Our Fathers by Bethany Luchetta

Our Fathers – Our Identity | By Bethany Luchetta

Father’s Day Month! Month?! Why did I agree to write about fathers this month!? I will start by admitting that I slept through the Father’s Day breakfast that my mom had planned for her husband (my dad, Thomas). You might be asking yourself why I called him “her husband.” He’s the dad who raised me. And really the only guy whom I call Dad. But he didn’t make me. I also have a birth father, whom I call Chad. Anyway, I was depressed about Father’s Day and how it makes me feel, so I slept through the morning.

Luchetta Family Photos_20110622_0439

April (younger sister), Bethany, Dad (Thomas), Heather (older sister)

Luckily for me, my dear-sweet-redemptive-father-example (aka my own husband) was home hanging out with our little Livvy Lou. I did eventually drag myself out of bed because Vince had to work some Israeli Defense gig at the Point Loma Synagogue. (I guess the Israelis don’t celebrate Father’s Day?!) After getting myself out of bed and lounging around, I was eventually convinced to play at the pool with my magnificent 3-year-old. So, this is me, and maybe you?

I am trying to be graceful with my sentiments. I am growing, and some years are better than others. I am working on being intentional at finding the good in any situation. In the meantime, it’s hard to pretend how I feel about my identity in relation to the connection—or lack of connection—I have with my fathers. I keep telling myself to write gingerly—family will read this, friends, my community. But, if I am not real, who can

IMG_6069

Vince, April (younger sister with her son), Bethany, Thomas (dad)

resonate with this part of my humanity? I admit, I don’t have the worst story I have ever heard, but that doesn’t discredit my struggle. And it doesn’t discredit yours either—good or bad or indifferent (or somewhere on the continuum). The fact is, I feel displaced on Father’s Day. Trying to celebrate makes me feel fake.

The facts are: I was adopted by my dad (Thomas) and never knew my birth father (Chad). My birth certificate was changed, and I was not even told I had a “birth father” until I was 10 years old. I knew something wasn’t “right” all along, but I could never put my finger on it. I felt displaced, disconnected and alone for most of my childhood. How can someone feel these things with two sisters and a mom and dad in the home? At 18 years old, I met my birth father and then a whole rash of horrible events within my home rolled out against my soul.

When I met my birth father, it brought up old history for my parents—insecurities and both passive-aggressive and aggressive behaviors that seemed to be directed at me for rocking the boat. My older sister, who shares the same birth father, wasn’t ready to meet Chad, and my little sister, who doesn’t share the same birth father, was feeling oddly

IMG_6338

Livvy Lou, Bethany, Chad (Birth Father)

displaced from me and my sisters’ situation. I don’t want to expound too much; they have their own stories. Nonetheless, my experience of the emotional struggles here began to shut down part of my heart. I didn’t feel safe with the world around me, and I started working even harder to gain God’s approval for my worth. I ventured even farther down the road of shame and confusion.

It is said that we get our idea of God from the father(s) we had. I have been in a spiritual crisis; fathers are distant, unreliable, untouchable—they walk away. I can work really hard and do really well, and still it’s not enough! I see how I have put this stigma on God. I am attempting to learn God is indeed good. He doesn’t force us—or our fathers (or mothers)—to do what He requires. He gives us all free will to choose; therefore, we end up with “humanity,” fallible humans walking around attempting to base our choices on our own definitions of right and wrong. I used to say, “Grace given, for grace desired” because I wanted it myself so badly. It seems to be ringing true once again in my ears.

