The Twelve Days of Birthday (Parts V-IX)

As the birthday festivities continue, here is a quick snapshot of how my husband and I celebrated his upcoming birthday this week.

Day 5 – Star gazing

Day 6 – Homemade s’mores over the grill

Day 7 – Encouraging notes hidden in random places, including my husband’s sock drawer and computer bag

Day 8 – Letting my husband choose his favorite television shows for us to watch

Day 9 – Hot tubbing with a glass of red wine

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The Normalization of Sexualizing Children

Little girls are being groomed into passively accepting their place as objects in our pornified culture, and boys are being taught exploitative and abusive sexual scripts.

In the Courage Worldwide Certified Volunteer Training on November 3, 2012, it was said that

American culture and society is inundated with sexual messages that normalize sexual behaviors.  While we should be concerned with the facts that our children are being influenced at younger and younger ages with sexual media and messages, the greater concern is how they are learning to view sex.  We need to not only ask whether children are being sexualized too early, but how they are being sexualized.  It’s one thing to have ideas presented; it’s entirely different when the ideas themselves are wrong.

This means that the messages that modern American females are being taught is that their value is in their sexuality.  Girls are more than ever coming from broken homes – single parent homes, financial struggles, being a latchkey child, etc. – and are looking for value.  If the only value that they are being told is found in their sexuality then that is where they will turn their focus to as they begin to understand that this is where they will receive attention and “love”.

Whatever happened to the Proverbs 31 woman that used to be held up as an ideal for young females?  In this passage we are told that a woman “dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong…strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come”, meaning that she is dignified and self-respecting.  Modern day females are taught quite the opposite of this, unfortunately, as they are deceived into believing that their outward appearance is the only venue through which they are able to obtain any form of value, love or praise.  While dressing provocatively may ensure immediate attention, this interest is only surface-level, shallow and self-serving for recipients.  Females lose their self-worth as they begin to fulfill and satisfy the sexual cravings of others.

No longer is the Proverbs 31 standard upheld or desired as the post-modern Westernized culture has taught females that this lifestyle will not garnish the clamor of others.  Outward beauty is sought as a means to gain value because females lack a healthy understanding of what it means to be loved.  Proverbs 31 ends with this phrase: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  How true this reality rings!  No matter how much energy, time or money a woman pours into her physical appearance, she cannot fight the biological aging process.  Outward beauty vanishes over time as hair beings to gray, skin grows soft and “curves” become more prominent.  If the outward appearance is the only thing that a woman has, then she has become a shallow shell that thinly veils an insecure soul that is seeking value and love beyond what her body can garnish.

A Godly woman who strives for the Proverbs 31 standard learns to place her emphasis on her inward beauty: maturing her character and refining her faith.  This does not mean she neglects her outward appearance.  Christ calls His people to take care of their bodies so that they are pleasing and glorifying unto Him (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  A Proverbs 31 woman’s value is not contingent on her psychical appearances and whether or not she can garnish the attention and compliments from others based on how she looks.  Rather, she refines her character in order that she may bring glory and honor to God.  A Godly woman’s physical appearance becomes a reflection of her character as she seeks to glorify Christ rather than her fleshly desires.

Women in the 21 Century – particularly young females – should be taught that their worth is found in their inward beauty, not their physical appearance, and should be spurred towards seeking the face of Christ rather than the praise of humanity.  Modern American girls should be taught that their worth is found in their character, maturity and spiritual walk.  Girls need to understand that genuine value is found within, rather than what they can procure through their bodies.  Once females are confident in who they are as individuals, they can begin to throw off the chains that society has shackled onto them.  Sexuality is not a legitimate source of value!

Utilizing Social Media for Pimping Purposes

In the post I wrote on October 29, 2012, regarding the legitimizing of pimping and human trafficking, I pointed out that media outlets and pop culture glamorizes pimping while undermining the reality of brutality and abuse of this industry.  There is a significant connection between the sex and media industries, particularly in how the latter has led to the rise in popularity of the latter.

The FBI released an article in September 2012 which demonstrates this connection.  Gangs are utilizing Social Media sites to identify and recruit potential victims – mainly vulnerable high-school aged girls – for prostitution and human trafficking purposes.

