Monday, October 22, 2007

Who - or What - Is Your God?

I've read lots of opinions on lots of things during my years online. Wes was a programmer in the US Air Force from 1990 till 1996, and naturally, as e-mail and the internet came into more common use, our family was on the front edge of technology. I remember searching the web for Christian women's sites, and finding very little. After a while, more and more Christian sites began showing up, and I began reading and joining forums. It came to the point that I was reading about lifestyles varying somewhat from my rather mainstream independent Baptist upbringing. Some of it made sense to me, other things were a little far out there for me. None of it was wrong, though, and everyone had Scripture to back up what they believed.

The latest thing to hit the internet is the blog. Everybody has one, at least everyone who knows what a blog is! And that includes me, of course. I love blogging. Anyway . . . we all read each other's blogs and it's almost like a parallel society. I think it's great that all we have to do to find almost any information we want - and some we don't want - is type a couple of keywords into a search bar and we have it at our fingertips within seconds. I also think it's great that we can share our faith, our convictions, and our beliefs with each other. But - and there's always a but in there, huh?

The thing I've noticed that happens is that we ladies tend to latch on to a person or an idea and that person or thing becomes the guiding light of our lives. On forums that I've been part of, I've seen women with 5 children go into deep depression because they are quiverfull minded and they aren't pregnant. I've seen mothers in the deepest despair because their doctor has told them that they must have a c-section to protect either their life and health or their baby's. Or they are considering disobeying (or already disobeying) their godly husband's wishes concerning finances or birth control in order to follow "what's right." I've seen women in a panic because their husband wants them to put their child into a Christian school, or even public school, when they feel that God wants them to homeschool. I've seen women vow to never send their daughters to college, whereas others have vowed to make sure their daughters do go to college. I've seen courtship taken to unnatural extremes, such as insisting that potential spouses agree to come and live in the same home or on the same land as the family. I've also seen women ask advice of other women and take that advice as Gospel truth, when in reality it's not a clear-cut issue in God's Word. I've seen women gush over this author or that pastor and hang on every word he or she says.

None of these things mentioned above are wrong. Homeschooling is our choice for educating our children. Giving God complete control of your fertility is good and right. Having babies naturally is good - God equipped us pretty well for that. He also equipped us to feed our children from our own bodies; nothing is superior to a mother's milk. Tithing and giving are right. Training for a life work is a good thing, but so is staying home with your parents. Courtship is good; the principles, when used wisely, are producing happy marriages. But none of these things should be an end in themselves.

Wes and I were talking yesterday about how sometimes we get a list of proofs of spirituality in our minds, and if someone doesn't fit into that neat little box we've concocted, they aren't spiritual, or we even assume that that person is out of God's will. The fact is, we cannot know what God's will is for anyone other than the person we see in the mirror each morning. Let me encourage you, as a wife, mother, single person, student - make God your only God. Don't worship at the altar of quiverfull or homeschooling or natural birth or courtship or . . . fill in the blank with the latest thing that "everybody who is a Christian does." Listen to your husband. Listen to your pastor. Search the Scriptures and listen to God; keep your feet grounded in God's Word instead of Sister Blogger's word. If you have to, take a break from the internet and face your real life and the people in it. Don't let the good replace the best in your life!

23 comments:

  1. This is a great post, Susan! I tend to stop reading blogs whose authors are constantly dishing out advice contrary to what my husband/pastor would say (or sometimes I stop even if it is good advice that aligns with my beliefs!). I can't look to the internet/blogs/forums for the path that *GOD* has for me!

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  2. Amen and amen. Very true and very well put.

    I used to think, when God very clearly led me in a certain direction, that that must be His will for everyone. I used to think that, since there is one God and one Holy Spirit and all Christians belong to Him that we should all be on the same page on every issue. After encountering Christians who loved God every bit as much as I did and who felt led of God based on Scripture to positions not in keeping with mine, and after many readings of Romans 14, I realized that sometimes He just wants us to exercise grace with each other.

    And you're so right that sometimes we can get caught up on one side or the other of the latest issue sweeping through and forget our God-given authorities that we're supposed to be listening to and discussing these things with and submitting to.

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  3. This post is the exact reason I like reading your blog! It is interesting, yet keeps me reminded of what is really important in life.

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  4. Fabulous post, Susan!

    Blessings,
    Mrs. C

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  5. You are spot on, Susan...and I do believe in blogland there are probably wolves-in sheeps clothing..I do not mean that to be ugly....but let's face it..if satan is the author of confusion...and some of this stuff brings so much unrest and confusion..I think it is a savvy thing to say that there are those who like to stir things up....
    I answer to the Lord, and my husband...and I am so thankful to have a solid guy to bounce things off of..just like your Wes is to you....
    If I disagree with a blog....I will not comment...also sometimes I lurk because I am too tired to comment...I appreciate the balance at your blog...yet you are very clear on your beliefs....
    I know no one totally agrees with anyone...but there are situations I try hard to steer clear of for my own spiritual well-being...hope this makes sense.
    Deby

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  6. Very thought provoking! Many times we think we need to compare people to what we think is right, we will judge them because theu don't fit our mold that we have fashioned. The real problem is us! We have failed to see and be what God wants and instead of using his standards we use our own. That is part of being human. the important thing is to always be involved in your relationship with your Saviour, that may you remain close and can change as He remolds us.

