faith

Does the Bible Command Us to Keep Having Babies? An Argument Against the Quiverfull Movement

In the last week, we have addressed fundamental ideology and how the Above Rubies group is connected to fundamental ideology.  

See this post and this post for more info about fundamental ideology.

It’s important to mention here that fundamental theology is not always the same as their practices which makes discernment critical. I’m describing their practices and calling it their “ideology,” because it sometimes (often) differs from their stated theology.

The first Above Rubies conference I attended was enlightening.  I was barely able to walk, a friend had sponsored me so I could attend, and I was just grateful to be able to go.

But I knew nothing about the group.

Before the sessions even started, a women walked up and asked my name. Without even introduing herself,  she asked how many children I had. When I told her I had two boys and their ages, she proceeded to announce to me that I was in sin for only having two children.  Then she abruptly turned and walked away.  As she walked away I realized she never even told me her name.  She avoided me the rest of the weekend.

She had no idea why I had only two children.  She didn’t ask, and it’s not really any of her business.

But that was my opening exposure to Above Rubies. I was determined to keep an open mind and enjoy myself.

I did enjoy myself but with slowly growing concern about the beliefs of the group.

The group (or its leadership or maybe just a large portion of the attendees) subscribe to the idea that women were put on this earth to be baby making machines. Follow the link to see this discussed more thoroughly.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we were created to have babies, be mothers, and have families.

But that’s not all we’re here for.

We are here to bring honor and glory to God, and there are many ways we can do that –not just having babies.

To minimize a woman to baby-maker is to empty her of full purpose.

God also intends for us to bring glory to Him through our spiritual gifts among other things.

I do think it’s best if a mom stays home with her kids (It is my philosophy that it is best, but it is not commanded in the Bible; I’ll address that another time).

I do think that God intended us to have children if we’re able as evidenced by the command in Genesis.

But the honest truth is that no number was given.

We were not commanded to have a minimum number of children.

People try to jump through hoops to say that a specific number was given, but you simply can’t do it without twisting scripture.

Twist not scripture lest you become like Satan. -Paul Washer

i-love-you-morethan-there-are-starsin-the-sky

In areas not specifically commanded in scripture, it is up to our Christian stewardship.

We have lovely freedom in Christ!

I should mention here that I have not actually read any of the Campbell’s books. I was unable to read books for a long time due to extreme brain fog. I have however, read articles, attended conferences, watched videos, and spoken extensively with Above Rubies followers.

Mrs Campbell is a very nice, sincere lady. You can be sincere and still be sincerely wrong.

Sincerity doesn’t mean you’re biblically accurate.

Let’s address the arguments in favor of having as many babies as you can — the Quiverfull Movement– and discuss why those arguments are not biblical.

Please note that the following ideas were told to me by Above Rubies followers. I haven’t read enough of their literature to know how they back their position. My previous blog post discusses other problems in Above Rubies and how they espoused Mormon-esque theology. 


Argument number one: The bible says you have to have at least 4 kids.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28

The first argument in favor of the quiverfull movement is that the Bible says be fruitful and multiply, therefore if two people get married they biblically must have at least four children in order to be multiplying because 2 x 2 = 4.

This argument is really illogical. You have to do some significant hoop-jumping to get to this conclusion.

I can’t even wrap my head around the logic of this one.

But that doesn’t matter.

The facts are that the bible does not specify a number.

Multiply here is a generic word meaning increase in number.

From Google:

Multiply (verb)

(of an animal or other organism) increase in number by reproducing.

Going from 2 to 3 is still increasing in number. To say otherwise is stretching –it is adding to scripture.

If you try to make it say a number you are twisting not only the definition but also scripture.

Guess who wants you to twist the Bible?

Satan.

He’s the master of scripture twisting. He wants us to live by man-made rules and not in the freedom of Christ.

The freedom of Christ brings peace. Rules do not.

The lack of peace can ruin our families.

Satan wants to ruin our families, and he’ll do it any way he can –even if that means trying to get people to try to be “more godly” by making new and extra-biblical rules.

We can’t be at peace apart from Christ. It will not come by following extra-biblical rules.

Rule following makes us feel like we are good enough and like we don’t need Christ instead of understanding that we’re nothing without Christ and need to rely entirely on His grace for everything –not just for salvation but for everyday life.

Rule following makes us dependent on our own righteousness which gives us something that we think we can boast about.


Argument number two: You need a quiverful of children which is eight.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127:3-5

Although the proponents of the Quiverfull Movement say a quiver had eight arrows, the facts are different. Based on my research, I found that traditionally a quiver could hold between 4 and 24 arrows, so, if I believed this was a command (I don’t), then that would mean a minimum of 4 children.

Someone decided to use eight as a number to try to force everyone else into their beliefs, but that’s not the truth.

That being said, this passage is NOT a command. We will address that in the next point.


Argument number three: We are commanded to have many children.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127:3-5

Those who take this point of view, unfortunately, don’t have a very solid grasp on bible interpretation.

The big error in this argument is assuming that a blessing is a command.

A blessing is NOT a command.

How we approach scripture matters. We need a consistent approach that follows clear rules.

