"Hide Your Crazy and Start Acting Like a Lady"

images-10While my family is playing in the sand this week, I am reposting from my categories of "Songs."  This article has drawn a lot of traffic, so I thought I would share it again. I mean, hey, I never know how much of my crazy I should hide from the public...

Miranda Lambert has her own little gritty niche in country music. Her beautiful face likes to sing about some of the uglier truths in life (yes, uglier than losing your dog, wife, and house). Lambert’s latest single, “Mama’s Broken Heart,” is about a girl who is handling a breakup in all the wrong ways. But mainly it is about challenging the way that “mama” would have her to deal-- by pretending.

For those of you who haven’t stopped reading because I am discussing a country song, I wanted to consider this whole “southern” dynamic that Miranda sings about quite often. It certainly isn’t just southern, but she is right to challenge this “pretty Christianity,” as I will call it. Maybe we need to ask ourselves when good manners and respect morph into downright faking it.

In the song, Lambert sings about a very dramatic way of dealing. She resents her mother’s “softer generation where you get a grip and bite your lip just to save a little face.” While the character of the song is the subject of gossip around town from the "barflies to the Baptists," she reflects that in her mom’s eyes it “don’t matter how you feel, it only matters how you look.” While mama tells her to “run and hide [her] crazy and start acting like a lady,” she rebels even more.

Sure, we certainly shouldn’t give license to act on all our feelings. And sin is sin, which is evil. But what does a good Christian do when they have a broken heart, or a hurtful disagreement, don’t get that job we we’re after, or are just exhausted with life? We are all tempted to sin—all the time. Do we just pretend like we aren’t?

I think that much of the problem is a confusion about sanctification.  Because we are justified in Jesus Christ, we are called to live a life of faith and obedience. But we can’t sanctify ourselves. God is faithful to his covenant and he is much more concerned with the reality of our broken hearts than how we look through the process. If you think about it, we are all crazy. Sin is crazy. Wanting to be fulfilled by anything other than Jesus Christ is crazy! Looking to anything else for meaning and value—just plain nuts. We need to look at our own crazy so that we see our need for Christ. But if we’re too busy hiding our crazy and acting like sanctified Christians, we are really on a self-atonement plan that is the craziest idea of all!

When I first heard Lambert’s song, I was thinking about all this fakeness in the church, and life in general. I was thinking about how we need to be real with people so that God can work on our broken hearts. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

But as I was reflecting on it further, I began to think that I can really be that mama who keeps telling their kids to hide their crazy. I mean, a major part of my job is spent working on behavior. When it comes down to it, I don’t want my kid to be the one “holdin’ the matches when the fire trucks show up and there’s nobody else to blame.” I do have to teach them to resist sin, even when their “feelings” tell them otherwise. This is why the gospel is so important. It's something that is totally outside of us, good news about what Christ has done despite myself.  Our feelings may reek of desperation and bad desires. But we need to identify them for what they are and bring them to the cross.

If I’m honest, I don’t think that I have created the best parenting environment for the gospel. I think that in some ways I have made it a little easier for my children to tell a lie and “hide their crazy.” Sure, many times that’s on them because they are merely trying to avoid the consequences of sin. But, is my heart prepared to offer compassion as well, or do they think that I am going to tersely condemn them with no grace? I have to ask myself if maybe sometimes I am more concerned with how my children make me look more than what is going on in their own hearts. Or maybe I’m just too tired to deal with it all. The difficulties in parenting just make me realize how much grace I need myself. But Lambert sings a mantra at the end of her song that I would never want my children to learn from me:

Powder your nose, paint your toes
Line your lips and keep 'em closed
Cross your legs, dot your I’s
And never let 'em see you cry

Christianity is only pretty because of our beautiful Savior. Painting our own righteousness over our crazy isn’t fooling anyone.

 

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18 Comments

What do U think . . . hmmm .

What do U think . . . hmmm . . I think you speak the Truth from the guidance you receive from the Holy Spirit, it moved me deeply, I thank you for sharing this. There is only one way I ended up on this page because I was doing something completely different and here I landed hmmm . . .perhaps He's trying to tell ME something He works through other ppl you know that

AMEN!

AMEN!

