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Posts Tagged ‘self-indulgence’

Experts in New Zealand praise the healthy habit of self-control.  Those with common sense respond, “Well, duh!”

New scientific research shows that if adults cultivate the practice of self-control — starting early — in children, a great many could be saved from addictions, poverty, and crime.  Isn’t that just like scientific evidence?  Always lagging behind but, when pure, testifying to God’s order of creation.

This ezerwoman is a better helper — of men, children, and society — when I practice self-control.  Lest I forget (or resist), God consistently reminds me to be “self-controlled.”  The books of 1 and 2 Timothy refer to the virtue of “self-control” at least four times.  At least five times, the book of Titus instructs older men and women to practice and mentor “self-control.”  There’s good reason.  Self-control glorifies God.  It can result in more hopeful consequences.  It can even reduce depression

Self-control is the opposite of living our lives however we please.  Doing whatever makes us “happy.”  Insisting that our “needs” be met.  Serving self over others.   Perhaps this is what happens when times are good.  We give ourselves license… for whatever, whenever.   We have (in my American lifetime) “lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence” (James 5:5).  For sure, it is what happens when women are encouraged to let their emotions rule.

But, encouraging girls and young women to let their emotions rule has not made them happy.  It is widely reported, writes Dennis Prager, that women suffer depression at twice the rate of men.  If the clinical assumptions are true, Prager suggests that we consider the following:

“Wise cultures have learned that happiness is attained only when we conquer our nature.  This is true for male and female.  With modern feminism, however, came a belief in the superiority of the female nature.  The result?  Society was urged to suppress both the negative and positive aspects of the male nature with little or no suppression of the female nature.  Historically, societies and parents have always known it’s a good thing to teach boys to control two aspects of their male nature — their sexual desires and their predilection for violence.  Decent men were taught from youth to touch a woman sexually only with her permission and to channel physical aggression into sports or into helping fight evil by joining the police force or military.  Men who didn’t learn to control these aspects of male nature not only became bad men, but unhappy men.”

He continues, “Societies and parents also knew it was important to help girls control their natures — in particular, their predilection to be ruled by their emotions.  Women who allowed their emotions to rule them not only became destructive (to members of their families first and foremost), they became unhappy women.  But, while modern society continued to teach boys to control themselves, it stopped teaching girls to do so.  Girls’ emotions and feelings were treated as inherently valuable.  In fact, to repress a girl’s emotions or feelings was labeled ‘sexist’ and showed a ‘hatred of women.’ ”  (Excerpted from “Wanted by women: A few good old-fashioned men” by Dennis Prager, The Washington Times, 6-30-08)

Hmmm.  I’m reminded of the woman who showed up at an abortion clinic.  Why?  “He kissed me and I melted.  I was filled with passion and couldn’t help myself.  Now, I’m pregnant and must take control of my body.”

Lack of self control + unhappy woman = desperation and hopelessness.  Ugh.

There is another choice.   Mature men and women can be examples of self-control and mentor younger ones to do the same.  There is promise in such practice: Hope for living out our lives in anticipation of Jesus’ return (Titus 2).

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