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Personal IC experiences
 Shovel Shack : Personal IC experiences
Subject Topic: I need advice - QUICKLY!!!
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_Jason_
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Posted: Mar-26-07 at 3:03pm | IP Logged  

I have not been around for a while, so forgive me for popping back in & asking for help all of a sudden. BUT I NEED YOU ALL'S ADVICE DESPERATELY!!!!! Here's the deal; my wife & I are still on the membership roll at our local Baptist Church, although I haven't been to a service in almost a year (I'm NOT GOING BACK!), & my wife is not a frequent attendee. She does, however, still have an affinity for the IC, and that's what brings me here today for your advice.

On a sort-of-related sidenote, I've been laid off for a while, so I've been at home during the day taking care of my two children. While I was sitting here with my son this early afternoon, the phone rang, so I looked at caller ID to see who it was. It was First Baptist Church. I didn't answer it, because I just figured it was the church daycare calling to see how the kids were, since they haven't been to daycare in a couple of months. That's NOT who it was.

As the answering machine picked up the call, I listened to the message. It was "Mrs J." the director of children's ministries at the church calling. She & her husband visited our home (unsolicited, BTW) one evening a couple of weeks ago. One of the main reasons for their unsolicited visit was to inform my wife & I about the upcoming "baby dedication" service in April. For those of you who have never witnessed a "baby dedication", it's basically where all the parents with little babies get up in front of the church at the beginning of the church service. Then the pastor proceeds to ask each couple (or single parent) to promise to God to do certain religious things (they call it Christian things of course) throughout the child's life. It's as much about guilting the parents into remaining active in the Baptist church & it's activities & doctrines, as it is about anything else.

I'm so far away from ever wanting anything else to do with the Baptist church, I can't even put it into words here. My wife is NOT in the same boat with me. I don't know exactly how to tell my wife exactly what it is that I believe, but this afternoon when she gets home, I'm going to be forced to give it a try. I DO NOT WANT TO BE A PART OF THIS UPCOMING "BABY DEDICATION" CEREMONY IN THE BAPTIST, OR ANY OTHER IC!!! Obviously, my wife is going to automatically see me as the bad guy, who is un-concerned about our son's spiritual well-being. I'm not un-concerned!; I just don't believe what the Baptist church, or any other IC that I've ever been in, teaches about God & his relationship with man. This is 100% sure to create a MAJOR conflict between me & my wife, to the point that I am concerned that it could cause irrevoccable damage to our marriage. I do not know what to do.

If you read this before 3:30 p.m. EST (when my wife usually gets home), please pray that somehow God will see me through this ordeal. I don't want to be a member of the IC anymore & I also don't want my marriage to crumble, but I don't see any way that the two things will ever work together.

If you have any words of advice for me, please post them. I'm in a very dark place right now...........


      

"Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver." - Jason from AL
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luvin
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Posted: Mar-26-07 at 6:39pm | IP Logged  

I DO NOT WANT TO BE A PART OF THIS UPCOMING "BABY DEDICATION" CEREMONY IN THE BAPTIST, OR ANY OTHER IC!!!

 

Jason I'm so saddened to hear of your delima.Bro just know that I beleive that it's not God who has caused this delima for you.Choices,the devil at times,and just living in a fallen world can get you in a bad place that seems totally foreign and unfamilar.Your experience isn't the first my freind.[meant with understanding]I can also tell you that you are growing in grace and you also have the grace to be in the world and not of it.If you are able to stand it ..i say go.If not you can still stand in faith and not go.God loves you either way and whatever the outcome may be.But it's your choice..yours only.



      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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BobB
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Posted: Mar-26-07 at 6:58pm | IP Logged  

Jason,

Your all hot and bothered! I know, I know, I know.......damn, it's so hard to just say "NO" when we've been raised as "yes men" and "yes maams" our whole church lives. I personally, based on what I think your feeling, would go to a private place in your house, shut your door and quiet the noise in your head. Take some deep breaths and rest from thought.

