Holly T. Ashley

Oh did I type that outloud?

Born “That” Way…

When my son was crawling age he had a strong fascination with the VCR (for those of us who remember those…). He would attempt to stick anything and everything into it.

It would start simple enough.. he’d begin crawling towards it and I would allow him to get so far before I would say, “No no, Brandon,”  as I pulled him back to his starting position on the floor.” Then…. Without hesitation…

He would stop… for a moment… look at me and when he thought it was safe, he’d be off again… crawling at record pace as to surely get to the VCR with his toy before I could possibly st..sto..pppp…“NO! NO! Brandon!” simultaneously with a slap on the hand, followed by me putting him back to the starting position… and he would hang his head in shear defiance – and no sooner would I turn around and off he’d go…

No sooner would I turn around and he would start again – “NO! NO! BRANDON!!”

He stopped!! Mid- tracks and the feet would come out behind him, hands stretched out in front… hanging his little head in shear defeat…. As he began to just cry….

Then it was over – the final attempt…and I determined that he had truly learned a lesson… into the playpen with the toys he would go… and before long – he’d be happy once again!

Although it broke my heart, bad behavior was not going to be tolerated in my home. And I knew that if I was consistent and persistent I would eventually win…

 Thank goodness I was young!!

Whether it was dangerous or just wrong- it was not allowed and I could not knowingly let it continue.

We want to believe that because people are “born that way,” the behavior is allowable, tolerable or we should simply just accept it – because, they have justified in their own minds that “God made me like this, so I am.” Well, that’s not the case with behaviors that are unscriptural.

When a younger family member and his brother were just 3 and 5 years old, they attempted to set the house on fire, the mother’s response? “They’re boys.. Boys will be boys…”  They are now in jail.

Jeffrey Dahmer claims that his necrophilia and murder began at 14 years of age, but it wasn’t until after he graduated high school when he murdered his first victim. His parents were divorced, guilty and distant. The behavior was ignored, tolerated, or simply put on a shelf of “That’s just how Jeffery is…” He killed his first victim in the  living room of his parent’s home.

Bad behavior unresolved results in worse behavior. That’s the formula. That is the fact. It is not allowed, it does not get better on its own. Bad behavior emits terrible behavior later and the Bible says that it corrupts good behavior…

Behavior modification was the longest part of my training to be a Counselor and while working with child abuse, neglect and domestic violence I heard it all – most of the time it was an excuse not to change… but that was unacceptable to me.

 I don’t care what has been done to you- everyone has a story and yours isn’t any better or worse than anyone else and the bottom line is if where you are now isn’t where God has called you to be – you can NOT re-write the Bible to make it fit your needs, wants and desires –

If you are not careful, God promises that He will “give you the desire of your heart…” But you better be damn sure you are ready for the consequences of that decision – because what you think is “ok” might just lead to your final self-destruction.

  I got this message loud and clear when in 2010 my world came crashing down on me… again…

The Bible talks about not allowing Satan a “foothold” in our lives – He also tells a story of a man who did not heed this warning and his demons returned – Three times worse than before!

I know a man who was like that too…. His demons were: sex, drugs and alcohol…the  perverted sexual appetite he satisfied through the use of prostitutes… the family joke was not was he going to be drunk when we got home at the end of the day… but how drunk would he be… ?

After 3 separations in the first three years of marriage, we finally found peace away from our families – living in Tennessee and for three years our marriage was great. He was clean, sober… and – normal! We were leading Bible studies at our church and running two medical supplies. But it didn’t last…

It wasn’t long before he was back to it – only this time the demons came back triple! His addiction was worse than ever, his attitude was not just prideful, but vile and crude. His behavior became abusive and I couldn’t take it anymore and I finally had to leave and 15 years of my life is nothing but a bad memory that left my children with many scars that only Jesus can heal.

As a counselor specializing in family abuse and addiction – you’d think I would know better than to excuse the behavior – but that is exactly what I did. I knew it was wrong, but I was a peacemaker, trying to raise my kids with a father-figure and keep the peace in the household… by ignorance and blindness… not really –

He knew the scriptures better than most Pastors. He knew exactly what to say and how to get me to stick with it…. I prayed and tried to “will him” to change – but no one has the power to change a man’s heart but God alone and He tells us that over and over and over in the Bible and denial of facts don’t get you anywhere.

