Historical Human Behavior, Hot Guys at the Gym, Honoring God and Husband…

I have always found a nicely defined upper body an attractive trait on a man. Physically, it was always the first thing I noticed when spying a prospect from afar. . I am a girl who appreciates a nicely defined arm…not Mr. Universe over inflated…nicely muscled, proportion is important. That is the historical data.

So, with that history, there I was yesterday at the gym, pumping iron…or whatever the mineral that is a level below iron in weight would be more accurate…and when I was done I moseyed my way over to the bikes to do a brief 15 minute cardio cool down. My wonderful husband joined me minutes later on a bike next to me. I am rocking out to 18 Wheeler by P!nk getting into a groove and I notice a tall, nicely defined torso at the front counter, not too much of a moral struggle as the face was nothing special…reminded me of a Russian athlete. So I turn to my husband and, nodding my head in Nice Torso’s direction say “So, do you think the bottom half is teeny tiny or REALLY BIG?” (Seems like many guys at the gym focus a lot of their energy on their biceps and pecs and ignore their lower half and it just looks weird to me…or the upper half is okay and then the legs are freakishly over developed…but I digress.)

You see, my husband KNOWS what I am attracted to. As it turns out, when Nice Torso walked away from the front counter…we could not tell if the rest of him was proportionate because he was wearing track pants. The point of this is that I am trying to do something along the lines of honoring my husband by not eyeballing another man and pointing out that I noticed this guy to my husband helped me redirect my thoughts. So, Nice Torso moves out of my line of sight and I am good to go.

Seconds later…Nice Torso Revisited steps up to the counter (WHAT THE? The gym I go to has not before had a plethora of eye candy!) I am distracted yet again and then my eyes travel North of said torso and the face is cute and has a great smile! COME ON! At this point, I turn to my husband and I know – that he saw – me seeing – Mr. Revisited and so, I closed my eyes and focused on whatever P!nk was singing and finished my workout blind.

I kept thinking about the reason I was at the gym. Is it because I want to be healthy and get into shape? Yes, but also, there will always be that young girl that lives inside my head who can remember the looks on the faces of and hoots of excitement from all the boys when one of the boys in 6th grade brought in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition – 1981 with Christie Brinkley on the cover…yeah, that one, and thinking that I need to look like that someday and struggling ever since then and never EVER reaching that ideal.

I do not need my husband comparing himself to these guys and wondering if he measures up. He far exceeds them! How often have we said “married not buried” or “look but don’t touch” It is the attitude that one small thought cannot POSSIBLY lead to one small step, or lead to another step, or a leap and then the next thing you know…you are not happy with what you have.

Am I saying that comparison shopping leads to unhappiness in your marriage or even infidelity? No, yes, maybe. It all depends on the situation I guess. For me, I don’t think that it is God honoring for me to be looking at these other men, not to mention whether or not it is honoring my husband, even though I believe myself to have the best marriage EVER. This is not about that. I don’t want my husband to doubt that I am happy with him. That I love him and am attracted to him as he is; that he does not have to be any version of “ideal” other than his current self.

Just Venting…..

but Jesus holds us to a higher standard: Matthew 5:27-30

The NIV versions states it this way:

 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’a]”>[a] 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

 

 

I like the way The Message translates the same verse:

 

27-28“You know the next commandment pretty well, too: ‘Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.’ But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt.

29-30“Let’s not pretend this is easier than it really is. If you want to live a morally pure life, here’s what you have to do: You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer. You have to choose to live one-eyed or else be dumped on a moral trash pile. And you have to chop off your right hand the moment you notice it raised threateningly. Better a bloody stump than your entire being discarded for good in the dump.

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This was said about me on Facebook:

“Cant stand “church going “, hypocritical people who judge those before they know them!! Remember god does not judge so neither should you!!!”

Why does this bother me?
I think it is because, I feel like I make Christ followers look bad to this person…and in turn to all this person’s friends on Facebook.
Which in turn, is a poor reflection on Christ. (and He obviously had nothing to do with THIS!)

I know this person is lashing out at me, but it made me evaluate my action or statement that caused this person’s reaction. First, it had nothing to do with the person who made the comment, this person’s outrage is on behalf of someone else and is part of a long line of miscommunication that I went to the source that same day and sorted out. Second, no, we as human beings are not to judge someones heart or character. That is the job of God alone. However, as human beings we are allowed to judge behaviors and to have opinions. Without that, there would be pedophiles, rapist, murders, and thieves running about willy nilly as well as generation upon generation of unruly and undisciplined children.

On top of that, “the best predictor of future behavior, is past behavior”

And so in the wake of a very trying couple of weeks I find this just exhausting.

People are having a hard time accepting that I am a Christ follower.
Maybe they CAN accept that but seem to think that now that I follow Christ that I am no longer supposed to act like a human being.

I am not perfect.
I still cuss (GASP!)
I still have fears
I still drink (FOR SHAME!)
…I did quit smoking…but that was for purely selfish reasons…like wanting to live longer.

I am sure there are a plethora of things that I still do that are not Christ-like…

…but I am not Christ.

