Well, we’re back! This week we talk about our vacation, Teen Vogue, a kidney transplant, sleeping in church, and more!
Click here to go to my Facebook page and enter the giveaway we talk about!
Where are you?
When a culture of brutality and abuse and sexual torture against women is being built around an empire called pornography? Where are you when teen magazines encourage young girls to let their porn-influenced boyfriends sodomize them? When sexual experts tell girls that when it doesn’t bring excruciating pain or humiliation or injury that it “can feel delightful”? Where are you, my sisters in this flesh that God designed, you strong women, you with the loud voices and the brilliant arguments, you who could quickly whither any defense of the grotesque world that pornography is building, completely wither it and blow it away as if it is nothing but a piece of dust?
Our girls need you.
They need to hear you rise up and rage against music that glorifies violent sex, that music that is pouring out of the radio this very minute, that our boys are learning by heart, that our girls are taking to heart: This is what love looks like.
Our boys need to see you, beautiful and bellowing in the streets, shouting until you have no voice left, declaring, not gently, that pornography is a sin against humanity. They need to see you at every turn, confirming with your constant striving and your passionate pleas all of the things that we, their mothers, tell them about the broken-souled way that the pornography culture will eat into their flesh and steal their hearts right from under their noses. And it will devour them and it will change them and it will hurt them. They need to hear it from you, dear warriors. They need to feel the power in your numbers, the solidarity in your spirits, the cries of your battle-scarred hearts.
Our girls need to see you unfurl your fury on an industry that tells them they exist only to please men. That their pleasure is secondary to their willingness to do anything that is asked of them in the bedroom. That their worth is measured in naked photographs. That their minds and their souls are of little importance because they have vaginas and breasts, and those are the only things that really matter. Where are you, my kindred?
You and I disagree on some issues. We march in opposite directions in our various battles. But, here, on this hallowed earth, this war for the hearts and souls of our children, this is our common ground. We are all mamas, sisters, aunts, grandmas. We are all casualties of this war, whether we know it or not, and we are now watching our own sons and daughters fall into its devastating grip. Where are you, courageous ones? Our boys and girls need you to turn and fight and rail and rage and squall.
A new world is emerging. One where girls are victimized even when they are safe at home in their own bedrooms. One where boys get their sex education from violent videos that pour endlessly from the virtual world in their pocket. One where love is replaced by sex. Tenderness is replaced with brutality. Where marriages limp along in the shadow of sex addictions. Where are you, dear Feminists? History will remember the day that you finally surge into action and crash down on the pornography industry like a tsunami. Our boys and girls need you. Don’t let them look back on all of the ways they were wounded by this culture, knowing that that likes of you and the likes of me refused to come together to kill the source of their suffering.
The time is now. We need you. Where are you?
I have had the same study Bible since I was a young teen. I got it at the height of my youth group days, and even though I have other Bibles, it’s still my favorite one to pull out and read. It’s gigantic, the kind that all of the super godly girls had in high school, and it’s beat up and marked up, just the way the youth minister always said your Bible should be, if you’re serious about your faith. Sometimes I run across notes that I made in the margins when I was all of sixteen years old, and they make me laugh.
We were pretty hard core back in those days. We wanted to know God and understand His word. We wanted to really follow Him, even though we had no idea how to do that outside of going to church and not having sex. We were clueless, but we were sincere.
Just the other day, I was flipping through those well worn pages when I saw a question I had written to myself in the margin. In purple ink, carefully printed in big, bubbly high school girl lettering were these words: How’s your thought life, Mel?
I rolled my eyes.
It was so youth group culture. It was so early 90s Christian.
It was so convicting.
No doubt the term “thought life” belongs in some 4Him song someplace. I’m actually sort of embarrassed to even write it here, now that I am long past those days when we used to ask each other about our “quiet times” just to check up to make sure we were all doing one. I am far beyond the time of trying to turn Christianity into a simple formula of acting right and being good and being the poster child for Christians everywhere. I had to come to terms with my own bent toward sin. I am prone to wander, I’m selfish and corrupt, and only God’s goodness can ever make me seem otherwise.
I sat and stared at my own words written there, now twenty-something years further into my relationship with Jesus than the girl who wrote them. And then God’s word cut right to my soul. I followed the squiggly arrow from my nerdy question to 2 Corinthians 10:5. And there it was, in its painstakingly highlighted glory: …we take every thought captive to obey Christ.
When I was a sixth grader, I started having panic attacks. It was a terrible year at school, and I was a ball of anxiety. I only had maybe three or four, but they left quite an impression on me. Somehow in that year God gave me an incredible ability to control my thought processes when I started feeling a panic attack coming on. I learned how to talk myself out of having one. It was a true case of taking my thoughts captive, forcing them to go another direction that said, no I wasn’t going to die. I wasn’t having a heart attack. I wasn’t losing my ability to breathe. I was, in fact, perfectly fine. And, somehow, when I took those thoughts captive, I was fine. It’s the clearest example that God has ever given me of what it’s like to wrestle my thinking to the ground and force it to surrender.
Only a few years before I was gifted that pretty green study Bible for Christmas, God had taught me, in a powerful way, how to grapple with my own thinking and beat it down. Yet, here I was at sixteen, questioning thought patterns that dishonored God, challenging myself to take every thought captive. And, here I am again, at almost 40, certain that I have grown lazy in my thinking, allowing ungodly desires and ideas to take up residence in my own heart and mind. Like longing for approval and glory and honor. Like seeing situations through purely selfish eyes. Like being ungrateful and petty. Like feeling entitled. And much more that I would be too humiliated to even tell you about.
Our minds will destroy us if we aren’t careful. Our hearts will lead us astray every single time. But, we won’t fight against what we think is no big deal. I learned at eleven years old how to force myself to breathe when I was in a panic. But, somehow in Christianity we manage to be standing in a corner someplace gasping for air without even realizing that we need to cry out for help. If we aren’t actively working to take every thought captive, then we are surely being held as prisoners of our own lying hearts.
In Jesus, we have the power to think about what is right, noble, pure, and lovely. What are we dwelling on? What is occupying our minds? This is a call to holiness and obedience that goes far beyond what others see or will ever know. This isn’t for show. It’s for Christ. Take every thought captive.
Welcome back to the weird world of Chad and Melissa’s podcast. This week we talk about Christmas songs we hate, our twenty year long hamburger debate, Chad’s major ancestry discovery, the end of the school year, and being in God’s family.
This week our youngest turned five! We survived the preschool years (all twelve of them)! High fives all around! In this episode, we talk about some things that we feel made a difference in our marriage during the crazy little bitty kid phase. We hope you’ll find some encouragement and maybe some practical advice that you can use. No experts here, just sharing what has worked for us. Also: our most loyal listeners, Chad’s latest experience with being open, and more!
To celebrate our 30th episode, we invited our second most popular guest to come back: the one and only Jackson Chang! We talk about what we were doing at 30, being open, thoughts on sanctification, Jackson’s knack for getting food poisoning, and more. Thanks for listening!
Here’s Jackson’s dancing video we talk about. It was an instant classic.