"Before You Meet Prince Charming" by Sarah Mally: My Thoughts. (!)

An Essay By Madeline // 11/20/2011

--Before you read this, I want to say this essay-of-sorts is based purely on opinion. These are my thoughts, not statement or fact. Feel free to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! Don't be afraid to comment, "I don't feel the way way", because you aren't suppossed to! Please, comment away and let me know your thoughts. :)--

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I partially read Sarah Mally's "Before You Meet Prince Charming". I say partially, because I skipped certain parts of the book. (Mainly, the fairy tale prelude to chapters. I wanted to get straight to her thoughts.) It is basically a guide to staying pure before marriage. While religion doesn't typically make me uncomfortable, (I'm Quaker myself), some points in this Christian-based novel did. Let me explain.

"Since Each of us wants to have the best marriage possible, we need to marry not just any Christian, but a strong Christian," Miss Mally writes. (Ch. 4, page 75) There is the first point I disagree with. Should young ladies be told they must marry a man of a certain religion? And, if he isn't, then...you might not have the "best marriage possible." Personally, I think that statement is demeaning to people of other religons, or of those with no religion. I see nothing wrong with marrying someone who's not a Christian.

There are many referances to "the enemy" in this book as well. (Basically Satan, as you know.) I don't believe in that or Hell of any kind. But that didn't bother me as much as the fact that  she often said how "the enemy" is trying to tempt you. With "rock music" and "television" and "movies." Listening to music, watching a show on TV...or a simple movie, in my opinion, is NOT going to take away your purity. :D I listen to Adele, I watch "Glee", and I've seen "Twilight." I'm not any less 'pure' than anyone else out there who has/hasn't done those things.

"In order to save your heart for one and not give it away to the wrong person, friendships with young men need to stay at the acquaintance or casual level." (Chap. 3, page 52) Here is the second point I disagree with. I see nothing wrong with girls and teens forming strong friendships with boys. Now, if you're married, things with another guy should stay at the lowest level of friendship. But, otherwise, what's wrong with having friends who are boys? I see benefits only from it. Boys are fun to be around, easy to get along with, and a nice break from some dramas that you often can have with girl friends. So, yeah, I don't exactly think that's true.

I think many thoughts illustrated in this book point to a fact that maybe, just maybe, Sarah Mally is a little afraid of the world. And she wants others to feel the same. I don't think this is fair. Getting out, exploring, dating...it won't make you any less of a worthwhile person. And God will still accept you. In my mind, He accepts everybody. No matter of race/religion/past. To Him, everyone is equal. (Like I said, purely my opinion).

I do agree with some things Miss Mally said, too. She had some great points that made me nod along with her, thinking, "Yes, she's right." But I wouldn't reccomend this book to another girl; never. It didn't scare me, it didn't help me...it did nothing for me.

"I believe that Satan is using music in powerful ways to damage and pollute Christians today. Not only the words, but the attitudes, moral bankruptcy of the songs, character of the musicians, and the addictive, physical drive of the beat all combine to create a rebellious, independant spirit which leads to dangerous, immoral patterns in young listeners." (Chap. 3, page 57) Okay, I'll admit it, I laughed at that. I'm sure "the enemy" is hanging out with Lady Gaga while she records her songs, writing the lyrics, and making her dress the way she does. Katy Perry, too. And Adele. And Taylor Swift. Did you catch that sarcasm? This part was probably the most disturbing for me. None of these musicians are any less of a person than we are. And the listeners? Yeah, they're the same. I've listened to those type of songs. I like them. (Some, I love). I'm not immoral. I'm not dangerous. I'm independant, but I see that as a good thing. Boys and girls should be ENCOURAGED to be independant. To take control of situations. To get out there and do things for themselves.

I take things into my own hands. I listen to music. I watch television. I'll marry who I want to; Christian or no-christian. I'll have friends who are boys. I'll believe in God, and pray, but not in Satan. Life's like that, full of people with different hopes and dreams and opinions. Some may love her book, some may even hate it.

I liked it, though. It made me think.

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--Overall, this is my review. :) I hope you enjoyed it, (somewhat), and I hoped it gave you something to think about. And I do hope I didn't offend anyone! Thanks ~Homey :)--

 

Comments

Being a rather independent

Being a rather independent person myself, I agreed with most of what you said here.  On the rare occasion that I read a book of that sort, I usually get so mad that I purposefully do something against what the author believes in.  I do believe there is a hell, and I'll look for Biblical proof when I get back home, but for now I only have a few spelling errors I'd like to correct : "recommend" instead of "reccomend" and "independent" in place of "independant."

Bridget | Thu, 11/24/2011

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Thanks!

Thanks, Bridget! 

I tend to type fast...and never proofread. :P 

Bad thing, when you're an author. LOL!!! 

But thanks for taking the time to read this, and your comment. I'm super-independent and like to be self-sufficient when possible. :D So that's why I disagreed with a lot in this book.

Thank ya! 