One of these bible interpretation rules is that you look at the context of a passage and take it at face value within that context.

A consistent approach to scripture means that if we take one blessing as a command then every single blessing in the bible must also be a command.

God doesn’t make mistakes: He wouldn’t accidentally write one blessing that He meant to be a command.

So, that begs the question “Can every blessing be logically converted to a command and still make sense?”

I would argue that some of them cannot.

For instance, Matthew 5:2-11:

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

If it is true that every blessing is a command then logically and for the sake of consistency, the above verses would have to be commands as well.

If that is true then if you’re not mourning, being persecuted, and being mistreated you are in sin and disobeying the commands.

This does not make sense.

Nowhere in scripture is it indicated that blessings are commands.

Blessings mean “if this happens you’ll get extra benefits.”

Is it a motivation to do it? Sure, who doesn’t want blessings?

But are you in sin if you do not? No, absolutely not.

Are you in sin for rejecting God’s blessings as some people have proposed? No, that’s a stretch.

The bible simply doesn’t say that.

If you can get out of a situation where you’re being mistreated should you? Would you stay in persecution just because of God’s promise of blessing believing that if you left you were sinning? No, of course, you wouldn’t stay.

Remember that we have to approach scripture in a consistent manner. If it doesn’t work with all the blessings, it doesn’t work.


So what does that Bible say about how many children we should have today in the Age of Grace?

Nothing.

Zilch.

Nada.

The entire Bible is silent on the number of children, and the New Testament doesn’t even command us to have children.

It simply doesn’t. You cannot make it say something it does not say.

God is all knowing, and He was pretty good about inspiring New Testament authors to repeat parts of the Old Testament Mosaic Law that were important to still follow. If it is not repeated, it died with the law when the law was fulfilled by Christ.

Not only is it not commanded in the Old Testament, nothing is restated and reinforced in the New Testament.

Now, the command to be fruitful and multiply was given before the law. It is part of the Adamic covenant. I do believe we are under that command but that only specifies that we should have offspring, not when and in what number.

God is not the kind of god who leaves us guessing. If He wanted us to do something He would tell us clearly and plainly –without hoop-jumping.  


What does the New Testament say about having children?

The closest thing it says regarding children is that a man has the responsibility to care for his family and if he doesn’t, he’s worse than an unbeliever.

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8

My husband firmly believes that this is an indication that you ought to behave in wisdom about how many children you have. He takes this passage very seriously!

Birth control existed in various forms before The Pill all the way back to prehistoric times. The Bible doesn’t address birth control meaning that this, too, is part of your Christian stewardship (except of course in the case of abortive methods which would be murder).

If the bible doesn’t specifically address it, it falls into your Christian stewardship.

I have said this over and over.

Don’t live in bondage to man-made rules.

According to this passage, you ought not to have more children than you care for. If you can’t care for them all you’re “worse than an unbeliever.”

Those are some pretty strong words!

And it is directly opposed to the Quiverfullers who claim you should just keep having as many babies as you can and God will reward you for it.

But that lacks wisdom.

It assumes that God will keep promises based on commands He never made. It presumes upon God. That is a very dangerous place to be: assuming that He will do what you want even though He has not promised to do so.

I know women who have kept having babies against their husband’s wishes, and their husbands left them. Their husbands may have been wrong, but so were the wives.

I know an autistic couple who just keep having more and more babies because someone told them that biblically they must have as many as they can. They can’t even take care of the children they have. He is unable to work, and she is unable to care for their children.

Romans 14 allows for us to have different opinions on issues not specifically addressed in scripture.

If you prefer having a houseful, good for you!

As long as you can care for them as the scripture actually commands.

Heaven knows I would have preferred a passel of babies, but my health didn’t permit it.

But, don’t make commands where God doesn’t.

Don’t pretend to speak for God!

Don’t call something sin unless God does.

Don’t condemn other people who don’t keep having as many children as they can.

Behave in wisdom and understand that what’s wise in your situation may not be wise in another person’s situation.

And don’t tell someone who has decided that they aren’t going to have any more children that you’re going to pray they get pregnant anyway so they’ll no longer be in sin.

That’s just rude.

When in doubt, treat people with grace and don’t pass judgment unless there is a valid and clear New Testament passage that you can site for your accusation.

The Quiverfull Movement is not biblical. It is twisting the scripture to suit its beliefs.

May we have the wisdom to stay far away from it and repent from the false doctrine of Quiverfull if we followed it.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

PS As always, if you disagree with me, pray for wisdom and ask the Lord if I could be right instead of arguing or commenting oppositionally.

PPS Even if you think my assertion that Above Rubies is Quiverfull is wrong, my explanation about why Quiverfull is unbiblical is solid. What a group supports could be up to opinion or even change over time,  but the bible is not up for opinion and does not change over time. See this post for an explanation of why I believe Rubies is Quiverfull.  Also, see this post for an explanation of why Onan’s story in the Old Testament is not a command to keep having babies.

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Why I Walked Away from Above Rubies

I’ve spent time in the last week discussing my concerns over the fundamental churches that we’ve attended and their unbiblical ideology.

