When Things Don’t Make Sense…

BY: - 20 Dec '12 | inspiration

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by Kim Moore,

Christmas . . . It’s the season many set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The birth of something can be exciting and in some cases sobering. Birth not only indicates the beginning of something, but also signifies the ending of something. The birth of a child is the welcoming of a new life and the retiring of pregnancy. The birth of a marriage is also the end of singleness. In all cases, birth represents change; change in the way people think and behave. Then there are implications that accompany change – whether good or bad. But all change works together for good to those that love God and have been called according to His purpose.

The Connecticut tragedy grabbed all of our attention this past week. Many were brought to a grinding halt. We were both horrified and numbed by a 20-year old killing his mother then proceeding to the elementary school where she worked and killing 6 more adults and 20 children. In the aftermath, we grapple to make sense of what would possess a young man to take so many innocent lives and deprive countless others of loved ones. That this tragedy happened so close to Christmas, the time of celebration of birth of the Savior of the world, is a dart to the heart of nearly everything for which Christ stands. I say nearly, because the death of these innocent lives was not in vain. A few things already have happened in the wake of the death of 12 girls, 8 boys and 6 women. It is likely that these deaths tugged on some hearts to seek and inquire of God for the first time. The deaths may prompt some to reconsider their faith. And still for others, it was a rude reprimand that we must be about the Father’s business.

One pastor suggests the Connecticut tragedy was another wake-up call for the church. First that the Church would wake up to its responsibility to pray. Walnut Hill Community Church opened its doors to over 500 people to pray that God would use this evil as a turning point for the churches in New England, and for the families involved in the tragedy.

1 In light of the Connecticut tragedy, the efficacy of the 1962 decision to remove prayer from public schools is again on the table for discussion. Clearly, our country needs God. Morality is a heart issue that cannot be regulated by government. Only God working on, in and through the hearts of men, women and children can bring about morality and the ensuing regard for human life that would prevent such senseless killings. Sandy Hook was a reminder of our responsibility to love and what kinds of things happen when we don’t.

And then there is you and me. Certainly, we grieve the loss of innocent life. But, Sandy Hook is an opportunity to do more than grieve. In each of us can be the birth of a deeper more meaningful dialogue with God about who you are, why you are here and who you are here to help. Sandy Hook is an opportunity to recognize that each of us has a purpose that includes favorably impacting each other’s lives. And whether these lives include boys or girls, men or women, matters not. What matters this Christmas is that Christ was born to save you and me, deliver us from this present evil and return us that through us He might save and deliver others.

This Christmas whether or not you are celebrating the beginning of something wonderful, or letting go of something desirable (or undesirable), do all with an eye toward the One that is causing it to work together for your good! Celebrate the gift of life! Use the deaths of the Connecticut tragedy to spawn life in you. Don’t just talk about the tragedy, do something to help prevent such tragedies. Ask God what He would have you to do then get busy doing it!

Kim Moore believes every woman (young and old) deserves to know and be confident in the reality that she is loved.  You can reach Kim via her website, Kim Moore and Friends

1 http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/34955-could-connecticut-school-shooting-wake-up-the-church-in-new-england

 

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‘This’ Man Grew Up Wanting To Be Married

BY: - 26 Dec '12 | Home

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In late November I was in attendance at the Tyler’s Love and Life in Atlanta event. In fact, I was the event photographer as I’ve been for several of the Tyler New Media events over the past twelve months. During the engaging discussion on love and romance, I was struck by one of the featured panelist’s statements which I will paraphrase below:

Boys don’t grow up wanting to be married.

He went on to talk about little girls and their play wedding dresses and all the little fantasies that they have around a wedding and that boys just want to have that girl that is their friend, that will ride with them. And I am inclined to agree. I never once gave much thought to a wedding as a child. But something about his blanket statement didn’t sit well with me. And it took me a couple of days to figure it out: Personally, I’ve always wanted to be married.

Marriage Every Day

How could I not? First off, I saw marriage every day in my home. Even on the days my folks didn’t get along I wanted to be married. I just didn’t want to be married like them. And then there were days that I wanted multiple wives of different nationalities and backgrounds. A cousin informed me that unfortunately this was illegal in the United States. But even still, it was marriage that I wanted.

