Happy April to readers of On the Willows!
Lately, I have had many discussions on the issue of culture … and its influence on us. It’s a great, blogable topic … so we have decided to make this our very first series for April! Our amazing contributors have an array of experiences that have shaped their perspectives on this topic. I am excited to read all of them … starting tomorrow!
Today, I wanted to discuss a few things to help guide us as we read the April Fools series throughout this month.
The title of this very post is a little cheesy (I’m not a big fan of ‘play on words’), but it communicates the main goal and idea for this series. I wanted to also clarify that “don’t be fooled by culture” is a warning and encouragement. As Christian women, we can take responsibility for how culture influences us. But, it is not easy to do! Erving Goffman, a sociologist, says that the “socialization depot for each of us is our family.” I agree with him, but it’s important to see that each family has its own “culture” created by different contributing factors (location, ethnicity, religion, media, and definitely mass culture, in general). So, regardless of how our parents raised us, or where we grew up … we see how culture is one of the strongest indirect and direct influences on us! On the Willows was created to be a place where we can all come to learn from one another. So, I hope this topic continues outside of April.
One other important thing I wanted to discuss today is that … being counter-cultural is not necessarily adapting to modern “Christian-cultures”. As a matter of fact, before we adapt to the thinking and methods of modern Christian cultures, we should be very careful and thoughtful, since these, too, can be flawed. A very simple example of this is … sometimes modern Christian culture tells us (or shows us by example) that God will love us if we do “good works” for Him. But scripture clearly tells us that He loved us first. And as a result of His fatherly love toward us, our hearts respond to that in ways that results in doing good works for Him, and loving Him back. We are not accepted by Christ because of our obedience. We are obedient because we are accepted (undeservingly) by Him. It’s a backward, counter-cultural way of thinking!
The bottom line is, for us as Christian women, being counter-cultural is being skeptical of counter-gospel mentalities and methodologies. Some of the ways we will discuss being counter-cultural is by looking critically at the way culture portrays romance (and romance in media), friendships, parenting, entitlement, rest & work, self-pity, and more. Tomorrow, we will begin by hearing how culture tries to define beauty for women.
Disclaimer: The articles are always the personal view of the individual authors. On the Willows simply provides a way for these topics to be discussed, but does not always claim these views as perfect and absolute. Always think for yourself and use God’s Word as the prevailing test for these views!
Have a wonderful week!