It was actually someone who isn’t fundamental –and didn’t know what fundamentalism is before I explained it– that introduced me to Above Rubies.

If you don’t know what Above Rubies is, let me explain.

Above Rubies is a magazine, Facebook group, and Conference which focus on godly womanhood.

I was given a scholarship to a local conference and attended. While I found the fellowship encouraging enough that I actually attended two years in a row, the theology didn’t set right with me.

There was something strange going on.

There were people there from the very legalistic Arminian/Wesleyan church I had attended as a child, and there were also people from the fundamental baptist churches my husband and I had attended.

Generally the fundamental baptists will not fellowship with others who have such different views.

I found it puzzling and when I mentioned it to my friend she said that it was just great that all the denominations were getting along.

Here’s what I didn’t realize until recently: Above Rubies reflects fundamental ideology.

(See my previous two posts about Fundamentalism for an explanation of what beliefs they have in common.)

While much of their teaching “comes from the Bible,” much of it was not biblically sound.

I was very sick, too sick to even walk very far, when I attended, so I was very grateful for their kindness. A group of ladies from the local chapter even came and cleaned my house which was a huge blessing.

But what was being taught –regardless of how kind they were– was unbiblical.

In hindsight, it’s kind of like the Mormons. They’re nicest people you’ll likely ever meet, but still heaped in false teaching which they claim is bible-based.

Many women who are part of the group don’t even see the dangerous ideology in the background. To them, it’s just a group for conservative women. They are the reason I am writing this post.

The reason people from such diverse groups (the Wesleyans and the Baptists) met under the same roof to hear the teaching is that both groups are actually fundamental.

It did not occur to me until recently that the church I grew up in reflected fundamental ideology.

The Wesleyan fundamentalist didn’t call themselves such, but their beliefs definitely reflect it.

I have explained in two previous posts my concern with fundamental ideology.

Some of their theology is on point, but what they practice is a very external version of Christianity (a false version). It is a Christianity that presents itself with a list of social rules while character –true character– is either an afterthought or ignored altogether.

There are varying degrees of fundamentalist, and I’m understandably only able to describe what I’ve seen.

As I’ve mentioned before, we attended one fundamental church where we agreed almost 100% with their stated beliefs, their Statement of Faith, but no one in leadership knew what their statement of faith was or what it meant.

What they did have was a long list of rules of conduct.

But I digress. Back to the issue of Above Rubies.

I noticed some things that should have been warning signs when I attended the conference, but it wasn’t until I started following their Facebook page that I really started seeing red flags.  

Half of the time the posts were emotionally motivated like stories to motivate you to “be a good mom and wife,” but the other half of the time the posts were odd. The leadership seem drawn to an almost Mormon-version of Christianity. They were consistently making non-biblical absolutes.  

The women in the Facebook group admired the Duggars (who are Fundamentalists) and Sister Wives (LDS) admiring how submissive and godly they were. There is a great amount of irony in admiring the “godliness” of a unsaved cult member: perhaps then your definition of godly is wrong.

This is why the women from the extreme fundamental churches are drawn to this group.

But the ladies from evangelical churches are largely unaware that fundamentalism even exists. So, they do not see the warning signs even when they are in the midst of it.

What really got my attention, and what made me finally pull the plug and separated myself from the group is when one of the leaders posted a Facebook meme with a picture of a baby that read:

“If a woman stops having babies, she denies herself her legacy and a baby its body.”

Woah.

Wait a minute.

That’s Mormon theology.  The Mormons believe that there are babies in heaven waiting to be born and given their bodies.  That’s what the leader (whoever posted to the Above Rubies page) was supporting.

I draw the line at cultic teachings.

I left and haven’t looked back.

I cannot tolerate being part of a group that is teaching things so clearly unbiblical, and I am concerned about those who are not discerning enough to see the folly in the group. Many only go participate because the group supports stay-at-home moms and endorses submission.  

You can endorse submission without embracing the extreme views of the fundamentalist ideology.  

You can encourage motherhood without embracing cultic teachings.

Those of us who hold to the scriptures but see the flaws in the fundamentalists ideology need a group and retreat of our own. Something without the cultic beliefs and dangerous ideology.

Since Above Rubies only flirts with and isn’t completely engrossed in overt fundamentalism,  it’s subtler and harder to see.

But it’s absolutely there.

If you know what you are looking for.

Tomorrow, I’ll address more false, unbiblical teaching that has emerged from the Above Rubies movement.

May wisdom and discernment prevail.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

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Five More Concerns About Fundamental Churches

I wrote a post recently about the concerns I have about fundamentalism. This is a continuation of that post.

Five more concerns about fundamental churches:


1. Authoritative parenting

Authoritative parenting is the style practiced and endorsed at all the fundamental churches we attended and also was common at fundamentally-influenced churches.

I have compared authoritative parenting to Bible-based parenting in the past.

Authoritative parenting demands immediate obedience, gives swift and harsh punishments, and is hard-handed.

Grace-filled, Bible-based parenting reflects God’s grace to us.

Our children learn about God through how we treat them. Are we representing His love well?