From what you've said, you have already created an internal state that is counter productive to negotiations with the wife, as you have 'thought' for her and have already 'decided' what she will do. This child dedication is only MAJOR if you make it so, as well as the perceived attack that will come from your wife.  I think your internal state will dictate how successful you'll be in talks with the wife, and how good you can feel about coming out of this. Imagining the bad, and feeling it, will bring it to pass.

"Let not your heart be troubled........"

Hope that helped.



      

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the shovel
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Posted: Mar-26-07 at 8:12pm | IP Logged  

We did the baby-dedication thing for one of our children. It really was a minor deal. Truth was that for me it provided an out to somewhat pacify my mom since we had no intention of doing the Lutheran child-baptism for it. Our child was able to wear the "baptism garment" my mom had used with all of us. I mean, I think it's all just religious doo-doo, but we all got over it. I have a feeling that baby-dedications came about partly to fill the void created by those churches who don't observe infant baptisms.

I hope you clue us in as to how the confrontation went.

Jim




      

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Joyce
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Posted: Mar-27-07 at 12:34am | IP Logged  

When you have a toddler and a daughter still crawling around on the floor and you think as their mother, you are going to be dying very soon.... you dedicate your children very quickly.  It is a fast prayer to God to please take care of them for you, because you won't be there to do it yourself.  Guess my response (wording) might be somewhat different today, believing as I do now of the Love and soverignty of God regarding each of us. But I know I would still pray.  

Somehow I guess the religious institutions never ask.... if we dedicate them, will that change the outcome of their lives?  If we don't dedicate them, will it have a different affect?  I can see where it probably is a response to the "not baptizing" scenerio as Jim says.  "We must do SOMETHING!"  

Though the ritual is bogus, it would probably be beyond the realm of any of us here to know what the Life of Christ is doing here.  Sometimes we stand against these things (by the Spirit).... other times, in love, we submit (in some form or another) to the same.

Joyce



Edited by Joyce on Mar-27-07 at 12:47am
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Joyce
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Posted: Mar-27-07 at 10:06am | IP Logged  

Jason,

Would like to add.... "and am in support of you whatever your decision and outcome".  I re-read your initail post on this and realized that there are requirements here where you are probably feeling like to go along with it would go against your honest heart felt feelings on the matter.  So can certainly understand the dilema. 

 

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_Jason_
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Posted: Mar-27-07 at 10:41am | IP Logged  

Thanks so very much to each of you who responded. I've carefully read & considered each of your replies & am contemplating attending this baby dedication, just to smooth things over with my wife. I have some very serious problems with going along with the dedication, because of some of the "promises" the pastor will ask us to make. I don't want to just stand there in front of everybody & flat out lie, because even if I do attend the dedication ceremony, I have no intention of ever being part of the Baptist church again. Having said that, I'd rather lie than see my marriage crumble because of my bull-headedness.

As far as the confrontation goes, well, it happened last evening. When my wife got home, I didn't immediately tell her about the message. I took my wife & kids on a bike ride down by the lake, because I still needed some time to think about how I was going to approach this. Finally, a little while after we had arrived home, I asked my wife to sit down, because I wanted to discuss the message from earlier, as well as where I am spiritually at this point in my life. I laid my heart open bare to my wife. I left nothing to the imagination; I told her as best I could exactly what it is that I now believe. I told her that since I have trouble putting my thoughts into words most of the time, I wanted to point her to a couple of websites that would explain much better than I could, exactly what it is that I believe.

I also told my wife that I did not wish to be a part of the upcoming baby dedication, and I tried as hard as I could to explain why. I also told her that I am D-O-N-E with "church", and want nothing to do with it in the future. Again, I tried to explain why I felt this way. At times during the discussion, I got quite angry, especially when telling her (because she asked) what I believe vs. what the church teaches.

