Friday, January 15, 2010

Where Have All the Grown-Ups Gone?

I had to leave church early yesterday. There were a variety of reasons: I hadn't slept well and was tired, my hip was killing me, I had a great disappointment while there, etc. But the thing that really gets me and often leaves me wondering whether to ever go back to that church again?

Where have all the grown-ups gone? (Now, let me just say, it's not just this church. That's why we keep going, because you run into the same situation in one degree or another no matter where you go.)

Anyway...where are the grown-ups?

I go to church sometimes and I feel like I am surrounded by a bunch of 40-year-old teenagers. The things they say, the way they act, the clothes they wear. No one seems to have any depth to them, like they're too busy looking pretty and preening to care about the condition of their souls.

I feel very much alone at church sometimes. Of course my husband is there, and that gets me through a lot of it. But there are no women there like me. In our entire church, with an average attendance somewhere around 150-200 people, I am the only stay-at-home-mom. I am the only homeschooling mom. I am the only mom who expects her children to wait until they are 18 and then court instead of casual dating. I am one of the few moms who favors modest clothing.

I see these women, my age and much, much older, wearing skin-tight pants, short (VERY short) skirts, low cut tops, 4-inch heels, and I want to say, "What kind of message are you sending to your daughters and mine when you dress like that?"

Where are the women, strong in faith, battle-ready, convicted and convinced of God's calling? Where are the women who put their families first? Where are the women who are joyfully submissive to their husbands? For that matter, where are the spiritual-leader husbands? Where are the women who think motherhood is the ultimate responsibility and joy? Where are the women who care enough to educate their own children? Or at least send them to a Christian school? Where are the women who believe in modesty?

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? ~1 Corinthians 3:1-3

Where are the women who have grown up, not just physically, but spiritually? Where are the women, the spiritual women, who take their position as wife and mother seriously? Where are the women who shun the world and its ways for the ways of God? Where are the women, the mature women, not the women still prancing around, dressing and acting like teenagers?

I know women like that - I have a strong community of them online, and a smaller group in real life. Women who love their duties as wife, mother, homemaker. Women who are constantly in the Word, learning and growing, seeking and following God's will. Most are homeschoolers, a few are not.

Why is the church still so full of infant Christians? Why are these women content to sit through a few hours of Sunday School and sermons once a week and then go live their lives out in the world, conforming to its standards instead of striving for God's?

Christians face ridicule and criticism from the world every day. You would think that church would be a place where you wouldn't have to be wary about discussing and acting out the things God has called you to do. But it isn't. Because it has become a building full of infant Christians, and the spiritually mature are sorely outnumbered.

Now, you have to understand that I do not profess to be perfect, or to know all there is to know in matters spiritual, but I look around, and I do know that what I see is not right. I see dominating women and their meek husbands. I see mothers in provocative clothes. I see career women who barely know their children. I see children and teenagers without a firm Godly parent to tell them what is and isn't acceptable in dress, speech, action, and attitude, because their parents seem to lack that knowledge themselves.

I'm ranting here, but I don't mean it to sound catty or mean. I write more out of a quiet desperation. What is our world coming to when the people of the church act no differently from the rest of the world?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~Romans 12:2

You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. ~Leviticus 20:26

I feel like an outcast in that place where I should feel the most accepted. I feel troubled in my spirit in that place where I should feel the most at peace. I feel wary of what my children might see or hear in that place where they should be surrounded with the best of examples.

I feel like one of the few adults in a church full of children. And it's not just this one church, it's an ever-growing problem in all churches. We who hold wife- and motherhood to be the highest calling are a rare breed. We who refuse to abdicate our God-given authority and responsibility for the education - both academic and spiritual - of our children are few and far between.

Where have all the grown-ups gone?

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