I share the top posts this week on the blog and on social media, and then fill you in on some “behind the scenes” things going on in my family and my life.
And scroll down–I’ve got a really funny and ironic picture to show you, too.
Now let’s get started:
What’s #1 This Week
#1 on the Blog: Why the Duggar Abuse Scandal Matters
#1 on Facebook: Bringing God into Parenting–Naturally!
#1 on Pinterest: 6 Rules of Relationship Conflict
#1 on Twitter: Ever feel like sex is all “for the hubby”?
Why I Won’t Shut Up
I’ve been criticized by quite a few by talking about the Duggars too much this week. I had the one big post, and then I mentioned it in my post on the Culture War (THANK YOU for the great discussion on that post, too–it’s one of the very few posts I can remember where everyone was civil, no one was criticizing, we were all just trying to understand each other. We didn’t all agree, but it was SO REFRESHING!). I had three posts on Facebook–one pointing to my daughter’s post, one to mine, and then yesterday’s when I tried to explain myself further.
In between I had twelve other posts on Facebook and two other blog posts, so I don’t think this is all I’ve been talking about!
But here’s the thing: the reason I keep talking about it is not because of the Duggars. It’s because the reaction by a large number of Christians shows me that I don’t think we as a church understand the severity of sexual abuse. People are still saying, “the Duggar girls forgave years ago!” And “It’s all behind them!”
For me, this has never been about the Duggars. It’s been about the Christians who, I believe, have inappropriately defended them and thus given a very wrong message to the world, and to sexual abuse victims, about how the church feels about sexual abuse and about integrity.
If people would stop saying these things, I could let it go.
But I see my mission very much as encouraging healthy sexuality within the church. We can only do that when we also recognize what can mar and harm our sexuality and talk openly about the reality of flashbacks, triggers, and healing being a multi-faceted process.
I think I’ve said pretty much all I’m going to say now, although I will be talking later this summer about some of the underlying bad theology in some Christian movements which makes abuse more rampant, but I just plead with people to understand that when you defend the Duggar parents loudly, you further wound sexual abuse survivors who are listening to you and who are hearing you say, “it’s all behind them!” Here’s what I wrote on Facebook:
I’ve been saddened this week in the discussion about the Duggars by how many people don’t seem to understand the long-term consequences of sexual abuse. Our culture has done a good job teaching people about how abuse is wrong; how we should report abuse; how abuse can be present even in outwardly “good” families. What we haven’t done is shared how abuse impacts people–how healing is usually multi-faceted and long-term; how triggers can happen years afterwards; how sexual abuse especially can make “making love” difficult. Combine that with our church’s often shallow explanation of forgiveness, and we get a situation where people honestly think “forgiving and forgetting” is enough–even when a victim is young. We need to talk not just about forgiveness but also about what healing looks like. Whether it’s abuse, incest, or infidelity, trust usually takes a long time to rebuild–even for Christians. Healing is multi-staged because the effects often aren’t seen until later. That’s normal. That’s the way God made our spirits and souls. And we need far more compassion for victims of abuse of any kind than a simple “just forgive!”
On Instagram–I Had My Birthday!
On Monday I had my birthday.
And here was my devotional for that particular day.
Too funny! God’s been speaking to me specifically this year through this devotional. I’ll have a verse I’ll be meditating on that will come to mind about something I’m struggling with, and then the next day that verse will be the main one the devotional is talking about.
I had a specific verse I was praying over one friend of my daughter’s everyday for six months, and on the six month anniversary of me praying that verse, the devotional was, “How to Pray 2 Timothy 1:7 for someone”. It’s just been neat.
So when I saw that particular message, I laughed, because I know God must have a sense of humour.
(Follow me on Instagram, too!)
My Daughter’s Wedding Shower Was Last Weekend
The women from my church put on a lovely shower for her. We were so blessed!
And she has two more showers coming up–her home church where she goes (she lives in a different city), and her family shower. And she already received almost everything on her registry list.
My church didn’t really throw me a shower when I married, and I know not everyone has this experience. But it struck me what a true blessing that kind of community is–to support young people as they’re starting out. That’s something those outside the church really don’t have in the same way. Many people were at that shower who don’t even know us well. But they came to support anyway.
It made me realize–I need to make more effort to go to these showers. I need to make more effort to give encouraging gifts and cards to those just starting out in our church. It really does mean so much. And when young people have older Christians who show they care and support them–that’s a wonderful thing.
There’s another shower in our church this weekend, but I’m going to miss it. Out of town. But now I’m going to make sure I get a card and leave a long note and a nice gift. They blessed us; I want to return the blessing.
Speaking of blessing others, my youngest and I are heading down to Pennsylvania this weekend for grad parties for two of her friends. But we in Canada don’t really do this “grad party” thing. So we’re lost on etiquette.
Any tips on appropriate gifts? I’ve already got some things, but I want to make sure we’re on the right track!
Have a great weekend!