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Do you have a question about how Christianity can be applied in your daily life?  Read some questions and answers from RLC's column in the Pembroke Observer and feel free to ask your own questions!  This Blog will give you a sample of some past columns.



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04
Pretty Disappointed- April 24th, 2010
May 4, 2010

Dear Sam,

   It seems that our whole household is just one big chaotic jumble,. So I decided that I would begin to bring a quieting atmosphere into my home by speaking more softly and kindly, making sure that I keep the living area neat and tidy, bake more cookies, etc. I was so sure that my new behaviour and attitude would change things, but not so. Now I’m just being over run, taken advantage of and generally dismissed. Doesn’t the bible tell us that behaving better will bring better results? I’m ready to quit.


Pretty Disappointed


Dear Disappointed,

   I would be too, if I expected the miracle you did. I think you’ve confused modern psychology with biblical teaching. Let’s begin with why you are wanting to change your own behaviour. Is it because you want to improve as a wife and mother, or is it just so that your family will operate in a way that functions better? If you want to improve, then you will do it and be pleased with yourself no matter the response. If you are acting differently as a control technique, then, yes, if it doesn’t work there is reason to be discouraged. The bible never suggests that our behaviour should be an external attempt to bring others into compliance. In fact, the bible tells us that our behaviours are indicators of our emotional and spiritual condition. Looking at the Pharisees, Jesus noted that their religious behaviour appeared to be impeccable, but within, they were pretty unclean and messy. “Clean the inside of the cup and dish” (Matt. 23:26) was his advice. In other words, maybe you went on a “be better” rampage only to make your family members better, instead of realizing that the “be better” was for you. Maybe that’s why you aren’t proud of your success. Maybe your behaviour wasn’t really better, but more manipulative and demanding. That won’t get good results no matter how perfect you become because what people, your husband, your children want is not an automaton or slave, but a real live person whose understanding clarifies chaos and whose authenticity they can come up against. It also seems that you are taking personal and private responsibility for something that is a shared problem. The chaos belongs to all of you, and the bible tells us to confess our sins (chaoticity) to one another so that we may be healed. Something inside of your family needs to be identified, discussed and attended to, so that each person, not just you, begins to experience a quiet tidiness in their own mind and heart.
    Now I’m sure that this answer is making you even more disappointed and appears to put blame on you for making a futile attempt at a strategy that is suspect. Let me reassure you that the very fact that you ARE taking responsibility, that you DO want to be a better person, that you HAVE actually changed the way you operate attests to a godly spirit within. Now just extend that desire to include a delving into the reasons you alone feel responsible, why you take your annoyance with family out on yourself, what it is that makes you so angry that you want to quit? Your family system has grown through time, what were you expecting family to be like? How have you aided in the process of what has evolved? These are not behaviour questions, they are belief questions. Once you begin to explore your inner world, God will bring healing to the areas that have fed off chaos, off masochism, off false beliefs about yourself and the nature of family. I suggest that you find a good Christian counsellor or pastor to help you dig into these questions. The bible tells us to seek counsel because others can often see what we cannot. Your desire to change is a good start.


INSIDE THE ISSUE is authored thru Resurrection Lutheran Church, 250 Quarry Rd. Pembroke. Sunday Worship at 10:30am. http://sites.advancedministry.com/ResurrectionLutheranChurch

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