Monday, February 16, 2009

In the world, but not OF the world

*warning* Huge generalizations below. I know some very nice people who follow the ideals below. I am not personally attacking anyone... Just exploring my thoughts on the issues.

2 weeks ago at church, the pastor made the comment that we are supposed to be IN this world but not OF the world. He made the point that if we are not IN the world, we will not be able to carry out the Great Commission of telling others about the love of Jesus. This has been stuck in my head these last two weeks. In my online endeavors, and in my natural tendencies toward loving the off-grid, (hippy stuff, Adan would say) I have come across many, many people who are Christian, and secluded. I find that many in this sub sect are quiverful and homeschooling. Many who don't associate with anyone outside church families, or like minded families.

I think quiverful is a good thing, but I have questions. So if you are a quiverful family, you believe that God will "give" you children. These families generally rely on God for family planning and don't use any form of birth control. They believe that God will bless you with children if you are meant to have them or not bless you if you aren't.

My questions are these: How does adoption fit into this plan? Does trusting God for you children mean you should not adopt? Does it mean that the advance planning of doing a homestudy is wrong? Does completeing a homestudy mean you don't trust God, are not faithful? What about women who are infertile? Does this mean I should not have any more children? I have always felt very judged by this school of thought. Apparently, I am not worthy of more children if my body can not produce them.

I also think homeschooling is a good thing. I don't think it is right or perfect for every family though. I would love to homeschool, but I believe that i must let my husband make the final decisions for our family. He has good points and reasons, and it boils down to us not homeschooling at this time in our lives.

It always feels like this growing group of christians are so about being super mom and wife. It feels like if you aren't a long skirt wearing, long haired, head covering, cooking from scratch, cloth diapering, food preserving, homeschooling, sewing all the family's clothes, crazy person, then you just aren't good enough. I think any movement that makes others feel so unworthy can't be all good. Jesus wanted us to love our neighbors, not condemn them because they wear their hair shoulder length or choose to eat at McDonald's twice a month.

It seems that some of the people I know that are in this group are so secluded. They won't participate in any activities that include people who don't believe the same way they do. Now, I understand wanting to connect with like minded individuals. It is like the air after the rain to be able to talk to people who don't think you are weird and who don't question you every move. This doesn't mean i should foresake EVERYONE that doesn't share my same ideals. How can I fulfill the great commission if everyone I know is a cookie cutter image of myself. How can I be the hands and feet of God, if I never step out of my comfort zone, If i never get may hands dirty?

I have been wondering for a long time how I can help and make a difference in this community. I have decided that I am going to go to the red cross and try and start an operation school bell type of program here for this post. I will keep you all updated.


Sarah said...

I'm sorry you've felt hurt by the very people who should not be hurtful!

I have always thought that being QF was more of a calling...and since it's a calling, it's about listening to what God has in store for you, and honoring that. Being open to God's blessings, accepting them as they come, and accepting when they don't come.

It's not about getting pregnant.

So, IMO, a family could be QF and open to God's blessings via adoption.

I don't know if I have a good way to explain it, but for us, QF is a mindset of trusting something very intimate and very important to God. It made it both harder and easier all at the same time when I had miscarriages, and made it harder and easier when we thought maybe we would be unable to have another baby.

For us, being QF means not pursuing fertility treatment (or diagnosis) if we have problems conceiving...but that doesn't preclude adoption. That's just what we feel God has in mind for us. For right now.

But I'm not obnoxious enough to think that I know what God has in mind for other families, or to think that what He is telling us is what He is telling others.

Susie said...

Thank you, Sarah. For a long time, I have felt drawn towards the quiverful "movement" and many other things with out knowing there was a name for it or anything. Unfortunately for me, I learned about much of this stuff after I had my hysterectomy. I was so depressed about the situation, and then to know that I could not breastfeed or ever have another child made it worse.. I also had many friends who were militant and made me feel like a bad parent for not following the same ideals that they did. I have had to do some "house cleaning" in terms of what influences I allow in my life. It has been hard and sad, but I think I am the better for it, at least in my mental outlook!

I guess in the end, I am feeling uneasy about our impending adoption. (our homestudy is nearly complete now. We are just waiting for it to be typed.) I know that God has led us down this path, but I am still scared LOL. I have serious doubts about my abilities as a mother, and doubling the children frightens me! At the same, I believe with every fiber of my being that this is what God has for us.

Thanks for your input! It is always nice to see other people's perspective.

maggiemoo said...

I think you guys are doing the right thing. Adoption is another way of fulfilling the Great Commission. You are opening your home to people who need it, loving your neighbors and getting the chance you need to tell them about Jesus. I don't know where, but I know that the Bible tells us to take care of orphans. You guys are really awesome for doing the adoption. I don't know that we could.

Meg said...

I really like this post. I often feel the same way about the super mom movement.

Susie said...

Katie - It is something that I honestly always felt drawn to do. My feelings just got more intense after Lucy and the hysterectomy. I just really felt that my family wasn't complete. This time with DJ has really felt like a test to me. Can I co-habitate with someone that hasn't had the opportunity to learn me and my rules from birth. I guess the answer is yes. :)

Susie said...

Meg - I really suffer from perfectionism and from comparing myself to others. If someone else is a better mom or does this or that and it seems like they have it so together, then I want to do it too. That's what good mom's do, right? I have had to really look into myself and say, "I am only me. I can only do what I can do. God made me uniquely who I am. I need to do what God would have me do, and not what the world tells me I should do. Some times it is hard to discern who is talking to me, God or the world. Some of the advice I get seems like it could be right, but it is just the world, hiding in a very believable disguise. Ultimately, when i look into my heart of hearts, and spend alone time with God, it isn't really that hard to determine what I should be doing. Usually, I am really good at just being me, and marching to me own drummer, but there are those days (like this one was) were i just feel so down and not together, and like I am doing it all wrong. If I take a step back, and stop comparing myself to others (who often don't share my ideals) I do much better!
It helps to have good friends who I know will lead me right and take the time to post on my depressing blog posts :)

PS Check out Sarah's posts about friends... very good stuff to think about!