Bullying, Violence & the Degradation of Innocence – A Sad Reality

**WARNING – language and adult content portrayed in video below**
Today I had an hour-long phone call with a friend of mine who is a single mom with two children.  She was explaining to me how her son was out in their neighborhood playing with the kids and all of a sudden things turned bad.  One of the kids proceeded to lower his pants and start peeing on my friend’s son. 
One thing led to another and my friend’s son found himself on the floor being beaten and kicked as other kids video taped the fight on their phones.  A brave teenager who lived near by arrived on the scene and intervened. 

My friend’s son walked away soaking wet of pee, bruised, beaten up and bleeding.  The kid that attacked him also bit him which caused severe bleeding.  My friend ended up taking her son to the hospital and was told to file a report with the police which she had not done out of fear and also not wanting to get her neighbor’s son in trouble. 

This type of story makes me sick to my stomach.  The part that disturbs me the most is that while my friend’s son was being physically attacked, bitten and beaten, other children were watching and videotaping the event on their phones. 

In thinking about this sick reality it makes me ask the question:
What are we doing wrong with our kids?  How far have we come as a society that children find enjoyment in watching other children be mistreated and hurt?  It’s these children that later grow up addicted to pornography and some of them actually live out their fantasies by raping women and children. 

Parents we need to wake up and wake up fast or the little babies that one day rested in our arms may just find themselves resting behind a prison cell. 

Everything we do and say is recorded in their little minds from the time they are born.  Everything we allow them to see be it on TV or with friends is also recorded and imitated. 

The incidences of childhood violence are on the rise which I find related to the increase of visual stimulation and electronic devices. 

Kids these days are glued like zombies on their iPods or iPhone.  They are in a trance with earplugs, streaming the latest music with lyrics like the ones we hear from R&B artist Rihanna and Eminem in the below video:
“(Your) just gonna stand there and watch me burn, but that’s alright because I like the way it hurts”

Listening to this song makes me cry, feel nauseous and brings me back to a place where I was the girl in the song, being hit and yelled at in the name of love.  He would hit me, then start crying and say he was sorry. He would tell me:
“It’s just you and I, and we fight because we love each other.”  “YOU MADE ME HIT YOU”, he would scream while I cried uncontrollably trying to calm him down.  We lived the crazy Bonnie and Clyde relationship which left me bruised and broken inside for over a decade.  It distorted my view on love and pushed me to change the way I dealt with people.

Thank God that His love is amazing and after suffering in silence for so many years God was able to help me get through my painful past although ashes still remain but the fire has died out and I am one step closer to being whole again. 

But today, there are girls and boys who will encounter similar abuse and not escape alive.  This is an emergency people.  We can no longer stand on the sidelines while our kids absorb all the crap the world has to offer them. 
We are called to a higher standard of parenting.  If we don’t work closely with our children, our community, our churches and other families to stop bullying, violence and the loss of innocence then we might as well just abandon our kids on the street and let them take care of their own life. 
When we let internet, music, TV, bad friendships, seductive clothing and magazines govern the lives of our children, it’s just the same as abandoning them on a street corner.  So spare yourself the expenses and just abandon them from now! (I am obviously using rude humor, but you get the point.)

As a parent we must be involved in the lives of our children.  This means making difficult decisions and guarding them from bad choices when they are young while planting seeds of wisdom so when they are older they will be able to make their own wise choices. 

The story at the beginning of this article could happen to anyone’s child.  As parents we have to be involved in the lives of our kids and make sure we are not allowing them to be involved in things that feed into the dark and nasty world of bullying and violence we see spiraling out of control in our schools, university campuses and work places. 

As parents, we must stop being passive and uninformed.  You can meet with your local school, church or community to work together against this growing problem.  The future of our children is counting on brave parents that will take a stand for what is right and will enculturate their children with Godly values and teach them about forgotten things like: forgiveness, honesty, modesty, purity, respect, honor, courage etc…

Will you take a stand? 

