Sunday, May 22, 2011

"As you love yourself"...

Jesus said in Matthew 22:

"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment.The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

On these 2 commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. The entire point and message of God...depend on those 2 things. 

Love the Lord with all you've got...and love others the way you love yourself...

Love others...the way you love yourself... do we come to love ourselves? 

"We love, because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

We learn to love by the way we're loved.

So...when you see a homeless person begging what are your 1st thoughts? Do you wonder what he'll do with the $ and therefore if he deserves your pity or not? Do you not wonder why he doesn't just "pull himself up by his boot straps and change his situation?" Do you wonder why he doesn't just help himself?

Where do you think we learn to think that way?

When a baby lies in a crib alone and cries...and mom comes sometimes and sometimes not...what do you think the baby is learning about "love"?

If everything about the whole point of what God's doing in the world hinges on us loving God with all we've got...and everyone else the way we love would seem that Mom's job in the first years of a baby's life are of critical importance. Critical. Mom represents God's love for the baby...and will shape the way the baby "loves himself"...and therefore how that baby will grow up to love the world...

You leave a baby alone to cry by themselves and "soothe-themselves" teach them... judge the value of their perceived needs
...that they're on their own
...that they need to do it themselves
...that the only dependable constants in life are themselves and the material things around them they control
...that in order to get thru life they have to look out for themSELVES 'cause no one else is going to be there for them all the time...

So, if that's how they love themselves...that's how they'll love've taught them to...
...judge the value of other's expressed needs
...that they don't need to help others because they should be able to take care of themselves
...that others need to get all their financial and material ducks in a row and then they'll be ok

...that not everyone's "cries" need responding to if it interferes with their own lives and looking out for their own personal interests
...that it's OK to ignore people when they reach out to you

Don't you see it in the Westernized church? 
...we judge other's needs. We judge and criticize them. "Oh, that girl shoulda' not been foolin' around and she wouldn't be in this crisis pregancy!"
...we try to find other people to help those in need. You see it in the constant battle over Democrats vs Republicans...always trying to find a way for the gov't to do the church's job.
...we will show up in a girl's life in a crisis pregnancy and try to help her get a good job to make money, to teach the value of hard work...or we go into a 3rd world village and we build a church or a school or offer some other material thing and think we've helped because we changed their "physical/material world" for the better...
...we avert our eyes from the homeless man on the street corner, or we won't ask the single teenage mom to move into our guest bedroom because we don't really want to get involved...we can't risk changing our schedule, losing any money, having our leisure time cut into, or really disrupting our lives in any way to help others. We want to write a check to the church or vote for the right politician and for someone ELSE to help that person...Heck, we can't even put it as a priority to evangelize in our daily lives, we want to cuss, drink, smoke, speed, and then invite our unsaved friends to church so the pastor can do the evangelizing for us!

The whole point of all God's done and is doing in the world hinges on how we love Him, ourselves, and others...and that can all be put on a wrong path by well-meaning mothers...

The best way to teach your child to love God is by showing your child how God loves. And, then once the child is loved as God loves...he will then be able to love...

It is the whole point...

Picking your child up when they cry out to you does not spoil them. It shows them how God loves us. All the old wives tales...and books like, "On Becoming Babywise" are simply instructions on how to teach you how to not love as God loves you...and what's done in the first 3 years of life will be in your child till the day they die...and they will either survive what you do...or they will THRIVE...

No woman would ever think it is good and healthy and right to ignore their husband's need for sex and then for the husband to shut himself away in another room and self-soothe that need...and likewise it is equally sick and sad for a mother to lie peacefully in bed while their baby lies all alone in the dark in another room and strokes their own hair and sucks on their thumb to self-soothe...

One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?" 

Matthew 12:28

Pleasure Comes from God: 2

I got into a conversation with a goooood friend of mine the other day that made think of something...

"Sin" is basically fulfilling a God-given desire in a bad way.

God-given desire. Ya get that?

God has given us desires. Desires for pleasure. God made us so that we want pleasure. God made us that way. And, He has provided the most awesome and excellent ways to fulfill those desires. (He, after all, is the one who created the orgasm).

Sin is the result of people attempting to fulfill those desires in ways that hurt God. 

God gave us the desire for sex. We have it best, and can derive the most pleasure from that in a healthy monogamous marriage. All the (outside of the church) studies even show that this is true. And, God delights in seeing a healthy, happy, monogamous couple enjoying sex. God is happy when we are happy.

But, happiness and "fun" are all twisted around in the way the world perceives it. The same as with "love". People say they "love" their iphones...they say they love people they hurt...and they say the think partying and living the wild life is "fun". It's all twisted up, and it makes sense. There is a force on the earth that hates God and everything He loves and has worked hard to ruin it all.