 It is most important to know where it starts.

It starts with our sinful nature. In the Garden of Eden, way back when… the day that the proverbial apple was bitten into – and through the lust of the eyes and the pride of life and the deceitful heart of man’s nature – well… long story short – we are now born into sin – and the wages of sin is death and Jesus is our only salvation – His death on the cross did it all for us – all we have to do.. well… deny ourselves

 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23b)

 Today in our country of tolerance we have bought into the “well their just boys…”  even our Christian society, we want to turn a blind eye to the issues pressing into the destruction of our families – the very basic of all relationships set forth by God… “In the beginning.”

We forget that “deny himself and take up his cross daily…” applies to homosexuality, pornography, drugs, alcohol addiction, womanizing, etc…

Just as we would tell an addict he can no longer have a drink… EVER – we have to use that same logic when it comes to all other sin as well.

 The Bible says, “If your right hand causes you to sin [or to stumble]– cut it off.”

It means, turn away from your sin… take whatever steps are necessary… but cut it off! and cut it out! Quit. Stop doing it…

Not unlike the destructive behavior of my son, the abusive behavior of my cousins, the necrophilia and murderous behavior of Jeffrey Dahmer – the addictive nature of my ex-husband…

It might have very well been that they were “born that way…” but it’s not acceptable behavior!

Neither is homosexuality.Gay Marriage

My husband, David and I were in a restaurant the other night…David always sports a Christian TShirt –besides the Christian messages on his T Shirts, his 22” Biceps and enormous bodybuilder frame draw much attention – so we weren’t surprised when a man made a comment about liking his shirt – it happens all the time… that’s why he wears them – to spark conversations on “true strength…”

But what shocked us was the man standing before us and the conversation that we were about to encounter….

We were, to say the least, very shocked when we turned to see this very slim, well dressed, handsome… very nervous… and…

Very effeminate man….

Began a conversation with David… and me too…  but he was adamant to let us know that He loved Jesus…

Cool. So do we. 🙂 …

Not knowing where this was going to go… David and I were on the listening end of the conversation with all 4 ears… wide open…

The man was a music teacher and told us that his life was his ministry to his students…

Cool…. 🙂 …

 Then… just as we suspected, here it came… the inevitable conversation on homosexuality and the Bible…

Well, kinda… but we braced for it. We don’t ever want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but sometimes the truth hurts…. And when you are confronted with it…  and we didn’t want to….  After all we were in a restaurant – hardly the place to….

“I love Jesus. And I am gay.”

“But because I choose to love Jesus, I choose celibacy.”

Wow… Okay.

Dave and I were totally speechless. We had never heard that before. I dare say, I never even considered that before – but why wouldn’t I… wow! What a commitment! It hit me like a brick! And Immediately my mind went to the woman at the well… Jesus told her to “sin no more.”

Oh, ok…. What?

Peter faced this same truth too…  when the poor woman, with many publicly known sins came to Jesus, walked past a bunch of disciples and Pharisees, stood behind Jesus and wept…

Then she proceeded to wash his feet… first with her tears, then with expensive oil…

Simon was speechless… and then Jesus spoke:

 “Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet.46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:36-50).

 We are all born into sin – we are all sinners…. it is not acceptable in the sight of God…

“For the Wages of sin is death.”

(Read the book of Romans… start with chapter one)…

So much so that He sent his son to DIE for you and me and our pitiful, sinful nature – but if you continue to live in sin – you will not join Him in paradise!

In as much as we want God to be who we want Him to be and for all the laws we think we can put into place to change His Biblical principles – He is still God and he requires His followers to obedience at all costs …

“If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off.”  (Matthew 5:30)

I continue to pray for our new friend – not that he simply believe that he has to be enslaved to his sinful desires… and “remain celibate” but that he would allow the Holy Spirit to heal him completely and enjoy the relationship of man and woman that God ordained. But, I guess that’s a blog for another day.

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