Season: 10 Episode: 150
Listen to episode 146 in Spanish:
What’s the difference between toxic masculinity and biblical manhood? Are Catholics saved? What does the Bible say about the rapture of the church? Shanda answers your questions and gives an update on her move out of California – the good, the hard, and what she and her husband would have done differently. She also gives advice on how to talk to your kids about sex and how to get comfortable with uncomfortable conversations.
Cross Examined Article: Don’t Panic: A Step by Step Approach to Teaching Kids About God
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Hey guys! Welcome back to another episode of Her Faith Inspires podcast where we take cultural issues and we tackle them with biblical truth. I have a great episode for you today where I will answer some questions – questions about my move to SC and if it was difficult, how to talk to your kids about sex and marriage, and the Catholic Church.
Before we get into that today, I want to read you another review from Robin Rhine McDonald. Robin was on the podcast last week and she has her own podcast. You can check that out. She said, “Shanda is addressing the things that most people aren’t willing to talk about. She is bringing clarity and insight, and she is equipping believers to stand on truth, rooted in God’s word, and shine the light of Jesus.” Thank you, Robin. Again, Robin has some great stuff on health and wellness.
Okay, so I asked you what questions you had for me and I am going to answer them here.
I thought we’d start with an update on my family’s move from Ca to SC because I haven’t talked about that in a while.
Someone wanted to know if the move was hard. Yes, it was. We decided to move in September of 2020 and we moved at the end of June in 2021, so it was a rather quick decision. However, I am the one who thought of it and that is not like me at all since I do not like change. I would have stayed in my house in Ca until I died. My husband and I built that home and raised our boys in it so to leave it was like leaving a family member. It has been the hardest part of this move because nothing feels like home for a while and I wanted it to and I rushed that. It doesn’t work that way.
Let me give some tips on what to consider if you do make a big life change like we did:
Understand that it’s going to be hard and you have to give it time. We left everything we knew in Ca. We were born and raised there. So we literally came to a place that we visited 3 times before we moved and everything was unfamiliar. We had no friends, no history, no nothing. So you have to give it time to build relationships and learn a new place. It takes a while to get into a new routine. Having younger kids help. My boys are in school and taking them to school and sports gets you into a routine quickly and that helps.
Don’t expect the place you live to feel like home right away. We’ve moved twice since we’ve been here and it hasn’t even been two years yet and now we’re considering building a house near our family. I really tried to make the houses we were in home. Dean and I even looked at about 10 houses and they were beautiful and I told him I didn’t want any of them because none of them felt like home.
Well, they’re not going to because they’re not home. So if I was to do it again, I’d probably rent a house (which we considered but I turned that idea down too .. I was willing to live in our travel trailer and figure it out, but we didn’t do that). Renting would give us a chance to feel out the area, get used to living in the area, and then figuring out what we want.
Give yourself time and you might even have to grieve what you left. After about 6 months after we were here, I would get sad and cry. I would just miss my home and all the things we did together in the backyard. I still think of it and am so fond of those memories. But someone told me I was grieving for it. And it hit me that that made sense. I really was grieving for what I left behind. And even though it’s been hard at times I haven’t regretted my decision because I knew why we left. If you have solid reasons as to why you’re going, you won’t regret it.
So yes, it’s been hard at times but there are many things I love about SC.
I love the thunder and lightning because it literally rains often. Us Ca stand out like a sore thumb when we go outside to video thunder and lightning. I love the four seasons and the green trees and grass. It’s beautiful here and the spring is still going with beautiful flowers on the trees. I love that there are wholesome things for my kids to do – like go swing dancing with the HS and college kids around here. It reminds me of footloose. I love the friendliness of people in the south. It’s been a good experience for my kids and they have adjusted very well.
Alright, second question. I am going to combine these two since they are about the catholic church. And Frank Turek did answer one of these questions when he was on a few months ago. You can go back and listen to that one if you’d like.
What role does the pope and the Catholic Church play in Christianity if any?
If Catholicism is true/Catholics are saved, why not be Catholic?
When Frank Turek was on my podcast a few months ago, we talked about catholocism. So let me first say that there are catholics who are saved and who will go to Heaven. As far as whether or not catholicism is part of the Christian religion – not exactly and I’ll explain why.
First, the catholic religion doesn’t believe that faith in Christ alone isn’t sufficient for salvation.
“The official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that a person must believe in Jesus Christ AND be baptized AND receive the Eucharist along with the other sacraments AND obey the decrees of the Roman Catholic Church AND perform meritorious works AND not die with any mortal sins AND etc., etc., etc.”
The catholics worship Mary and hold her in high esteem.