One of the best ways to ruin a human is to destroy their foundations. And, if your army's goal was to destroy humans you'd focus on them for their 1st year of life, especially.

Satan is described as a roaring lion seeking someone whom to devour. And, in nature you see the the prowling lions that seek something to desire go after the sick...and the babies... (Romans 1)

So, if one way people get into sin is by fulfilling God-given desires in a wrong way...if you were the enemy of mankind you'd want to make sure that human babies learned pleasure all wrong.

That would mean that there is a right way and a wrong way for a baby to feel pleasure. And, since God is good and fair, He'd make that very clear to us how to do this job of mothering. He'd build it into our minds, our hormones, our common sense, and He'd (Romans 1) put it in nature all around us. He'd make it so clear to us that we'd be without excuse!

Babies don't come wired with desires for pleasures like the ones grown-ups get from iphones, sports, music, facebook, fine dining, fancy cars, etc...No. Babies come with very simple desires for pleasure. They want to know Mom is there. They want to feel her, see her, smell her, hear her. They want to know she's there. They want the pleasure of a full belly, and a clean diaper. Simple desires for pleasures that help wire the baby's brain properly for the future the way God designed them, ensure that the baby will live, and desires that actually provide hormonal health and well-being for their caretaker as well. (Which is another spiritual truth about how we effect God when we look to Him as our source of all things we need.)

Such simple things that when Mom responds to baby's expressions of desires in the correct way and fulfills those desires in the God-given way baby learns how to fulfill God-given desires in the right way. And, God even made it so that it would feeeeeel good for Mom to do it. So simple.

So, if a baby is supposed to get the pleasure of snuggling up against mom, nursing, having a full belly, and being rocked to sleep in the arms of mom listening to her heart beat and smelling her...all those things...but instead baby gets a bottle and dropped into a crib alone...the baby is going to cry. Baby is saying "this does not feel good" just the way God designed baby to do in this situation. Mom gets hormone surges that will, if she follows her God-given desires correctly, propel her toward the baby to fix the situation!

But...this is the modern Westernized world. Mothers are usually told that responding to their baby's desires will ruin the baby. Spoil them. And, so they ignore the system God's put in them to get them to respond to their baby and they resist. And, then what happens is that when Mom does not respond, something has to happen to the baby. The baby has to "deal" with it and come up with other ways to compensate for this loss of pleasure. The baby who is has the God-given desire for comfort from mom is put into the position in their formative fulfill that desire in another way.

The baby will act in Mom's place and do what they can to substitute her God-given role in their life...They will suck their thumb, twirl their hair, move their bodies rhythmically, hold a teddy, vocalize to themselves...any number of things that we're all familiar with. We think these things are all benign. And, although those things could not be said to "be" wrong things...they are "wrong" in the sense that they are not the correct way God designed the baby to be soothed.

So what are we really teaching our babies to do when we teach them to "self-soothe?" We're teaching them to "fulfill a God-given desire (for mom) in a wrong way"...

And, what about Mom??? Everything about a mother's physiology tells her to pick her baby up when it's distressed but due to "teachings" she's following she will resist that. And therefore she too is "fulfilling a God-given desire to pick up her baby in a wrong way"...

All these things that the baby does when left to self-soothe are a way the baby seeks comfort FROM THEMSELVES rather than from an outside source. That outside source once they're an adult would be God...but if they've been trained as a baby to look within themSELVES and in their immediate material surroundings for "self-soothe", it is not going to be natural for them to run to God when they feel displeasure in life.

This self-soothing, basically, is filling a God-given desire in a wrong way. funny thing about kids is that they always think mom n' dad are right when they're little. They look up to us as super heroes! So, if they FEEL inside that they want mom, and mom is a super hero and believes baby should be alone, it is almost like mom telling baby, "No...that's not what you feel"...or it's like telling baby, "Your feelings are not legitimate". Basically, it would totally disrupt the whole system of "what is pleasurable and what is displeasurable...and how do we fulfill desires properly?"But, we expect these babies to grow up into people who know what is pleasurable and what isn't. We expect them to know that going to bars and picking up people to take home and sleep with isn't REALLY pleasurable. We expect them to know to seek God when they're disturbed and not go off and drink themselves into oblivion in a corner in their house every night to deal with it.

Basically, the modern "Western" way of parenting (which is promoted by books like Babywise and others) is the best way to get your kids' perceptions of pleasure to be totally out of whack and wired all wrong. It's the best way to set the kid up to be a grown up who doesn't know how to fulfill their God-given desires correctly.

God is good and He is fair and He wants you and me to have fun and be TRULY happy. We gotta stop thinking a mile wide and an inch deep and start making God happy by responding to the bodies He gave us in the right way...and training up our children in the way they should go by loving them, and responding to them the way we're supposed to...

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