Have you ever stirred up a hornet's nest? Ever been stung over & over by hornets? Ever felt that intense pain? Ever seen what a person looks like after being stung over & over by hornets?..........I wish I could have found a hornet's nest to bury my head in yesterday, because the outcome would have been prettier than what happened with me & my wife. Our discussion ended, well, BADLY. It was the most hurtful day I can remember in my entire life. My wife told me these things after I was finished talking:

She thinks I've been brainwashed by that "crap" on the internet (which she would not read, BTW)
She wishes I had never married her
That I KNEW before we married that she wanted a man "in church"
She wishes I had never had children with her
If I was going to give up church, I was going to have to do it without her
I'm being selfish
I shouldn't have come to my conclusions on my own without discussing it with her
This is something that is likely to cause our marriage to crumble
Many other things that I can't think of right now.

I guess as she thought about it during the night, she calmed down a bit. This morning before she left for work, she left a little note saying that she still loves me, and that it's just going to take her a while [before she can understand and/or accept my point of view.]

All in all, I'm glad that the confrontation is over, even if the entire ordeal may just be beginning. I can't see the end from here, but that's life, I guess, and there's not a darn thing I can do about that. I believe that my decision to completely leave organized religion is something that could still destroy my marriage, but I can't control that. I WON'T be a part of organized religion anymore, and if my marriage crumbles because of it, I'll just have to live with the outcome. Sure as the sun rises in the East, if my marriage does fall apart over this, there is NO WAY I will ever get married again.


      

"Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver." - Jason from AL
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BobB
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Posted: Mar-27-07 at 11:31am | IP Logged  

Thats intense dude. I really sense the anger in you. I am well aquainted with it. Sometimes anger is our best defense against a world that will never stop trying to persuade us that 'Christ in us' isn't good enough, or that we need to add to that life. I found anger to be therapeutic as I worked out my emotions and found grace for myself in that anger. I stopped being a 'yes man'.  People couldn't persuade me or pass their bull on me anymore. It was liberating, and it could be nasty, BUT the Lion of Judah is not to be toyed with. Gotta go but hope to post a little later.

      

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luvin
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Posted: Mar-27-07 at 11:33am | IP Logged  

Jason,

There is no way you have to be a contributer financially or otherwise to legalistic demonic garbarge no doubt.I for one think however you need to foillow your heart and realize that there isn't any perfect plan when you go through this circumstance..it simply most likely will have some humanity and freedom of choice wrapped up into it[in my oppinion].I think that your stand if geniune,could possibly have an effect on some things in a good way but might take some time to discover.On the other hand there is no hard -law that Iam aware of that keeps you from loving your wife tenderly,and making some allowances for her as God gives you the strength and wisdom.[ie:baby dedications etc..]Im no athourity just another brother growing in grace like you.



      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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HarryTick
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Posted: Mar-27-07 at 11:59am | IP Logged  

Jason,

Consider that, if you "agree" to anything at the dedication, it will also probably come back to haunt you. You should also realize that your wife may perceive that you are threatening her social status within her peer group. Spiritual wives have husbands who are dedicated to the church. If the majority of her friends attend the chruch, or a chruch, she will be worried about how she is perceived, or where her source of social contact and friends will come from. This was one of my wife's worst issues with "us" no longer going to church. All her friends were from within the chruch system. Oh, she had friends that were related to my work, but then we would move and none of those friends were with us, and the chruch had always been her savior in those instances.

Dedication is what the spiritual families do. I have dedicated my children in churches. If you were to look at it from the chruches' point of view, I've failed miserably to raise up another generation of churchgoing believers. Which just happens to bring to mind the fear mongering I've heard from the pulpit about how the chruch would die off if nobody went, and all I can think to say now is, "A-MEN!!"

Church, the temple built of living stones is not dependent on the chruch, with its mere buildings of stones (and wood, and brick). God does not require a building fund or him to add on a new wing or an annual budget to keep functioning, but ministers of the chruch do.

Sorry to add to the cynicism of the chruch.



      

Love,
Bill
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heretic - n 1: a person who holds beliefs in conflict with the dogma of churches.
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luvin
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Posted: Mar-27-07 at 12:45pm | IP Logged  

Joyce wrote:

When you have a toddler and a daughter still crawling around on the floor and you think as their mother, you are going to be dying very soon.... you dedicate your children very quickly.  It is a fast prayer to God to please take care of them for you, because you won't be there to do it yourself.  Guess my response (wording) might be somewhat different today, believing as I do now of the Love and soverignty of God regarding each of us. But I know I would still pray.  