They pray to her. Their theology is incorrect. Based on the fundamentals of the faith, they are lacking because the most foundational aspect of Christianity is denied – that salvation is in Christ alone. Catholicism is a branch of Christianity or a division of Christianity.
Are catholics saved? That’s a tough question because not all presbyterians are saved. Not all of anyone who calls themselves Christians are saved. There are some catholics who are saved because they put their faith in Christ. Now, with that said, if you were looking for a church I wouldn’t recommend a catholic church.
So what role does the pope play in Christianity?
As far as Christianity goes, the pope doesn’t play a role in Christianity. Now, that doesn’t mean that the catholics believe that. The world will often quote the pope or tell us what the pope believes, but as far as whether or not he plays a role in Christianity itself, the answer is no.
Got Questions explains it this way, and I will link an article here for you. “Another strong departure from orthodox Christianity is the Catholic insistence that an earthly priest is necessary as an intermediary between us and God. According to the The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent: Canons Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, “If anyone denies that sacramental confession was instituted by divine law or is necessary to salvation; or says that the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone . . . is at variance with the institution and command of Christ and is a human contrivance, let him be anathema” (Canon VI). The official Catholic teaching, then, is that people who do not confess their sins to a human priest cannot be saved and are, in fact, cursed for eternity.
This doctrine contradicts 1 Timothy 2:5, which could not be clearer in renouncing the Catholic doctrines of Mary and the priesthood: “There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.”
So inasmuch as there can be some catholics who are saved, the beliefs and practices of catholics is also leading many astray. Would I recommend anyone looking to have a relationship with Jesus to go to a Catholic Church? No. Because they do not have true doctrine.
Is there a rapture versus a silent rapture?
I get asked this question a lot and let me just say the rapture is not a primary issue of Christianity. We are not going to hell if we don’t believe in the rapture or vise versa. I was raised being told that there is a rapture before the second coming of the Lord. When I got older, I studied the concept of rapture and found that the word rapture is not in the Bible. SO what does that mean?
First, secret rapture or silent rapture are the same thing. The belief that Christ will come and take His church out of the earth before His second coming is the silent or secret rapture. But is it biblical?
Some people believe the rapture will take place pretribulation, mid tribulation, or post tribulation.
So you have people who might believe the rapture, but they believe the timing is before the trip, in the middle of the tribulation – before God’s wrath is poured out on the earth, or post trib – after it.
Those who believe in the rapture get the word from the Greek rapio which means to catch up or snatch away. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
There are a few things I want to point out about the rapture:
- We all know Christ will return one day. I believe it is soon. Whether it be in a silent rapture or at His second coming, the point is He is coming back and we need to be ready.
- No one knows when He will come but the Bible tells us He comes as a thief. It will catch us unaware – it will be a surprise.
- We who are in Christ are not appointed unto wrath. Just like in the days of Noah, and the days when the Egyptians experienced the plagues and the Israelites didn’t, those who belong to God are not appointed unto wrath.
I no longer say definitively that there will be a silent rapture of the church, but I do hope there is. All I can do is trust that God will take care of us.
How do you teach children about God?
This is a question I get often because I have kids and I work with kids. And it’s a good question. I’m glad parents are asking it. I just had a conversation with someone today about this and I gave them three things to consider when talking to their kids about God because I think the approach is different when you have kids raised in church compared to someone who wants to start going to church and doesn’t know where to start – as is the case with this person.
A few months ago I wrote an article for Cross Examined about how to teach your kids about God. I will link the article in the show notes for you to read because I go into more depth there than I will here.
For all parents involved in teaching and training your kids – think discipleship for your kids.
And let me say this – discipleship starts with you. You cannot get away with saying, “Do as I say, not as I do” with your kids. That’s actually called hypocrisy and kids will feel the same way about you as you do about going to church with a bunch of hypocrites. It’s not effective.
So first and foremost, the standard you set for your kids must be the standard you set for yourself because that yields the greatest impact. You are the most influential person in your child’s life but don’t forget that influence goes both ways – positive and negative.
The foundation of biblical training must be laid before you can teach anything else.
In Matthew 7, Jesus said that the wise man built his house on the rock and the rock was the unwavering truth of God’s word. Jesus then went on to say that whoever heard the sayings of His and did them was wise. But he who heard His sayings and did not do them was a fool.
So that begs the question: how do we teach the word of God to our kids? This verse is quoted often in regard to teaching children about God but I am going to use it again here because it is so important. Deuteronomy 6 tells us to talk to our kids about God in formal training and in informal training. For example, when you walk along the road, and when you come in and go out is an example of the word of God being a natural part of life. Point to the creation in the world and talk to the kids about Romans 1. Deuteronomy 6 talks about these things being bound on your heart. Again, it shows the importance of teaching starting with you.