But what I wanted and what I got were too different things. Love, and even like avoided me for many years for no valid reasons. I was an ugly duckling, chided for my appearance and misunderstood for my shyness. Growing up, many of the girls I liked passed on me, preferring the more gregarious, muscular, personality-having types instead.

Love & Sex Are Not The Same

In college things went full circle. I had all but outgrown my youthful awkwardness and had evolved into a man — who still wanted nothing more than real love from a woman. When I asked my first college love to be my girlfriend (yes, I actually asked) she told me she had a boyfriend back home and asked if we could just “have fun together”‘in school. It wasn’t exactly a rejection, right? I actually considered her offer until another friend, a female best friend, strongly advised me, short of calling me crazy, not to, instructing me to “never play second fiddle.” My young and impressionable mind and heart let those words sink in deep, so deep that I began to believe no one was to be trusted. I became ultra-suspicious and downright sinister if I felt someone was even hinting at taking advantage of me. I quickly became the king of the One Strike you’re out rule. I broke hearts before mine could be. I broke hearts just because. Then I crossed paths with an older woman, a twenty-two year old senior, who schooled me on how to selflessly love a woman. Then she left school and me to enter the real world.

Abandoned, alone and angry, but now officially “trained” by a grown woman, from my perspective, I became downright lethal — a master manipulator in the finer art of seduction, and even worse I never shared nor bragged to friends. But people talk and my reputation began to precede me well beyond the boundaries of my freshman class. But for all the “fun” I was having there was a great emptiness inside me. No matter what the scenario or “conquest” afterwards, I would typically feel broken and cheap. Little did I know then that I was suffering from a lack of love and only making matters worse by giving myself away for less than free to almost anyone who was interested. And because I wasn’t sharing, no one knew to tell me to stop or suggest there was a better way. Not that they would have. My peer group was a bunch of eighteen to twenty year old boys. There wasn’t much any of us could’ve done for each other at the time.

Enough Was Enough

By the time I was a senior I was over it: disgusted with myself and everyone around me. Profoundly sad that so women “knew” me but didn’t know me at all. Mad at myself for bringing it all on myself. Frat brothers and friends looked at me like I was crazy when I talked about only wanting to make love unless I was in love. For women I was now the worst of all the guys — the quiet one. No one ever knew my pain because I had done so much, in vain, to mask it with sex. No good woman was going to waste her time getting her heart broken by me so they just opted to pass the time. This followed me into adulthood where I evolved into “the good time guy” — the one you messed with when you want to be romanced and treated with respect, but not the one you stayed with. And of course, this led me down the dark path of adultery. I knew the risks but I took them anyway. I knew the bible verse too. As friends got married and divorced, cheated on their wives, etc., I simply didn’t get it. I would’ve given anything to have for a day what they couldn’t seem to appreciate at all. The final straw came when someone I truly cared for told me she would never fall in love again moments after being intimate. She was on the rebound from a divorce and speaking from her place of pain. She had no idea the impact of her words on me. I broke things off with her the next day and swore myself off women cold turkey. They weren’t the problem. I was. As fate would have it, the woman remarried and had a beautiful daughter. Such is life.

Eventually I got my act together when a wonderful woman found me while I was walking through midtown Manhattan on my lunch break. But it took me a long time to pull the trigger and pop the question. It angered her and she assigned all the appropriate terms to me: non-committal, indecisive and even immature. But what she thought was my condition were merely the symptoms of my longstanding hurt.

I don’t expect many men to openly express that they always wanted to be married. But I know as the person writing this post that one man did grow up wanting to be married. I wanted to be with that one person who was one with me. I saw it in my community and I valued it. I was too young and too much of a boy to know or care about the dresses and rings, but I did want that one woman to be mine, forever. I remember my first thoughts of this back from when I was in first grade. There have been plenty of hiccups and hurdles along the way, but that doesn’t change the fact I wanted a wife. How about you?

BMWK – Do you agree with the blanket statement that boys don’t grow up wanting to be married?

About the author

Eric Payne wrote 83 articles on this blog.

Named a Top 50 Dad Blogger in 2011 by Cision Media & awarded Top 50 Dad Blog in 2011 and 2012 by Babble.com, Eric writes about fatherhood, marriage and everything in between on his blog MakesMeWannaHoller.com. He speaks around the country about social media and blogging. He is the author of "DAD: As Easy As A, B, C!" and is a regular on CNN's Headline News station and the Jennifer Keitt show on KISS 104.1 FM Atlanta.

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