Here are some resources:

http://tosavealifemovie.com/index.php

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/schooling/bullying.aspx

http://goldenrulepledge.com/grpresources/

Lots of Love – Mariana

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Is It Decent or Indecent? – A look at Wise Women & Clothing

What Not to Wear Photo | Girls Gone Wise
What Not to Wear

In 1 Timothy 2:9, the Lord provides three guidelines that help Christian women figure out what and what not to wear: “She adorns herself with respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control.” Let’s examine these three guidelines to help us ensure that our looks are in good order, properly arranged, and ready to display Christ.

Is It Becoming or Unbecoming?

Kosmio is the descriptive form of the Greek noun kosmos (to put in order, trim, adorn, or decorate), which is related to our English word cosmos—the universe. The Greeks regarded the universe to be an ordered, integrated, harmonious whole. Kosmos is the opposite of chaos. So when Paul told women that their adornment should be kosmio, he meant that like the universe, all the parts should be harmoniously arranged with the other parts. It should be “becoming”—that is, appropriate or fitting. Given the context, I believe Paul was implying that our adornment ought to be becoming on a number of different levels.

First and foremost, your clothing ought to be becoming, fitting to, and consistent with your character as a child of God. But it also ought to be becoming to your body type, becoming to your femininity, becoming to your husband, becoming to the other clothes you are wearing, and becoming to the occasion and place you intend to wear it. There’s a tremendous amount of guidance in that small word, becoming. It challenges you to evaluate your clothes, shoes, purses, makeup, and hair from multiple angles as part of the harmonious, integrated whole of your life—to line up the seen with the unseen and the temporal with the eternal. It challenges you to bring a cosmic perspective to bear on your everyday decisions.

I like the word Paul chose. It has enormous implications. Kosmio means that a Christian woman’s “look” ought to be consistently put together, inside and out. This challenges those who put an undue emphasis on external appearance as well as those who neglect their personal appearance. It’s a corrective to women who dress extravagantly. It’s a corrective to those who dress seductively. But it’s also a corrective to those who think that “holy” means frumpy, ugly, unfeminine, and out of style. Becoming indicates that running around in baggy jeans and T-shirts all the time is just as inappropriate as being obsessed with stylish clothing. It means that a woman’s appearance ought to be put together nicely. It ought to be pleasant and attractive—on the inside and the outside.

Is It Decent or Indecent?

The second word, aidous, is based on the Greek term for shame and disgrace. The word is a blend of modesty and humility. When I think about a word picture that personifies this concept, I think of approaching God with eyes that are downcast.

It involves a sense of deficiency, inferiority, or unworthiness. It suggests shame, but also a corresponding sense of reverence and honor toward rightful authority. It’s the opposite of insolence, imprudence, disrespect, or audacity. Downcast eyes are the opposite of defiant eyes.

So does dressing with your eyes downcast mean that you are self-conscious? No. It means that your clothing tells the truth about the gospel. Your clothing shows the world that Jesus covers your shame and makes you decent. Your clothes cover your nakedness as the clothing of Christ covers your sin.

Dressing “with eyes downcast” means that you choose clothes that are decent in His eyes . . . not clothes that are provocative, seductive, and that honor nakedness. When you dress decently, you recognize that God ordained clothes to cover, and not draw attention to, your naked skin. You cover up out of respect for Him, the gospel, your Christian brothers—and out of respect for who He made you to be. Decency means you agree with the Lord about the true purpose of clothing and set aside your self-interest to dress in a way that exalts Christ.

So in that dressing room trying on that skirt, take time to sit, bend, and stretch in front of that mirror, and ask yourself, Is this skirt decent? Does it do what it should do? Does it properly cover me up? Does it showcase my underlying nakedness—or exalt the gospel of Christ?

Is It Moderate or Excessive?