I queried my birth father this week for this blog. I got to ask him if he missed me when I was young and what it was like for him as a Father not to have me around. I explained to him how I have an issue with ‘out of sight – out of mind’ based on the fact that I have never resonated with the ‘missing’ feeling. I figured if a Father could leave his daughters,

IMG_5694

Chad (Birth Father), Livvy Lou, Bethany

and not seen them, is it even possible to miss people? Do we just get shut out? Hear me out for a minute. I hear people say, I miss ‘so and so’ and I judge them; thinking to myself that they are being dramatic. People say they miss others because it’s the right thing to say when someone is gone. I’ve learned that. But, I don’t feel that. How can someone really be missed if my own father was out of my life and never connected with me. I am not worthy of being missed, and I wasn’t missed, so how can this be a real thing. The closest thing I can relate it to is grieving the loss of my first husband. When he died, I grieved. I am not sure if I missed him, or I missed the hope of what could have been for him. Or missed how he made me feel or the history we had. But, did I miss him? I watch my daughter miss her father (my husband). I say to myself, does she really miss him? It seems like she does. This is why I had to ask my birth father, “Did you miss me all those years?” He said, “Listen I was pissed off at a lot of people for a long time. It would have been different I suppose if I never saw you, but I saw you, we connected.”  The fact is, I was missed, I am worthy of being missed. I overflowed with crocodile tears. That spoke to my soul.

God is gracious to me. He gave me an amazing husband who is a great father to his three daughters. I tell him constantly that he is raising the little Bethany in me. Jamie Humphrey said in her recent blog, “what is submission, if not by free will.” Submitting to love is our choice, not coerced upon us. What is love if not by a free expression of our soul? God is good alone in the fact that He doesn’t force us to love Him, or anyone else. I am starting to get it. Even with all the daddy issues the people of this world carry, God is still good and available for a relationship to teach us what Father love looks like. That in itself is spectacular to me as I am learning to trust Him as a Father.


IMG_1943Bethany Luchetta is married to her love, Vince. She mothers her growing toddler and two beautiful girls from Vince’s first marriage. Bethany runs her own Property Management and Real Estate Brokerages. The love of personal growth and theology pushed her to explore her deeper calling. Attending Dr Henry Cloud and John Townsend year-long Life Coaching Program in 2013, she was inspired to plan for her future career in Theology and Family Therapy at Bethel Seminary. Bethany is preparing for her revocation through Life Skills International, a 32-week personal growth course in San Diego.

Stay at Home Dad!

Stay at Home Dad! | By Eric Loper

I never thought I’d be where I am now as a father and husband.  But here I am.  As my wife, Christine and I rolled with the punches of life, we ended up not so textbook.  I guess I would say it began when we moved back to San Diego from Las Vegas.  In Vegas, I IMG_0255worked full time in a casino, while Christine had a part time gig in Human Resources.  But you see, I wasn’t going to start over in the casinos and Christine found a reputable, full time job in HR once we moved back to San Diego.  I tried the whole starting my own business thing, but having not put much heart and thought into it, that got thrown into the “never mind” pile.

While still searching for what it was I was going to do, Christine worked the 9-5, Monday through Friday.  We did not want to send our kids to day care, so I watched them while Christine was at work.  This didn’t seem permanent as I was looking for where and what I was supposed to be.  My foot landed in the door of a restaurant/brewery as a delivery driver with the intention of working my way up to bartending while I went back to school.  While bartending, I was given an amazing opportunity to take over as the brewer.  This was perfect!  A job that I had a heaping truckload of passion for, and was flexible.  IMG_0267I could get to work early, in order to be finished in time to pick up the kids from school.  Meanwhile, Christine was tearing up HR.  Her experience and pay kept increasing.  Eventually we made the decision to homeschool the kids.  With my job being the flexible one, naturally I would take on schooling. While this works, it’s definitely not the easiest way of doing things.

On days the kids are homeschooled, if I have to work, I get up at 2am to start working before the word “early” is even awake.  Christine then drops them off at my work on her IMG_2458way into the office.  This way I am usually done around 10am and we have time to go home and hit the books.  Normally, we hit history and literature by noon.  That’s about when I feel the increasing weight on my eyelids, “OK kids, after history you two can have a recess while dad takes a nap.”  These naps justify the 2am alarm clock.  It’s like 30 minutes of heavy heaven.

Now, while this works, it’s not what we had planned.  I mean I never imaged that I would be working part-time, as well as part-time homeschooling my kids, while Christine worked a full time gig,  Monday through Friday.  I did not expect to be the one texting my wife to see if she was going to be home on time, or making sure the house was clean before Christine got home from work so we could all relax and hang as a family.  We just kind of fell into this.

