Archive | women RSS feed for this section

Religious Trauma and the Binding of Isaac

13 Jul

I have featured Julia’s work, and recently came across this on her blog regarding the Sacrifice of Abraham.

“Deceived, tied up, and held at knife-point — all by his own father? Because God said so? Talk about traumatic!” an older lady exclaimed.

Here is the blog post.

I stopped reading the story of Abraham’s sacrifice to my children when they are younger.  My first born was shaking after I read him the story from a Bible story book, and he still asks me if I would ever kill him if God asked me to do it.  There are many stories in the Old Testament for which a young child is not ready to understand from a developmental point of view.

Julia makes the beautiful point that even when “God provides” during or following trauma – it does not cease to be traumatic.  The trauma still affects the individual – often in painful ways.

I have suffered religious trauma.  I am a victim of spiritual abuse, and struggle with something that I call – “Post-Traumatic Church Disorder.”

You can read more about my own story here.

Julia makes a beautiful point when she states,

It’s hard for the hurt and the hope to coexist. But I think that’s what the story of the binding of Isaac, and the story of any religious trauma, has to tell. It’s not an easy story. But it’s a good one.

Julia Powers is a writer and seminary student at Duke University Divinity School, where she is pursuing the M.Div. degree with certificate in Anglican Studies. Her primary professional interests revolve around pastoral care & counseling, spiritual formation, and young adult ministries. For fun, she enjoys blogging (www.juliapowersblog.com), dabbling in iPhone app development (www.emojicheck.com), reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Posts related to Spiritual Trauma:

 

Faith in the home – Spiritual Conversations with your Children

5 Jul

Research done among youth group participants by Fuller Institute revealed only 12% of mothers have regular dialogue with their children about spiritual or life issues.  Only 5% of teenagers reported that their fathers have regular dialogue with them regarding spiritual or life issues.

The lack of communication in our homes about our faith is clearly an obstacle to the passing on of our faith and a cause of the Millennial Exodus.

Most of us are familiar with our responsibility as parents to imprint our faith upon our offspring.  Deuteronomy 6:6-7 states…

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 

However, being a spiritual leader in the home is not always easy.

Many parents struggle with addressing spirituality within the home.  Some parents struggle because it was never modeled for them, or feel as if they are not equipped.  The main reason that parents don’t talk to their children about faith is because they are afraid. 

Yes.  Fear shuts down the conversation before it even begins.

We fear how our child may respond either through statements, questions, or actions.  As parents, we fear that our child may reject the faith that we believe – and that their unbelief means that they are rejecting us.

Another source of this fear could be that our child might struggle with the same doubts that we ourselves possess.  Most Christians do not like facing our doubts, but we try to ignore or bury them in other activity.  We know the “church answers” or party-line responses for our doubt, but those pesky doubts linger.  Instead of leading our child on this pathway of faith, we give our children the glib responses that we don’t truly believe.

While making spiritual conversations with your children doesn’t take a lot of training, it does take courage.

  • Be courageous – step out and speak to your child about their spiritual lives and beliefs.
  • Sit back and listen.  Don’t attempt to answer all their questions, or solve all their doubt.  As your children age, you should not be looking to convert them or change their beliefs.  You should seek understanding for yourself, and encourage them.  If you seek to change them, these conversations will always end in conflict.  If you seek to listen to them, these conversations will lead to a deeper fuller relationship with your child.
  • Speak to your journey – trials, failures, victories, and hopes.  Share with your child your own experiences, while acknowledging their autonomy to make their own decisions.
  • Reflect and pray.  Don’t express your concerns to your child, but express your thoughts through praying to God.  Process what you hear with your spouse or friends.  Having community with others who are parenting emerging adults is essential for maintaining your sanity.
  • Repeat. 

May God grant you the faith and courage you need to faithfully parent your emerging adult children.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder of EA Resources.  He has a passion to encourage parents of emerging adults, and faith communities who want to minister to their needs.  If he can help your community, please contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

Hatred for that Cat in the Cradle.

13 Jun

I listen to various types of music – disco, Motown, classic rock, and current tunes.  There are very few classic songs that I do not love.

However, there is one song that I have hated my entire life.  A song that makes my skin crawl.  A song that will always make me change the radio station.  “Cat’s in the Cradle” is a 1974 folk rock song by Harry Chapin from the album Verities & Balderdash. 

The song is too depressing, and I still hate it.  Apparently my children feel the same way, because they now throw a fit anytime they hear it.

the middle - cat and cradle

The song was highlighted in an episode of the Middle.

Here is the original scene.  I am a fan of the Middle – Here is a post that I dedicated to the show.   The Middle will give parents an outside perspective of the issues facing emerging adults – with ALOT of laughter.

The second video definitely lightens the mood.  Here is the video.

While in the midst of raising your children, remember that like other life stages – emerging adulthood has its trials and blessings.

