Friday, September 17, 2010

How Our Culture Influences Us

Today we will go to a more serious subject than vacations. As I noted in a previous blog, after I came back from my vacation I then had the opportunity to do a breakout session at my church's ladies retreat. Well, normally I choose my own topic but they asked me to specifically speak on a subject so I thought I would blog about some of my findings as I prepared for this talk.

It was not a talk that everyone flocked to, in fact I was expecting about 2 people, as the first two ladies came in I told them they may be the only ones. :) I ended up with 20 ladies. God took over as He has to anytime I do anything because he and I both know I do not have the ability in myself to pull these things off.

The topic I was asked to speak on was, Sexual Healing. For anyone that has abuse, trauma or misuse in their past or present. There is so much to that subject but the thing I wanted to share today was an article I found that I felt so describes and confirmed how controlled we are by our culture.

I knew the majority of ladies that would come to my talk would be probably in their 20 and 30s so I learned a long time ago just telling them what the bible says and listing a bunch of rules doesn't work so I wanted to find a way to help them understand that the sexual choices they are making are not their own, they are not more current and relevant than previous generations - they have just grown up in a culture that has influenced them more in this area. And in fact it has not been their choice - they have been controlled.

We really can look at this in many areas of our lives and as Christians may need to ask some hard questions - such as I am being controlled by the culture in this area (whatever that may be for you) of my life or I am following God's Word.

So here is the article - it is from the August 2010 Psychology Today - (not a christian magazine)

"If you don't think our culture controls you, try to break it's unwritten rules: At the crowded restaurant, eat a banana horizontally, as if it were corn on the cob; or join the nice couple in the booth at Wendy's --it's not illegal! The booth is a public place and there is room for 4. But you wont's do it. Why? Because society says so.

Society has its prints all over your sexual script. The idea of a boyfriend, for starters is a cultural invention. What you find attractive is culturally taught. Americans like deodorant. But the French may prefer body odor. Napoleon famously wrote to Josephine: "Coming home soon. Don't bath"

How, where, when, and with whom you have sex are culturally shaped decisions. Culture made them for you while you thought you made them yourself. Around the world today there are cultures that frown on kissing, and cultures that kiss constantly. There are cultures where you get married at 12; cultures where marriage is almost and afterthought; cultures where young people select their won mates through the ritual of dating and cultures where nobody is allowed to see a naked female, ever; and cultures where females walk around half naked as a matter of course.

The things you take to be natural are in fact mostly cultural. The things you take as your own tastes are to a large measure cultural tastes."

I think this is a good way to help young women really examine what they are going to allow to control them. To realize that choices they think they are making are really not their choices at all but the control of the culture. If you know of anyone that is struggling with these issues you may share this with them. The main point being that we need to have a guide for right and wrong or what is best for us as women or people and the culture is not going to do that for us.

"And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

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