Why would I stay for years in a church which I believed had left the narrow path?
It was simple. It was painful, anguishing, and simple: my husband went there.
I take it quite seriously that the man has authority to make the spiritual decisions for his family. Though when we first married, I thought it might kill me, used as I was to making my own decisions about everything. But God is gracious, and His ways are far above our own, and infinitely better!
I gnashed my teeth, stomped my foot, and almost chewed the flesh from my own arm in frustration. Why would he wait? God had many lessons for me, before I was ready to move on. Where was my perseverance? Where was my faith that God would guide my husband? Where was my trust in my husband that he was able to hear from God and obey? There were so many things to learn in that very difficult period. I learned almost nothing of value from the teaching of the church, but I learned (oh how slowly!) the many areas of my own life that were sorely lacking Godliness.
Because I chose not to be involved in the many programs in the church, and because I spoke up when I believed what was being taught was heresy, there was a resultant cooling of many valued friendships and family relationships. I needed to learn what was the basis for my faith – and would it be moved by the disapproval of my closest friends and the loss of family? I needed to learn what my role was in the church, and which battles were mine to fight, and which should only be addressed by my husband.
My husband, ever patient and wise man that he is, gave me a word of advice one evening after I had been decrying the state of the church most passionately. Ordinarily, it would strike me as very condescending, but there was so much truth, and it was such a sensible idea, and I was so amazed that I didn’t think of it myself, that it quite shocked me into accepting it. Want to hear it?
While you are in this situation, be the best Christian you can be.
That’s it? Yes, that’s just what I needed to hear. I needed to “seek first the kingdom of God”. When we are surrounded by teachings and practices that seem to tear at the very fabric of Christianity, our response should be to seek further after Him. Some how, adversity doesn’t naturally effect me that way!! My heart had become hard and I needed a reminder, and in this case, it was also a beautiful reminder of why the husband is the head of the union, and why we wait for him to lead and guide the family. The man just makes sense.
If we had left the church when I first thought we should, chances are we would have wandered in a wilderness of looking for a new home. At times when he gave in to my tantrums (oh, spiritual woman I am!) we went looking. It was always disheartening. Finally, we could not bring ourselves to go back any longer, and simply went nowhere for a period of about 6 months.
From there, my husband decided to attend a church we had heard about, but not attended before, and we have been there ever since. At least weekly, and sometimes more often, it comes up in our family conversation to thank God for that church. We do not align ourselves with their thinking on all issues and doctrines, but the heart of the people are to be separate, a people of God, declaring His mighty works. This is enough for us.
While I would not want to live through again that period of anguish, I thank God that he left me there for the time that was necessary to teach me things I would not have learned, had life been more pleasant.
While your story may not be the same as mine, my friend, may I recommend to you to trust your husband to decide what is best for the family, supporting him in prayer for his leadership position, and asking God for the grace to learn all you can from your time of difficulty.
Arising from a conversation on a post on Politics or Religion?