The final thing to ask yourself about clothing is whether it is moderate or excessive. Paul uses the Greek word sophrosunes. It means “of a sound mind; curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate.” The word indicates that our adornment should be reasonable and not crazy. We ought to rein in our impulses and avoid extremes in fashion, hairstyles, and makeup. We also ought to avoid spending crazy amounts of money or stuffing our closets full of crazy quantities of clothing. We ought to govern our wardrobe choices with a sense of moderation, simplicity, and self-control. If the outfit is crazy extreme, crazy expensive, or if it’s crazy for you to be buying another one, then you ought to pass it up.

Understanding the purpose of clothing and asking yourself the three questions, Is it becoming? Is it decent? and Is it moderate? will help you figure out how to dress. And don’t forget to include your “Helper” in the process. The Holy Spirit is an invaluable source of assistance when it comes to figuring out whether or not your appearance glorifies God. If your heart is right and you seek His guidance, He will be your personal wardrobe consultant and teach you what and what not to wear.

Source:
© Moody Publishers. Adapted from Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild, pp. 103-108

Got Integrity? Find out what the bible has to say.


Integrity is a word that is not used much in today’s English. One definition of integrity is: “the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity”So we can say that a good synonym for integrity is honesty.  In the ESVof the Bible most all of the verses that contain the word integrity are in the Old Testament, leaving only Titus 2:7 in the New Testament. Closely related verses containing the word honest or honesty are also primarily from the Old Testament. Take a look at these twenty important Scripture quotes regarding integrity and honesty.

God’s Promise

1 Kings 9:4-5 And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ (The LORD speaking to Solomon)

Psalm 41:11-13 By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me. But you have upheld me because of my integrity,and set me in your presence forever. Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,from everlasting to everlasting!Amen and Amen.

Proverbs 2:6-8 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.

Psalm 2:20-21 So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it

Man’s Plea and God’s Defense in light of Integrity

Genesis 20:5-6 Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. (King Abimelech having a conversation with God about Sarah, Abraham’s wife)

Job 2:3 And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”

Psalm 25:19-21 Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!  Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.

Psalm 26:8-12 O LORD, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells. Do not sweep my soul away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men, in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes. But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;redeem me, and be gracious to me.My foot stands on level ground;in the great assembly I will bless the LORD.

Psalm 26:1-3 Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.

Integrity Doubted and Judged

Job 2:9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” (Job’s wife mocking Job after great tragedy)

Job 31:4-8 Does not he see my ways and number all my steps? “If I have walked with falsehood and my foot has hastened to deceit; (Let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!) if my step has turned aside from the way and my heart has gone after my eyes, and if any spot has stuck to my hands, then let me sow, and another eat, and let what grows for me be rooted out.

Psalm 7:8 The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.

Proverbs 10:9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

Walking with Integrity

Job 27:1-5 And Job again took up his discourse, and said: “As God lives, who has taken away my right, and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter, as long as my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, my lips will not speak falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit. Far be it from me to say that you are right; till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.

Psalm 101:1-2 I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music. I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? Will walk with integrity of heart within my house;

Proverbs 20:7, 11 The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him! Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.

Proverbs 28:18 Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (KJV) I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Titus 2:7-8 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Christian Quotes About Integrity

“We must be the same person in private and in public. Only the Christian worldview gives us the basis for this kind of integrity.”  ~ Chuck Colson 

“Integrity is keeping a commitment even after circumstances have changed.”  ~ David Jeremiah 

“According to Scripture, virtually everything that truly qualifies a person for leadership is directly related to character. It’s not about style, status, personal charisma, clout, or worldly measurements of success. Integrity is the main issue that makes the difference between a good leader and a bad one.”  ~ John MacArthur 

“Few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with everyday need that kind of challenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just cracker jack clean living. Just honest to goodness, bone – deep, non-hypocritical integrity.”  ~ Chuck Swindoll

Source:
http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-integrity-20-important-scripture-quotes/