Thursday, September 11, 2008

Too much Jesus?

I woke up this morning with the following thought in my head:
"Is there enough of Jesus in my life to show my little girl?"

While I love him, serve him, trust him, believe in him, am saved by him, I don't really talk about him very much. My faith life has been a very private one lately. The Geek's brother is in town and his conversation revolves around the Bible and religious topics. Yesterday while out to dinner it came up again. I could feel myself curling up in a ball. I grew up in a house where Jesus and the Bible seemed to be the only acceptable topics and we were made to memorize scripture, do family bible studies, and take communion together. While I disagree with none of those practices, the way our family life played out rarely matched up to what we were learning. It was a violent, angry place at times. To me, it seemed the scriptures were not used as a way to point me to God, so much as a way to beat me into submission and into doing what I was told.

I held to the family faith for a long time, on into College and after would then have seasons of falling away, and then coming back because I knew no other route to sanity or peace. However, the God I had been taught of and the God I had been shown didn't match up and when the 'ship hit the sand' so to speak, I fell back on the God I had been shown. He was more like my parents, and even more so like my childhood perception of my father than the God of the Bible and while I love my parents, that was not a good thing for me. In recent years, a mentor has been leading me through exercises (12 of them :) )to help me find God, and not this one in my head. It has been a rough journey and there are many times where I still go back to that old default of a God who doesn't have time for me and is not really interested in my heart or who I am, just that I follow the rules. I still struggle when anyone quotes scripture at me in an effort to make me see their point of view. It feels more like a weapon (as my Geek so succinctly stated last night) than Good News.

Yet I long for my little girl to know Jesus. So the dilemma arises of how can I show her if my relationship with him is private? The Geek and I have talked about modeling healthy behavior for our children in terms of how we talk to each other, how we argue, and how we love. I don't know how to model that in terms of my faith at all. The Geek and I had a lot of trouble with this concept in terms of marriage, since neither of us had modeled for us something we wanted to follow, we tried to NOT do what they did, but 'not doing' something is not 'doing' something, so we muddled along, hurting each other for a long time until we finally had to ask for help. We have found a path that is working for us (nearly 5 years later) and I like who we are becoming. Now, for me, the next step is how do I learn the same concept for my faith? How do I share the Good News, and still give my little baby girl room to find her own path to him? I don't want to be right all the time and force my faith on my child. I want to invite her to know him. Maybe I should ask him how to do that...

8 comments:

TLC said...

You're asking brave questions. They're noble. They're important to struggle with, and I think anyone would respect that.

Hopefully this doesn't come across the same as having me use weapons against you (in regard to your statement about quoting scripture), but here goes:

I've had several conversations with friends lately who seem to mention being in the same place (whether pregnant or not) in their relationship with Jesus. And several of them have mentioned that a book called "The Shack" helped them. I read it. It's incredible. It's a self-published novel by a first time Christian author (rejected from all the publishing houses because it was too "controversial"), and it topped the NYT Bestsellers List... quite an admirable feat, and impressive to indie-type folk like us.

If you haven't read it, I'd highly recommend it. I finished it in less than 24 hours. And if you do/have read it, I'd love to know your thoughts!

xoxo,
TLC:)

Christy said...

Great post! I really identify with a lot of what you said.

The Musician said...

I haven't read 'The Shack', but have heard lots of powerful things about it. I should add it to my list, huh.

Matt Evans said...

I love you.

TLC said...

Yeah, it's stellar. Maybe one of the best books I've ever read. But get a box of Kleenex first. I'm not even preggers and I had to STOP READING at one point just so I could cry. Sheesh. For me, that kind of information up-front would NOT have been a selling point, but it's totally worth enduring the tears to get through it.

Mel said...

I agree with TLC about The Shack. As I read your post, I was actually thinking I needed to mention it to you.It has really made me re-examine my preconceived ideas about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and what it means to be in relationship with them.

The Musician said...

Who knew this was such a hot topic. I don't think I've ever had this many comments! It's good to know I'm not alone in this.

Dana said...

i still struggle with the same issues of RULES RULES RULES instead of HEART HEART HEART and how to teach my kids the right way when i seem to be so stuck in the RULES way. it's especially hard when your kids ARE in the very black and white rules stage... transistioning into the "WHY" and changing and growing the HEART is tough.

i hesitate to comment on "the shack" especially since i haven't personally read it, but the things i've heard about it were not very supportive of it and i personally hesitate to be gung ho about anything the world or the NYT bestsellers list says is awesome and inspiring and life changing. lots of things are life chaning and eye opening but are not necessarily filled with biblical truths. maybe it's my "rules" history talking, but like i said i haven't read it and i don't just walk around defaming the book on second hand information... just giving my opinion along with the rest.

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