Authoritative parenting breaks the command to not embitter our children by expecting perfection from them when it is impossible for them to give it.

Because fundamentalism has redefined godliness to be outward behavior, it is absolutely necessary that the children of those who hold this belief act perfectly obedient.

If they do not, it reflects poorly on their parents, and others will doubt their parent’s godliness.

Godly parents will have obedient children, according to this philosophy.

However, we know that sometimes godly parents do not have “good” children. Case in point: Adam and Eve and the Prodigal Son.

Particularly notice that the father of the prodigal son did not go drag his son home and force him into submission, but he was there when his son returned, ready to forgive.

God could have struck Adam and Eve dead –a quick and immediate repercussion– instead he clothed their nakedness, covered their shame, corrected them, and made a plan for their eventual redemption. God was the perfect parent, and yet He had rebellious children.

The grace that a holy God gives us in our sin is the example that we should live by with our children.


2. Patriarchal Ideology

This goes beyond harsh parenting. Patriarchal is the idea that the father –the patriarch– owns the people under him.

Not that he is their caretaker, shepherd, and steward, but that they are his servants and he, their king.

He is the top man and must be honored and served above all else. They are under him and dare not forget it.

Even adults in his family dare not do something that he dislikes.

I know daughters in these kinds of families who are in their thirties and the father still will not let them get married, turns away every potential suitor, and enjoys the fact that he has free adult labor at his beck and call.

I know adult women who have to “rebel” against their fathers to get married and get away from this fundamental ideology.

I have one friend who privily signed herself up for Eharmony, met a guy, and with the help of a friend moved across the country to marry him, getting as far away as she could from her manipulative and controlling father.  

However, not even getting married gets you out of the patriarchal authority if it is part of your belief system.

In a proper understanding of scripture, a husband leaves his father and mother, marries his wife and they become a new family.

In the patriarchal approach, even married children are still under the father’s authority and must obey him.

I have an older family member who thinks he can tell my husband and I what to do, make decisions for us, and make choices for our children.

If you refuse to obey the patriarch, they get angry because they believe that they are owed your obedience (not just respect) even if you are an adult. They twist verses to try to make them support this idea.

Patriarchal is actually a Middle Eastern cultural idea that –although it is displayed in the Old Testament– it is not commanded in the Bible and is in direct conflict with other parts of the Bible, particularly the parts that apply to today in the Age of Grace.

It is very similar to the shame and honor ideology in Fundamental Islam that allows a father to kill his daughter if she makes him look bad. In the same way but to a lesser extend, patriarchalism allows a fundamental parent to mistreat, or even imprison in their home, a child –regardless of age– who does not reflect well on the parent.  

And we wonder why unbelievers say there are similarities between Islam and Christianity. Here is one reason.

If we were living in obedience to the law of Christ: love and grace, there would be a great difference between us and the Islamics.

3. Suppression of women

Now, before I go further, I should mention that I do believe in Biblical submission. But, I do not believe that women are less than men or that men should treat women with disdain.

Submission is a woman’s choice. It is a gift she gives her husband.

If he demands it, it is no longer submission: it by its very definition is then coercion.  

This suppression of women goes beyond submission (submission is not suppression although opponents would say it is).

This goes beyond the Biblical commands to women.

It teaches that women are only useful if they are having babies. That babies and servitude are all the God created women for.

It discourages education of women –either biblical or academic or both.

It downplays the value of women and ignores the roles –other than motherhood– even those that are given them by scripture.

It ignores that women are given spiritual gifts just as men are, that they are responsible to use those gifts to minister to the church.

It downplays any women in the New or Old Testament that did anything other than stay at home with and have babies.

It refuses to even consider that women could have something to contribute, using the excuse that Eve was deceived by Satan to say that a man must never listen to his wife which of course is not what the Bible teaches.

It makes statements like “A woman’s proper place is in the kitchen.”

It is more a reflection of 19th and early 20th century ideals of a woman than that of scripture.

It is the view that women should be silent, shy, unopinionated, and controllable. A strong, educated, vibrant woman is an offence to this ideal.

You can be strong, bold, opinionated, and unmanipulatable and still choose to submit to your husband.

You don’t need a man to force you into obeying Christ. I dare say no man is able to do that, because obedience begin in the heart, in the decisions of the inner woman.

The command to grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ was not given only to men.

A godly man should want a strong godly woman who knows what she believes and why, who can defend her faith, who can stand up for herself, who can be his cheerleader, confidant, and advisor.

If he does not want these things, I wonder how godly he actually is or if he is pursuing recognition of the other men at church over true godliness.

It goes back, again, to the fundamental view of godliness. If his wife makes him look bad, others will doubt his godliness. But godliness isn’t just about the outside.

4. Abuse of women

When my husband and I were engaged, someone from church gave my husband a “wife’s paddle” letting us know that it was intended to be used on me.

It was said with a twinkle in the eye.

Almost like the giver was joking.

But not really.

I am a smart girl. I could read between the lines.

Basically, the older man saw that I had a very strong personality and wanted to make sure that he communicated to my future husband that it was his job to keep me in line whatever it took.

I was understandably shocked and offended.