 

As time went on, this path became more cemented.  There was a bit of panic as the cement hardened.  We felt trapped.  Christine began to struggle with the idea of being a IMG_0165working mom when so many of the people that she looked up to were stay at home moms.  As relatively new Christians, this situation didn’t seem to fit what we thought the Christian family should look like.  As Christine was crafting ideas of how she could make a career for herself at home, her career in HR continued to excel.  She received more and more favor and provision, which was a huge blessing to our family.  At the same time things were going well with my work.  I was also able to be involved with coaching my kids’ sports.  We had time for ministry and the right balance of family time.  Things were actually pretty good.  You’d think we would have seen God’s hand in all this goodness, yet we were searching for a way out.

 

Thankfully, God showed us what we couldn’t see even though it was right in front of our faces.  Christine attended a women’s retreat where Pastor Tracy was teaching on a woman’s identity.  In that, she spoke that the focus isn’t whether a woman works inside IMG_1503or outside her home, but rather where her heart is aimed.  The Holy Spirit showed us this is exactly where we needed to be.  Since then everything seems so settled.  Christine is still amazing at work and just the mom that our kids need.  Sure I don’t get to have the kids yell “Dad!” when I walk in the door from work.  That’s reserved for mom in our house.  But hey, I get to work part time at a job that I love, help my kids learn, coach their sports team, and lead our family.

We’ve learned that marriage is a partnership and “roles” are what you make of it.  I’m pretty darn good at cooking and I love to do it; Christine is great at cleaning.  I’m more of the disciplinarian while Christine is the peacekeeper.  I like to play and be rough with the kids, while Christine is the one they want when they need the tenderness of a mom.  Although some of our roles might seem like they are turned around, it’s very much God’s handiwork at play here in this house.  We love, trust and serve God; He leads, we follow.

 


IMG_0699Eric Loper is 39 years old and has been married to Christine Loper for 14 years and together; they have a 13-year-old son Keith and an 11-year-old daughter Jade. He works at Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing in Carmel Mountain Ranch as the brewer. He also homeschools his kids and helps with their sports by coaching. He loves sports, cooking, and gardening.

The Joy in Waiting by Valerie Hatcher

Although none of my flesh wants to believe that there is joy in waiting, I know that there most certainly is | by Valerie Hatcher

As Christians, we hear this hundreds of times, have probably even attempted to remind ourselves daily that God is working while we wait for “X” event, or for an answer, or for some sort of change. All the while, we are supposed to be joyful in the process. But the truth is, waiting sucks! At least for the Flesh it does, and guess what? That is entirely what we are!

Growing up, I was as broken as they come. Although I had no clue of this; I thought I was amazing. Throughout middle school, and well into high school, I always surrounded myself with a big group of friends, and even more so, male friends. I always had a crush on someone, and I usually prevailed when it came to having them fall for me. It was a game, a way to see how I could get what I want, but all the while running far away from the one thing I truly did want: Love.

It was my Senior year of high school when God began a work in me to truly transform me from the inside out, and he used the most perfect tool: a boy. I was introduced to this boy through a mutual friend, and he couldn’t have been more different than me. I was starving for love and attention, from anyone or anything. But he was filled with Jesus, the greatest love of all. I was so naïve. “No big deal,” I thought to myself, “I Believe in God too.” But boy was I wrong. From the minute my best friend asked not to try to make him like me, because he was a “good boy,” I was determined to do the contrary. I thought it would be easy, as it had been in the past. I had a way with words, and I had perfected the art of flirting. I was going to like this boy anyways, but even more so, I would make him like me too. Easy enough, right? Except for the fact that he really was DIFFERENT. We talked for months, and to me, it felt like years. Typically, I was over a boy by then, and had found a new crush and was onto the next. Why was this taking so long?! He liked me–that was clear. Although he absolutely hated dancing, I convinced him to go to Homecoming with me. We talked non-stop, and I drove to his house nearly every day after work just to sit in my car with him for 10 minutes to talk. But still, nothing. He would tell me over and over that dating was a serious thing to him, because you should only date to find who you will marry. This concept, though not completely foreign to me, felt awkward. It made me start a deeper evaluation of myself and ask what my reasons were for dating. More and more, God was showing me the value in waiting. The longer I waited, the more I began to fall in love with this boy’s values. He had a different outlook on life than I had–that was clear–but why?