The article outlines how the Crips gang in Virginia would troll social networking sites, looking for attractive young girls whom they would contact.  If the victim expressed interest (and many did), the gang members would make plans to meet with her in person.

It is important to understand how social media is used to identify and attract victims, allowing traffickers to go undetected.  Such secrecy increases the boldness and confidence of pimps as their actions go undetected.  Social media provides a discreet outlet for traffickers to expand rapidly online as well as increasing their pool of ‘product’ to pull from.  The variety of girls and boys to choose from increases a trafficker’s ability to market to a variety of customers because [s]he can quickly and easily find a victim that matches a specific nitch from their customer base.  This adds to the difficulty in prosecuting them later on in court, if they are caught.

For safety tips in which parents can equip their children to safely utilize Social Networking sites, please see the FBI article which I have provided a link to above.  Included in the safety tips are (1) ensuring that privacy settings on all Social Media sites are high as well as limiting the amount of personal information that is shared by teenagers and their friends (2) parents should keep current on “Internet language” as teens sometime employ this as ways to communicate with friends when their parents are nearby, thereby filtering what online content their parents see.

The Twelve Days of Birthday (Part IV)

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Day 4

Birthday celebrations are definitely under way for my husband’s birthday.  Today my husband and I visited Barnes and Noble, his favorite book store to purchase a new book for him.  We also visited The Fountains, a quaint shopping center of boutiques that are centrally located around a beautiful fountain (hence the name).  At The Fountains, we perused through Sur La Table, our favorite cooking ware store, while sipping lattes from Peet’s.  We finished the relaxing evening by sitting on a bench by the fountain and chatting.  8 days until my husband’s birthday!

The Twelve Days of Birthday (Part III)

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Today marked the third day of the birthday challenge I set for myself: celebrating the twelve days leading up to my husband’s 22nd birthday.  As mentioned in my post yesterday, I am putting a spin on the well-known Christmas carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.

Day three’s (today) present consisted of me writing a short list of ten reasons why I love my husband, since his second type of “love language” is words of affirmation.  It has been fun to think of creative little ways to express my appreciation for my husband as well as celebrating his life.  He thinks I’m a bit gung-ho about the two week festivities but gifts are my way of expressing my love for him.  And it’s been reminding me to be grateful for such an AMAZING husband while not taking him for granted!

The Twelve Days of Birthday (Parts I-II)

We are all familiar with the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” which depict twelve festive days of celebration that begin on December 25.  The Twelfth Night of Christmas always falls on the fifth of January, but the Twelfth Day either precedes or follows the Twelfth Night in accordance to which Christian tradition is followed.

I have decided to put a spin on this dearly loved Christmas song.  My husband will be celebrating his birthday on November 12 – giving me ten days from today to induct the twelve days of birthday celebration in preparation for his actual birth date!  This idea came to me when I arrived at his office on Wednesday (October 31) to surprise him with an early birthday gift: the iPhone 5S, which he had been itching to get.  As I sat across from him at the desk in his office, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” popped into my head.  I am a sucker for celebrations, presents, surprise and all the other fun festivities that come along with birthdays and holidays.  Not to mention that my over-enthusiastic personality takes things to an extreme.  So the notion of showering my husband with little surprises for the next twelve days elated me.

Yesterday marked the first of the twelve days until my husband’s birthday.  For the first “present” of my celebration series, I reblogged my husband’s post on Hurricane Sandy, as well as tweeted the great news that he officially became a published writerThe Liberty Crier has asked my husband to continue writing for them, which is fantastic news!  My husband has been trying to get me to read his material for the longest time so it meant the world to him that I reblogged and tweeted him as it signifies that I not only pay attention to his writing but also support his work by promoting him.

Today marked day two of my little adventure: treating my husband to lattes at Peet’s Coffee during his lunch break!  Many laughs, great conversation and a much needed break from the office!

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I can honestly say that I am as excited – if not more – about each day’s ‘treat’ that I bestow upon my husband.  It is almost as if I were receiving the gifts because I am able to secretly plan a surprise which I am then able to reveal to my spouse.  I anticipate my husband’s reaction to seeing what I have planned as well as reminding my heart to be joyful and thankful for the precious gift my Father has bestowed upon me!