Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

text“Going to O’Reilly’s. Join me at 7”

When Sarah received this message, she wasn’t sure if Jason was asking her on a date or just wanted her to hang out with friends. The message came by text. She was hoping for more than a friendship with Jason, but not sure where he stands. Was this a gesture of dating? She wasn’t sure. 

Sarah isn’t the only one. A survey by USA TODAY among 2647 singles found that 69% of people between the ages of 18-59 who are single are equally confused.

Is a date a planned evening withe friends, an individual invitation or a direct ask out?

Usually, we think we need to show special interest in a person and ask him or her out. But technology makes the ask a bit unclear.

So what can you do if you are uncertain?

Text back and clarify? This may back fire. If it the invitation was only a friendship one, awkward!

Go and find out as the evening unfolds. Probably an OK strategy. Be ready for either option since you can’t always determine what a person is thinking or asking from a text!

Call, talk to the person and see if you can get more information. Sometimes, a live interaction can help you read tone and intent better.

It’s a new frontier but nothing beats the face to face contact!

 

This was inspired by a satire on THE ONION about Eminem.

What would happen if Rapper Eminem’s 17-year-old daughter brought her boyfriend home to meet dad? Would dad, Marshall Mathers, AKA Eminem, have a wake-up call?

Let’s say the boyfriend was raised on heavy doses of Eminem’s music along with Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Ludacris, all famous for their lyrics about violence and devaluing of women. Their lyrics, if printed, would make you nauseous. And let’s say the boyfriend’s favorite Eminem song is “Superman,” a song about putting anthrax on a woman’s hygiene product and then slapping her until she can’t stand. He also likes the song, “Kill You,” a brutal story of killing a woman and hiding her in a closet.

What would Eminem think about his daughter dating a man raised on his music? Would he have serious doubts about his character and wonder how the music influenced his world view? Of course, Eminem wrote the lyrics, but when someone dates your daughter who loves this music, well…Yes, lyrics about having sex with prostitutes and then painting the room red with blood are quite disturbing. Do you think this impacts the boyfriend’s views about women?

What happens when any boy grows up listening to lyrics about beating women and treating them like dirt?

They go out in the world and date somebody’s daughter.

The problem is artists like Eminem have  sold over 80 million copies of his albums world wide, making him one of the bestselling artists in the world. HIs disrespect for women have taken root in the hearts of many. Now, those boys to men will date women with violent and objectifying lyrics in their heads.

Too many daughters  will be victims of violence and misogyny. Unfortunately, the damage is done even if a violent hip hopper were to have second thoughts.

Entertaining lyrics shape the thoughts of many and have real consequences.

 

 

This interview with CBN News was based on the news story about Governor Sanford’s infidelity a few years ago, but has some terrific points in terms of how to think about picking up the pieces after an affair. Can marriages be saved? Click on the interview.

Screen shot charlene AMFeatured this week on Dr. Linda’s E-news.

arguing

I was on a radio show discussing how the behavior of politicians and celebrities give permission for children to bully each other. It was an interesting angle, looking at the behavior of adults in our culture and discussing how the lack of civility and mutual respect feed bullying.

But let’s be honest. The biggest influence is in our homes.

When I cut off a driver on the highway and he hand gestures me in a not-so-friendly way, how do I respond?

Or when the person in front of me in the grocery line is taking too long, do I model patience and kindness?

How about the neighbor whose sprinkler system is aimed wrong and watering my car in my driveway every morning? Do I approach him with the love of Christ?

Every day, there are multiple opportunities to model civility for our kids. While we may not see much civility or mutual respect in politicians or celebrities, our kids are primarily learning from us.

A radio host recently asked me, “How do we bring back civility to our culture?” My answer, “Each person has to decide to live out Kingdom principles.” Even if we don’t always succeed (trust me, I make mistakes too!), our goal should be to value every person and not engage in personal insults and injury.

Your kids might hear politicians being nasty to one another, a rock star declaring his entitlement or a TV talk show host name-calling, but in your home, you have the power to model the proper way to treat another person. We can disagree, have debates, and take opposing positions, but we do not have to be mean and personally insulting in the process. And modeling civility in the small things of life is a powerful way to raise a respectful child.

Regardless of the situation, let’s remember that our kids are watching us and learning how to treat others by what they see us doing.