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Posts Tagged ‘feminism’

What did I see the night of the President’s State of the Union Address?

I saw people gathered, some believing that had come to tolerate the words of a fool.

When this fool exposed New York’s celebration of legalized full-term abortion and the governor of Virginia’s promotion of infanticide, I saw a senator from New York with a smirk on his face. This man, in office long enough to know that the camera might very well be focused on him, continued to smirk while a fool spoke what some pastors will not: “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children—born and unborn—are made in the holy image of God.”

I saw women dressed in white stand with applause when a fool recognized women’s rights and bursting opportunities as legislators but sit stone-faced when that fool spoke of “dignity of every person,” most especially “children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.”

I saw those women dressed in white, but why? The early suffragettes once wore white as they sought the dignity of voting rights. But Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others agreed there was no dignity in the right to abort children. “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” (Stanton in a letter to Julia Ward Howe, 1873)

I saw a fool speaking against socialism. I saw people stand and applaud while those women in white remained seated and silent.

I saw a fool renewing his promise to “build a wall” in order to stem the tide of human trafficking and sexual slavery. When the chamber burst into applause, those women in white called attention to themselves by their silence and stone-cold betrayal of defenseless women and children. But another fool—his name Nehemiah—told the citizens of Jerusalem to build a wall. Of course, the neighbors surrounding the crumbled Jerusalem laughed at the ridiculous notion. Wouldn’t it, after all, be the mark of progressive people to see all ideologies as equal, all blessings evenly distributed, and a utopian dream come true? But Nehemiah understood human imperfection and the potential for corruption. So, for the sake of homeland security, he instructed that the wall be built, the gates repaired, and the citizens armed with weapons and the Word.

I saw a fool who was unafraid to speak truth. Admittedly, I have never spoken to this fool whose buffoonish ways irritate restless souls. But his words to American citizens remind me of who I am called to be.

“… We have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you [disciples] are wise in Christ … When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat” (1 Corinthians 4:9-13).

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Millions of healthy women take a powerful medication every day from their mid-teens to menopause.  We call it “The Pill.”  Feminists defend it because it “evens the playing field” for men and women.  They defend it, but without explaining the effects this hormone has on a woman’s mind and body.

Contrary to cultural myth, the birth control pill impacts on every organ and function of the body, and yet most women don’t think of it as a drug.  Depression, anxiety, paranoia, rage, panic attacks… these are a few of the many effects of The Pill on half of the over 80% of women who pop these tablets during their lifetimes.

We talk about this at Titus 2 Retreats.  But what about you?  Do you know the facts about The Pill?  Does your daughter or granddaughter?

Holly Grigg-Spall authored Sweetening the Pill in 2013.  But the documentary film is in the making.  It won’t be popular.  There will be a powerful push against it.  Funding won’t come easy.  Please watch the trailer below… order the book… and pray for the filmmakers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein.  Lake and Epstein produced the 2008 documentary The Business of Being Born.  “What we did for birth,” says Lake, “we want to do for birth control.”

Women deserve to be informed with the facts.  This isn’t a political issue.  This is a woman’s health issue.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/92756815/sweetening-the-pill-a-documentary/widget/video.html

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teenagersIn a highly sexualized world, here’s a challenge for dads and moms who care about the physical, psychological and spiritual well-being of their children…

#8 – MENTOR HOLINESS & PURITY

For now thus says the Lord, he who created you . . . Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine (Isaiah 43:1). As obedient children, do not be conformed by the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy (1 Peter 1:14-16).

Host a parent night in your home or at church. Encourage dads and moms in their vocation of parenthood. God has entrusted children to parents, not to schools, “villages” or even churches. God gives parents everything they need in His Word to train up a child for the good path of life. Start an e-mail chain with resources that help parents contrast the message of Planned Parenthood (www.teenwire.org) with God’s Word. Suggestions include The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn, Boys Should Be Boys and Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, M.D., and the brochures “Purity, Mystery and Modesty” (LFL903T) and “Fig Leaves Are Not Enough” (LFL612T) from http://www.cph.org.

