Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Am Still Conservative

Sometimes it is hard not to be reactionary.
I'm a passionate person with strong feelings.  I believe in right & wrong.
(And there is nothing wrong with that.)
I am following a little series over at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee on Biblical Womanhood.  She wrote a little post the other day about Our Histories.  I can see how her broad general stroke has a lot of truth in it.  Because, when we see something we don't like, we often want to swing to the other side of the pendulum.

But, I was raised in a conservative Christian household.
And I am now married to a conservative Christian man.
(A man who asked my father for my hand in marriage, months before he asked me.)
He & I now want to raise our family in similar traditions as I myself was raised.

I was home-schooled & I plan to home-school my children.
I was spanked as a young child & we spank our young children.
(My parents thought that Shepherding a Child's Heart was a sound parenting book.
My husband & I think so, too)
I am part of a big family & my husband &
I would like to have our own big family.
My mom always put her energies & focus on her family.
I see my family as my first ministry, too.

This is not because I am still a child who just does what she is told.
I have grown up & I have left my parents household &
I cleave to my husband & his leadership.

This is not because I have seen everyone turn out perfect
who did things a certain way.
I have seen so many people who followed outward standards & patterns &
neglected the heart of the issues & their families ended up in ruin.

This is not because I have never questioned my parents &
never questioned my church & never questioned my husband.
It is because I have examined these things & have seen the wisdom & the blessings

I have seen many problems in conservative churches.
I have seen many areas neglected.
I have seen things that disappoint me.  I have seen grievous sin.

But, I don't want to throw the baby
(or the church, or pastors, or Biblical authority)
out with the dirty bath water.

When I hear stories of people using God's Word to justify evil, I am grieved.
And I am sobered.
And I am sent back to God's Word again.

And, no, I don't believe that you are wrong just because
you don't home-school or have a big family.  
Here's another link to the same blog I mentioned above-  Am I Legalistic?
(I am sure I could not have said that any better.)
As she concludes her article saying,
there is a measure of legalism in me.  If I don't keep readjusting my focus
(to God, off of me & others), then it keeps sneaking back in.

As a child, I was taught much truth & wisdom.
But, I did take much of it in, in a legalistic way.
Aren't kids really black & white about most everything?
If people didn't do things like us, I assumed they were wrong.
Not because my parents told me that.
Rather, because I was childish, with limited understanding.

My 3 year old daughter cracks us up when we listen to her take on things.
You know, if my mom says to wash my hands after I eat my Popsicle,
that means anyone who eats a Popsicle & doesn't immediately wash their hands
is not obeying God.
(No, I didn't tell her that.  She draws such conclusions herself.)

Being judgmental can be a very childish thing, I suppose.

I am glad to see God growing me in grace & understanding.
I am glad to see that I am able to offer more grace to others, as I "grow up".
He is not somehow growing me up to not need authority,
from the church, from my husband, from the Bible.
He has called us to be persons under authority.

Sometimes I may not agree with things I am taught.
But, I want to show temperance.
I don't want to have knee jerk reactions.  I want to be thoughtful.
I want to seek truth from God's Word.
I want to respect others & show grace to others,
even (& especially) imperfect pastors or parents.


Stef said...

Erin, this is exactly (exactly) what I needed to read tonight. These are things I have been dealing with and struggling with and praying over and repenting of and seeking wisdom on and asking God to give more grace and... the list goes on.
I had no idea this post would make me so emotional, but it did. It surprised me how much I wept while reading it. I didn't know that I'm so tightly bound up with all these emotions. I feel so, so grieved by much of what I see and hear, especially from church going people. It breaks my heart, but has lately been pointing me to my OWN sin, to my own short comings, to my own lazy, self seeking ways and ignorant, (sometimes flippant) attitude about my own opinions.

This was just very well written. It hit the spot with me at least. I love how you talked about Gillian being black and white about things - I SO often see this in my kids and sometimes its made me laugh when I realize I am still so much that way.

Thank you for this post. My prayer the past month has been that God would increase my peace and joy in Him and that He would grant to me more wisdom in those tough (easy to lose your head and tongue) situations and that in every conversation I find myself in and with my thoughts (especially) glory would be brought to Christ. Its my reason for living, so I think it needs to show much more than it does, in the small, every day ways.
I know that was a run-on sentence, sorry.

btw- Respectable Sins is the book God used greatly to grab my attention to these things, just fyi :)

Mary Anne said...

There are so many good things in here, Erin! You are right- we live in a world that is constantly not just reacting, but over-reacting to things they see that are wrong. Maybe it has always been this way. If you stop to think about this at all, it helps you to fine tune your own beliefs and hopefully come out better. I think that we have to look at these things as opportunity for growth, and not just personal hurts,issues.....
I am finding it hard to be on the end of the stick that is now being "profiled" in a certain way. Again, we need to think, pray, and react rightly. You are a great example!

Erin said...

@Stef - Thanks for encouraging me! Your comment is a blessing.
And, BTW, I have seen that Jerry Bridges book & would love to read it. I'm gonna!
@Mom - I love you & wish folks would stop assuming things about you & your kind! ;)

Brittany Martin said...

I read that blog post, and I definitely agree with you, Erin. We are not doomed in any way to react to the way our parents raised us and do the opposite.

I was also raised by conservative Christian parents, and we're raising our kids nearly the same way I was raised. It's a glory and blessing to have a faithful Christian heritage, and to teach your children to be loyal to it!

What she may be seeing in young, liberal Christians who were raised by "conservative" parents, were that they weren't taught to love their standard. Every family has different particulars, and I think part of having loyal, grateful children is teaching them to love the standard that you set for them from the time they are little. I believe that love will breed loyalty and a faithfulness in your kids, so that as they grow, they become loving brothers and sisters in Christ as they grow, and not reactionaries.

The sign that gospel is doing its work is "turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of children to their fathers." I pray that our kids will take what they were taught and instead of reacting against it, IMPROVE upon it!

LindaFaye said...

I just think it's great that you know who you are!! So many people are confused and don't know where to stand or what battles to fight.

I look back at my young black and white early years of following Jesus. I started out as a very legalistic little kid!

Unknown said...

Erin, I didn't realize that I hadn't actually left a comment here. I love this post, which is why it made my link list :)