LORD, SET ME FREE!
A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body!
Health is crucial for all of us. Christians know that their body is the temple of the Lord and this is why we need to take care of it and keep it in good shape. Note that we are not simply talking about physical health here, but also mental and spiritual health.
Here some points to ponder (note that these are NOT medical advices. Talk with your doctor or therapist about these points! Also these are only some points. I am sure there is a lot more to think about!):
• Make sure you go for a check-up to your doctor and dentist at least once a year.
• Watch your food habits (in short: Try to eat much fruit and vegetables – if possible uncooked. Cut down on alcohol, coffee, sugar and meat. Drink enough water each day. Make sure your food comes from your area and not from other countries. Eat the fruit and vegetables that grow during the season you are in. Eat whole grain products and brown or wild rice and avoid superfine flour and husked rice. Avoid fast food. Also avoid heating meals in the microwave. Avoid products that are chemically changed a lot.)
• Get a daily structure regarding the times you get up and go to bed, the times you eat and so on.
• Get enough sleep (thumb rule: eight hours a day).
• Do sports on a regular basis (like going to the gym, hiking, walking, swimming or whatever else there is). Even 30 minutes of walking a day can do you much good.
• Follow your doctor’s advice.
• If you have serious physical problems or problems that have been going on for some weeks already, don’t hesitate to go to your doctor.
• Make sure you get enough rest and also fun times in your life.
• Learn about ways to calm down (like autogenic training, muscle relaxation according to Jacobson and the like).
• Find out the stress factors in your life and eliminate them if possible.
• Surround yourself with things you like. If you don’t like the color of the wall in the kitchen, change it!
• Learn about healthy ways to set boundaries.
• Find out about your emotional needs and learn to meet them a healthy way.
• Make sure your social needs are met a healthy way.
• If you have been hurt, seek someone to talk about it. Then learn to forgive! Don’t let past hurts ruin the rest of your life!
• Get a positive attitude. Your perspective on things makes the difference!
• Work on your masculine (for women: feminine) identity. Seek the company of other men (women) to learn from them and grow with them. If possible, take part in programs like Men’s Fraternity.
• Keep your mind busy. Life is not a long and silent river. We need to keep on learning, growing and maturing.
• Find out about your calling in life. Thumb rule: Find out what you are passionate about. God gave us our passions for a reason!
• Get a mentor if possible.
• Surround yourself with healthy men (women).
• Seek good friends!
• If you have serious mental problems or problems that have been going on for some weeks already, don’t hesitate to go to a psychiatrist. Follow his advice.
• Set up a daily structure. You would not ride a motor bike without a helmet, so don’t start the day without putting on your spiritual armor either! Pray, meditate and read the Bible each morning!
• Seek a spiritual mentor.
• Join a local church community.
• Find out about spiritually unhealthy things or people in your life and avoid them if possible.
• Do works of love.
• Repent and confess your sins regularly. Find out about practical steps to make amends or to avoid sinning in the future.
• Pray like there is no tomorrow.
Scaring the crap out of people?
Sometimes we tend to think that scaring the crap out of people by letting them know about possible health issues like sexually transmitted diseases, cancer and the like resulting from men having sex with men is enough to keep them or their loved ones away from same-sex encounters. Is it really?
First and upfront: It certainly is necessary to do so. Few parents who adhere to the idea that when gay groups tell their kids at school how good and wonderful and normal the gay life actually is, know about the other side. Gay activists have a hard time explaining that side, as it is obvious that it is not a “homophobic” society that they can blame for that, but the way especially gay men have sex with one another. Also those who think about doing so themselves or who are already involved in the gay scene should get a detailed idea of what can and does happen. At best in real life: Seeing someone suffer takes a lot away from the “gay” life.
The problem is: Is this enough?
Read my lips: NO. This tactic alone never works. Just look at all the things they write on cigarette packages. That might shy away some, but who really wants to go for it, knows all of that – and smokes anyway. If we focus on scaring the crap out of people, then what happens is that “safer sex” campaigns will be pushed. Put on a condom and all is fine. Aside from the fact that a condom does not prevent all diseases, not even all contagious diseases, we start at the end if we do so. As the saying goes: A stiff --- doesn’t have a conscience. Once you’re horny and had some beers or once you are naked in a bathhouse you might or you might not put on a condom. Even if you do – there are diseases, emotional, relational and spiritual consequences a condom cannot protect you from. Why not addressing same-sex acts the same way we should address many other issues in society: By going back to the roots. If we raise godly children, tell them about sexuality and family the way God sees them and keep those moral standards ourselves, they will not even get to the point where they need a condom at first place. The 60s with their “sexual revolution” have done away with traditional Christian family values uphold for centuries – and replaced them with nothing. Almost everything goes – and the boundaries and taboos are being pushed further almost each year. Even gender identities are not safe from being open for discussion and “change”. Moral relativism reigns – we all are gods. No wonder we are in trouble.
We need to love people with same-sex attractions the way Christ loves them and we also need to tell them the truth in love and show them a better alternative. Through our own lives and example we should let Christ become present in us so others want Him too. Sex isn’t just “good” or “fun”. Sex is holy – meant for the good of two heterosexual spouses in a lifetime monogamous marriage and also to produce the most wonderful gift on earth: children. Everything (!) else – including inappropriate heterosexual acts – falls short of that ideal and will have consequences no condom can protect you from.
So to cut a long story short: It is not an “either/or”, but an “and”. Yes, we need to show people where it can lead to if they turn their face away from the loving Father who does not tell them what to do or not to do because He can, but because He loves us and knows about the consequences of our running away from Him. But shying away from the bad is not enough –we need to show them where to run to afterwards. “Just say NO!” is a pretty poor guideline for those involved. We better let people know what to say “YES!” to – and why.