Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Lie of the Greatest Controversy.....

As I was reading reviews of "Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free", I found that while the majority of the reviewers were positive, there were some very outspoken readers casting their vote.  When I read Lie # 10 in Nancy Leigh DeMoss's book, I came to find that I had hit the hot spot.

Lie #10:  I Have My Rights

HERE is the place where the highest number of criticisms come from, and I'm not surprised.

Our culture has been satiated with a "Look Out for Number One" mentality, and as the author puts it, " 'I've got a right' has become the watch cry of Western civilization".

Listing a slew of rights that women have fought for, and still fight for, in a desire to be free from male domination, and following with the opinion that  fighting for these rights leads to much of the unhappiness women experience today, she finds much dissension.

I'll admit there are some things on her list that raise my eyebrows and find my understanding where some critics are coming (equal wages being one - if you're doing the same job as a male and doing it just as well, I do think you should be paid accordingly).  Most of what she lists are rights that we've all come to expect:  the right to be happy, understood, loved, to a certain standard of living, a good marriage, companionship and romance, to be valued and appreciated by your husband & children, to a good night's sleep, to have your husband pitch in with chores, to time off and vacation days, etc.

All of these are good things, some of them wonderful things.....and I don't think she's saying it's wrong to want them.  We all do.  Her biggest point comes after her list.  It's in what happens when those "rights" are violated.

Mainstream philosophy tells us we have a right to be angry.  We have a right to be depressed.  We have a right to take action.....and to insist on our rights.  Basically, we have a right to throw a temper tantrum, to stamp our feet and shake our fists....I'm picturing adult women acting the way the two-year-olds I taught in preschool behaved when they didn't get their way.  I've seen examples before me for my entire life of women acting that way, and I've seen what it can do to their families and their relationships when they let their anger over their "rights" take over.

I wholeheartedly agree when the author says:
"The fact is, relationships and healthy cultures are not built on the claiming of rights but on the yielding of rights.  Even our traffic laws reflect this principle.  You'll never see a sign that says, 'You have the right of way'.  Instead, the sign instructs us to 'Yield' the right of way.  That is how traffic flows best; it is also how life works best."
She uses the example of Jonah in the Bible and it very effectively puts things into perspective, but you need to read the book yourself to discover it (I'd have to quote a page and a half!).

Once again, I'm not pointing fingers.  Going back to the temper tantrum I described above.... I have acted that way.  Most often after following the constant input of others telling me about my rights.  People who mean well.  But it never makes me feel better....usually worse.  I look at that list and see several things that I don't have and  I want them very much....... but for now, I yield.  I surrender my "rights" for the bigger picture.....because there is one.
"Sometimes surrender isn't surrender at all.  It's about what's going on in our hearts.  About seeing clearly the way life is, and accepting it and being true to it, whatever the pain, because the pain of not being true to it is far, far greater." ~ The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans
Interestingly enough, it leads me perfectly into Lie #12 (remember, I rearranged the lies to suit the way they work for me).

Lie #12:  I Should Not Have to Live With Unfulfilled Longings

In our society, the common thought is that there is a remedy for every unfulfilled longing.  If there isn't ~ there ought to be, and the quicker and easier, the better......and we should do whatever we have to do to get our "needs" met.  We "follow our hearts" when our hearts are fickle, we let our feelings determine our choices on a whim.

This lie leads to devastating heartache, bondage, anxiety, resentment and depression. We are constantly unfulfilled, constantly searching and groping for something to fill the emptiness inside and leaving a debris of damaged relationships in our midst.

Our longings are often not sinful, but what is wrong is demanding they be fulfilled right here, right now and becoming angry when they aren't.....or looking to fulfill them in ways that are sinful.  Romans 8:23 tells us that we will always have unfilled longings.  If all our longings could be fulfilled here on Earth, our hearts would never long for a better place.

Freedom and patience for those longings to be fulfilled come from surrendering them to God and looking to Him to meet the deepest longings and and needs of our hearts.  I think He uses those areas, those unfulfilled longings, to draw us closer to Him.  No one, no thing on Earth can satisfy the deepest longings of a woman's heart.  We have been created "in such a way that we will never be truly satisfied with anyone or anything less than Himself".

I can wait ~ with eagerness, with hope, and with the faith in the day that is coming.  What a day that will be. : )

"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Psalm 16:11


Aurie said...

What a fantastic post to read on a Sunday morning! Looks like you are really emjoying this book :)

BLessings to you!

Crystal Lynn said...

I so love your blog and I am officially following you! : ) Please follow me back!!!!

Rebecca said...

This is a great post...and reminds me how the Bible tells us that God's ways are not our ways. Your posts are always a sweet blessing to me, friend! Thank you for dropping by and leaving your sweet comments....they really hit a home run with me....and helped me remember some truth I had forgotten!