I am human…and as such, throughout my day I find myself turning to God in a constantly ongoing conversation where I ask his opinion and …don’t hear an answer right away…or ask forgiveness (and receive it) for a comment or even a thought that was just inappropriate, or an action that I should not have done, or for hesitating when He presents me an opportunity to further His kingdom and it turns into an opportunity lost. However, this relationship I have with Him, also fuels me to get over myself and do what I can when I feel it is what He wants me to do. Learning to tell the difference between what He wants and what I think He wants…that can be a challenge but it takes an investment of time to learn the intricate and quiet language that he uses to reach each of us in our own unique ways. I am investing in that. For the record, I feel that even after 5 or 6 years now, I am still in freshman classes….first semester.

My love for Him, and His for me has opened up this line of constant communication that I cannot imagine my life without. It has brought about me a sense of peace that is almost always present but there is still a part of me that gets riled up when I begin to feel persecuted…such as the comment made above. It usually happens when my past collides with my present. There is a lot more history behind that comment than the comment alone. I have to remember that.

The God sighting in all of this was a comment made back to that person on Facebook:

“God does judge, but he and he alone has that responsibility.I love the Lord, and so I love people too.God said ” love thy neighbor as you love yourself”. I hope this helps you…. I don’t know what you are dealing with , but know that you don’t have to worry about what people think about you, but what God knows about you.”

The door to forgiving

In this journey to end my relationship with FEAR and ANGER there has been a huge discovery. First let me say that I am not on this journey alone, I have a counselor, having an objective perspective from someone who does not know all the people involved in my past hurts is very helpful. Not to mention a husband who loves me, that may not understand all of this but is okay with my travel plans.

My first milestone was the realization that I am human and having feelings and addressing them is OKAY. (I tell people this all the time…but did not realize I was not applying it to myself) If you ignore or suppress or try to control your feelings it really creates a bottleneck and eventually those feelings will find a way to be dealt with. I had heard this before, but did not really HEAR it, if you know what I mean.

So my latest discovery is that my Fear and Anger were unaddressed and misplaced. I had earlier realized some of what I was afraid of and what I was angry about BUT the WHO behind the WHAT was misdirected. After my last blog post I had so much emotion rolling around inside of me that I ended up leaving an important meeting because I was making myself SICK trying to not cry…so I left (discreetly) and went and typed a 5 page “This is what is p!$$!ng me off” paper. I even used the F-word in it once and did not edit it out. It was very cathartic but afterwards I felt like a lunatic. It did not solve the problem. I wanted so very badly to send it to the people that I had been typing about but all that would do is cause them unneccessary pain, or anger and me guilt for causing it. So I emailed it to the guide on my journey and to a trusted friend who has been through the process and knows my story so as to get some perspective. My guide sat down with me the next day and noticed a pattern in my writing…I did not want to BLAME the people who hurt me for my hurt or for the dysfunction they created. I did not understand the ripple affect that not BLAMING them had created within my own household. My wise counselor pointed out that if I am not appropriately placing BLAME for these things then I am likely taking on the responsiblity for everything myself.

Yep, that sounds about right. I was raised to take responsibility for myself and not to be a tattle tale. Pouring my guts out to a counselor feels a lot like shirking responsibility and tattling. It is REALLY uncomfortable. The whole process is exhausting. Sometimes the need for change is very strong, but you cannot open the door for change if you are sitting comfortably on the couch of your own misery. So, I made the decision to get my lazy arse up off the couch and open the door.

I was still afraid, I thought that placing BLAME on those who hurt me would make me even angrier at them. My anger toward these people was never really obvious to them, or anyone really, it was just a heavy emotion inside my heart that I let build and build over time. Outwardly, no one knew…even I did not really KNOW…I just felt a shift in the tectonic plates of the relationship…so slight and so slow that if it had been an earthquake, it would not have registered on the Richter Scale and would have been dismissed as a vehicle passing by or a strong wind.

My desire for Change was stronger than my Fear. I opened the door, I made it happen. I let myself place BLAME for the hurt. Yes…I was angry. Even though there were years of anger there that I thought would just flood over me and I would possibly wallow or drown in it…God was right there with me. He did not stop the flood, but He held me up and when I thought I could not breathe He handed me an oxgen tank. When you have that kind of support…standing in the middle of a tidal wave is not quite as scary.

Once the wave passed and I could see what was on the other side of the door, I was amazed. Funny how, I did not realize that by not opening that door, I was barricading myself from all the paths and doorways on the other side of it. I did not realize that by not blaming I was blocking the way to FORGIVING.

The logical part of me knew that my hurt was not my fault. I took on the responsibility for my feelings but in my core I knew it was not mine to take and so why would I need to forgive myself for something I did not do. Even if it is appropriate to BLAME oneself for something I think it is harder to FORGIVE ourselves than it is for us to FORGIVE others. It is hundreds of times harder when it is misplaced BLAME. Forgiveness may not be on the other side of that door…it is in the wrong place. Is it possible that you have to keep walking through poorly placed doors until you find the right one. I think so. Is it worth it?

I found the right door quickly, maybe not everyone does, but I feel the payoff of FORGIVING and I think so.

My journey is not over, but I think I am going to hang out on this path for a little while.