A Case for Sloppy, Wet Kisses

If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there are two kinds of Christians… Those on Team Sloppy Wet, and those on Team Unforeseen.

“How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan is probably my favorite contemporary worship song. You’re probably familiar with David Crowder Band’s cover of it. In DCB’s version, there is a line that says, “Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss.” John Mark McMillan’s original line, though, is, “Heaven meets earth like a sloppy, wet kiss.” For some reason, this line seems to cause controversy wherever it goes in the Christian world 🙂

It seems like the argument I hear most often against “sloppy wet” is that it sounds creepy or too seductive or something for church. (My counterargument is that “unforeseen” is even creepier.) But I think the people who make that claim are missing the point personally… Here’s why I love “sloppy wet” so much.

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Inside Jokes with God

In my experience, inside jokes are the best ones. It’s the stuff that’s only funny to you and one or two other people. It’s usually pretty silly, and it makes absolutely no sense to anyone who wasn’t involved. It’s stuff that actually means something because it’s born out of a “you-had-to-be-there” moment you’ve shared.

I have inside jokes with God. Yup, I said it.

Well, I have one inside joke with God, I guess, not really multiples. You know what it is? Psalm 46:10. That’s it.

What makes it an inside joke is that it’s only funny to God and me. You probably didn’t see the hilarity, did you? But it makes me chuckle every time. It was a verse that God gave me a few years ago when I was impatiently praying for something that — hey — I’m still praying for today. “Be still and know that I am God.”

I shrugged it off in that prayer time without thinking anything of it, but then I started seeing it everywhere. In devotionals. In songs. As the verse of the day in my email. It was crazy! And that was when I knew that God was totally pranking me. He wasn’t going to let me get by without picking up on the joke we were sharing. Hey, Hannah! Be still! Know that I’m God! You rascal! (He might not have said all of that.)

To this day, I still smile when I see it. It might be because I’m still waiting for that thing that I was praying for way back when. It’s become an inside joke with God and me. When I’m feeling impatient, he tells me to be still. It’s a reminder that I’m being silly because everything is in his hands. It’s become one of those things where I’m sure God is looking down and saying, “Ohhh, you,” with a warm smile because he knows I’m overreacting to something he’s got under control.

Whenever I see that verse, I know God is smiling back at me, his impatient daughter. We laugh together about it, I’m sure. I remind myself to be still and know that he is God. I know I probably won’t ever master being still until I’m in heaven with him, so this is one enduring inside joke, let me tell you. It might seem silly, but that’s the point of inside jokes, right? Maybe you had to be there.

Do you have any inside jokes with God? Verses you see everywhere that hit way too close to home? A song on the radio? Something else? Let me know in the comments!

Charm and Beauty and P31s, Oh My!

An honest look at the (shudder) Proverbs 31 woman

I recently sat down and wrote a guest post for my friend Melissa’s blog, Compassionate Odyssey. (You’ll see that up there after her new series launches in January!) In the post, I mentioned how there is so much pressure on young Christian women to be the perfect “P31” (Proverbs 31 woman). The pressure is often applied by well-meaning older Christian women in the hopes that once we young’ns achieve the level of godliness that this lady reached, our Boaz is going to come snatch us up. (In case you’re not familiar with the story, Boaz is the love interest of the book of Ruth who is super godly and awesome. Our college girls’ Bible study calls him the George Clooney of the Bible.) They’re doing it “for our own good.” But there are a few things that I find wrong with this mentality:

  1. The P31 was a hypothetical person. King Lemuel’s mother gave him a list of attributes of a good woman, and that’s what we get in Proverbs 31. (Although there is some debate about whether or not Lemuel wrote the second half of the chapter, which is where we find the Proverbs 31 woman, to be fair. In any case, she’s still hypothetical!) So basically, holding a real woman to that list as a standard is incredibly unfair. If you’re the one being held to it, it’s just plain discouraging! The Proverbs 31 woman isn’t meant to be a standard that we’re all supposed to fit; it’s a list of things that are desirable for a person (not exclusively a woman, either!) to embody. It’s not like you’re disqualified from being a godly woman if you don’t meet every single one. They’re things for us to be striving for, but it’s important to remember that we might not (read: probably won’t) ever meet every. single. one. Rest assured, friend: you are not a failure as a woman if you don’t get up before dawn and sew clothes for your family. I promise.
  2. Our desire to become more godly should never, ever come from a place of trying to find a spouse or earn human approval of any kind. Our motivator should not be, “So-and-so is going to love me/think I’m so holy if I (fill in the blank with whatever “holy” thing you want)!” Finding a husband might be a side-effect of becoming more godly, and that’s awesome, but it shouldn’t be the goal. If your heart isn’t in the right place, I might even say that you aren’t actually becoming godlier. You’re just putting on a darn good show. If you want to be godlier, do it for the reason that we are called to be as like Christ as possible (1 Peter 1:15), not for the fact that you might score a hottie out of it.

With all that in mind, I want to take an honest look at the Proverbs 31 woman. Hold on tight, ladies, because this might be a little scary at first. But hey, we’re in this together, and I think you’ll see that it’s a lot less intimidating and/or discouraging than it might seem on the surface. (I’m not P31-bashing with this post, either! I think she’s great when she’s interpreted correctly!) So if you’re brave enough, click through, and we’ll read Proverbs 31:10-31 together and talk a little more in-depth about what being a P31 really entails… It’s more doable than you probably expect!

(P.S. This post is not just for the ladies! The qualities that the Proverbs 31 woman embodies are great for men and women alike to have. So read on!)

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Where’s the Spark?: A Real Relationship

Growing up as a pastor’s daughter, I always knew the right answers.

I’ve heard more sermons than I can count. I was the star Bible-verse memorizer of Good News Club. If you ask me about a certain Bible story, chances are I’ll be able to give you a ten-second summary.

But one truth I’ve learned is that knowing all the right answers in your head won’t solve all your problems.

I often hear people talking about head-knowledge vs. heart-knowledge. I guess where I’m at now is trying to find a way to make the transfer there. Sure, I know all this stuff about God and the Bible in my head. But when it comes to actually putting it all into practical action? It’s an ongoing struggle for me to make my actions reflect my beliefs when it comes down to the wire.

Something that I’ve really been wrestling with for a few years now is trying to turn all of the things that I know in my head to be true about God into living, breathing truths that have practical meaning in my life. And I think being able to do that has to stem from having a real relationship with Jesus Christ.

I know that I don’t have all the answers. I know you’ve probably heard all of this before. But sometimes we need to be reminded of things we already know. This is something that I am working on myself, and I invite you to join me in this process. You can know all of the “right answers,” but until the knowledge is real to you, it doesn’t mean much of anything.

So how do we go about actually putting this transfer into motion? Well, I can’t give you a definitive answer to that. But I can tell you what I’ve been doing (or what I know I should be doing but haven’t necessarily actually done — been there?).  Continue reading