Atheists are okay

Whenever a big change is happening in my life, I get a little sad, maybe even depressed. Chris and I are flying out tonight to see our new home, his new office, and the town we’ll raise our family in, so that will be a nice little pick me up. For the last couple of days I have been fighting a nasty bout of depression. During these times I soul search and think about the kind of person that I’ve become, is the Lord all I say He is?

My kid’s behavior are a big part of determining my mood. They have been driving me crazy lately and I’ve been blaming them and punishing them, but it’s been my fault. One of the little pearls of wisdom friends, pastors, parents, and authors I admire greatly have given is this: when around negativity or angry or stressed individuals, it is easily passed on to everyone around. One negative soul can bring down many. All it takes is one person to change an entire household and turn the atmosphere into one of fear and anger instead of a loving and merciful one. I have been so busy trying to do something that’s eaten up energy, time, and joy, and realizing I am the only one who cares, only to find that I’ve neglected to pluck a small weed that’s been growing in my home. One of my children has taken over and made it miserable for everyone and I have been too distracted and busy to pull the nasty little sucker out.

I have left groups in the past, many of them, all different types, churches, homeschool, mommy and me, groups of friends, work friends, and maybe more only those are the ones that I’m thinking of as I type this. When I left I had such anger and hostility and I was so defensive. As I have learned to live in sync with a Life inside me, I’ve learned to yield to His prompting. It is gentle, it assumes the best, it is slow to get defensive or nasty and quick to realize that others may be going through something. So I need to forgive all the time. Especially when I step away and can see that I’ve taken up another’s anger. Recently I ran into a person from the past and immediately remembered how angry I had been while in that circle. I saw and heard the anger and defensiveness in her voice as I spoke and meant no harm or implications of anything negative. I asked a question and was surprised by the defensive response as I didn’t know it was a hot topic. Once I realized that my innocent question was a hot-button topic I made a mental note not to bring it up to anyone anymore. I was able to lean on the Lord inside and remember that at one time I was surrounded by the same hostility and would have responded the same way. When we step away from anger and release it to Christ, it’s so clear just how angry I was and didn’t even see it. It’s clear just how selfish I was and didn’t know it.

I think about my children and the attitude that’s invaded the home. As the adult I have the God given responsibility to create a peaceful and loving environment. The one with the authority sets the tone for the whole house. If I am forceful, quick to point out error, and loud with my commands, then I am creating that atmosphere. And just like I became hostile in those groups and places, my children have become hostile too. Only they can’t leave. Yesterday I buried myself in Christ. I was practically bathed in sack cloth and ash as I search the Lord’s heart and mind for how to break the cycle of: child hurts me or a sibling- I respond in anger and force- my attitude reinforces the child’s bad behavior.

Towards the end of the day we called a family meeting and worked it out. We watched a video together of the life of Christ and talked about how He behaves and responds. We talked about forgiveness and I asked for theirs.

My kids asked me recently about why some of my family members are so nice. They are not Christians, shouldn’t they be bad people? I replied that I don’t think professing a certain faith or religion has much to do with one’s heart. The tongue can lie like no other. It’s our actions which are more proof of who we are inside. My family has been so generous and supportive, and absolutely amazing and my Dad who adopted me when I was a child because he loved me so much, is an atheist. He, along with my brothers, and now my husband have been my home for a long time, it just seems I had forgotten it. I have an atmosphere of love, forgiveness, and I am wanted more than anything when I walk through their doors. The accept me, no matter what I choose to believe and love me no matter where I go. They don’t treat me one way when I am with them and another when I decide to move half way across the country. And did I mention the are not Christians?

So I have decided that my children will have a home of acceptance and unconditional love. Even if they are gay, even if they have children out of wedlock or conceive babies in which they choose to let their girlfriends abort. I will love them no matter what. Because It’s not what we profess that matters, it’s who we are inside. The life of Christ is forever surrounding me and my family as we’ve been raised by and with Him, but that doesn’t automatically make us kind, loving, or generous. Those qualities are dependent on our decisions and those we surround ourselves with.

So today as you go about your day, surround yourself with positive folk. Don’t limit it to Christians, because there so many kind and loving people in the world. Christ Himself chose to spend His time with those who didn’t know Him, the sinners. I had forgotten that, but am finding my way as I forgive those caught up in the hostility, defensive trap.

I am going to be completely honest here and write that this blog was inspired by a correlation I saw between what was going on in my home and another thing that was happening in the adult world. It was bothersome at first, but I it has been confirmed that Christ has been with me all along. And I will never do to others what I see being done.

Have a wonderful weekend!

You are loved and valued in Christ.

Love,

Jackie

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