On Friendship and Mentorship

I have a confession to make. I don't want friends. *gasp* I must me emotionally stunted! What kind of person doesn't want friends? Surely I am a sociopath, or something like it.

Well, now that I have made you question my socio-emotional maturity, allow me to elaborate. I see the value of friendships, and I am very grateful for the friendships I have in my life. I love you, friends. However, I don't want any more friends. I no longer crave having peers. I crave something else now.

I crave a mentor. I yearn for a mentor. That's weird, though. I mean, how do you go about getting one? Do I just go up to someone I respect and say, "Hey, wanna be my mentor?" It's not quite the same as making a friend.

Mentorship is very important, though. It's basically discipleship, and I think sometimes Christians misunderstand the depth of discipleship. I wonder if we often think it begins and ends with an unbeliever becoming a believer, or whatever terminology you want to use, but it doesn't stop there. Discipleship actually truly begins after process is finished, because it's really a relationship. It's a relationship that has a teacher-student dynamic, and that's clearly very important sense those were some of the central relationships in Jesus' ministry.

I struggle to find a mentor. I think it's partially an issue of modern culture, because people have become so suspicious of the very concept of authority that a discipling relationship looks problematic (oh, I hate that word). However, it's also because the people who have tried to mentor me have neglected a very important need of mine, and by no fault of their own.

The people who have been drawn to me have been deeply spiritual people, and that's great! I love exploring the depths of spirituality! However, I don't want to neglect my intellect, but that's almost impossible to avoid when the people who want to invest in me focus almost exclusively on spiritual and emotional growth. Again, there's nothing wrong with that! If they're wired that way then they're wired that way. No judgement here.

I hesitate to say this, but I can't help but notice a trend. The people who have wanted to mentor me have mainly been women, and the people whom I have wanted to mentor me have mostly been men. I have nothing against other women, and I will reiterate one more time, I highly value their wisdom and investment in the socio-emotional pursuit of spirituality. However, I want more, and I struggle to find women who are as interested in exploring a purely intellectual examination of faith and spirituality as I am.

Unfortunately, it's weird looking for a male mentor. I am extremely neurotic, so any possibility of my relationships even LOOKING like they could be inappropriate is enough to stop me. So, what do I do? Well, so far, I have satisfied this need by finding people on the internet to listen to.

I love Dr. Jordan Peterson, J. Warner Wallace, and even David Wood. They are huge inspirations for me. I also enjoy the YouTubers Sargon of Akkad and Computing Forever, and to be honest I view their content more than anyone else's content. (I know, I know, some people consider them pseudo-intellectuals, but I still think they have good insights.) Now, I am not trying to bad mouth atheists – quite the opposite actually, I have a great deal of respect for a lot of social and political commentators who happen to be atheists – but I wonder what it might say about what Christian communities may be lacking , when the majority of my need for mentorship is being fulfilled by atheists. We have lost something in our Christian communities. We need to find it again.

My dear atheist friends, please don't misunderstand me. I don't think you are lesser than Christians, I am simply saddened by the lack of Christian mentors who I can connect with. I have found much wisdom and companionship with atheists and agnostics, and I am deeply grateful for that. I only make the distinction to illustrate my point that I wish I could find a mentor who would invest in my intellectual growth as a vital component of my faith walk.

Anywho. Thank you for reading my blog. God bless you! I love you all!

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Your Words Matter

Today I received a compliment from a man whom respect, and I realized something. I almost feel giddy when a man whom I respect compliments me. Even if it’s a simple, “Hey, nice dress.” It just makes me giddy. Of course I love it when women compliment me. It feels great to hear my female friends tell me things that they appreciate about me. It can really give me a boost when a woman I respect compliments me, too. But something about a man’s acknowledgement of my qualities is just so unique. 

I think it may have something to do with authority. I believe that God has given man greater authority than woman. Women do have authority, but if I am to keep true to God’s word and his order of things, which I want to do, I must acknowledge that at least on a spiritual level a man’s authority is innately greater. 

I don’t have a problem with this. In fact I am thankful for it. I do not envy the authority that my husband holds, and I am very grateful that he accepts the responsibilities that come along with his measure of authority. 

That being said, I shall go back to my original point. I simply love receiving compliments from respected men! It’s almost like receiving praise from someone higher up the corporate ladder at my place of work. Sure, it’s great receiving compliments from a peer at work. That’s very encouraging. But when someone who has more authority and therefore more responsibility takes notice of something I’ve done and says, “I’m impressed. Good job.” I become giddy. There’s something so gratifying about that!  

It’s almost like I get the feeling of… Oh dare I say it… “Senpai noticed me!” LOL I was steeped in anime and Japanese culture as a teenager…

Anywho, I just wanted to share that today. Men of God, your compliments matter. To those who acknowledge and accept your authority, your words really do have an impact. Sometimes that thought may be nerve racking, but I hope it’s also encouraging. 🙂 

God bless!

Anaisa 

…It feels kind of weird writing this freely. I hope I eventually get used to it.

Marriage: Mysterious and Profound

Lately I have been thinking a lot about marriage. I am still technically a newly wed (although I don’t really feel like a newly wed), so the topic of marriage has become more profound to me as of late. For this reason, I think about the way that the definition of marriage is changing. In our culture it was once considered a union between a man and a women only, but many people are challenging this. It seems hateful, bigoted, and to some Christian’s it even seems spiritually or scripturally dishonest.

To me, it is more than spiritually and scripturally honest, but divinely beautiful and profound. Marriage is symbolic of the relationship between Christ and the Church.

Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
30 because we are members of his body.
31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

I believe that God gave us marriage as a beautiful gift, and I believe that gift has a divine purpose, higher than simply to benefit man-kind (although that is certainly an important part of it). It was given to us as a physical and tangible picture of what the relationship between Christ and the Church looks like. Our very bodies were created for the purpose of glorifying the Lord. Wouldn’t something as important as marriage have that same purpose, too?

For this reason, I believe that same-sex marriage is less beautiful, and less profound. A man joined to a man cannot show what the relationship between Christ and the Church looks like with their own lives, and neither can a woman joined to a woman. Heterosexual couples often fail in this as well, for wives often fail to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ, and husbands often fail to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. However, the possibility to honour and glorify Christ and his Bride is still there. In marriage a man cannot be the head over another man, and a woman cannot be the head over another woman. There us an imbalance of authority, so it cannot paint the picture if Christ being the head of the Church.

Unfortunately, the concept of authority is becoming loathed by more and more Christian women as this world moves farther into the feminist movement. Even some Christian men have come to loath the concept of authority. For this reason, one of the pillars of marriage has been knocked down. It’s mysterious and profound purpose is becoming irrelevant in society, even to Christians.

For a non believer, glorifying God means little. For a Christian, it should mean everything. The desire to glorify God should seep into every inch of our lives. It should be the aroma that never fades. It is the reason that we were made in God’s image. It is up to each of us to decide what is more important in our lives.

Thank you for reading my blog. 🙂