But, it was treated like a joke, and I was told I was overreacting.

That was before I understood that this was part of the fundamental ideology.

You see, if godliness is all about what is on the outside, then a man can’t have his wife making him look bad by not being the quiet little timid mouse. She is expected to change her personality –or suppress it– to make him look good even if that is not how God made her, even if it means that she is not using her gifts.

I should be clear that my husband has never been abusive regardless of what was subtly endorsed by church members.

More than one friend has been the object of domestic abuse.

After one such situation when we helped a woman get away from her husband who had threatened to kill her, I asked my husband why he never hit me.

He said because I would walk out, and he would probably never see his kids again.

I am not sure how he came to that conclusion. I have never told him that.

But I am not one to sit idly by while someone hurts me. I will defend myself.

It is more likely that I would go to one of our parent’s houses and get them involved. I would use the biblical model of reconciliation.

The combination of the patriarchal movement and the suppression of women is an equation for abuse.

If a woman is nothing but a servant or a slave, if you as a husband don’t understand that she is a joint-heir, that you are to serve her like Christ served the church being even willing to die for her (not just the other way around), then you have no motivation to treat her well.

If you devalue her, you will not treat her like the wonderful gift that she is.

Once you have emptied her of value, there is nothing to keep you from abusing her.

In this ideology the only one who has value is the husband.

We treat others well when we value them, when we see their God-given worth.

Scripture commands men to not treat their wives harshly. Abuse and devaluing is against scripture.

5. Abuse of children

Just like the patriarchal movement devalues women, it devalues children.

Nowhere in scripture does it say that the man is the king of his castle and everyone living there must serve him. That is false doctrine.

The bible does say that if you want to be great in God’s kingdom you need to be a servant.

I have read advice from fundamental pastors that say you should have your daughters wait on you hand and foot to train them to be good wives. Notice they don’t say to do this with all children. No, because boys are not allowed to be servants. They will be kings one day according to this view which is the opposite of what the bible teaches.

When you start subjugating others, acting like they are less than you, and forcing them into servitude to you, then the sky’s the limit in what you will do.

Because in order to do that, you have already decided that they are not worthy of your care or respect.

Authoritative parenting can quickly become abuse, too. It is a slippery slope.

Once you make parenting and family about how good it makes the father look, you have lost sight of the true purpose of parenting: to show this child Christ as you prepare them for adulthood and eternity.

If you want to see how extreme the situations can become, you can listen to the documentary about abuse in the fundamental churches by Jeri Massi.

While I admit that not all of these five things are present in every fundamental church, I think they are important to mention because they are prevalent in many other groups who aren’t part of the fundamentalists and don’t even know that these ideals originated in the fundamental movement.

Even if these methods produce good results (that is the arguments I have heard) they are still unbiblical and therefore I can’t endorse them.

We won’t achieve gody results by using ungodly methods.

May we always check our methods to see that they align with scripture.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

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A Little Break

Since my accident 3 weeks ago, I have managed to post every day. It has been a rough few weeks and I decided to give myself a break for tonight. So instead of writing a lengthy post, I was going to post some photos from the beautiful state of Oregon. However,  WordPress is not cooperating, so I’ll just resume posting tomorrow. 
Blessings, 

Sarah Forbes 

 

 

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5 Concerns With Fundamental Churches

First of all, let me apologize to any friends whose toes I am stepping on by writing this article. I write this out of love and concern for what is happening in these kinds of churches. Please take it for what it is: a concerned warning expressed out of love.


If you are  unfamiliar with what a fundamental church is then this article might be confusing. Let me give you some background.

The fundamental movement split from what we call the evangelical movement back in the early 1900s.

From what I understand, Billy Graham was part of  (a catalyst for?) this whole disagreement. His revival meetings assumed that all religious groups were true Christians and involved them all in the leadership. That means that a Mormon, Catholic or Jehovah’s witness was just as likely to be in leadership as a baptist or a nazarene.

The result was that certain Christians who did not believe that we should fellowship with people who obviously did not follow Christ –cults or those who deny salvation by faith alone– seperated from the evangelicals stanfing firm by the idea that those pseudo-Christian groups should be the object of our outreach and not part of the organizing leaders.

They need to be witnessed to; they shouldn’t be the ones doing the witnessing.

Thus was born the division between the evangelicals and the fundamentalists.

The fundamentalist believed in separation, that Christians should not have church fellowship with those who believe false doctrine, and the evangelicals believed in inclusiveness, that all are part of the body of Christ no matter what they believed –if they claimed to be Christian.  

The title alone does not a Christian make.

I actually agree with the fundamentalist on this point about separation.

I think they started out with good intentions but what has become of the movement is something I cannot support.

The movement has shifted quite a bit in the last century.

Lest you think that I am speaking out of turn, I have some personal experience with fundamentalism. I have attended multiple fundamental churches religiously –two of which my husband and I were in leadership, and I have been involved in three other fundamental (or fundamentally leaning) churches to a lesser capacity.

The church where we were leaders left lasting trauma.

I am speaking from a place of honesty but also a place of hurt. That being said, I am not angry. I am concerned that others be made aware of the real issues that exist within many of the fundamental churches.