It was after months when I finally worked up the courage to tell this boy that if he was  not going to ask me out, then there was no point in investing all this time. That alone was not like me because I rarely gave up but then again, I also rarely had to wait for months for a boy to turn around. I was not prepared for his answer either, because it was a clear, hard,  “No, I still do not want a girlfriend.” To say I was in shock would be an understatement. Through a night full of tears, I began to question what was wrong with me. I wondered if he did not think that I was good enough. What was it that I was missing?

Maybe it was the tears, or maybe it was the fact that I tried my hardest to ignore him all day at school the next day, but again he did the unthinkable and finally asked me out (and the crowd said hooray)! Here is where the real waiting began…

Now that we were officially a couple, I started to realize even more that this boy really was different from others I had previously pursued. He told me shortly after we had been dating that he was saving himself until marriage. This was something I had honestly never planned for myself. I actually assumed that he would change his mind. But at the same time, I knew right away that this was the boy I was supposed to be with forever! As time went on, I found myself wanting to be this “good girl” that he would eventually want to marry. That alone was a process in which I found myself waiting. I began going to youth group with him, and before I knew it, I was no longer striving to be a better me for him, but a better me for the one true love that was there for me all along: Jesus.

We have now been dating for eight years and four months. Saying that aloud brings a multitude of emotions; I am sure many can imagine why, but frustrated is at the top of the list. Don’t get me wrong, it is a complete joy that I have found the absolute love of my life and the man I know I want to marry. Our relationship and walk with God, together and apart, has seen so many breakthroughs after all this time, that I know it has been a blessing that we are still waiting to be married. However, I am human. A woman in my mid-twenties human, who has become the absolute highest amount of impatient that one can get!

Not only has it been challenging to not have the title of wife after all these years, but we are still in fact adamant that we do not want to act as if we are married. Put more simply, we are still abstaining from premarital relations. This, to be honest, is NOT easy. We have been together for as long as most married couples in our church, crying out loud! But yet, we are to be joyful while we wait. This is something that my flesh screams CRAZY! But my heart has, in fact, found joy.

The reasons why are quite simple, actually; one being that it is written over and over again throughout Scripture that we are to wait on the Lord, but also due to my own interactions with the Holy Spirit in which I have heard God say to me, “It’s not your timing, but mine.” These specific verses are ones that I feel God has perfectly illustrated to us;

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways submit to him, and he will make your path straight.”
  • Lamentations 3:25 “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”
  • Romans 12:12 “ Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

These past years have been far from a cake-walk, and that has become my biggest testament as to God moving in this relationship. That may seem a little backwards to some, but to me it makes perfect sense. The Lord has promised us both that we are to eventually be together, if we indeed wait on him. It seems crazy to our Christian friends who cannot believe we have waited this long, and even crazier to our non-Christian friends who cannot grasp the idea of “waiting” at all. It’s frustrating to both of us, and we have failed at times and have threatened to give up. Every time, we are met with the Lord’s precious grace and reminded of his promises. It is because of this that I have been able to wait with a smile, because every time I want to cry out to the Lord, “How dare you make me wait when I’m trying to do everything right by you,” I am quickly reminded of the works he has done. He has transformed this once-little girl, who starved for any worldly love she could get her hands on, into a woman who is running only after Christ’s heart. He has taught both my boyfriend and me the value of a Godly relationship, and has shown us, in many circumstances, how glad we are that we are not yet married. He has also allowed us to be a light to so many people through our experiences.  And, He has undeniably reminded us both that though the world may look at us funny for waiting on the word he spoke to our hearts, that He will be good to those who seek Him. Although none of my flesh wants to believe that there is joy in waiting, I know that there most certainly is.