Lay the foundation of biblical truth – the gospels. Get them to know Jesus.
Talk about the key players of the Bible. Go to a series on the Kings of the Old Testament. It doesn’t have to be anything formal – like curriculum – but if you know the word and are filled with the word, the Lord will help you naturally pour that into your kids. Even a series on friends. I went through Proverbs with my boys before, the LifeChange Bible series, and it categorizes the different topics and we went through that together. Proverbs is one of my boys’ favorite books of the Bible.
The point is – lay the foundation of biblical truth and help your kids become Biblically literate.
Second, teach your kids why Christianity is true and why it answers the big questions to life – like, how did I get here, why am I here, what happens after I die? These are the questions every worldview must answer and if you don’t know, how will they know? This is why I believe apologetics is the second layer. It’s the why to the what. Kids leave the church between the ages of 18-25 even thought they were raised in the church.
That doesn’t matter.
Every kid wrestles with doubt and wants to know why they believe what they do. I break down when their worldview is formed in the article and why it’s so important they begin learning apologetics by around middle school but always marry that with the Bible.
Third, the training comes in the high school years (ideally) but even if you can’t get to your kids at this age, the order is the same – bible, apologetics, and then training against other worldviews. What I mean by that is my boys watch movies, see memes, hear ideas and we use the verse from Proverbs 18:17 that says, “He who pleads his cause first seems right until someone comes and cross examines him.” We look at other worldviews and we ask if that idea is true? Does it align to reality? Does it align to the Bible?
That’s how you cross examine it. We were watching Encanto a few weeks ago and one of the songs said something about helping a miracle. I stopped the video (which they hate, by the way, but when there’s a bad idea carpe deim, people and use it as a teachable moment). But I asked my kids, “What is a miracle?” They thought about it and gave me their definition and I said, “If miracles are supernatural events for specific purposes, how can a finite being help a miracles?” What’s the point of doing that? It gets them to challenge some of the things that don’t sound right. It lets them understand they can watch a movie but wisely and with discernment.
The things parents must understand when dealing with their kids and their questions is this:
- Don’t defend your kids bad ideas. Break them down. For example, the guy I talked to about his kids said his 11 yo daughter said she was an atheist. He got upset with her. That’s not going to work. Instead ask, “What do you mean you’re an atheist?” Allow the child to explain what she means. She might not even know but by asking her this, you’re going to find out. Second, ask. “How did you come to the idea that God doesn’t exist?” This allows you to find out where your child is getting these ideas. It’s likely someone they know from school or social media. Find their source. Third, give them the reasons God does exist. Cross examine that idea and make her question what she says she believes.
- Again, the standard you set for your kids must be the standard you LIVE by. If not, you will not have a positive impact on their own worldview because you are not showing that you truly believe what you’re telling them to believe.
Sign your kids up for Train Your Brain. Get on the waitlist for LGR.
How do you talk to your teens about sex and marriage?
Get comfortable having uncomfortable conversations. I can say a lot about this but this isn’t a one and done conversation. We took each boy to breakfast one-on-one and talked about the bird and the bees when they were going into the 6th grade. Why the 6th grade? Because they were getting to the middle school age and would definitely hear about these things from their friends. We wanted to get them to understand God’s design for sex and marriage. Two of my boys are older and we still talk about sex. So let me break down the top three things I want my boys to know about sex and how we talk about those things:
- You’re going to want to have sex. A lot of time Christian kids think they’ll date and because they want to save sex for marriage they won’t want to have sex. Wrong. I’m not stupid and I’m not going to tell my kids they won’t be tempted to have sex with someone they are attracted to. That is how God wired us, including my kids and yours. The real issue is – what are they going to do about it to make sure they are successful in getting to marriage without the baggage of sexual encounters they regret?
That’s one thing.
2. My husband and I talk to our boys about pornography and how it will ruin them and their future relationships. My husband and I will get into more details on pornography in the episode he’ll be on next week. But we do tell them guys are very visual and they will have to navigate phone usage, dating, and it is something navigate with their wives when they get married. In fact, our church had a study for men on pornography and the effects of it and my husband and boys went together.
I think churches need to discuss these things more because whether you’re a man in the church or who doesn’t go to church, all men have the same struggles and I think our kids need to know we understand them and they’re not abnormal or sinners. They just need to understand how God made them and how to navigate this world as a man.
3. Set your non-negotiables and make a plan of action. We told our boys to make sure they are not unequally yoked with an unbeliever because if you date someone who is not saved and does not have the same standards as you, you will not be able to stay strong in the heat of them moment if she isn’t. And hopefully you won’t have heated moments because you both are working together to stay pure before marriage.