-Homey

Madeline | Thu, 11/24/2011

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

 I agree with you on several

 I agree with you on several points, such as I think friendship with guys is fine, but there's several points where I disagree with. I do believe there is a hell, and Satan is also very real. "Be sober, be vigilent, for your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour."  1 Peter 5:7-9. I believe the he can use certain things like music and movies to lead people astray, BUT, I disagree with the book in saying that rock music is evil and such like. As long as songs don't have words that are offensive or totally opposite to my christian beliefs, I don't have a problem with it. 

Regarding marrying non-christians, I agree with the author, that if you are a christian, it isn't a good idea to marry outside your faith. The reason being: if your a christian, you'll want to marry someone who can share your beliefs. God is everyting to me, and I want him at the centre of my life, if I marry someone who doesn't have those same values, he wouldn't understand. He may respect my beliefs, but he couldn't share them with me, and our relationship wouldn't be close enough. (2 Corinthians 6:14: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? )

there's more I could say... but this is getting long. :P

 

 

Renee | Fri, 11/25/2011

Thanks!

Hi, Renee!

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my essay. :) 

I do certainly see how marrying a Christian is a good idea for those who are very strong in their faith. I myself just wouldn't marry someone based upon religion; but that aspect of it isn't important to me, whereas with others a shared religion is wanted. I completely understand and respect that point. :D And I totally get what you're saying!!! 

Say as much as you want, and feel free!!! Thanks again for your comment and sharing your opinions. I think it's so important that people are open with one another and not shy about sharing their opinions.

-Homey ;D

Madeline | Fri, 11/25/2011

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Well...

... you said feel free to disgree. ;) I personally have really enjoyed and benefited from "Before You Meet Prince Charming." I haven't read it in a few years now, though, so a lot of this is my opinion formed through that book and other books and scripture and discussion with my dad. 
I know some of this you may not agree with simply for the fact that I'm coming from a viewpoint of scripture being the standard and seeking to be more like Christ and glorify God with my body and my life. Even if you don't agree, it may help explain the viewpoint Sarah Mally is coming from. 

Renee already addressed marrying an unbeliever. We're not to be unequally yoked, in marriage or in close partnerships, with unbelievers. If you have two oxen yoked together, and they try to go in different directions, the result will be disastrous. Same with marriage: someone who is walking with the Lord will have different goals and be growing much differently from an unbeliever who is not concerned with obeying the Word of God. Once you have children, it only gets worse, because you'll want to raise them to know the Lord and have a biblical worldview, and your spouse won't care or may even be against that. 

Satan does try to tempt us. He tempted Jesus, and scripture speaks of resisting his temptations (off the top of my head, the end of Ephesians 6). Different things will effect different people different ways. For example, I have a friend who can watch a movie with a lot of swearing, and she's basically trained herself not to hear the swear words, so she doesn't realize they're there. If I hear swearing a lot, it starts to infiltrate my mind and I have to fight against using the Lord's name in vain or other words and phrases that aren't beneficial. 
And most movies, books, and music that are prominent in American culture are FULL of things that do not meet the standards of scripture and need to be consumed in a limited, discerning way.  Garbage in, garbage out - if all we listen to, read, and watch is full of worldliness, we're not going to look much like Christ, whose image we as Christians are supposed to be conformed to. 

I disagree that relationships with guys need to be kept at 'acquaintance' level. But I do agree that we should not have the same kinds of friendships with guys as with girls. The more time we spend with a person - even if it's just time joking around and being silly and trivial - the more emotional attachment there is and the harder it is to let those relationships go, and the harder it is to not start thinking about wanting to spend the rest of your life with a certain guy. And the harder it is to let go of those deeper friendships when the time comes for you to get married and not treat other guys the same way. 
I'm not going to pour my heart out to a guy like I would one of my girl friends. I will, however, have doctrinal discussions and talk in great detail and even depth about non-personal things and find it highly encouraging. 

I don't see Sarah Mally as being afraid of the world. I see her as striving to be an infant in evil, as scripture tells us to be, and protect girls from the dangers of the world. It is a dangerous place - anywhere is, because of sin - and with proper warnings and discernment, I think it's fine to be in (but not of) the world. 
I don't believe that God will accept everyone. ... that's another discussion, though. But I think your view of the Devil and hell influences all of this to a large degree.

The paragraph you quoted about Satan using music, I agree with. I don't know where you got that "Satan is hanging out with" the various artists. He's affected the culture that forms and shapes these musicians and everyone. And often, that culture is very anti-God, whether deliberately or not. We are all, by nature, anti-God. Some have invented philosophies that are deliberately seeking to destroy God (Marxism). 
Independence is good when it is discerning enough to be wise. And, we're never independent. We don't live by bread alone, but by the command of God. Our whole life is dependent upon Him, like it or not. 

Kyleigh | Sat, 11/26/2011

Hi Kyleigh!

Hi Kyleigh! 

Thank you for taking the time to share you thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. I completely get and understand everything you said. :) A lot of this is based off my beliefs that Hell and Satan aren't real, but if I did believe such, I think I would have the same feelings as before.