Untitled
My name is Valerie Hatcher and I am 26 years old. I live in San Marcos and have recently taken on the responsibility of raising my 12-year-old brother, Keanu. I grew up always believing in God and occasionally would attend Catholic Church with my family, but I would consider myself to have been saved in 2009. I began to attend The Father’s House regularly along with the high school group The Bridge with my boyfriend, Simon, when I was abruptly met with the Holy Spirit one morning at work. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to live my life for Jesus. Growing up with the furthest from a “normal” family, I was finally at peace to know I had the best father anyone could ask for in Jesus.

My Child Would Never…

My Child Would Never… | By Lauren Stark and Chrissy Grissom

A Mother & Daughter Co-Write on their Story. 

Lauren Stark: When I look back on my life some parts seem like a lifetime ago. I’m currently 32, married to an amazing man, I have three beautiful girls and a job that I love. I love Jesus, my church, my family and my friends. I’m genuinely joy-filled and excited about my future, but it wasn’t always like this. I wasn’t always perusing Jesus and going to church. I wasn’t always happy with my life.

I grew up in a Christian home, attended a church my whole life and even went to a Christian school from kindergarten through eighth grade. My parents provided what they could and did their best to raise a Christian kid. But as much as they wanted me to have their Jesus, it was exactly that: their Jesus. I had to come to him on my own and unfortunately that meant walking through some drug problems.

I went to Orange Glen high school from 1999-2003 and tried to fit in and be one of the cool kids. I went to parties and started hanging out with the wrong crowd, desperately trying to fit in and be accepted and wanted. I look back and think “why”? Why did I so seek their approval? I dabbled around with alcohol and I got pregnant right out of high school. 18 and a new mom. When things fell apart with Aliyah’s biological dad, I began a five-year chase to make something work. I needed a husband, I needed to get out of my parents’ house, I needed someone to help me through this way-too-expensive southern California life. I was seeking friendships and relationships to fill the void deep within my heart. A single mother knows loneliness like no other.

Sometimes I drank … a lot. I turned 21 and got a DUI. What a loser! You can only imagine how the enemy played on me. I looked to drugs and more alcohol to satisfy me and they did but only for a moment. The thing is, no matter how high you get you will ALWAYS come down. The biblical principle is true: you reap what you sow; and if you chase after drugs, you will reap destruction. The wages of sin is death! But you’re not thinking in biblical terms when you are using drugs. All you care about is yourself and how you can feel better. Your better judgement is gone entirely.

LaurenI feel lucky with my story since my run with drugs wasn’t that long. I ended up with a broken repentant heart that was met with forgiveness and mercy. Mercy is undeserved favor. Undeserved. I didn’t deserve mercy when I was disobedient to my parents in high school. I didn’t deserve mercy when I had sex before marriage. I didn’t deserve mercy when I wasn’t being the best mom I could be. I didn’t deserve mercy when I was using drugs. But that’s the God I found when I hit my rock bottom, a God of mercy. I wasn’t in trouble, I wasn’t grounded. He didn’t say “Well if you get better then I will let my work on the cross work for you.” He died and forgave me when I was my ugliest. He was whipped while I stole money from my parents. He took a crown of thorns stuck in his head while I took some crystal meth and smoked it in abandoned parking lots. He carried a heavy cross that dug into his bleeding back while I cooked heroine and shot it up.

Oh, the risk I took! But the risk Jesus took! He went to the cross for me but what if I never got to know him? What if I never “got right”? What if I never repented? God took a huge risk on me sending his only son to die on the cross for my drug addiction. Wow! I’m forever grateful he did because I did come to know him. In 2008, I finally hit my rock bottom. I was so broken and humbled that I went home and told my family the truth. I ended up in a Christian rehab in Huntington beach. My life changed. I realized that all I had been missing was my relationship with Jesus. My true daddy, my savior, my restorer of life, my healer and my provider!