Whether you love or hate that song,

Remember to minimize the trials, and focus on the blessings. 

Gifts for Father’s Day

2 May

Do you have trouble buying something for that special man in your life?

  • Does he seem to have everything that he needs?
  • If you ask him what he wants, does he stare as if you are speaking a foreign language?
  • If you pick it out, does it lay in the closet, or get returned?
  • Are you tired of buying tools and duct tape?

Here are some ideas to help you make this Father’s Day Amazing.

1.  Personalized Gifts – Rather than run to Walmart the day before – a gift that is unique to your family member is always a win whether it is a keychain or ring.  Here is a company that I would recommend for a personalized gift.  Or consider a personalized sign – from here.The Madison

2.  Create a moment.  A gift that would create a memory with the family, or relive a memory from their past.  What does the man in your life love to do, and how could you give him a  reason to do something he loves?  Maybe it is a trip to the shooting range for your hunter, or scheduling a Star Wars marathon party for that Nerd that you love.  What is unique to them which could create a memory? 

3.  Reflect on Love.  Take a moment to reflect individually or together on an aspect of your relationship.  This could be through a well-written card, or a walk around the block.  Some men love the public praise given on social media like Facebook or a Tweet, while others prefer a private expression of love.  As a father of three active boys, it is truly a gift when my wife works with them to plan a meaningful expression of love.    

picture with boys4.  Celebrate his Fatherhood.  A gift that helps the man of your life focus on the laughter and love he has with his children.  Children can be stressful, and sometimes dads need some assistance in planning times of relaxation and fun with their kids. Each dad is different, so whether it is throwing a ball with your son, or building a Lego set – what is something that celebrates his particular strengths as a father.

Becoming a good gift giver does take some work including reflecting on the person receiving the gift and discerning what would bring them joy. 

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources.  He is the father of three boys, and a beautiful wife.

2017 Mother’s Day Gifts

11 Apr

I am not the best gift giver.  As I write, I realize that half of my wife’s Christmas gifts remain unopened and unused.  I believe it is the thought that counts, and so I press on in my adventure to become a good gift giver.

Becoming a good gift giver does take some work, some of that work includes reflecting on the person receiving the gift and discerning what would bring them joy.

So whether you are buying for your mother, or the mother of your children, here are some thoughts to Mother’s Day 2017.

  1.  Personalized Gifts – Rather than run to Walmart the day before – a gift that is unique to your family is always a win whether it is a necklace, keychain, ring, or bracelet.  For instance, we got necklaces that were engraved with each of our children’s names.  Here is a company that I would recommend for jewelry.  If you are looking for some interior signs for your home – check this out.personalized jewelry
  2. gift this year, I found one of hCreate a moment.  A gift that would create a memory with the family, or relive a memory from their past.  For example, my wife is the only female in our family and rarely gets to watch her favorite childhood movies.  As a er favorite movies, and we will spend time as a family recreating her joy.

    mother and boy

    Photo by Chris_Parfitt via Wylio

  3. Plan to Pamper.  Everyone likes to be catered to in some way.  So on Mother’s Day – Mother knows best, and gets to choose.  I know this seems basic, but it often gets forgotten especially if your family involves children.  Pampering doesn’t require spending money on an expensive services like a manicure/pedicure (although many women do enjoy them), but it can be done on a budget.  Whether it is a back massage with a warm bath, or a few moments of quiet time and a glass of ice tea.  Plan a time when she feels like a queen.
  4. Reflect on Love.  Take a moment to reflect individually or together on an aspect of your relationship.  This could be through a well-written card, or a walk around the block.  Some mothers love the public praise given on social media like Facebook or a Tweet, while others prefer a private expression of love.

 

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip churches to minister to the needs of emerging adults.

 

Clayton Jennings – Hating on His Haters

21 Mar

Last fall, news broke about the Indiana-based Evangelist Clayton Jennings.  According to reports, Clayton had been involved with several women sexually all while preaching the gospel.  These reports are most clearly reported by Pen and the Pulpit.

After not one but six women came forward with similar stories, you might think that it would slow down this man’s social media empire and speaking schedule, but apparently there is no stopping him.  (Apparently, there is no stopping this lion, or Bentley as he often refers to himself.)

Clayton went on the offense recently against those who have written about him.  He calls them Haters – among other things like wolves and fake Christians, and my favorite a “Honda Civic.”

Clayton Jennings - haters

You can watch his Spoken Word – here.

I wrote about him once – here.  So I guess that means I am one of those “bloggers who can’t do real ministry – living in their mother’s basement.” There is much that I could say about this video, but I think that his work speaks for itself.  Oh, so much that I want to say…

but I will exercise a little self-restraint.

I do not know Clayton.  I am not driven by hate for him.  He clearly has great personal charisma to attract such a following.