I do definitely believe in God or Jesus, but I'm a little different in believeing that all will be accepted into Heaven. ;)

It's more...Sarah Mally's book lead me to believe she was afraid of the world. But that's just my opinion. It certainly doesn't mean it's true. It's what I gathered from what she said. Perhaps if I met her in person I would feel differently. But, as I said, I do agree with some of what she said, mostly about saving certain things for marriages. I respect her as an author; and a human being. It's just that I think very differently from her. :D 

The "ifluencing music" paragraph just really stuck out for me. That's part of the reason I used that sarcasm in that paragraph. I hope you didn't find it offensive. I'm just....sarcastic, I guess. LOL! 

Once again, thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! I truly do appreciate it.

-Homey xD

Madeline | Sat, 11/26/2011

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Out of curiosity, how have

Out of curiosity, how have you drawn your conclusion that everyone will be accepted into heaven and that there's no Satan? I'd love to hear your thought process and evidence for that. But that's somewhat off topic of here, so it may be better over email if you use the contact form... but maybe it's better to be discussed here. I don't know. 

Kyleigh | Sat, 11/26/2011

Reply to Kyleigh:

Hi Kyleigh! 

I'd be glad to let you know what I think. :) Thank you for taking the time to ask.

I don't read the Bible very often. We do have a small Bible study most every day, though. It's a highlight of our day. (Our dog, Bindy, actually LOVES Bible Study, and she'll come sit at the table while we have it. haha.) What I've gathered from everything is that God is supposed to be perfect. It's hard to explain, but I think someone who's perfect would also be very forgiving, loving of all, no matter what path their life has taken them on, or what choices they've made. I believe that once someone gets to Heaven, all "sins" are cleared, and the person is good (perfect, really) once more.

There is no actual proof that God exists, other than the Bible. But I choose to believe in Him. I feel all things happen for a reason, and I've been lucky enough to have witnessed miracles. (Mostly small things, but a couple huge things, too). Even if I hadn't, I'd still believe in Him. I just feel like He exisits. I know it. 

I also believe in Guardian Angles, and Heaven, and all of that. (Jesus, too).

But there is also no proof that Satan exists, other than the Bible. I know that's proof enough for some people, and it's not all about proof, but I don't think people can be...evil...enough to ever be set to anything besides Heaven. I just don't feel like that's a possibility.

Some examples of the miracles I'm talking about--things that have stuck with me:

• My mom and I were driving. We decided to take a road home we usually wouldn't have. We did, and we came upon a small dog running around in the middle of the road. My mom stopped, picked up the dog, and returned him to his owner. For some reason, that day, we decided to go another way than usual. I think that might have been God, working through us to help save the dog. Our own dog, Daisy, was hit two years ago this June and killed by a car. So if I see an animal in the road, I want to help it. We had an opportunity to save a life (no matter how small) that time, and we took it. I call that a miracle.

• Our new dog, Bindy, (mentioned above), had just come home to stay with us. We put her in the backyard to let her use the bathroom. Several minutes later, my mom heard a bark--at the front door. Bindy had walked around the back of the house, up the sidewalk, up the porch stairs, and to the front door. All as a puppy who'd not been here more than a month. Crazy, right? I find that a miracle, or something a Guardian Angel would help Bindy through. Just a couple days ago she got outside, ran down the driveway, and straight back into the house. She could have kept running, but she didn't. Another small miracle, in my mind.

• My dad fell off a ladder and broke his leg last March. This may not have been seen as a good thing, but somehow I think it was. We grew closer as a family, and sometimes people need to do that, too. We were able to spend a lot of time with him and our mom (seeing as we're homeschooled), and though it was a crazy few months until he was able to start walking again, we really had a lot of fun together. :)

Well, there are some small examples. :P Sorry the two of them deal with animals as the focus. LOL! I just don't believe in Satan or Hell, and I truly do think God accepts all people. I almost think of him as Universal--not tied to any religions in particular. I think He's there for everyone, despite who they worship or believe in. (or even if they don't.)

Thank you for asking. I'm often glad we live in such a free country where everyone is entitled to share their beliefs without critisism or rebuke. I truly to feel lucky, at times like that.

Thanks again! 

-Homey :D

Madeline | Sat, 11/26/2011

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

 This may be strong in some

 This may be strong in some parts. I don’t know how to say a lot of it without being strong. But please know that I say it because I care about you.

Agreement first: I have no argument against miracles; I believe they still happen. And I can give examples of them from my own life, like when I was almost hit by a car when I was 3. I don’t know if I’d say I believe in guardian angels in the way that some people use it of having a certain angel to watch over you – but I do believe God protects His children.

God is perfect, and He is loving and forgiving. Those are huge aspects of His character, but there’s another attribute missing, and that’s His holiness and justice. To most people, those are scary things that they don’t want God to have – because it condemns them. His holiness and our sinfulness are such that we cannot see Him and live. It seems you think people are basically good. By human standards, your average person is a good person. But against the standard of God’s perfection, we fall short. Go through the 10 Commandments, and go through them as Jesus has explained them in the New Testament: hating someone is also murder, lust is also adultery – and have you ever lied? Even the best of us are liars, murderers, and adulterers at best! Not only do we fall short of perfection, but since Adam, every one of us is, by nature, against God. It’s treasonous and deserves His judgment.
Left there, He sounds like a cruel tyrant.
But here’s the love and forgiveness you love so much. That instead of us, He punished His Son, Jesus, and then raised Him from the dead, conquering sin and death.
All sounds good, sounds like it’s all taken care of. But think about it: if a King says he’s forgiven rebels, do you think they’ll all just turn around and love the person they hated? The King hasn’t changed; He’s still the same king they hated before, He still has the same laws that they broke. But He says they can be forgiven. Some will love the King for that, and realize His goodness and love.
Others will keep rejecting Him – and then that offer of forgiveness is void, and the judgment of the King still hangs over their heads.