Somehow I find my "crazy"

Somehow I find my "crazy" falling into two categories. Lack of sleep or hormones lead me onto a few rides in Crazyland. I often am glad later if I don't publish my location --- not because I save face, but because it is not often a true reflection of where my problems lie. But my other crazy, rooted deep in my heart, leads me to act against all sound reason. The insanity of unbelief heads me in the direction of the other Crazyland where the rides threaten to spin me endlessly. I find your blog helps me keep my feet on the ground!

I enjoyed reading this just

I enjoyed reading this just as much as the first time...if not more : )
"Painting our own righteousness over our crazy isn't fooling anyone."
That sums it up well!....again

As a "Southern Girl", this

As a "Southern Girl", this hit me where it hurts! Thank you Aimee for a wonderful perspective.

Ok...another post I related

Ok...another post I related too! I need to "now I aimee down to sleep!" I have to stop reading! But...one last comment..this post has good reflections on raising children...Iam a Nana now...but Iam always looking for "good theolgy and good suggestions to share with my girls so they are "better mamas"...I just bought them a book titled..."Give them Grace" by Elyse M Fitzpatrick.Iam so happy reformed ladies are writting books that point us to Christ and His Gospel. It is the only answer.

I grew up learning how to and

I grew up learning how to and becoming quite skilled at hiding my crazy. (Deacon's kid, which is really not much different than preacher's kid). The crazy can only be hidden for so long, and mine manifests itself in some really ugly ways. Thankfully, I met a woman who grew up in much the same "fundy" environment as I, and she has taught me much about what it means to "bear one another's burdens" and confessing the ugly and crazy to each other. Turns out that it's a lot more work to hide the crazy. :)

I'm totally with you as a

I'm totally with you as a mom. When my kids were little I was always telling them they were "ambassadors for Christ" but then as they grew, I realized we can never do enough or look good enough for Him by ourselves. That's when we claimed Ps 37:5-6. We just need to commit and trust, He does the rest. It's something I'm always having to remind myself, having a verse to hold onto helps.

I listened to it many years

I listened to it many years before that Kim, when Eddy Arnold, Loretta Lynn, Chet Atkins, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash ruled the country music airwaves (with folks like Hank Williams still a recent memory). Talk about religious themes being pervasive in the music!

I listened to a lot of it

I listened to a lot of it many years ago when men like George Strait and women like Trisha Yearwood were popular. It's changed a lot since then. Gene Veith has a book called "Honky Tonk Gospel" which is about the religious themes in country music. My daughter's seminar wasn't about country music per se, but the theme of "the road" in popular literature as it relates to frontier literature, which is area of specialty.

Seems like a burden we are

Seems like a burden we are all sharing, Tim.

Thank you so much for the

Thank you so much for the encouragement, Pastor Lee!

The gospel being something

The gospel being something that is outside ourselves, because it's what Christ has done despite who we are or what we've done - that is such a powerful message, Aimee. And this whole ladylike nonsense is something I've been thinking about a lot lately too. (Even wrote on it, but it's not scheduled to post until next week.) We don't become Christians so we can start doing things just like perfect little gentlemen and ladies. We are Christians because of what Christ has done perfectly for us.

Enjoying your writing and

Enjoying your writing and Christian perspectives. Thank you! I've shared your blog with my wife. Would love for you to check out my latest post (referring to honesty) somewhat related to this post. Blessings in Christ Sister and keep writing and thinking! We need you! Pastor Lee

Sounds like an interesting

Sounds like an interesting class. I have eclectic taste, what can I say? Of course, there is bad every kind of music, as well as good.

Yes, then he is the one

Yes, then he is the one glorified instead of ourselves.

"For those of you who haven’t

"For those of you who haven’t stopped reading because I am discussing a country song"

I had to laugh at that. My daughter, as part of her PhD dissertation research had to write a paper about themes of "the road" in country music. She had to listen to a fair bit of it to finish the paper. She said to me in a text message, "I feel bad, but I think I'm beginning to like this stuff."

Great article! It seems to

Great article! It seems to me the Lord uses us best when we let down our facade and are honest w/those He brings into our lives. Our testimony is our hardships/problems and how the Lord gets us through.