Understandably, I can only speak to the conditions in the handful of churches I have attended.  

It is important to note that there are many kinds of fundamental churches, and baptists are not the only fundamentalist.


Five problems with fundamental churches.


1) Independence

Ironically, the biggest problem with the fundamental churches is exactly what they tout to be one of their best qualities: that they are independent churches “like the first century church.”

Fundamental churches refuse to take part in a denomination or any oversight that would allow authority over the pastor.

It is actually incorrect that these are independent “like the first century church.” The first century church was actually under the authority of the council of Jerusalem and the church leaders.

It wasn’t completely independent and without anyone to answer to.

Paul called out Peter for falling into the sin of Judaizing. Paul also corrected churches that he had visited when they had fallen into sins.

Paul himself sook that approval of the leaders at Jerusalem to be sure that what he was teaching aligned with what they were teaching.  

Paul chose to make himself accountable.

Lack of accountability is the first step toward abuse of power which is what I saw over and over in the fundamental churches.

There is no recourse for members of a church who find themselves with out-of-control leadership because the pastor is the king of his realm, and you are not even supposed to speak out against him.


2) Leader worship

I regularly heard people say that the pastor was “God’s man” and that you dare not contradict what he was saying.

In these churches, the pastor and not scripture is the final authority in the church members lives.

Contradicting the pastor is a sin –even if what he is teaching or doing is in direct conflict to scripture.

This is putting man above God.

If you leave their church because they are teaching false doctrine you will be accused of rebelling against God’s authority –the pastor– in your life.

I have even heard pastors say that if the husband wants to leave the church that the wife must disobey him and stay, that if she wants to be obedient to God that she must obey the pastor and not her husband.

All men are sinners and equally depraved in the eyes of God. We already have a mediator and do not need another person to speak to us on behalf of God.

To raise one man above the rest and give him god-like status is wrong on so many levels that I don’t even have time to address all those reason in this post.


3) Resistance to government authority

Along with their resistance to fellowshipping with those who don’t agree with them religiously (in the name of separation), they resist government involvement to the point that they don’t get the authorities involved even if their members or leaders are committing an actual crime.

Since they believe in church discipline (rightly so; I do too) they either try to address all issues with church discipline or they ignore issues they shouldn’t because they don’t want to have to go outside the church for correction.

You only have to take a cursory look at the news about fundamental churches and their abuse of power to see that this is true (Case in point: the Duggar’s sexual abuse scandal).  

Child molestation, physical abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, theft, slander, these are just a few of the actual crimes that I know have happened in local-to-me fundamental churches.  

Beyond that, these crimes and more have happened in the homes of church members. The leadership knows and does nothing about it.


4. Redefined morality

Godliness is redefined to something scripture never made it to be.

In the fundamental church, it is not nearly as important that you actually be godly as that you look godly.

They ignore very important concepts like Christian stewardship and Christian liberty and instead insert man-made rules and become modern-day pharisees.

Your godliness becomes connected to your ability to conform to their list of rules (which are not even biblically-based rules) like no movies, dresses-only, and no rock music.

Actual spiritual fruit like patience, kindness, and long-suffering are not on the list.

I was once told by one of the pastor’s wifes that I didn’t “look godly” because I was not wearing nylons. Someone had arbitrarily decided that godly women wear nylons.

I am told that the church in questions does not hold to that rule anymore –but that isn’t the point.

The point –the big problem here– is that they think they can redefine what is holy and disregard scripture.

The Lord cares far more about the kind of person you are than what you wear.

Redefining godliness to the exterior performance turns my stomach. That is not what the bible teaches.


5. Disingenuousness

Because they have redefined morality, being a “good christian” means everyone is pretending and trying to look better than they are.

Everyone’s wearing masks. People are not being real. They are not being honest about their struggles.

When I was so sick that I could barely walk and someone was threatening to take my children away, I remember sitting in church, looking around, and realizing that there was not a single person there that I could share my problems with and ask for help without being judged as ungodly.

That was my last week at that church.

Previously, I had asked for prayer because I was going without sleep for 3 or 4 days at a time due to my then-undiagnosed autoimmune disorder.

I was told I was lying.

That I couldn’t possibly be having the problems I was describing –because I was too young. My request was not added to the church prayer list.

When I suffered from postpartum depression, I was told that it was because I was not reading my bible and praying enough, so I was enrolled in a discipleship program.

They wrote down that I had just gotten saved so that they could add it to their tally for the number of converts for the year.

I was in fact saved as a child. I have no doubts in my mind about that.

Obviously I wouldn’t have been depressed if I had actually been saved, right? That’s what they thought.

It didn’t align with their version of what a godly person looked like. Therefore, I couldn’t be godly –or even saved for that matter.

These experiences taught me that I could not be real with these people.

Whenever I tried to be honest about where I was, I was reminded one way or another that this level of honesty was not welcome.

As I have mentioned before, how can we bear each other’s burdens if we aren’t honest with each other about what our burdens are?

I am not going to be fake. I can’t be even if I tried. It goes against everything that I am.