You can pick and choose aspects of God if you want – but then He becomes a false god, and idol, something we’ve imagined and changed to be as we want it, rather than who He has revealed Himself to be in scripture.  The god that you have put before me is not the same as the one revealed in the Bible, Yahweh, the Most High God.
Yes, that’s a strong statement. But His judgment and wrath are as clear, if not clearer, than His love and forgiveness.

I know you’ve probably heard a lot of this and don’t believe it, but I urge you to consider it, and put aside your feelings and beliefs and search for what’s true – and this is something we all need to do. We have things that we want to believe about God, and people, and we want to think the best of everybody. But often that leads us to a skewed perspective, so we need to put ourselves aside and looked for unbiased answers.

Pro Christo,
Kyleigh

Kyleigh | Sun, 11/27/2011

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Hi Kyleigh and Homey!

Alrighty, get ready the both of you, because I have a bucket load of stuff t0 talk about, many opinions to share and, yes, some critizism too!

Homey,

I found this essay intriguing, but the debate's afterward even more so!

I totally agree, its definitely alright to be friends with boys! I think its perfectly normal and okay to have strong friendships with boys, just as strong as you have with girls, why would you not be friends with them? Just because their the oposite of you? In my veiw thats... Gender-racist! I know theirs a word for that... but I forget at the moment :-P And we all break up with friends, what makes girl friends or boy friends any different.

I disagree a little bit about the religion part, I agree with Renee and partially Kyleigh, It would be VERY hard to marry some one who didn't believe the same as you, that doesn't mean its "Impossible" Nothing is absolutely Impossible. But with the whole Ox thing, It totally makes sense, both would be going in a different direction, I agree that religion should not get in the way of any strong relationship! Never let religion get in the way of love! NEVER! I do agree that both spouses should always be open minded with each other. I also think that parents should NOT teach their children what's wrong from right about religion... Why? Well, for one, religion is NEVER right! Who knows if it is right? But who is to say its wrong either? Religion is a fickle thing, religion aka belief aka war! A parents religion influence on their children is so VERY strong! Whatever the parent believes, the child will follow, which is how it works isn't it? We follow, we never lead, do we? We can't lead our own lives if God and religion is in the picture! And that doesn't mean that Satan controles us either! As you see it Kyleigh, if we are "indepedent" we are going against God, we are leaving him, we are disobeying, we are infleunced by Satan. Now, if Satan is the reason for being "independent" Then LOL We aren't "Independent" That would mean we would be following Satan! Again we would not be leading our own lives! Instead of being sheepal of either side, we should lead our OWN lives.

Alright, now comes the reason to NOT believe in "Hell", for one! If God is so loving and cares for everyone, then why would he send you to hell, where you'll burn for ages, forever, hot tar, fire, surfering, screaming, torture! But he does love you! Really he does! Really? What perfect father would want their child to suffer forever and ever, even after time its self! If God loves everyone, why, oh why would he send you to Hell if you sinned? That makes him sound like kid! "If you don't play my game your not my friend anymore!" "If you don't believe in me I'm going to send you to Hell" COMMON! What's the sense in that?

Now, I have another point to make! We grow up with our parents what they believe, and have tought us to believe, because their parents told them what to believe, and their parents parents told them what to believe, and their parents parents parents told them what to believe and so and on and so forth! I'm sure that I believe the way I do because of my parents... Because, you trust your parents... you trust what parents tell you, because, their your parents! Have you ever questioned your parents about God, Jesus, Satan? Now, I do believe, their are some who go against their parents, and actually ask questions instead of going along like "Good little children", most of the questioning happens later in life, when your an adult and your on your own. YOU are the one who creates the shopping list, YOU are the one who tells yourself to take a shower, YOU are the one who feeds yourself, YOU are the one who you trust in, who else is there? So why can't it be YOU choosing your belief? Kyleigh, you mentioned that, and I quote, "-so a lot of this is my opinion formed through that book and other books and scripture and discussion with my dad" We depend on our parents, we trust them and we don't question them, because we're afraid of getting in trouble and not being right ourselves...

For another thing I have NEVER read the Bible, so sorry, I can't add any fancy scripture quotes or colorful psalms. I want to read the Bible, just like I want to read the Iliad and The Brother's Grimm fairytales.

I have not answered all of the things going on in this discussion, but I think I've added enough!

Thanks Homey for being so open and thanks for posting your opinions, they were fun to read and think about. I have enjoyed posting my OWN opinions and thoughts :-P! Kyleigh, thank you for being so kind to Homey, and being so understanding about her opinions and thanks for posting YOUR own opinions, they were very interesting! Hopefully mine didn't go too over board, I am rather hostile about religion and people who try to force me to believe what they believe!

