One of the difficulties of this age is working our who should have what. To whom you should render honour, taxes. From whom should you be able to demand recompense, security, and income. And where any form of provision ceases in this world. and you have to put your spine back in, and do your duty. Elspeth describes the conflict thusly.
For our duty has very little to do with how I feel. I loathe the Taxman and hate paying taxes. Still got to do that. Sometimes you salute the uniform, not the moron wearing it.
So I cringe when my Christian sisters refer to emotional “needs’ in the context of Christian marriage. What does that mean exactly? My body needs food. My soul needs God. But what does my irritability need in order to be soothed, and who should provide it? What does is required to extinguish my anger?To wash away my sadness? To the extent that my husband can give me anything to salve those feelings, should he? Prioritizing my emotions does nothing more than plunge me deeper into a sinful dependence on my emotions as a compass, leading me to perdition.
Oprah taught us that our feelings are a perfect gauge of whether or not we’re getting what we really need. Scripture gives us principles to live by, and life has taught me that following feelings is destructive to ourselves and those around us. What it takes to soothe my irritability today may cause it to flare up tomorrow. Feelings are fickle, so I can’t think of any reason why meeting the needs of his wife’s emotions should be on the list of priorities of a husband.
19When the scribes and chief priests realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to lay hands on him at that very hour, but they feared the people.
20So they watched him and sent spies who pretended to be honest, in order to trap him by what he said, so as to hand him over to the jurisdiction and authority of the governor. 21So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you are right in what you say and teach, and you show deference to no one, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. 22Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” 23But he perceived their craftiness and said to them, 24“Show me a denarius. Whose head and whose title does it bear?” They said, “The emperor’s.” 25He said to them, “Then give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26And they were not able in the presence of the people to trap him by what he said; and being amazed by his answer, they became silent.
Jesus says render taxes to the government. Paul says that government is good, that it allows for some protection — and he said it while inbred fools ran a very corrupt empire that would soon kill those of the faith. For the government can over reach. In Isreal they hac and exception and did not need to bow to the imperial idols — until Titus destroyed Jerusalem. And then when the Jews and CHristians refused, they died.
So the state can demand taxes. They can demand honour. They can suggest that we follow our feelings, fall into perdition, and worship them. But we were not created for this.
Firstly, we are all moral agents. All of us have the ability to choose good and shun evil (or the reverse). We need to own our actions, not blame others for them, or put the burden on our parents, spouses, or elders as a form of false submission. When we do wrong (and we do) we need to change.
Secondly, as Elspeth indicates, feelings are not a worthy guide. Oprah is a heretic on a good day and a pagan on a bad one: she is an agent for the fascist/progressive project that wants not only our money but our worship.
Thirdly, living with some semblance of honour is a revolutionary act. The state wants us in chains and on our knees. Standing is not politically correct. At this point the correct response is not to accede to tyrants, but to disobey. Aware that the tyrants will harass you (if you are lucky) or incarcerate you (or worse), Obey God. For this government will fall.
Not being open to any and everyone’s thoughts and opinions doesn’t mean you are invulnerable. It simply means you choose very carefully who you make yourselves vulnerable to. SAM has my heart in his hands, of course. There are a few select people (2 in fact) who can pierce me deeply with a word, a couple more whom I respect for their example and proof of faith, and some I respect for their knowledge.
The new femininity, where women are all smiley all the time, gush over every baby they see, cry at weddings, and bend over backwards to please every whim and appease every voice? I don’t think that was historically something women were praised for. Our tendency to flightiness was acknowledged, but not rewarded.
It’s too much work for a man to shoulder someone like that. Not only does he not know what he is going to face when he walks through the door each day, but he has to worry about whose influence she has allowed herself to come under while he was away at work
Guard your heart. Be open but to those who are worthy. ANd ignore the fools in the media, who have nothing but rhetoric left. Our worship belongs to God and God alone.