraints and to allow herself the choice to have multiple partners; as she used men for her own pleasure; and should she become pregnant without protection, then she has been able to escape that responsibility by taking a life from within herself. He escaped and she escapes yet the baby was victimized.
Men and women are both at a lower standard-devaluing each other and selves. Men and women incur the STDs at alarming rates, are losing sensitivity to emotional and physical violations, are also less valuing marriage and family. Men and women resort to porn and embrace their scantily covered bodies. Women are more objectified and allows herself freely to be passed around yet shouts that she now is in a better place with more rights. Men still have their double standards and continue to escape responsibility for their conduct while women make this easy.
Should we not encourage man to seek a higher standard for himself? Should we not hold him accountable and make conquests much harder for him so that he cannot use women? Should not we women rise in morality and hold man to a higher standard? Have not this so-called progress caused more harm to women? Less respect? More dysfunction to the home, mind, soul, and disease to the body? How is this progress? Lowering our standards to their low has not moved us forward or higher. We regressed instead of progressed. Instead of telling others to lower qualifications then let's make them raise the qualifications by meeting challenges with perseverance and courage. We do not gain respect with disrespecting ourselves or others. Men are to guide us with nurturing and protection; kindness and sacrifice yet many men have failed their role and has lost respect and honor of women. Men are to help women be all that they can be and love them-not use them.
Regression is a defense mechanism driven by fear. It is the return to an earlier stage of development and is considered a negative and primitive defense mechanism-along with nearly 18 other defenses that are occurring in our culture while people want more but are going at the acquiring of these from a skewed, dysfunctional, and backward mindset.
In Hebrews 11:24-28 we learn that we must swim against the tide (opposition) as we make decision as Moses did, also Enoch, Noah, Gideon, Abraham, Ruth, and Ester. It takes courage to make wise decisions that others may mock or find foolish. Courage chooses to identify with God's people, with prudence, with patience, with delayed gratification, and with sacrifice. In efforts to do what is right, one must understand that this may be at personal loss and value the eternal blessing over the world's skewed and broken definition of happiness and success which has resulted in greed and dysfunction.
The world places priority and a high priced value on beauty, money, possessions, prestige, station, and other like tangible things that break down, tarnish, and often suffer loss of value the moment it is possessed and/or taken. We work with fury and spend big dollars to have this-yet find little happiness. In fact, the more we get the more we feel empty and disillusioned.
Courage clarifies what matters most, cultivates a plan, and is willing to be patient as hard work in provided to achieve that goal.
Did you know that 25% of the world's population would give up their families in order to be a multimillionaire? Many also stated that they would prostitute themselves, while others would be in crime for that money. 7% would kill someone. Women will allow themselves to be used and risk disease; so as to claim that they were valued as much as men. Thousands are spent on sports paying players millions for their entertainment for a few hours. We as Americans misplace and/or throw away about S72.00 each year and the average person world wide my only make $69.00 per year. Marriages are forsaken for others. Americans crave more and more fame and fortune and fun; yet are not content.
Perhaps those things are not truly valuable. Perhaps it is the heart and soul; with a clear mind that has most value. We seek a quick fix and settle for something good now-while not being available or qualified for something awesome later. Moses speaks of the disgrace for the sake of Christ was far more worthy than the riches of Egypt and was willing to sacrifice the tangible for the goal of eternal life. With his choice came honor and a heart of servitude with brings warmth. With good choices come a sense of pride and a higher self image. Helping others brings an inner joy. One can be completely satisfied and filled as they sweep their dirt floor in a hut when their heart and soul are content. They are focused on the blessings that they have in abundance instead of thinking that they are poor. They are rich with an inner treasure that no one can buy.
With society breathing down our throats, culture's hate and their material value system-then how do we stop spiraling down in this trap that has engulfed us? How did we become so disillusioned? So gullible? So selfish? I believe the strongest factor in play is FEAR. We fear rejection, mockery, anger, non-acceptance, security, loss of income, loneliness, replacement, and reprisal-so we march in line with the others. Hebrews 1:27 encourages us to take courage in the invincible as we focus upon the higher goals, higher standards, a strong mind, a pure heart, and increase our searching soul for goodness. The wealth of these things far out value the tangible things since no one can take what is in us-from us.
Courage requires us to personify what is right with radical obedience and submission and this is difficult. We may be strong enough to plow down opposition, to take revenge; yet we need to be meek enough to resist, to love, to be silent, and simply speak truth in the manner that best depicts God. Heb. 12:1-3 speaks of Jesus endured grave opposition for a better good. His willingness to do this-gave us grace. What more could we ask for? We are instructed to not let fear rule us. We cannot regress. We must progress to a better good instead of stressing to be like others at such costs that sacrifices progressiveness.