 "Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so"~Mark Twain... Or Shakespeare? Hmm...

Peace!

~Kassady! :-D

Kassady | Sun, 11/27/2011

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
---
Write On!

So, for the most part, I try

So, for the most part, I try to stay out of religious discussions... but I've got to get into this one.

Interfaith marriage: I think it's a bad idea, for two main reasons.  First, no matter what, you will not be able to help projecting your faith onto your kids - and neither will your spouse.  (Sorry, Kass, but it's true.  Everyone, even people who say they have no faith, does it.)  Growing up between two religions often just confuses people even when they are grown, and it can affect a child's relationship with the parent in the event that he chooses the religion of the other parent.
Second, you will not be able to have religious discussions with your spouse without them turning into debates.  When arguing about core beliefs and politics, I tend to find myself growing hostile towards the other person, and assuming that most people are like this, it could be detrimental to the marriage.
I don't necessarily think that a marriage is doomed to fail if the two of you are from different religious backgrounds, though.  It will obviously be difficult.  I don't think that "love trumps all" applies here, but I do think that, if you honestly love each other and your kids, things will work out.

Going off the first part of the previous paragraph, I think you SHOULD teach your children what you believe.  Yes, expose them to other religions.  Let them make their own choices.  But give them the facts.  Let them know what you believe.  Everyone else is going to do it to them anyway, and they are YOUR kids.  You have the right to teach them.

Why would God send people to hell?  It's not because He doesn't love them.  He gives everyone a choice.  HE ALWAYS GIVES PEOPLE A CHOICE.  Do you believe in a perfect heaven?  How can heaven be perfect if the people who live there do not love God?  Can you see a Satanist living in heaven?  Why would he want to?  If bad (and by bad I mean they no longer want to do what is right) people are in heaven, I see no way for heaven to be perfect, and no way for humans to resist evil all the time.  It will be like earth, plus wings.

Boys:  Yes, I think you should save sex for marriage.  However, I don't think you're doomed to a bad marriage if you don't.  I also see no problem with being close friends with a boy.  I have more guy friends than girl friends by far, and so far I'm not imagining the rest of my life with any of them.  (BTW, Kass, the word you were looking for is 'sexist'.)

There, the first religious position I've ever offered here on AP. :-)

Bridget | Mon, 11/28/2011

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Some more thoughts:

 We don’t agree on the marrying based on religion because we don’t agree on the standard of the Bible. This influences almost all of the discussion we’ve been having, because my opinions are formed from scripture, whereas for you, Homey and Kassady, it’s not an important factor.

Whether the parent is ‘religious’ or not, the parent is still leading the child. We influence others even when we’re not trying to. As for being either with God or against Him, that’s another concept that comes from the Bible: Jesus says that he who isn’t for Him is against Him. There’s no middle ground, no sitting on the fence. Either you are or you aren’t.
You’re right. A father wouldn’t want his child to suffer forever. But not every single person in the whole world is ‘God’s child.’ His children are the ones who listen to His voice and obey Him. You can fight that idea all you want. It’s our nature to put God on trial. And He won’t always make sense, especially not to people who aren’t trying to know the One True God. 
I’m going to say something that may sound way ‘out there’ – but it’s true. If God allowed the sinners who have rejected Him (see my previous post so I don’t repeat myself) to go to heaven, THEY WOULD STILL DIE. Isaiah trembled in the presence of God because he knew he wasn’t like God and that God’s glory unveiled WOULD KILL HIM. Think of Moses. God hid Moses in the cleft of a rock – Moses, the one who obeyed and loved God so much, even one that many people, Jews, Christians, and even Muslims, hold in respect – and God only let Moses see HIS BACK, because no man can see His face and live.
It’s not a petty sovereign, but a God who is at the same time JUST and JUSTIFIER, HOLY, MERCIFUL, and LOVING. Here’s another thought about Him being loving.
I don’t know about you, but I grew up getting disciplined with spanking. People can say “How can you say you love your child when you don’t let it do what it wants, and then you spank it when it doesn’t do what you want?” Which is more loving: letting your child think he can have whatever he wants when he wants (and then he meets the real world) or training your child to obey authority (because you are NEVER going to be out from under authority, like it or not) and have self-control?
A second thought about love. Let’s say there’s a man that REALLY loves his wife. He shows it to her by getting her lots of nice things. She, on the other hand, wonders if he really loves her, because she doesn’t feel loved unless he spends lots of time with her. The man is still loving his wife, but she has a different concept of love than he does.
Our concept of love is often different than God’s.
… and besides that, we focus on the hard things He sends more than the blessings. We focus on the people killed in Iraq, but what about the babies that were born? And the rain that fell in the desert? And the food on our table, and the job our dad has, and that we have electricity, and life, and not just a low standard of living but we can have computers and internet and spare time to write.
Now, I ask you: why would God give those kinds of blessings to people who hate Him?

YES. I have questioned what my parents believe. And, what I haven’t questioned, they haven’t just said “this is it, believe it,” but have given the evidence for and often against it as well. There are multiple things I disagree with my family on. And they know that. I’m not just parroting what I’ve been taught. You can be taught and know something – that can be forced. Belief is NOT forced. I can force someone to say they believe the world is flat. Yet they can go on believing it’s round. I can influence them with arguments and data that the world is flat, but in the end it’s their choice to decide if they do or if they don’t want to believe me.

Kyleigh | Mon, 11/28/2011

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A lot of what you two said made a whole LOT of sense! Thanks for showing me your veiws.

I totally agree about the whole punishing thing, I was spanked when I was little, and I learned my lessons... Now, do people who burn in hell have a choice afterward? Are they alowed to come to heaven after they've been punished? I have not yet heard of such a thing, if so  then I might agree that Hell is a spanking place for us to be taught a lesson. If not, its like being spanked everyday of your life for lying about not taking a cookie from the cookie jar just one time in your life. I agree, we must respect authority figures... but if those authority figures are wrong, how will we have the courage to stand up to them if we were always taught to fear and treat them with respect?

Bridget! You made a wonderful point! And I totally agree with everything you said about parenting and teaching your children, it does make sense to teach your children what you believe, and  ALSO let them believe what they want to believe, and teach them to research and go out there for themselves.

I have not said that I do not believe in God, but I agree with Homey, I see him as Universal. No matter what your religion, it is still God, and "What is in a name?" asked Shakespeare? God? God can be any kind of figure! Or none at all, God can be a magnetic force for some and a huminoed alien for others. God can be the Budhist's hundred armed elephant. God can be the christians all father who created everything and has a back and a face! God can be many different energy sources floating in space, For all we know God could be a phinox in the center of the earth, shedding its heat and warmth and love to everyone!

Kyleigh, you made some very good points!

Bridget too! (Thanks! That's the word!)

Homey thanks so much for opening this "Debate" Its so fun to discuss and talk and question ourselves without causing and full fledged wars ;-)!

Thanks everyone!

-Kassady!

Kassady | Mon, 11/28/2011

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
---
Write On!

Hm. You've all--

Hm. You've all given me a lot to think about. Though, my opinions and beliefs have not changed, I do understand and respect your perspective. I get where you're coming from. I'll reply to you each one-by-one so it's fair: 

Kassady: Well, of course, you know I agreed with most everything you said! I guess that's what makes us such good friends, eh? ;D I especially was nodding along when you gave your explination for not believing in Hell. I completely agree. It doens't seem quite right that someone so loving and caring would just be like, "Hey--if you don't follow my rules--you're outta the picture!" It's not how I imagine God. And...I think He's totally Universal. Tied to all religions, and every human being out there.

My point with the religion-sharing marriage was the way Sarah Mally addressed the reader. It was as if she was saying, "You're a Christian. You can't have a good marriage if you don't marry a Christian!" And that's just not true. There can always be compromises. Children can share both religions, or there can be no definite religon, or, when they are old enough to understand, your child can choose what religion to follow. Husbands and wives are able to attend separate churches, if wished, or worship from home. I don't think religion is something big enough to cause enough strain in a marriage to end it completely, anyway. Spouses should be able to discuss it calmly, cooly, and without getting into a heated debate. If they can't, well, maybe the whole separate religion thing isn't for them. :) And of course I understand wanting to marry someone who shares your faith.

Bridget: Well, I basically addressed your opinions regarding interfaith marriage above. I do totally understand where you're coming from, and what you said made a lot of sense. Thank you for sharing your opinions. It added a lot to the discussion, and please, feel free to add more. :D I'm always interested in what others have to say.

I agree that girls should be allowed to be friends with boys. I see nothing wrong with it. If you're afraid you're "giving your heart" out to the boy, then it's obviously much more than friendship, don't you think? That's one point she addressed in her book, though she thought it'd be 'easy' to give your heart away by having close friendships with them and partaking in intimate discussions. I think not. Besides, I'm not one to go spouting off every aspect of my life to others. Even with my best friends. It's not that I don't trust people, I just like to keep more secretive things to myself. So that principle doesn't apply to me. Maybe that's why I disagreed.

I do agree that you should let your child know what you believe. But don't make it so they feel like they must be that when they're older. Point out the fact that they are free to choose their own religion. :-)

Hm...you have a point with people who are atheists and Satanists. Maybe they choose their own path, I dunno. But I do believe God offers to let them into Heaven. If they decline, who knows where they go. But that doesn't make me believe in Satan or Hell. In my opinion, they just aren't real.

Kyleigh: No, scripture isn't a big factor to me. Parts of it are. Other parts...not so much. I choose to believe what I feel. And I feel sometimes that things can't be real, or they strongly are. It's kind of an...intuition. And I follow that. :) 

I don't know how much control I believe God has over things. I think he can help you along the way--but I don't think he can control who dies and who lives. It just happens. Or maybe he can. That's one part I haven't ironed out yet. I would like to think he can save someone and make them live--but I also don't think he could make someone die. So I'm mixed there.

In addressing your other comments, I've pretty much said all I can on the subject. If I think of anything else, I'll add it to the discussion. Feel free to contribute more. :) I don't want to turn this into a debate...merely a conversation of authors on opinions. Who knows, maybe it has turned into a debate. I can't quite tell. But I'm trying not to argue my side, since we're all entitled to our own opinions. I'm just...contributing. And hopefully giving you something to think about. :D 

---------

Well, thank you all for reading my essay and posting your comments. :D As Kassady says, Write On! (hehe...I'm stealing your catchphrase. But, at least, I quoted you, eh, Kass?) 

-Homey :)))

P.S. Sorry for any spelling mistakes. I'm typing this fast and without proofing. Erm. I'll go back over my post tomorrow, but it's kinda late now, so I'm getting off! 

Madeline | Mon, 11/28/2011

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

On interfaith marriage

 Wow! This is really interesting. For the record on most of these issues I agree with Kyleigh. But I really wanted to chime in. I believe it's wrong to marry some one who is not a Christian, for the reasons discussed. You'll be wanting to go two separate ways. Also in a Christian marriage, the husband is supposed to be the leader, so a Christian woman would want to marry some one would look to God for guidance. Also, for me at least, it would be agonizing to married to some one who wasn't a Christian because then I would have to live with the possibility of being separated from that person for eternity.

   That being said, God will forgive a Christian who marries a non-christian. I believe that because God is sovereign, and merciful, God can ( and does) work good from this. That still doesn't mean it's going to be easy; it will be difficult. But God does not forsake Christians who do this. The most important things for a Christian who marries and non-christian, or becomes Christian after her marriage is to be a light of Christ in her household, if she has children to take the full responsibility teach them about God and what His Word says, since their dad isn't going to, and to be industrious. The last one sounds funny, but what really I mean is that she should live her life as God would have her live it, and go about the work that needs to be done. Certainly she should pray for husband, and live by Christ-like example, but she should not agonize over him. 

  To Renee and Kyleigh: Please understand, I believe it's wrong for Christians to marry non-christians, but it does happen which is why I wanted to look at that.

   HomeschoolGirl: Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that you're basing your beliefs off what you feel to be true. In your last post you said '' I choose to believe what I feel.''  I have a few questions I would really like you to answer. Have your feelings ever decieved you? I sure they've decieved me in small things, and big things, like maybe when I thought I could eat a couple more slices of a yummy cake, and got a stomach ache, or maybe about person, or when I've over or underestimated myself.

  Have you ever gotten into an argument because you felt differently about something?

  You don't have to answer this if you don't want to but I'm curious about whether or not you believe in absolute truth.

   I guess my real question here in how much you're willing to bet your feelings on. 

    Also, earlier you said you believed in Jesus, but looking at what you said it doesn't make a lot sense to me. What do you believe about Jesus? Do you believe he's God? If you believe he's God then what you do believe the reason for him dying on the Cross was, taking into consideration what you believe? If you don't believe that Jesus is God, then who do you believe he is?

   Sorry if I overwhelmed you. So reply if you want, and please don't take this the wrong way.  

  Aredhel 

Kathleen | Mon, 11/28/2011

 The spanking analogy

 The spanking analogy isn’t perfect, you’re right. If all we’d done was something small, like lying about a cookie, then it would be pretty unjust to spend the rest of your life getting spanked. However, that’s not the case.  And here I go with another extreme statement: YOU HAVE SINNED WITH EVERY SECOND OF YOUR LIFE. I have, too. The greatest commandment is, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength.” I haven’t, you haven’t, the most moral person on the whole earth hasn’t – ever loved God with their whole being for even an instant. Our understanding of the ‘rightness’ of that command aside, always breaking that – always lying about the cookie – does warrant always being spanked.

Lots of people use the term ‘god.’ Most of that is god little g. Not everyone can be right – someone is wrong. Contradictions can’t work out to being noncontradictions. Were it not for the Bible, we could decide God (big G) is anything we want. But God has revealed Himself in scripture and in nature.

I think the idea of a Christian marrying a nonChristian and still having a good marriage depends on your idea of a good marriage. Aredhel makes some really good points about this. Thanks, Aredhel! J

The offer stands for anyone to enter heaven – on God’s conditions, which are righteousness, and humans can only have that righteousness through faith in Christ.

Homey, I’m going to continue Aredhel’s challenge to not base everything on your feelings. It’s a dangerous place to be, especially considering how our feelings fluctuate and are affected so easily. I don’t have anything else to add to what Aredhel said, but I encourage you to go back and seriously consider her questions. 

Kyleigh | Tue, 11/29/2011

Let me start...

Let me start by pointing out that:

1) All I said was that I don't believe in Satan or Hell. You questioned why I felt that way; I let you know.

2) I said I believed everyone got into Heaven.

3) And that God is Universal.

To Aredhel: Thank you for asking your questions in a nice way. To be truthful, my feelings, with things big and small, have not deceieved me, because I was never hurt my them in any way shape or form. :) And note that I called my beliefs (and I quote) "an...intuition". Look up intuition. I don't need proof to believe what I do. Do any of the things you believe have proof? Like, serious, living, proof? (And that is purely a rhetorical question; don't bother to answer it.) 