Looking back, I see God’s patient love for me. His grace and mercy over my drug deals. Over my shady scary police encounters. It is amazing that all I have are some fractured relationships and embarrassment to clean up. I should be dead, in jail, without my kids Lauren Familybut God spared me. Today I love Jesus with every fiber of my being. I seek him for my approval and acceptance, the God of the universe, the maker of heaven and earth who holds the stars in place knows every detail in my life and his thoughts of me are more numerous than the grains of sand at the beach. What the enemy was trying to kill, steal and destroy all those years the Lord has renewed and traded it with abundant life. I don’t share my story to brag about some dangerous things I’ve done but to boast in my weakness since there the lord has shown his strength.  

Walking with Jesus on “this side” of my story is so much better than before. I can list at least 5-10 people just like that who are struggling with addictions. I know it is hard for parents or loved ones to draw the line between tough love and grace but I will say this: when I was truly sorry and repentant and humbled to my core, my dad showered me with grace and forgiveness like the prodigal daughter I was. He reflected our heavenly father and that’s when I met Jesus.

 

Chrissy Grissom: As parents we often feel our children are an extension of ourselves. When they do good and great things it must be because of our sweet parenting skills. So it stands to reason when they don’t make good decisions, it must be our fault. Did I not love enough? Did I love too much? Not enough discipline? Too much? What did I do wrong?

The hardest thing we a parents witness is our kids making bad choices – knowing what consequences await them. The enemy is out to steal, kill and destroy but I didn’t think he would be after one of my own. Or at least I never thought one of MY kids would EVER do any dangerous drug. MY child? No way.

Pride.

I was in denial. My husband wasn’t. He knew something was way wrong. But he also knew if she ever wanted help and wanted to come home, he would help her. What an awesome example of our heavenly father he was at that time.

Lauren & dadAfter a lot of praying and fasting I came to the realization she isn’t really my daughter, sort of. She is our Lord’s daughter. I had to give her over completely to God. God loves her more than I possible could ever love her. I am so grateful. God is all about redemption and reconciliation. Even though I didn’t know exactly what she was doing at the time, I had a strange peace knowing she is God’s child.

The best day ever came on a cold Sunday morning looking out my window, squinting and seeing…is that Lauren? Walking towards out house? Is that really her?

Thank you Jesus that her time in that world was relatively short lived. I want to say to any parent out there: trust in God. He loves your child more than you do. Fast and pray.

I want to add a warning. I hope you never think (like I did) “My child (young or grown) would never do anything like that.” Or any other harmful thing. Our enemy is good at what he does. But the good news is God is greater.  


Lauren & Crissy

 

Lauren Stark is a happily married mother of three beautiful girls. She works full time at Henson’s Fix Auto. Chris (Chrissy) Grissom is Lauren’s mom. Chrissy also has three children. She is the school secretary at Escondido Christian School, where she has worked for twenty-five years.

On Value and Beauty

On Value and Beauty | By Joe Pinner

I want to say something about every woman, using the concept of objective value and beauty, and I’d like to offer some some of my personal reflections that I hope will encourage you. However, it would be a terrible mistake to think that I’m somehow aunnamed-1 proper authority on anything, let alone the value and beauty of a woman. I’m an ordinary man. Sometimes I’m grumpy, and selfish, and not very impressive. I don’t always love my wife, Andrea, like Christ loves the church (I’d be surprised to learn if I did that for a minute straight), and I don’t always honor her as she deserves. I swear this is true and not false humilityalthough I’m not above false humilitybecause I’m also brimming with ugly pride. I’m pretty sure that’s why I said yes to writing this.


So, I’m a mess. I’m definitely not better than anyone else’s husband. I emphasize this
point because this blog is not meant to be about me, and you should be thanking me for that. There is nothing helpful to you about some guy at your church merely talking about why he appreciates his wife. My hope here is to give you something more substantial than that. Ultimately I want to tell you not about why I’m so crazy about Andrea, but why God is so crazy about you.


IMG_4584Now, that being said, I will briefly share something about my love for Andrea. I’m captivated by her. Like Valentine in Shakespeare’s
The Two Gentlemen of Verona, bemoaning any moment of her absence: “What light is light, if Silvia (Andrea) be not seen? What joy is joy, if Silvia (Andrea) be not by…” It’s kind of overwhelming how amazing she is to me, but I can’t help it.

