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Elizabeth- continuing our conversation

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Posted by Dana on August 21, 2003 at 16:53:58:

I figured that starting a new thread might be a good idea since the messages on the page have butted the other to the next page. It's easier to check page one than sift through the other messages.

Yes, I understand what you mean by getting behind in your work. Rhahema's funeral preparations have thrown my housework routine up in the air. My husband started to complain. So, I'd better get some cleaning done this afternoon.

You made a statement that came off strange to me. You are catholic, but don't consider yourself a christian? I don't understand. To me, a Christian is A)follower of Christ B)believer that Jesus is God's son. Now, I assume that catholics believe that too. Am I off? I then figure that you mean that you and your husband are just choosing to worship differently. I know that certain groups believe different things should be included/not included in the Bible- the apocrapha. But isn't that the primary difference?

You asked what has caused me to mellow from the initial high after deciding to follow Jesus. Well, it took a long time. I became a Christian in high school. I grew up attending a Presbyterian church but never felt any personal connection with what I did there. I had a couple people tell me that being a Christian is a choice, which was a new concept to me. I was introduced to Christian rock music- and that was pretty cool. I had just broken up with by boyfriend at the time and was feeling guilty that I wasn't a virgin anymore. So- after becoming a Christian I felt so much better being able to get that condemnation off my conscience.

But being a teenager, I was still rebellious and thought that my parents didn't know anything. So- I started putting down the Presbyterian church and the way they worshipped. I was so hyper about getting them saved and trying to get them to worship like I did that I really offended them. It has taken be several years to figure out that offending people is a sure way to turn people off to whatever you are trying to get them to see.

But, inevitably, I frequently see new christians doing just that. Now I find it easier to focus on what God wants me to when I worship a certain way and attend a certain church. But I'm pretty sure that there are "real" christians attending churches that I would find very boring. It isn't the style of worship, but it's the relationship you are trying to have with God that makes all the difference.

I was just as hyper of a christian in college and a little beyond. I still feel like I'm on fire for God- just not as abrasive towards others. Now, there are certain circumstances where it is appropriate to speak against someone's behavior- specifically when the person is acting hypocritical. But, in order for that person to repent to God, he/she must feel some sort of guilt (conscience) first. Trying to correct people who don't know God is rather pointless. They tend to feel justified in whatever they are doing. But a true Christian realizes that they are fallible and need to be corrected.

That's why I am so aware of how I correct/discipline my kids. Although I am totally not perfect in this- it always convicts me when I know that isn't a Godly way to correct them. The whole point of discipline is to show our kids what it's like to become a grown up in God's eyes. If your husband grew up in a crappy family situation, learning these new discipline techniques that God gives us can be hard. What's the saying- an old dog learning new tricks. Parents tend to lean the way their parents raised them. To cut off those generational ties can really be difficult. That's why it can be so dang difficult and frustrating to follow what God wants us to do.

Anyway- your husband will likely fail at some point in something related to you or your kids. While I am not suggesting sweeping whatever that is under the rug, I am asking you to figure out how to prompt his conscience so that he really feels repentant about what he did. And forgiving can be hard- especially after your trust has previously been compromised.

All this is long and frustrating sometimes but it is really worth it. To spend eternity worshiping the most awesome Being -- is beyond words. Getting there is where all the problems lie :0)

I should get clean soon- yuck!

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