A Hard Question…

“A long time ago, I had a lady to love…”  Oops… not the proper beginning for a blog post (but maybe for a karaoke night).

For a long time, I have wrestled with the proper denominational pew for me. I started almost as soon as I was in high school. My confusion exploded in college. I think all I did was wrestle with where I belonged.

During a session about an honors paper I was writing, the college chaplain asked me a question. That moment is in my heart and soul to this day. He just looked at me and flatly posed the question, “Why does it matter what church you go to?” (Personally, I think everyone was sick of the wrestling I did. 😉 )

I had no answers. I wrestled my way out of his office through college graduation, grad school, marriage, employment, childbirth and child rearing, divorce, single parenting, remarriage. I was almost that double-minded person the apostle James wrote about, unstable in everything because I swayed like a pendulum in a perpetual motion machine.

As I was preparing to (finally) land in what I truly feel is the proper pew for me, I was having tons of difficult conversations with my kids. They wanted to stay in one of our former denominational pews, and I had finally realized that I would never grow as a Christian there.

In discussing with my kids how you choose to leave a church, I asked a question that finally crystallize the problem I’d had all my life. I challenged her with the thought, “Don’t you want me to be someplace where I am growing closer to Jesus and becoming more like Him?” My daughter was stunned into silence, and I was carried back into that moment in the chaplain’s office.

That one question expressed exactly what my problem was. I wanted to grow in my relationship with Christ, and because of the way God made me, I was only going to grow in certain environments where He led me to be.

So, in dealing a child of an inter-denominational marriage, maybe questions are the right way to go. But maybe it’s not a question of why where you worship matters, maybe it has to be a question of growth in Christ and leading of the Holy Spirit.

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