This admiration I have for Andrea is a very enjoyable affair, no doubt, but it has often caused me a great deal of curiosity about the nature of her value and beauty, such that it should be so intoxicating to me. Yes, she’s physically beautiful, and yes, she is incredibly virtuous and smells wonderful. But these qualities alone seem to fall short of explaining my strong temptation to worship her. Am I mental?

unnamed-4Happily, the disciplines of theology and philosophy have proven useful in shedding some light on this matter for me. As it so happens, there are two different ways of talking about value judgements, both of which, are familiar to us. Sometimes we talk about things we personally prefer over others like our favorite ice cream flavor over another, or even wealth over poverty. These kinds of value judgements are of the subjective variety meaning that they are autobiographical and can only provide information about the person (or subject) who is sharing. Other times however, we make value judgements that are obviously meant to objectively describe the quality of something.  Moral or ethical value judgements are an easy example of these. The wrongness of rape, murder, lying, and cheating is a quality of the actions themselves and not the observer. These kinds of judgements only tell us about the person making them insofar as they confirm a person is capable of seeing these objective features like a man at the doctor’s office reading an eye chart.

This brings us to the concept of beauty. If pop culture is to be believed, beauty is an entirely personal construct and is thus constrained to the “eye of the beholder.” But this limited view of beauty would be at odds with what we actually take beauty to be. Such a view, if correct, would certainly mean the end of artistic appreciation and criticism for all mediums including painting, architecture, and even fashion. After all, who would care about any person’s mere subjective opinion of beauty, if we did not also see that their statements were predicated upon the presence of real and objective beauty? The deficient subjective view of beauty simply doesn’t explain the kinds of feelings that come over us when we behold true beauty; and just as we understand ethical values to exist independently of our human minds, we find that beauty is the same. We simply see that certain things are beautiful because of something mysteriously connected to their nature. This mystery has led many of our great philosophers to conclude the only thing that makes sense of the data: God is the source of beauty.

 

Now, that’s all well and good, and I know that the concept of beauty can be a fussy one; especially when you’re pleading in the mirror with your mascara to stop clumping, or when your beloved jeans are fitting tighter than when you bought them. But a woman’s value and beauty is not found in these things. Nor is it found in Pinterest-worthy decorative, organic lunches you wish you had the time to pack daily for your children, or even a unique ability to repurpose old wine bottles and file cabinets. If it were, Valentine would have lost interest in his Silvia long before he could have uttered his declarations of love. A woman is so much more than this.

unnamed-2A woman is valuable and beautiful because of something in her very nature. In their book, Captivating, John and Stasi Eldredge explain, “She is the crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God. Woman. In one last flourish creation comes to a finish not with Adam, but with Eve. She is the Master’s finishing touch … Can there be any doubt that Eve is the crown of creation?” Woman, like man, bears the imago Dei, the image of God. But the unique creation of woman showed us the tender and aesthetic side of God not showcased by man. This value and beauty is hers in a permanent, objective sense, and never relied on Smashbox, Cross-Fit, or Etsy.

So, with this, I say to every woman who is reading my words: You embody every bit of the same objective, factual beauty that God imbued to Eve. You are enough! You are gorgeous and valuable independently from anything you could ever add to yourself. Your very nature has been set apart from the rest of creation by the creator, Himself, and cannot be modified. This is not true simply because I subjectively prefer it to be true. No, as I indicated earlier, my experience with this value and beauty in my marriage is quite irresistible. Rather, the things I’ve told you are a part of the story of reality revealed to us in God’s Word. They are objectively true.


unnamed-5About the Author

Joseph Pinner is 37 years old and has been married to Andrea Pinner for 17 years. Together they have five daughters with ages ranging from 1 to 16. He works at the VA Medical Center in La Jolla as a dialysis technician and soon-to-be RN. Family is his greatest passion and calling in life, but a close second is defending the truth of Christianity by presenting reason and evidence in love.