Know who you are so that you can teach your children who they are. Many Christians ask, “How is it that even children are sexualized?” Children are sexualized when adults fail to see them as God sees them. Sexualizing children is what happens when a culture is deceived by humanists such as Alfred Kinsey, Mary Calderone, or John Money and organizations such as SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S.) and Planned Parenthood. For half a century, Christians and non-Christians alike have been taught to believe that “children are sexual from birth”. Nowhere in Scripture does God describe children this way. The phrase was coined by Kinsey who believed infants and children can enjoy and benefit from early sexual activity. His social science was wrong, but his research was widely accepted. Today, it is not unusual to hear Christians identify themselves (or their children) as “sexual beings”. But a false identity has both temporal and eternal ramifications. False identity compromises purity and puts human lives at risk. Our true identity was bestowed at Baptism. Baptized by water and the Word, we are heirs of God in Jesus Christ. We are sons and daughters of God in Christ who are called not to sensual living, but holy living. “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). God does not define us by our sexual inclinations, but by our relationship to Him. A helpful and brand new resource is The Failure of Sex Education in the Church: Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity by Linda Bartlett (available on Amazon late May 2014) that will help parents and children navigate a highly sexualized culture. Todd Wilken of Issues, Etc., describes the book as a “catechism” that does “more than diagnose, but proposes a hopeful, radical and thoroughly biblical remedy: parents and grandparents teaching and mentoring children in biblical manhood and womanhood.” In the way of a catechism, this book instructs through 107 questions and answers. It encourages the old and young, single and married to ask: Who does God say that I am and what does this mean?

Contrast biblical instruction in purity with the worldly idea of sex education. Christians need to know the origin of sex education, then ask: “What fellowship has light with darkness (2 Cor. 6:14-16)?” Upon what foundation have we built? To help expose the origin of sex education and the ideology behind it, order The Failure of Sex Education in the Church: Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity by Linda Bartlett (available on Amazon late May 2014). God wants parents to help protect the innocence of their children. He does not want adults to “arouse love before its time” or break down protective boundaries of modesty. Parents do well to remember: It’s not lack of information, it’s lack of judgment.” Read You’re Teaching My Child What? by Miriam Grossman, M.D. Learn why this campus psychiatrist from UCLA became fed up with political correctness and the feminism that denies young women the truth about their bodies. We must stop ignoring biological facts in the name of “equality”. The bodies of girls are not ready for sex. As the bearers of life, girls have a more sensitive “eco-system”; in fact, the Pill may actually make a girl more vulnerable to sexually-transmitted infections. A girl may “bond” with a boy even while hugging or kissing when oxytocin floods her brain and deactivates caution and fear. In the classroom a boy may vow to abstain, but at a party with a provocative girl, his amygdala (feeling part of the brain) may hijack his prefrontal cortex (thinking/decision-making part of the brain). Other recommended resources are Miriam Grossman, M.D.  and Meg Meeker, M.D.

Grow in your appreciation of biblical manhood and womanhood for the sake of your children. Most modern parents have been influenced by the idea that equal means “being the same”, but God did not create Adam and Eve at the same time, in the same way or for the same purpose. A life of holiness and purity takes root in knowing who God created us to be a male or female persons. Mature manhood and womanhood are not sensually driven. (This is a chapter in The Failure of Sex Education in the Church: Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity.) You will find a wealth of Scriptural and practical information by visiting CBMW. Or, you may order the 12-lesson Bible study Men, Women & Relationships: Building a Culture of Life Across Generations (with leader’s guide) by Linda Bartlett (LFL901BS) from CPH.

Don’t be intimidated by your own past. Confessed sins are forgiven by Jesus Christ and hope is evidenced in new beginnings and a changed life. Biblical heroes were sinful men and women; nevertheless, they trusted God’s Word and used it to train children and grandchildren. What does Psalm 78:1-8 say to a parent? While it is true that sins may be visited about the third and fourth generation, mercy is shown to thousands of generations (Exodus 20:5-6). What is the promise of Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Timothy 4:7-10 and 1 John 2:28-29?