I just barely scratched the surface in the problems I saw in the Fundamental churches I attended. It is safe to say that it is unlikely that I will ever attend a fundamental church again.

I have heard the argument “Well, my fundamental church isn’t like that” or “So-and-so church isn’t like that anymore” but it doesn’t matter.

The fact is that they are organized for abuse of power and manipulation.

I didn’t even begin to talk about the narcissistic men who are drawn to these kinds of churches so that they can control and manipulate people.

I did not address the pope-style authority myth that is held by some (or many?) fundamental pastors. They actually believe that they have been passed down apostolic authority through baptist preachers all the way back to Paul –like the Pope thinks he gets his authority from Peter.

I did not address the abuse of women and children that goes ignored in these churches.

I did not address the fear based control or the power struggle.  

I want nothing to do with it, and I think that people need to be aware of the real and actual dangers in this style of church that leave itself unchecked and strays so far from the way that scripture teaches that churches and Christians should be.

Consider yourself warned.

If you want to know more about the abuses that are happening in fundamental churches, I recommend these audio documentaries by Jeri Massi

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

P.S. This is not the place for arguments or debate. If you disagree with this article, politely click the back button. Thank you.

See part 2 here.

faith

5 Legitimate Reasons Christians Don’t Attend Church

Christians are fond of demonizing other believers who do not attend church. They use statements such as “They don’t care about obeying scripture” and accusations of “church hopping.”

This topic is far more complicated than that.

I pose that there are actually valid reasons that one might not to attend a brick-and-mortar church.

First of all, The Church is a group of people –the Bride of Christ, those who have chosen to follow Him– and not a building with a steeple where you meet a few times a week.

The idea that The Church is the building is not biblical.

The command in scripture is to not stop gathering together with believers. Scripture is not specific in the manner that this must happen.

The Bible does not say “Do not forsake going into the church building. Continue reading “5 Legitimate Reasons Christians Don’t Attend Church”

faith

10 Verses to Encourage You in Hard Times

1. No matter what happens you can find your joy in God.

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Habakkuk 3:17-18


2. God’s faithfulness and love is unconditional.

Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not faithful to his covenant. Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.

Psalm 78:37-39


3. No matter what happens, nothing can come between you and the Lord

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39


4. Reason 1 for hard times: the Lord is correcting your sin.

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

Hebrews 12:5-10


5. Reason 2 for hard times: the Lord is building our faith.

Now on the day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans attacked and took them. They also slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God…”Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;…”

Job 1:13-22, 13:15


5. There is a reward for those who endure hard times.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:2-4.12


6. Pray for wisdom in the midst of hard times and don’t doubt that God will see you through.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 1:5-8


7. As long as we are on this earth we will have hard times.


I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33


8. God promises to see you through.


Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

1 Peter 5:6-10


9. Patiently endure and leave the situation in God’s hands


Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Romans 12:12-19


10. Suffering produces spiritual growth

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 3:1-5


Suffering, trials, and even persecution are not enjoyable, but the Lord can use them in our lives to great things. We are responsible to not resent what He is doing in our lives but to trust ourselves to His hand.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

illness

10 Way to Be a Horrible Doctor

First of all, let me say that this post is written with a whole lot of snark. If you don’t have a sense of humor, this post is not for you. Please do not accuse me of recommending these things or of slandering doctors. This is based loosely on actual things that have happened to me or people I know and was compiled for your amusement.

Hopefully it makes you laugh –and roll your eyes.


10 ways to be a horrible doctor:

  1. Instruct your receptionist to lie to your clients when they arrive and tell them that you’re on schedule when you’re actually running 3 hours late. Make sure you threaten you receptionist with losing her job if she tells your patients how long they’re actually going to have to wait. Then refuse to reschedule appointments without an expensive cancellation fee when people can’t wait three hours and have to leave. Make sure that you have the most uncomfortable chairs in your waiting room –especially if people have to wait three hours. Also, it is important to remove the magazines and toys to prevent the spread of germs if you are running that far behind. Everyone loves 3 hours in a waiting room with small children and nothing to do.

  2. Decided that you’re an expert in everything. Refuse to allow your patients to follow the instructions of their specialist no matter how rare or complicated their diseases or conditions. Make sure you assume there’s nothing you don’t already know. You don’t need to look anything up because you’re awesome. Openly criticize specialists –especially if there are only three in the whole world with their specialty. There’s no way that they could know more about their specialty than you do. Refuse to cooperate or support anything that the specialist wants to do.

  3. Make sure that you jump to conclusions about the kind of person someone is and how sick they are by how they’re dressed.  For instance, if a woman has makeup on there’s no way she could be very sick. If someone shows up in pajamas, it’s not because they have the stomach flu; it’s because they’re lowlifes who don’t care what they look like. The quicker you jump to conclusions, the better. Look down your nose at people with mental illnesses or physical impairments. You are way better than they are. They probably didn’t even go to college. Also judge on disposition. Grumpy people don’t deserve your help, and happy people obviously don’t need it. Make people feel like it is their fault that they are sick, overweight, have mental illnesses, or have chronic illnesses.

