Taking up offense

This week has been a busy week. Let’s start with the basics: our kids’ schooling that my husband and I drive them to each weekday; my husband’s vehicle needed repair, so it was unusable in the garage for a few days; and our regular obligations at work and the organization I volunteer at. Then there were our son’s Civil Air Patrol meetings on Tuesday and Saturday.

Wednesday night my husband started to feel sick and we wondered if he was getting the H1N1 virus. It wasn’t the flu, because by Friday night he and I were in the emergency room while he was being treated for a painful infection. Saturday morning I drove my husband (who was on Vicodin and couldn’t drive) and my son to the Civil Air Patrol meeting an hour away from our home.

Our son has kept a 3.4+ GPA at school while taking on more and more responsibilities at Civil Air Patrol. He’s a leader and many of the other kids relate well to him and go to him for help. Chris has always had a helper’s attitude.

Knowing how Chris is and how his dad and I know most of what goes on in his life; that he does well in school, spends all his time (outside of C.A.P) with his family, how he aspires to do well and join the Marines someday, I took offense by his friend’s sudden announcement that he was restricted from spending time with Chris or contacting him anymore (for a month).

The thing that made me take offense wasn’t that Chris’ friend’s parents restricted their son from contacting our son at all during the next month. It was the statement that the parents made about our son, that they think Chris is “going down a bad road”.

What does this mean? Is it because we stopped attending the legalistic church their family attends? Is it because we don’t follow the same organizational teachings? Is it because our son wants to join the Marines? Is it because he has more independence than his friend? (which is funny, because my son is either at school with his sister, with us as a family, or serving his duties at C.A.P).

Their statement was offensive to me as a parent.

It began today when my son decided to walk to the church our family stopped attending. He’s still friends with a couple of the guys there, so he wanted to spend the Sunday there with his friend. My husband and I were at home with our daughter (incidentally, this is my husband and my 23rd wedding anniversary! YAY! for us!) Russell was still quite ill from his infection, so we made it a nice “at home” day for us.

After the church service, Chris and his friend took a walk — without letting his friend’s parents know — and the parents were quite upset they had to wait and didn’t know where they were. I would have been upset, too. It was a couple of hours later that his friend made one last contact in an email letting Chris know he wouldn’t be contacting him for a month. That’s also when we found out the parents were concerned Chris was “going on a bad road”.

I think my husband and I would know if Chris was going down a “bad road”. Believe me — I know what bad roads look like. Our son is not on one.

Really, the ones that ought to be concerned should be the young man’s parents. He expressed his feelings “quite well” how he felt, but I am grieved that they would have made such a statement about our son.

Maybe their rigid “organization’s” teachings are not as biblical or helpful as they may believe.

So, I have to make a choice whether to stay offended or just pray about it. I’m really getting tired of fighting with these idealogies that aren’t Scripture-based or the assumptions made about our family that aren’t based in reality.

It’s irritating. And insulting. I wish I had this whole “maturity in Christ” thing going well, but really, I ask, what are we not doing as parents that measures up to some of these people’s standards?

I guess I shouldn’t care what they think. But I do, because we were all in fellowship at one time. I just get the impression that the effect of the hofcc teachings and exclusivity is going to continue to rear its ugly head until more people are injured spiritually.

For the record: my husband and I are WELL-PLEASED with our son as well as our daughter and our other son, too. They are God’s gifts and are precious in His sight. They are independent, can THINK and reason through the Scriptures and present their defense of their beliefs at a secular community college, PRAISE GOD! Our oldest son can perform his service to OUR COUNTRY in a distant, dusty land and grow in the knowledge of God. Our daughter — our gentle, but EZER WARRIOR in the Word and spirit — is a well-grounded, beautiful, smart, God-honoring, talented and strong young woman, who truly makes me so glad to know her as my daughter and friend.

I will keep enjoying my children, even if our family doesn’t fit into the standards of some.

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2 Responses to “Taking up offense”

  1. thatmom Says:

    Sigh. That is about the only appropriate response. I am always more offended for my kids than anyone else. I will pray extra for you today, dear friend.

  2. Kathleen Says:

    Thank you. I’m feeling much better about it these days, and have been thinking I need to put up another blog post so it doesn’t seem like I’ve just been stewing here 🙂 It’s been a busy last few weeks, so I haven’t found time to write about anything lately.

    When I’ve encountered these attitudes over the last few years, it’s been difficult to know how to not internalize them, but with this last one, I just really was thinking, “What are you gonna do?” We’ll just keep following the Lord as He has led us as parents. One thing I believe is that we won’t be boasting amongst ourselves as parents in Heaven!

    Thanks Karen, and God bless you for your comfort and help to us wives and moms.

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