The last in this series, #9: Mentor and Encourage Biblical Manhood, is coming soon!

Ezer’s Handbook is a resource developed by
Linda Bartlett and presented at Titus 2 Retreats

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woman reading bibleThere is a lot of opposition to God’s Word and to the way He wants us to pass on the truth: generation to generation.  With that in mind, let’s consider one more opportunity —

#7: Mentor in the Midst of Opposition
One generation shall commend Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts . . . They shall speak of the might of Your awesome deeds, and I will declare Your greatness (Psalm 145:4, 6).

Let’s stop fooling ourselves. Everything is not okay with young women today. Girls are coming of age in a society in which institutions of marriage, family and church have been badly weakened putting them at risk in ways their grandmothers and great-grandmothers were not. Everything that is naturally womanly—especially anything having to do with motherhood and children—is regarded by feminists as something that has to be overcome rather than embraced. Providers of contraceptive and abortion services have replaced mothers as the main source of authority on sexual matters. A growing number of young women who are in and out of relationships experience chronic depression. But, there is hope! A young woman whose parents set boundaries for their daughter’s sake, remain involved, and help her see the bigger picture of her life seem to make healthier choices.

Be aware of the opposition. Our “adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). As mothers and grandmothers, we need to be “sober-minded” and “watchful”. We do not “wrestle against” Victoria’s Secret or Planned Parenthood, but against the spiritual forces of evil that use sexual immorality, sensuality, idolatry, jealousy and rivalries (Galatians 5:19-20) to shape the minds of young women and lead them away from Jesus Christ. View for yourself Planned Parenthood’s website for teens (www.teenwire.org). The knowledge offered by the opposition holds no promise for this life or the one to come. It is for this reason that God’s Word instructs the believer in 1 Timothy 4:7-10 to train for godliness; “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it hold promise for the present life and also for the life to come”. Take heart! In spite of the opposition, God remains in control. His Word is true. Jesus is victorious. The Spirit is at work.

Don’t be afraid; be equipped. We are engaged in a battle for young hearts and minds, but God has equipped us with armor and sword (Ephesians 6:14-18). Stand where you have been placed by God—as a wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend—and engage the world on behalf of your children, grandchildren, and neighborhood of children. When we practice the same faithfulness as Christian women before us we will mentor a new generation of biblically-courageous women.

Build a bridge between generations. Each generation wants to be a little different from the one before. Young women have always believed that they were more progressive than their mothers. But a younger generation needs an older generation to warn away from pitfalls and precipices. The babyboomers have much to apologize for, but parents who’ve taken their sins to the Cross can testify to children that “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Break out of your peer group. A friend of mine explained what happened after she married and moved far away from her mom and church family. “In a strange new place, I was anonymous. My husband was not a believer, so we did not join a church. I really had no one to be accountable to; no one to talk to about the things in life that troubled me. When my daughter was born, I wanted to be the kind of mom my mother was to me, but she was too far away and I didn’t have the benefit of older, wiser women. I assumed that ‘experts’ in child care would be better for my child than me. Actually, I was looking for love, affirmation and encouragement… but in all the wrong places. I became involved with someone other than my husband. I had an abortion and a divorce soon followed.” My friend didn’t need the advice of her peers who were in circumstances similar to her own. She needed an older woman who had learned to trust pure wisdom, Jesus Christ (Proverbs 8).  She needed an older Christian woman who could help her resist the deception of a sinful world and flee youthful passions.

Opportunity #8 (Mentor Purity) and #9 (Mentor and Encourage Biblical Manhood) coming soon!

Ezer’s Handbook is a resource developed by
Linda Bartlett and presented at Titus 2 Retreats

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women & health careGod created woman to be a helper (Hebrew: ezer).  God knew man would not be complete without woman to help him remember and trust God’s Word, be a good steward of all that God has made, and build a culture of life.

In a fallen world, however, woman is challenged by Satan, sin and her own doubting nature.  But there is hope in Jesus Christ!  And, because of Jesus Christ, there are countless opportunities for each ezerwoman to make a positive difference in her home, church and community.  Where can ezerwoman begin?  By making use of a resource I call Ezer’s Handbook.  Let’s begin with opportunity #1 —

#1 — MENTOR FROM A HOUSE BUILT ON FIRM FOUNDATION

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down (Proverbs 14:1).

Build on The Word.  The Word is Wisdom.  It is unchanging Truth.  The Word provides everything a man or woman needs for living in today’s world, meeting today’s challenges, and mentoring generations.  Paraphrased Bibles are fine for personal reading, but don’t count on them for accuracy.  Highly recommended is The Lutheran Study Bible (ESV).  The commentaries offer historical and archeological evidence as well as Greek and Hebrew origins of words.

Prepare for the Battle of Worldviews on Sex and Sexuality.  Begin with the Bible study Men, Women and Relationships: Building a Culture of Life Across Generations.  This twelve-lesson study is appropriate for men and women who are single or married.  Although the world tells us that men and women are the same, no different from one another and both just “sexual beings from birth”, God tells us we are far more than that.  (This Bible study with leader’s guide may be ordered from Concordia Publishing House #LFL901BS or by calling 888-364-LIFE.)

Be Equipped with Resources.  Married or single, a woman has a sphere of influence that leads others to–or away from–God.  How are you mentoring biblical womanhood in your home?  From your office?  At school?  In the your church and community?  You will find resources for mentoring biblical womanhood at Titus 2 for Life and The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Be Careful Who You Let Shape Your Worldview.  Ideas of sex, sexuality, love, relationships, marriage, motherhood, morality, clothing, behavior and life in general are mentored in one way or another by every newspaper, magazine, website, TV commercial or self-help book.  As a follower of Christ, it is our responsibility to be discerning.  WORLD and CITIZEN are publications that offer a biblical perspective in contrast to Newsweek and Time.  Websites with current information offered from a biblical worldview rather than humanist perspective include Parental Rights, Answers In Genesis, LifeNews, the Family Research Council, MercatorNet, and Concerned Women for America.

Use Spiritual Discernment.  A Titus 2 mentor reaches out with the Truth of God, both Law and Gospel.  We are called, however, to be discerning in the proper use of each.  The woman who doesn’t recognize her sin is in need of the Law, but the woman who has been convicted of her sin longs for the Gospel (Psalm 32:3-5).  A suggested book that will help you better distinguish Law and Gospel — as well as the time and place for both — is Handling the Word of Truth by John T. Pless.

Mentor, Don’t Preach.  The woman who builds her house on firm foundation must be prepared for “hot button” issues that stir memories and emotions.  In our circle of relationships are women who have been mentored by someone with a humanist or feminist perspective.  Among us are women who have been wounded by a past abortion, divorce, or physical or mental abuse.  Jesus never compromised the truth nor did He break an already bruised reed.  May we, too, speak truth with a gentle love for souls.  One very effective way to mentor without preaching is story-telling.  No one can deny the lessons learned from a person’s real-life experience.

What’s next?  #2: Mentor Confidence in the Created Order.

Ezer’s Handbook is a resource developed
by Linda Bartlett and presented at Titus 2 Retreats.

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John StonestreetJohn Stonestreet’s article in Breakpoint is a perfect follow-up to my post of yesterday.  John writes:

You probably won’t see her on Fox News. And she doesn’t have a column in National Review. But a lesbian academic trained at Yale, Camille Paglia, who describes herself as a “notorious Amazon feminist,” is an unlikely prophet of cultural doom. And maybe that’s why we should listen to what she has to say.

In a wide-ranging interview in the Wall Street Journal, Paglia says most feminists today deny the basic differences between the sexes, and as a consequence are setting us up for a huge fall. “What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide,” she says.