I do not truly know his story, his inner motivations, or the current state of his soul.  I will not attribute his work to Satan, for statements of this type when the individual steps into the role of judge are extremely dangerous.  So while avoiding coming to those conclusions, there are some things that Christ-followers should reflect upon.

Some might feel that writing on Clayton’s life is nothing – but gossip – and putting down someone else for no reason.  There are several reasons why this story should be shared.

  • Because of the nature of the sin. This was not one accidental sin or a mistake.  This was a season of life living in full knowledge and complete disregard to his hypocrisy.  He was preying on victims before and after preaching on the stage. 

  • Because of the abuse of spiritual power to force others to do things that were against their beliefs. 

  • Because of the current lack of authority and accountability.  Clayton has removed himself from all authority and his own church community revoked his license to preach (Which although extremely significant in its message, this action only removes his state license to marry people).  While this doesn’t affect his speaking tour, it does speak volumes, about the concerns his home church had about this man. 

  • Because he currently lacks a “ministry” location. He no longer works at a local church.  His support comes from a vast social media empire which is what supports him.  This is why when he was apparently called to close down his social media empire, Clayton refused.  There is too much to lose for him.  The only way to remain connected to these people is through continuing to feed them his brand. 

  • Because his income is based on speaking the gospel.  I don’t believe Clayton has another job, but I assume that he lives off his speaking, ads, donations, and t-shirts.   

  • Because the deceitful mess of the human heart and how repentance and reconciliation requires community, accountability, and time.  Public figures needs time out of the spotlight and away from the stage to truly walk through mistakes, and refocus their lives. 

What is important:

  • To call Christians to question the “Celebrity Pastor” trend.
  • To warn Clayton’s followers (Currently 217k) of his past abuse of spiritual authority. I am not a social media expert, but I am sure steps have been taken to seclude his followers from the news.  Maybe he should truly #telltheworld.
  • To attempt to recapture the authenticity of Christianity.  No matter how popular you are, how eloquent you sound or how pretty you look.  Authentic messengers are so crucial in today’s world.

Here is a up-dated bio.  Enjoy.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd does not currently live in his mother’s basement, but would not judge anyone who does.  He is close to 40, and drives a Nissan Sentra.  He is not concerned about his number of Instagram followers.  He does not make any money from blogging, nor is he concerned about how many “hits” this article will receive.  He is a survivor of spiritual abuse, and has seen how spiritual authority and power can ruin even the most dedicated of Christ followers.

 

 

Premature Intimacy

9 Feb

 

wedding-1

Copyright by Aaron Roberts Photography 2016

 

I believe in purity. I believe in purity rings. I believe in setting physical boundaries in relationships in order to keep from hurting ourselves and others. This is something that is often taught, lectured, and discussed in Christian circles. However, I think we are missing something. Something BIG.

Physical intimacy is something to be shared only within the boundaries of marriage. God created a special connection called marriage for a man and a woman to enjoy sex and physical intimacy.

However, after years of working with students, I have discovered that there are many students who while keeping their bodies pure, have crossed over boundaries in other areas that I believe should be reserved for God’s design of marriage.

Is physical intimacy the only intimacy a man and woman can experience? As humans, we know that there are several types of intimacy that two humans can enjoy including emotional, spiritual, and physical. I believe that God desires to keep us pure until marriage in every aspect of our lives. I believe that intimacy in all areas should be reserved for marriage.

(While I am not usually into dissecting human relationships into different aspects, please be patient as you will quickly see my point without a drawn-out explanation of each area, or a need for distinct lines. I usually run from books that dissect relationships into a new way just to sell books. However, because of the Purity Movement, and its focus on the physical intimacy of teens, I felt this needed to be written.)

There should be boundaries in various areas of our lives that keep Christians from becoming intimate too quickly. Christians should be careful so that they do not cross the line of “two becoming one” before they enter into marriage.

For example, many young adults are surprised to hear that I do not encourage them to share their devotional lives. I do believe that guys and girls can and should pray together, but regular times of deep prayer/ bible study as a couple can cause premature spiritual intimacy. Your spiritual health becomes dependent on the other person, and so when the relationship is broken, you are left to pick up the pieces of your walk with Christ. Students should regularly talk about their spiritual lives, but boundaries should exist.

This is also true when it comes to emotional intimacy. Both guys and girls bear their entire hearts in a relationship, and then feel emotionally vulnerable after the relationship is over. No wonder they feel uncomfortable after the break-up and can no longer be friends. A boundary has been crossed.

I have worked with too many guys and girls who have not kept boundaries in their lives, and so with each broken relationship they wound their heart. These wounds turn into scars, and scars lead to calluses. A calloused heart can hurt a marriage even before it begins, so let’s guard ourselves from premature intimacy.

I am not saying that dating or relationships are evil. I simply want students to retain intimacy for the day that they walk down the aisle.

What are your thoughts and experiences? What do you think are some good boundaries to put up in a dating relationship?

Other Posts on Love and Dating:

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: