Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Turning the other cheek

An incident occurred in our home tonight: our youngest daughter threw a paper airplane at our son and it pegged him square in the eye. She didn't mean to cause him harm (it was a paper airplane he had made that he had been throwing around previously). Yet, how annoying is that? To be sitting contently and have a paper airplane stab you in the eye? He reacted, as most of us would have, with a bit of "what the ****", and then he threw her iPod, that was right next to him, at her feet. She apologized for hitting him in the eye and attempted to explain she wasn't trying to do that but her words were drowned out by his expressions of disgust.

We, RLB and I, were beckoned to the scene of the incident and were requested to mediate the situation.

She's twelve and had already become visibly emotional. Tears were streaming down her face and she was looking at her brother with disdain. In her view, she had apologized for her actions and instead of having that apology greeted with forgiveness, it was met with cuss words and an overt act of retaliation.

What to do, what to do.

So we separated them. RLB went with our son to discuss things and I stayed with our daughter, who looked like her head was about to spin.

I told her she needed to go and pray. She responded with "but, he did....blah blah blah." I said, "Yes, but God is more interested in you asking him how to forgive than He is in who was right."

She slowed down a bit from that. So I proceeded to ask her if she remembers the Bible verse about turning the other cheek. I told her to go pray and ask God to help her forgive her brother and to show her how she can respond differently to being accused and also to show her where she may have been wrong. I asked her to take note if the Holy Spirit urges her to ask for forgiveness for her wrong doing and to be wise enough to go ahead and do so. I told her she will be very blessed if she follows the Holy Spirit's prodding. We talked about the natural inclination to rebel against this prodding and who that comes from.

Meanwhile, RLB discussed with our son the whole speck in your brother's eye/plank in your own deal. It was a very short conversation. Our son got it immediately.

We, RLB and I, met up later to discuss all that had occurred.

It is fascinating to see, as parents, the vast differences between young men and young women. A young man can hear the speck/plank analogy and just get it. It's stems from honor. It makes sense.

A young woman, on the other hand, will not get it with that same speck/plank analogy. For her, it is a conversation that involves her perspective and a drawn picture of the difference between rebellion and God. Honor is lost on her. She literally needed me to tell her that should she not do what the Holy Spirit prods her to do, she is willfully choosing Satan's path of rebellion.

I had to tell her that should she pray and feel an urge to ask for forgiveness she must obey that and do so. To not do so is rebellion. Though she may feel she is right, it is not in being right that she will be blessed, it is in calmly turning the other cheek, with a pure heart, that holds no ill will.

For women, it is so important we learn how to calm ourselves.

The only way I know to do this successfully is with prayer.  I also know that I am guilty of resisting praying that prayer. That resistance is soon met with the Truth - that it is rebellion. I pray this for you, ladies: that you will know that every prayer you resist praying is a path toward rebellion. That rebellion is the prodding of the enemy. You have the ability to turn it around. Choose to pray. Choose to accept a calm heart. Choose to turn the other cheek.


  1. I saw this post yesterday as I was heading off to work. I'm surprised that no one has commented yet.

    Men are sinful creatures. Yet the ways we sin are generally straight forward. We see something we covet it. Things might go down hill from there but we know what we are doing and why. Same thing with lust. Same with pride or any other sin. As men we want "X". The sin involved is apparent and clear, and we will fall if we choose. That's the point, we choose.

    Women are confusingly sinful creatures with a tendency to rationalize everything. In the end they deceive themselves into believing that not only have they not sinned, but that they are morally correct in what they have done.

    The insight you displayed with your daughter is a blessing. I wish there was more teaching on it so that men could be more in tune with what is happening and combating it.

  2. It was interesting, Res, during the conversation RLB and I had after it all, he told me it is highly annoying that this is how it is with women. There is something within men that must just accept it, though it makes no sense to them. Sure we can talk all day long how it ought to be. But time after time the truth of what is will be revealed.

    For a woman, we need to come to understand how differently men think. We need to understand how disgusting the way we think about our own sin is to men. That it needs to be talked over, hashed out, and proven to be rebellion is absurd to men. A man thinks "certainly she is being deceptive, she knew what she was doing was sinful rebellion." Well...not right off the bat we don't. Now, the time span can be lessened when a woman will actively pursue seeing her rebellion and sin. She must pray and ask God to reveal it to her and then stop her brain when it tries to interfere with rationalizations and justifications. For me, I've successfully reduced this time span to mere seconds...sometimes - there are still many times that it can take much much longer than that.

  3. For a biblical example, see Genesis 18:

    9 Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”

    So he said, “Here, in the tent.”

    10 And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.”

    (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.[b] 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

    13 And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

    15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid.

    And He said, “No, but you did laugh!”

    In particular notice it says "for she was afraid." Women are very fearful creatures. It's no question why Peter said: "6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror."

  4. I've been busy, and didn't have much time to comment lately, otherwise I would have said much the same as Ipsa.

    This post fascinated me, because a few weeks back I had a conversation with a young woman who expressed a disgust at the fact that women seem to be so much less honest about sin that men. She had been talking with an acquaintance about some problems in that other woman's life, and was shocked at the inability of the other woman to admit her errors. The other woman came from the kind of background where she would have known she had done wrong, and was doing wrong. But that didn't matter. She was able to rationalize away every wrong, ever sin, as being not her fault. Of being justified by another person's failing or just plain old bad luck. The sheer power of the other woman's Hamster stunned her.

    Scripture mentions that women are the "weaker vessel. It also seems to support the notion that women are deceived more easily than men. I do no think it goes to far that both verses as a whole point out what seems like an obvious truth around these parts: Women are far more capable of self-deception than men.

  5. The sheer power of the other woman's Hamster stunned her.

    The sheer power of my own hamster stuns me. :)

    Women are also notorious for changing something within themselves for the better and forgetting the time prior to the change. They then see the same challenge in other women's life and judge harshly. New hammer - everything's a nail type of thing. I'm very guilty of this.

  6. The Hamster is as good an explanation for what a women does that anyone has ever come up with.

    There is something within men that must just accept it, though it makes no sense to them.

    It's been bugging the heck out of us since Adam decided to face Eve's fate with her. Make no mistake that's what happened in the garden. Eve went with the hamster and Adam chose to be loyal to his wife over his God. That's the thing men chose and we know we made a choice. More importantly we know why we made the choice. Women don't seem to know what they did or why they did it and it was right or if it wasn't right it was some man's fault.

    I guess my issue isn't that it happens, I've watched it happen my whole life. My issue is how to teach my wife and daughter to combat the problem.

    With sons you ask them "why did you do that", and they can mostly tell you. With a daughter you ask the same question and you get a verbal journey that takes you to a place where she really didn't do what you thought she did and where what you saw with your own eyes was an optical illusion. If you let her talk long enough your eyes will glass over and some part of your brain will want to believe it just to get the fairy tail to stop. Oh, she isn't even 5 yet.

  7. Women are far more capable of self-deception than men.


    If you ask a man, "why did you cheat on your wife?" He will tell you: "the other women had nice boobs" or " I wasn't getting it at home" or "I wanted to see if I could". No matter how lame, he can tell you a reason. It might not be the only reason, or even a good one, but he can come up with one. If you ask a women the same question you go through a different process. She didn't cheat. She thought it was OK. A five year affair was totally rape, every single time. etc.

  8. Oh, so many smiles while reading this. I know. I know exactly what you are talking about. Just wait until she's hormonal, HA! It's different with a daughter than a wife. Your daughter will have you, a grown, rational man considering things you'd NEVER have accepted from your wife. I've seen it happen. RLB's girls have an ability...well, let's just say they are very persuasive emote-rs. I see what they're doing...yes I do. And they HATE that! I bust them at every turn...most of the time. Oh, and here's where I suck. If I'm hormonal, I will concede to the girls' team and side with them. Oh does he hate that.

    See, men think the same way, day after day. They wake up in the same mood almost every day. Their truth is Truth and it doesn't vary (nor should ours)...however, there are times of the month, there are times of great stress, there are times where emotions have been triggered for no apparent reason at all...that the unsuspecting man of the house will be blindsided with craziness and irrational...everything.

    I'm so sorry. I'll stand in the stead of every female who has done this and say, "I'm sorry."

    Because I've come to understand my own craziness, I've learned to speak "irrational woman." I promise you, if you could listen in to many of my conversations with my daughters, you would walk away saying, "that didn't even come close to making sense." Yet they hug me tight, say, "I love you mom," grasp their Bibles and read and pray and come back as changed humans.

    RLB told me four years ago that he needed me to "get it" in order for me to teach it to our daughters. He was relentless with me. Still is. Granted there are times when the girls will "get it" from what Dad says, however, many times they need (as does he) a "mom filter" that can see through the rationalizations and hamsterizations.

    1. If I'm hormonal, I will concede to the girls' team and side with them.

      Thus Ralphs PMS shelter for men. When Little Miss turns 12 I may get a life time membership.

  9. Are you saying I can't always spank her and take away TV?

    Being a dad means raising a girl to be a perfect mate, for some boy that you'd kill if it wasn't for a reasonable chance of getting caught.

  10. See, men think the same way, day after day. They wake up in the same mood almost every day. Their truth is Truth and it doesn't vary (nor should ours)...however, there are times of the month, there are times of great stress, there are times where emotions have been triggered for no apparent reason at all...that the unsuspecting man of the house will be blindsided with craziness and irrational...everything. 

    The issue is there a divine purpose to it? I think so.
    If Himself is the Sun and I am the Moon, and it is Yahweh who has created it as such I think we are to be content in His wisdom and trust Him. Sin needs ruthless weeding out of both, but both the Moon and the Sun both have purpose and beauty. Neither can substitute for each other.

    Very interesting that my Bible reading were the same verses you posted.

    Also agreed. Once the plank is removed I have to remind myself that I couldn't see with mine, and can only see now that God removed it. It is a stupid type of pride I have to think I removed it and to think less of others still suffering. Something else to work on.


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