How? Well, Paglia says, many members of the cultural elite have no experience in the military and in fact disdain military service, a traditionally male province. “These people don’t think in military ways,” Paglia says, “so there’s this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind…. They literally don’t have any sense of evil or criminality.”Daily_Commentary_01_09_14

Friends, as our friend Chuck Colson would say, this isn’t primarily a knowledge problem. It’s a worldview problem. Paglia says modern feminists pass that misunderstanding onto the rest of us at the earliest opportunity—in kindergarten.

“Primary-school education is a crock, basically,” Paglia warns. “They’re making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters.” As the Journal article relates, “she sees the tacit elevation of ‘female values’—such as sensitivity, socialization and cooperation—as the main aim of teachers, rather than fostering creative energy and teaching hard geographical and historical facts.”

And the same thing happens, she says, all the way to college. “The PC gender politics things,” Paglia says, “the way gender is being taught in the universities… is all about neutralization of maleness.” Another prominent feminist, Christina Hoff Sommers, who first alerted us to the ongoing “war against boys” in the culture, agrees, saying, “Boys are languishing academically, while girls are soaring.”

Male neutralization, Paglia says, includes the idea that men and women are biologically the same and that gender is nothing but a social construct. And this is why we shouldn’t be surprised that California schools have started to allow kindergartners with supposed “gender identity” issues to go to whichever bathroom they choose.

Paglia warns us that men have “no models of manhood” in our culture, adding: “Masculinity is just becoming something that is imitated from the movies. There’s nothing left. There’s no room for anything manly right now.” The culture, this feminist admits, needs men and it will die without them. Wow.

So what to do about it? Paglia suggests a “revalorization” of traditionally masculine trades, such as construction, electrical, and plumbing work, which pay well enough but don’t come with the PC cache of a college degree. Well, that’s a start, but what I’d really like to see is a “revalorization” of traditionally masculine virtues.

Newsletter_Gen_180x180_BWe have too many guys, even in the church, afraid to be men. We need men not afraid to be strong risk-takers, to be courageous, to take responsibility, who are self-controlled, gentle leaders and willing providers. We need these real men in our homes and the public square, in churches and in neighborhoods. Remember, God made us male and female. We need both.

Now I realize I may be walking on thin ice here, because virtue is not gender specific. Women can also be strong! I pray my own daughters will be bold risk-takers for the kingdom—but as women, not as men.

Come to BreakPoint.org for some strong Christian resources and good reads on masculinity, what it means to be a man—for men and for boys. . . because we need strong women and strong men. In fact, Western civilization depends upon it. Just ask Camille Paglia.

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jacob wrestles angel of the LordOften, after leading a Titus 2 Retreat, I am asked if I will say a few encouraging words to the husbands and male members of the sponsoring congregation or group.  This is important to me.  As an ezer, a helper by creation and nature, it is natural for me to want to help and encourage the very men who are so different from me.  It has been said that male and female are the two eyes of the universe.  I believe both are needed for a proper perspective.

Before I encourage the men to be the good stewards and defenders of life that God calls them to be, I apologize to them for the folly of women.  The feminist movement baptizes in the name of humanistic narcissism.  It pits women against men and places children in harm’s way.  But Christianity baptizes in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  It clothes even an infant girl in the righteous robe of Christ, washes away sin, begins to work a good conscience, and makes her an heir of The Promise.  Daughters of God in Christ do not have to demean or compete with men in order to be persons of influence.

Radical feminism has done great harm, in particular, to boys.  Insisting that “equal means being the same” has left girls more vulnerable and boys deprived of godly manhood.  To deny that boys learn, process and respond differently than girls weakens society and hurts us all.  It shows in the modern classroom.  Almost twice as many boys as girls struggle with completing regular schoolwork and behaving in the way school systems want them to behave.  Boys are almost twice as likely to repeat kindergarten as girls and more than twice as likely to be suspended.  The majority of school dropouts are boys. (1) In my lifetime, I have witnessed powerful advocacy for girls but little desire to understand or respect what boys need to thrive.