Somehow I guess the religious institutions never ask.... if we dedicate them, will that change the outcome of their lives?  If we don't dedicate them, will it have a different affect?  I can see where it probably is a response to the "not baptizing" scenerio as Jim says.  "We must do SOMETHING!"  

Though the ritual is bogus, it would probably be beyond the realm of any of us here to know what the Life of Christ is doing here.  Sometimes we stand against these things (by the Spirit).... other times, in love, we submit (in some form or another) to the same.

JoyceI like what you say here Joyce.Could it be that through these jewish rituals brought back to christianity can serve as an awesome reminder of what IS and what we deisre of God and our children>?



      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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the shovel
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Posted: Mar-27-07 at 2:14pm | IP Logged  

Jason,

Wow, sounds like a real trying time you had with your wife. Should you decide to go ahead and participate in the baby dedication you might want to have a short honest talk with the one who is going to perform it before it happens to find out what kind of promises he wants to ask you to make (as Bill was mentioning). With us (and it was a long time ago), it was very simple. I don't remember promises relating to the church itself but to our own desires to teach our children about God sending his son. He might be willing to back off any institutional related promises if he thought it might be contradicted during the service.

Jim


      

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Joyce
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Posted: Mar-27-07 at 3:02pm | IP Logged  

Adam,

Yes, I think the subject of our children causes our emotions to run high, and when we look at what those feelings are, we realize that it is a very natural love and desire for our children that motivates us.  I think we have one very dear brother here (dave) who happened along this sight when in quest regarding the eternal desitination of his newborn son, (as an example).  Maybe it is in our own feelings regarding our own children that we can somehow understand to some extent how God felt about His son as well, and the Love that was demonstrated in all of that.  The problem comes in when we are made to feel that there are certain things we have to do for it to all come out ok, and then realize that we are all real inadequate at times in being able to bring about desired outcomes.  You then get into the promises or vows put upon us to do certain things, as though it all depended on you somehow.  Add the emotion of how you feel about your kids and it is a formula for guilt and discouragement.  Maybe our vows could be replaced with statements of facts.  Statements about the adequacy and Love of God.... in us as well as our children.  (Might make for intereting replacement of marriage vows as well.)

 

This also keeps coming to mind to say... so.... though there is no indication or reason for my saying it, from a woman's perspective....  It seems that sometimes our communications between men and women are hampered because of that very fact.... half of the equation is a man and the other half is a woman, and we think things our differently. It is not a matter of right or wrong thinking, but just a different way of thinking.  Men are great in that they want to come in and help the situation and "fix it for us".... a really nice thing to try to do.  But women may only at that time just want more to say how they "feel".  Sometimes, even if there is no answer or closure brought to the issue, if we have at least been allowed to express to the inth degree how we feel about it all and feel like we were heard, then we are relieved somehow and it is ok, even if the problem isn't solved.   Just a thought that kept coming to mind.... for who or whatever.... 

Joyce



Edited by Joyce on Mar-27-07 at 3:20pm
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_Jason_
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Posted: Mar-27-07 at 4:00pm | IP Logged  

Thanks again for everyone's thoughts. Please know that I have carefully read & contemplated each one of all your collective
comments.

I guess it's going to come down to a freedom issue. I'm free to participate or not participate. It's not going to be easy to decide.

Jim, I like your idea of discussing it with the pastor beforehand, since he'll be performing the ceremony. If he understands where I'm coming from, even though he may totally disagree, maybe we'll be  able to come to some arrangement that we can all agree on.

I want this phase of my life to pass. It is painful, but as they say, this too shall pass (I hope)


      

"Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver." - Jason from AL
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Connie
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Posted: Mar-27-07 at 4:36pm | IP Logged  

Jason,

I very much feel for you!  As I've contemplated my life situation of the moment and have seen things in retrospect, I see how the vines of religion have infiltrated my home and its foundations.  Those vines grow slowly, but surely, little by little have eroded the concrete foundations.  Or I also see religion like termites: tiny, harmless looking insects that usually aren't seen until the house collapses in a cloud of sawdust!  And that is how I'm seeing the results of religion in my own life, so I am so for you taking a stand if your heart so moves you!  But it is a stand against the lie(s) of religion, but not God.  And it is a stand for God and love and sometimes love will lay itself down for the beloved!

