I know I’ve mentioned that I’ve switched denominational pews recently. What I haven’t mentioned is why I left my kids in the old one.
It’s crazy. As an abuse survivor, I hated not having a choice (or the appearance and perception of not having a choice). I hated going where I didn’t want to go, saying what I didn’t want to say, and being someone other than what I was created to be. I didn’t want to force them to choose my way.
Also, they are right at that age where they are just beginning to be mature. There are decisions adults make, and denominational pew might be one of them. I don’t want the kids to feel like I perpetually see them at the toddler play station with the dolls and the fake plates and food.
I also felt that I had made several big changes in my life that I have tried to force… er, include the whole family to participate in, including diet and physically aggressive housework days. I didn’t want them to be an unwilling participant in one more.
It’s not that I don’t want them to join me. It’s that I want them to freely choose to come with me. I don’t want to be the big, nasty momster making them do something they don’t want to.
I do pray hard that someday they will choose to join me for the right reasons. And that’s not to say that I’m not daily tempted to strap them down and make them leave and come with me.
I had one just the other day. The senior pastor at my new denominational pew was teaching on dreams and their importance in revealing God’s will to us at times. And one verse jumped out at me in a way I’d never seen before… or maybe I just flipped the truth diamond one too many times.
Matthew 1:25… oh, how the text rang through my body and my mind. I thought for sure I could prove their denominational pew wrong and mine right on the issue of the perpetual virginity of Mary following the birth of Jesus. I could savor the moment of leveling the playing field and not having to have so many points of view under one roof. (Tradition clearly violated the Word of God in black and white. Yes, the imbalance was creeping in…)
After a long conversation with my still, small Voice, I realized several things.
First, I was falling for a foolish controversy. Major leaders from several denominational pews have held a contrary opinion to mine for centuries. If they could agree to a contrary opinion from all their backgrounds, maybe I needed to just let it go as a minor detail.
Second, I was trying for a battering ram to sway the opinions in my favor. Although I wanted independence and free will for my children, I still wanted independence and free will in my favor. The longer the divide, the more desperate I become to swing the vote in my favor, the more willing I am to release the inner control freak and try to manipulate the situation my way.
So grudgingly, I returned to the plan of letting them choose and praying someday they will voluntarily choose to join me.
That out of the way, I put on a feminazi mindset about the traditional view.
It is supposed that the woman in Proverbs 31 was not just one woman but many women melded together in an effort to set the bar on the ideal woman so high the son would not necessarily choose marriage although marriage was an aspiration. But some women forget this and push themselves hard to do everything and be everything.
What if perpetual virginity post nativity is another such idea? A high, lofty standard to which women are subconsciously held and judged, designed to make achieving dreams and goals even harder? That is, the idea is right, but the motive for holding and teaching the idea is unbalanced.
Okay, I feel the rumblings from here. Out of deference to my brethren in other denominational pews I will stop. But maybe the idea is just worth a brief caressing in the intellect…