A Marriage After His Heart

My journey and life unscripted as I transition from the role of a single mom living for God to a newlywed trying my best at blending and expanding my family, all while pursing a marriage after God and my husband's heart. Join us on this journey!

Friday, December 12, 2008

One Sister's Reality vs Another Sister's Condemnation

It is taking me longer than I thought to get back into the groove of daily blogging but as I read so many blogs I have so many blog ideas running around in my head. Today's topic is something that I have wrestled with all year. I apologize for the length but I couldn't break this up and I just ask that you bear with me on this. I am in no way making excuses for people but we all have made bad choices and God has shown mercy and love to us.

The reality is that we are all from different walks of life, different circumstances, different scriptural interpretations, convictions, and beliefs. And while I know the topic of real life vs blogland has been beaten to death, there is one aspect that I just don't see supported or defended enough and that is the reality for most women who are like me or those who I have closely related to through my walk in this life who are intrigued by us but really have no inside clue to the lifestyle that we blog about.
  • The reality is that some women have been abandon by men, broken down, abused, and trampled on and are looking to God to heal and better their lives but in the process they still have to depend on welfare, food stamps, state sponsored health care,WIC and other subsidies and it doesn't mean they are lazy and have no desire to get off the system, it is just taking longer in their lives than WE feel it should.
  • The reality is that some women struggle with showing their kids affection because they never had it and were raised on tough love and feel so guilty about it that they can't even fathom having more kids because the enemy has lied to them and told them they are not good mothers.
  • The reality is that there are more blended families now than traditional families this being in the Christian realm, so there are some women who have to work because the reality is there is more than one household that need to be supported.
  • The reality is that some stay at home mothers do so just because they heard it's right and not because God opened doors for them to come home.
  • The reality is there are some women who just don't see the secret burden their husband carries financially and spiritually because they moved outside of God's timing into a lifestyle in which they were not prepared for.
  • The reality is there are some couples who never were taught how to be debt free and financially responsible and are now paying the price which leads to both husband and wife having to work outside the home.
  • The reality is that some people live in places where there are NO jobs and they have to drive more than an hour to work.
  • The reality is that some people actually do believe in the public school system and it would be a detriment to their kids if they pulled them out and tried to tackle homeschooling.
  • The reality is that some women and or their husbands may have committed crimes which led to a record in their sins and they are just hoping that God will open a door for them to gain employment and until God opens that door they have to depend on the government to support their family.
  • The reality is that some women and men have been fooled by false preachers and have a negative view of anything Christian and it may take some time for them to accept what we believe.
I have for many years defended single parents, women who work outside the home, and those who are bound by socioeconomic barriers I have often bet rebuffed with " they shouldn't have gotten pregnant out of wed-lock, they just aren't trying hard enough, and other comments that have almost made me cry not for myself,but for the blindness of some who have never had to walk a mile in the shoes of the people they are showing "tough love" to.
Just because one volunteers for needy families, or spends a few hours with those less fortunate doesn't mean one actually knows that person's day to day struggles. And yes there are those who just don't care or seem to want to do better but they often overshadow that population of those who want to but just don't even have a clue where to begin.

My reality is that although I was raised in a struggling middle class Christian family and made the choice to choose the hard road, I was bless to have the Godly examples to guide me back to a better road. And while I have the benefits of Salvation, I am still being buffeted about for my own faults, I have God's grace to take it patiently but what about those who don't. What about those women who are looking on the Internet trying to find some type of enlightenment from women who are spiritual and this lifestyle is very inviting but oh so new to them???

What about that women at work who longs to come home but then reads a blog who's tone says (albeit intentional or unintentional) that in so many words that she is a horrible mother, God didn't intend for her to work and leave her kids in daycare and her kids can never get the correct amount of love and support from her as long as she is selfishly working. Never mind that her working is needful and oftentimes still doesn't produce enough to meet bare essentials.

Don't get me wrong, I am not at all stressing that we shouldn't tell the truth boldly at time, because what I just stated above is exactly holds true, but there is that one thing called tone and if it were not important then Scripture would not tell us to let our words be seasoned with grace.

Seasoning our words with grace allows us to step back and look at things from a readers perspective. Not all the times, some topics call for loving reproof. I think sometimes that we as writers forget that we didn't know or have it all and we have been shed some biblical light that has worked in our favor and we decide to share it with the world but sometimes unknowingly our sharing can be a tad bit condescending. We in our own right can't see it, refuse to soften our truth for the reader because we can't " change what we say to fit every one's feelings" Yet Jesus did. There were times when he reproved and reproved hard, but there were times when he reproved and taught with so much love that it still spills from the pages of the bible.

