Thursday, October 9, 2008

Through a glass, darkly.

What some people call "girls behaving badly" was the theme of a T.V. documentary recently. The girls are called "ladettes" or "yobettes", because they carry on the way some young men do, and aim to beat the men at their own game. So the night out consists of having a lot to drink and carrying on with wild behaviour. Baring their breasts from a bus window, shouting out lewd comments and chanting 'let's get boozed and let's get laid' is all the go. When two of these girls are interviewed by the show's presenter, one of them tells us that she punched a hole in the house wall in rage when her mother refused to give her money to go out raging for the night. Another one, explaining why she does it, ends up in tears and admits "I'm in trouble. I need help". You can ask why is it that girls get critisised for behaving that way when boys are shown more tolerance. Excuses get made like "They're just sowing their wild oats" or "It's just youth" and more of that kind. The point here is that the girls are out to beat the boys at their own game. And they are suffering for it the way some boyss do.
Some of the girls, it emerges, have been badly treated by boys. So they get their own back. They can do it too. They can treat boys like disposable sex objects. Use someone like a chicken drumstick you buy at a fast food shop. Eat what you want and treat the left overs as garbage. They can get drunk and pick fights. They can trash everyone around them, and themselves. And if anyone complains they get ridiculed and attacked for being a puritan moralist who just resents anyone else having a "good time".
Then the other side of the picture involves. Some of them have started to suffer liver damage and brain damage from all the drinking. Some of them have been infected with STDs and they can't even remember where they contracted them. That happens with men too, of course. The issue is, some girls seem to think it's a good idea to copy them.
So that's how they want to prove something. It's how they get a sense of self. Girls set out to out do the boys, and don't stop to ask: who said the wild boys had the right idea about how to live? In both cases, the issue can be a lack of hope for anything better.
If you want to see the harm done by living purely for this world, there it is. To have an identity and a sense of self-worth, you have to show off and get the attention of others in the quickest and easiest way. The only value you place on yourself is the value other people seem to place on you. And some of those others only value what they can get some use of, or amusement from.
If people get their sense of worth from God, they do not need the approval of others. If someone really knows that God cares about them and values them, they do not have the same need to get social approval or prove something by making a reputation. So they are not so prone to damage themselves by trying to be the biggest rager of dare-devil in the world. And they might live longer that way.
That is easy to say. If you want human company and friendship, it's difficult not to try and get the attention and applause of other people. But then, which people do you want to get noticed by? If it's the 'fun crowd' who do all the raging, what happens if they also demand self-destructive or denigrating behaviour from you?
I've been there myself. This is not some wise old man who knows it all, it is a survivor of mistakes made in taking a foolish, misguided approach to life. But I was never so desperate that I would let other people gull me into making a complete wreck of myself. Even before actually becoming a Christian, I had some sense of a God who cared. There was something in the universe apart from blind chance and the approval of other human beings. That saved me from destoying myself.
One of the most miserable cases I heard of was this: a young man wanted in to a gang. Their rite of initiation was that you had to climb out of a train window; crawl across the roof of the train and back in by a window on the other side - while the train was moving. He tried to do it, fell and broke his neck. He is now quadraplegic. That was the price of trying to be part of the crowd he thought were cool. And zillions of people can comment about how foolish it was, and yet people still do it. Another case was a girl who became wildly promiscuous because she thought that was the only way to get boys to like her - or at least notice her. This is not news. People have known about this for centuries. Trouble is, it keeps happening.
So am I right in thinking that this happens when people do not have a sense of God caring? They think that impressing certain people is the only way to get a life? Or they think 'life's a bitch and then you die', so what's to be lost by taking chances?
For years the so-called 'liberated thinkers' have been trying to eliminate the influence of Christianity from the western world. The trouble is, they have nothing better to replace it with.

6 comments:

Randi Jo :) said...

what you say is the truth. this is a great entry as always.

Ya know that old cliche about having a "God shaped heart" that only He can fill. I absolutely believe it's the truth.

We were designed and wired to want God. If we don't choose Him, the one and only God --- then we do always choose another. When we choose anything else other than him as our focus, it becomes an idol.

Our idols can be people (approval from them), ourself, alcohol sex or food (lust/passion).....

one of the sneakiest things about the devil is that he makes all the idols seem so fulfilling. sin looks good the majority of the time (the consequences don't but the sin does).

whenever we make idols --- we always will have consequences. there will always be destruction instead of blessings.

awesome post :)

Marshall Art said...

Andrew,

If there's anything that demonstrates we are of one mind, it's that last bit at the end:

"For years the so-called 'liberated thinkers' have been trying to eliminate the influence of Christianity from the western world. The trouble is, they have nothing better to replace it with."

I've been saying this for a long time. Even if we concede that the whole "God thing" is a load, it did influence the kids into thinking that there is always something or someone to whom they are accountable. They understood that what they did when no one could see is still important and a measure of their true character. Without God in their lives and minds, it becomes a matter of what the kid is willing to do and nothing more. Threaten him anyway you like, but if he thinks he can get away with something, and/or if he chooses to believe that he's really doing nothing wrong and others are trying to cramp his style for stupid reasons, he'll behave in any manner that suits him. "Who are you to tell me what's right and wrong? I have my own truth!"

Now of course, I believe. I'm covinced that what evidence does exist in support of God's existence is compelling if people would take the time learn it. But logic dictates that if there is no God, then anything goes and it would be silly to restrict one's own behaviors if one is willing to risk the wrath of society, which is nothing more than other people. Criminals have this type of attitude. They set their own terms for living and deciding what is right or wrong. They believe there is no one for whom they should change.

When kids don't have a strong religious foundation, they believe they can do as they please and set their own terms for living. God has been removed from the public square and replaced with nothing that has the same affect on peoples' behavior.

Great post.

makemeaspark said...

Good post Andrew, very thought provoking, kind of fits what is on my heart today. It seems like I am surrounded more than usual with the hurting lately. Or perhaps they just all are really showing the signs more now.

I know a young lady who is reaping the consequences of this kind of thing right now, and I had to firmly deny her sanction at my house. This same young lady, stayed here with her 3 year old last summer because she was in straights. But now she has abandoned her child for drugs, and I could not allow her to come here any more. It broke my heart, I love her as a daughter and her daughter also.

So much heartbreak right now, I cannot even afford to focus on it all. Pleas check my blog post about the blogging for the poor on oct 15 and join in.

sparks

Amber said...

Andrew I love it! Especially the ending

"For years the so-called 'liberated thinkers' have been trying to eliminate the influence of Christianity from the western world. The trouble is, they have nothing better to replace it with."

The world has nothing...quite literally so that's where we come in, sharing the hope that is in us. It seems so complex but the world is the way it is for a reason. I thank God that he has given us a hope and a future. Thanks for sharing Andrew...keep writing!

Farrah said...

It was good to hear from you, Andrew! I know I don't often write very spiritual things, but I do love to discuss spiritual things and tend to do it on other's blogs. :-) I am glad you stopped by our blog for the Lord, too. My husband has been enjoying posting and meeting other Christian bloggers.

You are right, and it is sad how people are throwing their lives away. There is are so many useful things we can do with our time -- things that will help others and make us happy.

dragon_spirit said...

well, i don't have a lot to say, but you are right!!!

long time no write hu??? lol