I have two favorite holidays: Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. My love for them has almost nothing to do with the actual reason for the day and everything to do with summer, ice-cream, and cookouts.
While I believe there is nothing wrong with these things and tradition can be a wonderful thing, this past weekend as I celebrated Independence Day, I found myself reflecting on the idea of FREEDOM and what that means for us as Christians.
In the last few years, I have been on a strange path of examining my own belief system, and I can tell you it has been a scary and unsettling ride. I think it started with something as simple as finding out that the tooth fairy was not real. If something like that was a lie told straight to my face by the people I trusted most, I then needed to start examining almost everything I was taught.
In this, I have found a freedom to evaluate the teachings that have traditionally been taught to a young lady in the Deep South.
Here are some of the fallacies that I have been able to find freedom from:
A lady should be married around 25 and have a few babies in the home before 30.
o When I was still unwed at the age of 27, I actually had a family member ask my father “what’s wrong with her?” Answer: NOTHING
o Ephesians chapter 5 tells us that “husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies” and wives must “submit to their husbands as to the Lord.” At the age of 25, I was absolutely not ready to submit to any man the way I submit to My Lord; therefore, I was not ready for marriage! Marriage should not have an age limit, no matter how we traditionally do it in the south.
Baby boys must be circumcised to show our devotion to God just as the Israelites did in the Old Testament.
o “For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.” 1 Corinthians 7:19
o The American Academy of Pediatrics even says, “the procedure is not essential to the child's current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child.”
Christians must vote conservative/ republican to ensure biblical teachings.
o Many times throughout the New Testament, Jesus was confronted and chastised by the Pharisees over technicalities of scripture. Finally, in hopes of trapping Him, they asked Jesus, “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment of the law?” Matthew 22:37-40, “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
o THAT, my friends, is what should guide our hearts as we vote and pray for our nation. Not who your parents voted for or who your favorite Christian blogger supports or which candidate wears the shiniest cross necklace. Who is exhibiting Christ-like love in his/her policies? Who is actively being the hands and feet of Christ and loving on his/her neighbors?
I am not saying traditions are bad. As I said at the beginning, I love a good cookout on the Fourth of July. However, you should not feel pressure to do something just because that is the way it has always been done. If you meet the love of your life at age 25 and you are mature enough to be a wife, then be blessed and enjoy your marriage, but if you are not there, that is perfectly okay too. In Christ we have been given more freedoms than society sometimes allows us to believe.
In 2021, I hope you get to celebrate freedom and independence. I hope you find the courage to cast off preconceived notions and fallacies and to explore pure biblical truth and the loving grace of Christ.