September 27, 2008

Costume or precious jewelry?

A few months ago I stumbled across a short article from In Word Adorning. Basically, she compares young women to either cheap costume jewelry or fine jewels. I had never heard this analogy, but thought it was very effective. I list some of her points below. As I have never really bought fine jewels, I'm taking her word for how it works.

FINE JEWELS
  • The wise jeweler is a good steward of his merchandise.
  • Potential buyers look, but don't touch.
  • If the potential buyer wants a closer look, the jeweler will open the glass case take out the jewelry, place it on a black velvet cloth, and remain present.
  • Some gems and stones are so priceless and rare they are not displayed at all. They are viewed by appointment for only the wealthy.
COSTUME JEWELRY
  • Available abundance in Wal-mart and Dollar stores in every town.
  • No money or intent to purchase needed to view it, handle it or walk around the story with it.
  • Less guarded and more easily stolen.
She goes on to say:
This is how I explain dating and courtship to my girls. They are our precious gems. They will not be cheap costume dates. Picked up carried off, never purchased and put back down. No man will come and sample them, try them out, or take them from our presence. If he comes he must come rich--very rich--in character and good intentions, he must come willing and able to pay any price.... He will honor her purity as much as we do.
My point is not to discuss dating or courtship. I know that the world in which I operate daily encourages me to be cheap, immodest and live for the present. Rather, I think this might be helpful to you as you either:
  • help young ladies understand the value of purity, or
  • seek to maintain purity for yourself.
Often I think that Christian girls are told to dress modestly because "if you don't, you cause boys to stumble." It is certainly good for girls to be aware of this problem.* What if we taught not only physical, sexual purity but modesty in clothing and demeanour as part of the gift we are saving for the one man whom we may marry someday? Many women I have met give free "samples" of their sexuality to men all the time. Fleeting pleasure says flaunt what you got. Some brides have a custom of giving their husband a gift on their wedding day. What could be more precious to him than the knowledge that, ever since the Lord opened her eyes to these truths, his bride has saved not only her sexual purity, but her physical charm, for the man who "pays a high price" for her? In the words of King Lemuel, this woman is not not just fine jewelry, she is worth far more than rubies.

*I think Christian boys often lack teaching in this area though. Put on some clothes/some looser clothes!

September 21, 2008

autumn light

i love being in my kitchen in the morning when the sun's yellow light is beating through our east window. the photo above is simple, but it captures what i saw this morning. it is too bad that moment can't last all day...but if it did, it wouldn't be so special. the sun is waking up later here and i won't get to see bright mornings in my kitchen for much longer. fall is definitely here. bright yellow leaves are floating down from the trees on my street, piling in crunchy drifts on the sidewalks and getting stuck in my windshield wipers. it is so beautiful.

in the morning i also love to read Tozer's Renewed Day by Day while I eat breakfast, when i'm not in a big rush. here's something from today:
Before the Word of God can mean anything inside of me there must be obedience to the Word. Truth will not give itself to a rebel. Truth will not impart life to a man who will not obey the light. If you are disobeying Jesus Christ you cannot expect to be enlightened spiritually.... I can know about God: that is the body of truth. But I cannot know God, the soul of truth, unless I am ready to be obedient. True discipleship is...doing what [Jesus Christ] tells you to do..."
last week i started an evening course at a local university. there is something quietly surreal about fall in that historic section of our city, as the late afternoon sun filters through the trees which are dropping swirls of leaves. like a new morning, a new school year seems to speak of a new opportunity. a new textbook, a new sheet of looseleaf, a new pen. there is so much to learn, to do, to see and to experience...but for a few moments, it is delicious to get silent. to lose yourself in the splendour of God's current artwork. to watch the games light plays. happy autumn!