So I wanted to share this with you.  I've seen at different times two people engaged in a conflict where one believes they saw or experienced something totally "out there" and they were relating it to the other.  The experience was so outside the realm of reality as to be absurd, but the one who had the experience "believed" it to be true.  And when the other person was faced with the conflict of his own reason vs. the "experience", would end up supporting the other with his love by saying  "Well, I don't know what you're talking about, but I believe that you believe that this thing is real". 

Maybe you could see this thing with your wife that way.  You don't believe in it (the ritual), but you believe that she believes in it, and so you support her in her decision.  Because, in the end, a mere ritual will not interfere with your role as a father.  You have the authority, and no one can take that away from you with a ritual.



      

Connie
"Wow!It's so bright in here!"
II Cor.4:5-6

    
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rickh
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hi jason. whatever you decide, it doesnt change who you are and im pretty sure some life will come out of it.   rick



      

rick
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_Jason_
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Posted: Mar-29-07 at 10:56am | IP Logged  

After the smoke had cleared from our first conversation, the next day my wife & I had a lengthy discussion about all of this. We sort of agreed that we don't agree on religious things, but we both also made some concessions to each other. I think that was the best outcome for both of us.

I won't go into details, but a lot of her feelings were things I hadn't considered.

Thanks again to everyone who responded.

Jason

p.s. My wife knows about the shovel shack now. I don't know if she will ever want join the forum, but she does know about it.


      

"Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver." - Jason from AL
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luvin
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Posted: Mar-29-07 at 5:00pm | IP Logged  

Big step..awesome.

      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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dave
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Posted: Jul-01-07 at 9:36pm | IP Logged  

Jason,

Just so you know, we all go through those marital conflicts...at least my wife and I do.  And more often then not, I discover that I don't see where my wife is coming from.  What Bill said is so amazingly right on!  Women think differently then men.  I totally see where you are coming from because I am the same way. 

You know something?  Even though I have never met your wife (she sounds exactly like my wife did a couple years ago when God started opening my eyes to His grace) I think she actually doesn't really like religion much either.  Look carefully at what Bill said because there may be something about "church" that attracts her.

I'm certain that your wife doesn't like religious bondage but it will be extremely hard for her to SEE through all the crap because the "system" gets confused with all the relationships, confidence, and acceptance she has in church.

Personally, I didn't like going to church much either but my wife did.  I went for a time and constantly communicated to her what I saw in what the pastor preached.  Little by little she started seeing the contrast between Life and legalism.  The pastor provided a perfect backdrop of legalism (death) for the Life that I wanted to share with her.

Yeah, we had fights over it.  But, mostly it was her confusion that made her angry.  Women don't like to be in a place of insecurity.  They really like security.  This Life of Christ tends to be wild and breaks all of the "rules".  That scares people.  I know it scared me and it scared my wife. 

Anyway, you will be amazed at how Christ in your wife has ears to hear what you are saying even though on the surface it doesn't always seem that way.  Just understand that confusion can make someone frustrated and angry.

But love will never fail!
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mary
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Posted: Jul-02-07 at 8:58am | IP Logged  

 

   Dave,

       Really enjoyed reading this today.  Some neat stuff you're saying here brother.



      

Mary
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luvin
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!

      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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the shovel
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Posted: Jul-02-07 at 2:09pm | IP Logged  

Dave, I also enjoyed what you said here! :)

Jim


      

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_Jason_
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Posted: Oct-09-07 at 5:31pm | IP Logged  

Dave,

Very good points you made there.

As an update, I never did go through with the baby dedication. I just couldn't make myself do it, and my wife didn't push for it anymore.