No, I've never gotten into an argument. Actually, I often don't discuss my religious beliefs with others. I find it unnecessary. Religion can cause such controversy between people. I wasn't planning to delve deeper into my beliefs here, but since Kyleigh asked some questions, I was happy to answer them. I don't really even consider this an argument, because I'm not arguing. :D 

I believe in Jesus, yes. :)

And thank you, Aredhel, for bringing up your opinions on interfaith marriage. You definitely made some good points!!! :D 

To Kyleigh: 

I believe the last paragraph in your last post was uncalled for. I know you don't agree with me, and that's fine, but the way you worded yourself and wrote it....kind of made it sound like a threat. And I don't particularly like that. :P

Questioning the feelings and beliefs of a person is not very God-like. Jesus taught us to love one another. Questioning someone's feelings and beliefs shows a level of unsophistication and immaturity. I simply ask for people to share their opinions. I am not interested in defending mine, but sharing them in a simple and calm manner. I reccomend further study of your Bible, for it might eliminate some of these ideas for you.

I answered Aredhel's questions, since she asked them kindly and without a threatening tone to her words. I answered yours originally because it seemed the of the same intent. But I think you have either been offended or angered, so, I won't answer any more questions from you. Actually, I have no interest in answering any more questions.

Thank you for all who read my essay and participated in this discussion.

God Bless,

Homey :)

Madeline | Tue, 11/29/2011

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

An apology

 Homey, 

I'm very sorry I came across that way. I didn't mean for it to sound like a threat, nor have I been offended or angered, nor do I have any hard feelings toward you in any way whatsoever. I wrote "challenge," but didn't mean it in the way of say, challenging to a duel (or in this case argument), but rather a way to look at what you believe and make sure it holds up under scrutiny. I do that a lot; it's an almost constant state for me, as I think about what I believe and why. The Bible itself advises us to test everything and hold fast to what is good.
There's more I could say, but I'll leave it there. Please accept my apology, and know that I've enjoyed hearing what you believe. Thank you. 

- Kyleigh

Kyleigh | Tue, 11/29/2011

Not to offend anyone...

...but I don't see how that last paragraph that Kyleigh wrote was anything like a threat.  And of course we question other's beliefs.  That's how we live.  We question everything.  We even question our own beliefs.  It's simply the way we are, and it's one aspect of who we are that I don't think will ever change.
In this case, I think Kyleigh was merely encouraging you to look at what she believed in a different way.  At the very worst, she was sparking debate.  That's all I can see in it.
And frankly, I didn't see any immaturity in her post whatsoever.  Whether or not she was "offended or angered", I don't know.  But if she was, I couldn't find any trace of it.

I know I shouldn't have stuck my nose in this, but every once in a while I get bored just watching from the sidelines.

-EDIT: I wrote this before I saw Kyleigh's apology, but it didn't get posted first.  So I probably didn't need to interfere after all.  o.0

Bridget | Tue, 11/29/2011

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Thank you--

Thank you, Kyleigh, for your apology. That was kind of you. :) I always enjoy sharing views here, and hearing them from others. It's so interesting that everyone holds such different beliefs yet we are able to love one another despite our differences. I'm glad you're not angry or offended; I didn't want you to be. Nor am I, but I was merely stating how I felt regarding your earlier response. Please don't take it the wrong way.

Thank you.

God bless,

Homey. :)

Madeline | Tue, 11/29/2011

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Okay, I am way late on this

Okay, I am way late on this discussion, but I found the whole thing fascinating and had to mention something. I agree with just about everything Homey said, except for the fact that I'm not religious. I agree that if there is a God, it is Universal. I believe in life after death, or like to think of the possibility. If there's a God, I don't like to think of it as someone/something who would decide whether to send its subjects to eternal suffering or eternal peacefulness. Of course, there are some unforgivable wrongs, but for something as petty religious differences? Personally, I would like to think that everyone has their personal Heaven, tailored to what makes them happy.

On interfaith marriage: I think that it's more than possible. One of my parents is Christian and the other is agnostic (like me). I've had neither belief put upon me, or even really mentioned all that much. Picking someone you want to spend the rest of your life with should be about how you feel about the person him/herself, not how you feel about their beliefs in the universe, in my opinion. I understand, however, that this is a highly important factor for some people.

On being friends with boys: I have plenty of close friends who are boys. I think it's ridiculous for someone to say that I can't be friends with them because my heart's too weak and I'll fall for them. Something which I definitely DO NOT see happening, lol.

On Satan creeping in through music: This has always confused me. Music is music, it's not going to poison your brain. I find it bizzarre.

Ok, I've had my two cents. If anybody wants to comment back, feel free, but I'm a month late on this discussion, so trust me, I won't be offended if nobody does ;D

Erin | Sat, 12/31/2011

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Hi, Erin!

Thank you for participating in this discussion. I agree with just about EVERYTHING you said. Wonderfully put! 

Personally, I would like to think that everyone has their personal Heaven, tailored to what makes them happy.

That's exactly what I've been trying to say this whole time, I just couldn't find the right words like you did. :D That might sound a bit Kindergarden-ish, but still, well done! Haha! 

Thanks, Erin! Feel free to add more!! 

-Homey :o)

Madeline | Mon, 01/02/2012

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

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