So be honest with your kids.
Talk to them tactfully and lovingly. Sex isn’t bad but the way that the world portrays it, they’ve made it cheap. It has no value because anyone can sleep with anyone with no strings attached. God did not make sex cheap. It’s a beautiful thing within the boundaries that God has designed it. Lead with that message.
How do you teach your boys it’s a good thing to be masculine in a world where the culture dictates that being masculine is toxic?
With three boys in the house, we discuss this a lot. First, it’s important to describe what masculinity is and how that aligns to the Bible for Christians. The culture has a different definition for masculinity than what the Bible says about men and their roles. I did put some of this in the study I wrote years ago (that I want to revise and don’t often recommend ) Reflections of Eve. So the first thing we have to do as Christians is get used to defining terms. You might think the culture is talking about the same thing you are when it comes to masculinity, but are they? What does the culture mean when it talks about men and their roles and how they should be?
A simple defining of masculinity is: “having a quality or appearance generally associated with boys.” That doesn’t tell us anything about masculinity as far as the traits of men or what sets men apart from women.
Hofstede says masculinity is, “According to Hofstede, a masculine culture or masculine society is one that stresses different expectations for men and women.
In a masculine culture, men are expected to be assertive, competitive, and focused on material success.
Women are expected to be nurturing and focused on people and quality of life.
Richmond College says, “Masculinity is defined as qualities and attributes regarded as characteristic of men. When we talk about masculinity, we’re talking about a person’s gender. Gender is a social construct, and is one of many ways we as humans make meaning and create social structures.”
maricopa.edu says, “Masculine cultures value competitiveness, assertiveness, material success, ambition, and power. Female cultures place more value on relationships, quality of life and greater concern for marginalized groups (e.g., homeless, persons with disabilities, refugees).”
I can go on and on with the cultures view of masculinity and honesty, I didn’t dig deep for these definitions, Google is perfectly happy to provide them in this order.
But the real question is, what is godly masculinity?
Because let’s not ignore the fact that some men do not treat women well. There are some terrible cultures out there where men look down on women. There are men in the Bible who did terrible things to women. Some Men in our current culture say women shouldn’t learn nor teach theology – that is a debate going on in recent weeks. Just because the Bible mentions these types of men does that mean the Bible is saying masculinity looks like that?
No. Just because some men call themselves Christians and treat women poorly does that mean they are the example men are supposed to live up to and it’s okay with God to treat women that way? No. Not at all. I think we can go back to the Bible and see where Jesus broke cultural norms by valuing women, talking to women, and taking time for women when He provided example after example. But we’re not going there at the moment. We’re talking about masculinity according to God’s design.
First, men are called to do what women are called to do – to love God with all their heart, soul, and mind. To love their neighbor as themselves.
Men are called to live a holy life.
To make the word of God their daily bread. Men are called to take care of the widow and the orphans. Men are called to lead their homes and when they get married, to lay down their lives for their wives and to love her as Christ loved the church – which was also a very countercultural statement in the first century and is counter cultural in some societies today -especially the Middle East where women are not loved as Christ loves the church. They are called to provide because if a man doesn’t work neither shall he eat.
We raise our boys to be husbands and fathers one day. I am not raising my boys to be masculine in the sense that that is my goal. We talk about manhood because that’s what they are – men. I have told my boys from the time they were little that they are men of God. I started to use that phrase with them because I want them to see that their goal is to love God first. To see Him. They see what the culture says. My boys read books and listen to podcasts of men they look up to and whom we approve. We promote hard work and responsibility in our home and that, the Lord willing, will transfer over into their own homes one day.
Got Questions paints masculinity with a broader stroke according to the Bible and they lay out 5 principles of manhood:
- humility before his God
- control of his appetites
- protecting his family
- providing for his family
- leading his family.
There’s a lot more that can be said about Biblical manhood, but as far as what we discuss in our family and to our boys, a lot of this is not a one and done conversation. These are topics that come up often in a culture that labels masculinity as toxic. I like to know what the culture says. I think we have to evaluate what the culture says and then counter that with what the Bible says to show our kids how the Bible has a better way, a better answer, and with that – a better outcome.
That’s all the questions I have for this Q and A.
If you have any other questions for me and want me to do a podcast episode to answer them, email me at email@example.com. Next week my husband Dean is going to be on the show and we discuss more on why the differences of men and women are needed for marriage, parenting, and society. We get into some of the ways we parent differently and how we might drive each other crazy, but why moms and dads need to do this together. I hope to see you then. I’ll catch you on the next.