FWIW, since the time I started this thread, that local Baptist church has been in great turmoil. The lady who came to our house to tell us personally about the baby dedication recently resigned from her paid position on the church staff. I'm not sure why. I've also found out that 4 or 5 deacons have also resigned. I have no clue why, and don't want to know.

My wife is still attending IC services at a different place, and I went with her once a couple months ago. It was started by a former Baptist youth minister. It doesn't carry the Baptist name, but I saw the info from a "discovery" class for perspective members, and it IS the Baptist church without the name attached. I'm not saying I'll never attend another service there with my wife, but I have no plans to get deeply involved there.

I'm sort of sad a lot of the time when I think about how happy my wife was with me, when we attended IC services together. I don't think I'll ever be able to get back to that place with us. I just wish my wife & I could finally see eye to eye on spiritual things, but I don't know if it will ever happen. Only God knows how it will all sort out.

Anyhow, just thought I'd give an update.......


      

"Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver." - Jason from AL
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luvin
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Posted: Oct-09-07 at 11:20pm | IP Logged  

awesome honesty and encouragment in this Jason. I thank God for your sharing!

      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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Broken Link
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jason in AL wrote:
I'm sort of sad a lot of the time when I think about how happy my wife was with me, when we attended IC services together. I don't think I'll ever be able to get back to that place with us. I just wish my wife & I could finally see eye to eye on spiritual things, but I don't know if it will ever happen. Only God knows how it will all sort out.

Jason,

Thanks for the update comes from me also. This last little bit, I identify with it. So much of mine and my wife's friendships were tied up in the church, specifically the majority of my wife's friendships. These last few years have been me finding just what the relationship can be like without relying on the codependency of the church. Sometimes, it has been a real challenge because the IC provided the ability to idle through life as far as putting us into social activities. Choosing a church was almost as much about the quality and availability of the social activities as it was about the teaching.

The "closeness" that I perceived in the IC came from sharing the activities and always being together. Imagine what closeness is available to us now, without requiring the central planning provided a church? I think the thing it took my wife and I time to realize is that our relationship wasn't actually based on religious/spiritual agreement and how little all of that actually contributed to our early relationship (we met in high school). The church was just a place to be that we had in common. It is amazing to both of us now when we realize how much the IC actually seemed to get "in the way" of our lives compared to the way things are now between us. I'm not saying I have the perfect, harmonious relationship, but I like it a lot better than it was.



Edited by Broken Link on Oct-10-07 at 8:45am


      

Bill
theHarryTick™
heretic - n 1: a person who holds beliefs in conflict with the dogma of the church.
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luvin
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Joined: May-20-02
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Posted: Oct-10-07 at 10:55am | IP Logged  

Bll neat thoughts bro,

I too have been slowly forced to rethink alot of my former feelings and "convictions" regarding marriage and such. I am not sure often times which is real [my thoughts] and which is just a concept upheld by a way life that left me with no answers and in bondage. Alot of my former conclusions were based on the desires that flowed through me as a young, and nieve christian. I simply thought[at that time] marriage was God basically deciding I would have a better testimony married than unmarried and there purpose[or existance] was to stir you to Jesus. But as I look back I notice that alot of my belief was set in the stoney understanding of attempting to justify the marriage desire to begin with. Jeez there was a time I had no real desire to be in a relationship. Actually that was a fact through my early 20's even. I remember some older christian people telling me I should meet a girl. I just didn't have the desire. I had been in a  4 year  bad relationship prior to coming to know Christ in high shool and didnt want anymore of the garbage associated wth a relationship at that time. It took me long enough just to get free from that! My desire for marriage revived when I got to see and live with my former pastors family for a time. I loved how mature and close and honorable there marriage was..and somehow I thought if I could have that , I'd be interested again. Problem was I wasn't meeting anybody I thought was like that at all...they all seemed to want me to either be "wordly"[as I percieved it] or later down the road more "churchy"..neither really felt all that good to me. lol That's just honest. I twasn't until I met my wife that I sensed some sort of balance in all this madness..but I must admit that even now I still get revealed more old patches and stiching that has kept my perceptions the way they are for so long.



      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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