Monday, December 08, 2008

Like minded doesn't mean looks like

Like minded people will have lifestyles just like mine.

This is a myth I have fallen for in the past!

I don't personally know many people who look like me. I'm not talking physically, I am talking in terms of lifestyle and beliefs. I am a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian but I am not a vegetarian and I enjoy the occasional glass of wine. I believe my children are a gift from God and have not used birth control for over four years now, but I do not condemn those who do use birth control and I do support AIDS awareness campaigns that promote condom use. I believe in wifely submission in accordance with the Bible, but I also believe that part of being a help meet is giving my husband access to an educated opinion and stimulating conversation where we can respectfully and lovingly disagree. I am a strong believer in homeschooling and my own methods are an eclectic style using the ideas of Charlotte Mason, Maria Montessori, Classical education and my own training but I am also a strong supporter of Christian schools. My husband is the head of our home and our leader, but does not feel the need to 'display' his leadership to the world preferring instead to lead us gently, kindly, privately and quietly. I believe in modeling my life on Proverbs 31, but I have a cleaner (hey, she DID have handmaidens!!). I do not feel that my life is a compromise or a half-baked mix of doctrine, for me it is a passionate implementation of the truth I believe.

So there aren't many families who look like ours!

I used to lament the lack of "Titus 2" women out there who I could learn from and gripe about the lack of "like minded" people. Then I met a family who looked a bit like ours! I was thrilled and (I thought) so were they, but as we got to know each other more and more, they got busier and busier. Soon it became apparent that the only time they had to talk to us is when they felt "impressed" to criticise our doctrine or lifestyle. Soon even that stopped. So it turned out that the people who I had thought were like minded, didn't like us!!

Initially, I was devastated. But then I looked around with new eyes. I realised my Mother-in-law may not have home schooled her tribe, but she raised her boys with love and she grew a vegie patch, milked a cow and raised chickens and beef not because of any trendy "homesteading" movement, but because it was the best and cheapest way to keep their tummies full!! If I couldn't learn from her, who could I learn from? My own Mum had "only" three kids and I have as intimate knowledge of her mistakes as MY children have of MINE! But I have gleaned more than she or I will ever realise from her hard-won wisdom. Our chats on the phone and visits have become very precious to me. The lady at church who makes the odd crack about her husband being her "other child" (something that REALLY grates on me) turned out to have a wealth of knowledge and experience that I had simply overlooked, as well as a deep love and respect for her husband. The people I worship with on a weekly basis may not have a lifestyle that reflects mine and may differ on small "doctrinal" issues, but most of them have been loving the Lord and growing in His grace for longer than I have been alive. I am humbled to think about that.

So I learned I need to stop being a snob.

It is easy to believe, if you spend a bit of time in the blog-sphere, that there ARE people out there exactly like you. The thing is, you only see a part of a person online. If you saw all of them I am positive you would find points of difference. This is not to talk down the Internet, I love the Internet and have found much to encourage and challenge my own walk on here. But don't turn away from those around you. Instead "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Phil. 2:3. I think you will find when you spend time getting to know those around you, listening instead of talking, serving rather than demanding to be served, you will gain access to a wealth of knowledge and wisdom you didn't even know was there. And minds that you thought were nothing like yours, will turn out to have more in common than you thought.

1 comment:

HomeGrownKids said...

Hey Jess,
I love this post...and agree with it.I've met many people in real life that I've known online for years. Funny thing- we don't always get on fabulously! Getting on well online doesn't always mean getting on well in real life and vice versa, I'm sure.

(Sorry to focus on just one small part of your post. I do realise you made more than one point lol)