Most disappointing to me is the Christian community.  Barna surveys found that a higher proportion of adolescent boys and men are leaving or not participating in church life compared to girls and women.  Sunday school, day school and catechism classes seem to have forgotten (or dismissed) that boys and girls learn and grow differently.  In his book Why Men Hate Going to Church, David Murrow documents that boys and men don’t really think the church has anything to offer them.  I have observed that the more contemporary worship services have become, the more men seem to drift away.  Why?  If God’s divine service to us is diminished by attention to our praise of Him, time in God’s House may become insignificant by men who are wired very differently from women.  Women may be “moved” by praise songs and emotional presentations, but are men?

Not long ago, following Vacation Bible School, I overheard one of the teachers say that the boys came to life when singing “Onward Christian Soldiers”.  Their lips moved during the rhyming and repetitive praise songs, but their voices raised and their feet marched when singing about spiritual warfare, gallantry and defense of all things noble and good.

In Raising Boys By Design, authors Gregory L. Jantz, PhD and Michael Gurian write,

For faith to be relevant, boys and men need to see it as a part of their action-oriented heroic quest — a wholehearted, sold-out-to-Jesus continual submission of the will to one greater than self.  Boys seek a valiant spiritual quest, fraught with challenge and filled with purpose, sacrifice, achievement, and honor.  Males want to connect with a God who is experiential, to have a personal encounter with Jesus that is so compelling they will grab hold of faith and hang on tight as their lives go forward.  Through such faith they will find their true identity, not just as a man but as a Christian man. (2)

Jantz and Gurian speak about a faith that must be muscular.  As the mother of sons, this resonates with me.  I wanted my sons to respect and defend women, but not become one of us.  Just as I am uplifted by the support and wisdom of other women, so men are strengthened by their healthy band of brothers in work, study, play or service.  From boyhood, men need to engage in problem solving, decision-making and wrestling with the tough issues of life on behalf of the women and children they are called by God to defend.  If you remember, Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord (Genesis 32).  Jacob’s hip was put out of joint during the encounter.  Martin Luther said that through faith, in the struggle of the cross, one learns to recognize and experience God rightly.  A man learns, through times of difficulty as well as times of blessings, that God’s Word is living and active; it can be trusted in all circumstances.

God calls boys to guard the purity of girls.  He calls men to defend the lives of women and children.  It is likely, in this sinful world, that boys and men will be bruised when they do battle for the lives of others and to the glory of God.  It is for this reason, I believe, that men (like women) need the Divine Service.  The literal catechesis in the Divine Service, week after week, prepares a young man not to be passive, but to be engaged in the real world.  It allows him to confess his sins, receive absolution and remember the cleansing work of his baptism.  It speaks the timeless Word of God in Christ.  It renews him with the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

The Divine Service is not the boy or man doing something for God, but God doing something for boy and man so that they, in turn, may do something good for girls and women.

As for me, I will continue to resist the foolishness of some women.  I have no reason to desire the place of a man or covet the responsibilities he has been given.  I do, however, have my own role to play.  It is my belief that I can best help men defend the sanctity of life, protect women and children and, ultimately serve God by loving their neighbor as themselves when I encourage my husband, sons, grandsons and brothers to put on their armor.  To grip the Sword of the Spirit.  To stay alert.  To gather with all the saints and persevere.

War rages.  It is not against flesh and blood but powers and principalities.  It is a spiritual war for our very souls.  I, for one, need the courage and commitment of men who are prepared for such battle.  Men who do more than praise God, but receive from Him training in righteousness… zeal for good works… and the power of self-control.  Divinely served by a mighty God and with marching orders in hand, a man is equipped to bring order out of the chaos of sin.

(1) Gregory L. Jantz, PhD, and Michael Gurian, Raising Boys By Design (Colorado Springs, CO: Waterbrook Press, 2013), 12-13.
(2) Jantz and Gurian, Raising Boys By Design, 195.

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