    If you are too far away he can't remold you you need to be close to have Him work on you. I am finding this out more everyday. ;)

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  7. "ByGrace" really does fit you! I enjoy your triumphs and challenges and your perspective on things. I too read alot of blogs that are very *opionated* and often wonder if these ladies have one ounce of Grace in them. It a good reminder to "keep the main things the main things".

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  8. What an awesome post susan! You have the perfect balance in your words, very thought out. Amen!!

    God Bless
    Jess~

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  9. What you said was so right on! It's amazing how easy it is for all of us to fall into those traps! Yikes! And, blogland can be full of traps of comparing, etc. I have to catch myself almost everyday for not envying, etc. As with everything, one has to be guided by the Holy Spirit and not our fleshly selves!
    Thanks for posting!

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  10. Susan,

    I completely agree!!! I find that I do not read many blogs anymore because of exactly what you said.

    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  11. very insightful post Susan,
    I think you have hit the nail on the head, and we all need to seek God's will for our life not His will for other women...
    His will is not even the same for my daughters as it is for me... and I have to be constantly reminded of that

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  12. Patty H1:55 PM

    Your blog today is so well said. I am proud of you and the work the Lord is doing through you!

    Mother

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  13. Thank you so much for this post. What a blessing. I agree with the comments stating that blogland can be dangerous. That is part of the reason I have set my blog on "by invite only"...I had met a lady through my blog (she found it off someone elses blog) and she seemed like a very sound Christian. I started to get pretty close to her and then found out she was not sound doctrinally at all. One of the hardest things I had to do was pull away from her (at DH's request) and I was scared of that happening again so I deleted my whole blog.

    Now, with DH's permission, I have started another blog but am being very careful who is allowed to view it (basically only ladies from VUH and other ladies I already know). I feel this is a "hedge fence" I have set up to protect myself and my family from "wolves". I get close to people very easily and that can be dangerous on the web...it's hard to really "know" who you're getting close to. Which is also why I started viewing only blogs from the ladies on VUH (as well as a couple from other trusted ladies).

    Anyway, your post just strengthened my resolve to be very careful. Thank you so much. (And sorry this comment got so long...lol.)

    God bless you!

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  14. Hi Susan,
    Great post. I found myself in that place not too long ago. I have now gotten back on track. I don't try and follow the way everyone is doing things. I do what I am lead by God to do now. Did you get a package yet? It was mailed 3 weeks ago this coming Friday. :)
    Hugs,
    Elizabeth

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  15. That was a great post, Susan. I especially liked what you said near the end about.."Listen to your husband. Listen to your Pastor. SEARCH THE SCRIPTURE...!!"
    Great advice, my sister!

    ~Kristi

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  16. Very good thoughts...I have seen this a lot recently. Most of the stances people take do not bother me so much, and the expression of disappointment when things don't go quite as expected (quiverfull mindset, but unable to get pregnant, for example) seems natural to me. We all build expectations and are disappointed if it doesn't turn out as we planned.

    But some get very judgmental about it. I have seen people question another's faith and salvation because they were thinking about permanent contraceptive measures after a second autistic child, or some genetic abnormality or whatever.

    The bible says one thing clearly to me...much more than the number of children we should have, the way we should educate them or how they should be disciplined..."by this will they know you are mine, by your love for one another."

    But we don't always show that, and it gets particularly fierce in some internet groups. I guess some feel safe behind the screen, I don't know.

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  17. Fabulous post Susan!
    As one of those women who probably doesn't fit in that concocted box,
    I often feel judged by other Christian women. Your post is a breath of fresh air.

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  18. Susan,

    This post is fantastic!!! I've noticed the same things and it alarms me.

    I think part of the problem is that we humans (myself included) tend to be lazy.--It's easier and faster to follow other people than to seek God and His will for our lives. Seeking God takes work...it's much easier to just flip on the computer and read blogs....

    You put it so well....I think I'm going to have to link to this post. (o;

    Blessings,
    ~Mrs.B

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  19. Amen! This is my first visit to your blog. I came here from another. You have said this so much better than I. I was addressing this issue to some degree on my blog, and your last paragraph has summed it up wonderfully. Thank you. I am so glad to see that I am not the only one to feel this way.

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  20. Great post and oh so true

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  21. Wow. Wonderful post. I saw it linked on Mrs. B's blog. I'm glad I saw it. I have friends that are like this.

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  22. Anonymous5:31 AM

    Great post. It's funny that so many people have mentioned wolves in sheeps clothing. We're studying that in our Sunday school class right now. People are easily led astray when they don't know scripture. ~Samantha

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  23. Susan,

    I missed this post while I was away. It is simply excellent!

    I too have noticed the same things in blogland, and I have been rather appalled at how splintered Christendom has become. Even truly born-again people who should be able to be "on the same page" have gotten off track with their own particular positions and issues. I really like what Barbara H. had to say about this.

    Great post, and a great, ladylike, godly discussion in the comments.

    Thank you, Susan! You are an inspiration to me!

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Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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