Scripture tells us in Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. And a wise person always knows how to reach that audience of souls that he/she is trying to win. Paul did it in the passage of Scripture listed below. He knew that in order for him to win souls, he had to think like, and relate to those that he was witnessing to. Are we not to be held to the same standard??

I say all this because I feel that God is leading me to change the format and nature of my blog. My reality is that I don't know it all and I am still learning. I can relate more to those who are struggling to learn how to just cope with the day to day of being on this earth. I relate more to those women who although their kids were born in the most sinful of circumstances it doesn't take away that they love them and want the best for them just like those who were blessed not to have to travel that road. At the end of the day we are still mostly wives and mothers searching for God given direction on how to change our lives for the better.

I write this in now way judging or accusing any of the blogs I read, because I learn so much from them. I just know how tough it was for me in the beginning to just go through the day clinging to God's hope and joy. Trust me homeschooling, birth control, qiver-full, menu planning, coupon clipping, wifely submission, Titus 2 learning, first time obedience child rearing, bread baking, bible courtships, politics, and other biblical womanhood topics seemed like an un-learnable foreign language and an unreachable lifestyle for me.

My desire is to help that demographic of sisters who have been told that they will never be anything, who have been abused, who feel hope is lost because they are trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents. Those who are out near the highways and the byways who would love to come into the marriage celebration but don't really get invited. I believe that if we honestly search our hearts and reflect back we will see that there is truly a group of women who feel left out.

1 Corinthians 9:18-23
18What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law
to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am
made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
At the end of the day after all the hot blogging topics and fiery comments our blog ministry mission should be to win someone over or closer to Christ. If you don't feel your blog is a ministry to others then maybe you shouldn't blog about anything Christ related because on that faithful day we will all be judged for every idle word that we speak whether it be spoken or written we are accountable for the soul that reads our representation of salvation.
Have a wonderful weekend. Stay blessed and encouraged!


Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

Preach, Jamala! I can totally appreciate the heart behind this message. I am surrounded by sisters, friends, family members who are in all types of situations: single mothers, working mothers, women trying with all their might to mother children whose father has left them in the lurch, you name it, I see up close and personal- daily. It's one of the reasons I try to be oh so careful when I write posts about motherhood and such, though no matter what the situation, you know what I believe:

Our inability to achieve the ideal doesn't make it any less ideal. For me, this is also about infusing the truth into what we are doing so that our CHILDREN realize that "despite the life you witnessed mama and daddy live, there is a better way, a RIGHT way."

And girl, half that stuff these women blog about I can't relate to either. i buy my bread and vegetables at the grocery store. Though given the way the economy is going, i am beginning to think that knowing how to grow my own food may be a more useful skill than I ever thougt, though that's a topic for another day,lol!

Quiverfull? I appreciate it, truly I do. I even think it's Biblical (though not a law), but after 3 sections, it's not so easy for me to say "yeah, I'm willing to have my insides CUT OPEN every other year with all the risk that entails for the sake of some movement.

First time obedience- Are we always "first time obedient" to the Father? I rest my case. That is not a Biblical parenting philosphy. Have any of these people read Hosea, or the countles warnings God gave the children of Israel? Some of these so-called Bible based movements are anything but.

And you and I have talked at length about my educational position. I will say this: Chrisitan parents of public school kids need to be on their job. You ( that's a general "you", not YOU) can NOT be too tired to build relationship with your kids. You better be on top of it. It's hard work. In fact, it's wearing me out. My stepdaughter attended a "wedding reception" for one her school's gay teachers- on campus (she lives in a different state- a rural one at that)!! Our county has a special office set aside at the MIDDLE school level for kids with gender/sexuality issues to get assistance. And at the high school level REQUIRED health classes, abortion is taught as just another birth control option. I ain't saying you have to homeschool, but at least parents should consider CHRISTIAN school. I can't afford it, which leaves me at homeschool by default.

Anyway, I hear what you're saying. I'm just taking a page out of your book and offering up the other side- at least on the school thing.

I'll probably be calling you Monday. HAve a blessed weekend.

Rosheeda said...

Great post Jamala. It will be pretty interesting to see your blog evolve. There are so many unique situations amongst the body... Can't wait to hear your thoughts.