  4. Refuse to treat really sick people. It’s annoying, time consuming, and complicated. Prefer to treat minor viruses and hangnails. Turn away people who really need help.  It’s not worth the bother. Some people are just too sick to help. If you’ve been seeing someone for a while and find that they’re sicker than you first realized, just refuse to see them anymore. They’ll be fine. Or not. It’s not really your concern. Don’t tell them why or give any recommendations, just tell your receptionist to call and inform them they are no longer welcome at the clinic.

  5. Anytime a new patient comes to you with a list of medications they’ve been taking successfully,  make sure you change all the medications –especially if those medications are working well for the patient. It’s best if you keep switching to medications that don’t work so that they’ll keep coming back to you. New medications means more follow up appointments. It doesn’t matter if the original medications were working. Change them anyway. Shake things up. Why not? What’s a few more side effects? When in doubt give pain killers.

  6. Don’t listen to your patients.  There’s nothing they can tell you that you don’t already know. Assume that you know what they mean and ignore their concerns. This will definitely make sure that they have the best treatment possible.  They have a brilliant doctor helping them.  They don’t need to you actually listen to their words and explanations. Just say “Uh-huh” a lot while not paying attention. They won’t notice.

  7. Act condescending.  Patients need to be reminded that you’re brilliant. You have years more education than they have,  and you’re just all around better. So make sure you act like it. They are blessed that someone as wonderful as you has stooped to try to help lowly them.  Remember that you are God’s gift to medicine. Use phrases like “It’s all in your head,” “Did you read that on the internet?” and “Hypochondriac” if someone suggests that they might have a condition that you didn’t suggest. You can bring it up at the next visit if you think it is a valid concern, but it must always be your idea.

  8. Refuse to give referrals.  You know that there’s nothing you can’t handle by yourself. If you don’t feel like it’s an issue, there’s absolutely no reason to allow a referral –even if the patient is adamant that they believe it’s an issue worth a specialist’s time. Your patients have no medical training. Just because they live in their body does not mean they have any idea how they really feel. They’re only as sick as you decide they are. Ignore their pleas and any facts they present to try to persuade you they are right. Obviously, they are not.

  9. Never, ever trust mother’s intuition. Women are emotional, fickle, irrational, and over-reactive creatures. Treat them as such. Just because they grew that child inside them, nursed them at their breast, and spend every waking hour with them does not mean that they know their child better than you. It’s not like a child’s life could be in danger if you don’t pay attention. So be confident in yourself and ignore the caretaker’s ridiculous claims even if she comes in or calls repeatedly. Make sure to look amused that she thinks she knows what is going on. It is really cute, isn’t it? Remind her not to play doctor. If you have to. mention Munchausen’s By Proxy to get her to be quiet. It works every time.

  10.  Make sure you have the most disagreeable staff available.  Never hire cheerful people, only grumpy people. Make sure your nurses remind people that they could die anytime so they should have an end of life plan.  Life is hard so don’t sugar coat it. Kindness is for wimps. Always make snide comments about people’s weight or health and blame their conditions on them. Train your staff to treat people’s concerns with disregard, refuse to see people in dire need, make the checking in and out process as complicated,  unpleasant, and difficult as possible. Shame people who make mistakes or are late, and make sure you do it when there is a long line at reception so everyone else knows that they are idiots. They’re blessed to have the opportunity to see you and be in your clinic. It’s not like you work for them.

There you have it. Ten wonderfully useful tips on being the a horrible doctor. Useful for every clinic.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

ADHD, featured, homeschooling

What You Need to Know About Your ADHD Child

I’ve had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to write a post to help the members of my Facebook group, Homeschooling the ADHD Child, better understanding their children.  Basically, a “what you need to know” post.

It was a daunting task because I’m not sure there’s enough paper to write all that would need to be said, but I believe it’s very important for parents to be informed –and not just parents with ADHD children. Thankfully I found a video that says it better than I can.

The first thing you need to know if your child has ADHD is that your child has a significant, life-affecting, long-term mental disability. I cannot emphasize enough that this is a problem that will affect your child’s entire life in monumental ways.

I’m not exaggerating when I call it a mental disability. I live with this disorder. I know how hard it is. I know the daily battle. (Although it is not technically a mental disability which you can read more about here.)

Just as if you have a child with Downs Syndrome or diabetes, you need to UNDERSTAND AND MAKE ACCOMMODATIONS.

This is a serious medical condition that you need to understand and take seriously.  Just like any disability,  your child will need a crutch –like a wheelchair or leg braces or in this case your help with regulation (see more info about regulation in the video below).

If you think ADHD is a willful problem in your child, that it’s because they’re not trying hard enough or are choosing to be difficult, the bigger issue than your child is your lack of understanding.  Your lack of understanding and support has the ability to negatively affect your child in huge and lasting ways. I counsel adults who have lived a lifetime with the damage of hurtful and critical parents.  

Having ADHD means that your child is developing 30% behind other children of the same age. This means that your child can be 2 to 6 years more immature than their non ADHD peers even if they have a high IQ. This lasts into adulthood.

Your child needs unconditional love. I say this over and over on the Facebook group. They need to know they’re loved regardless of how their brains have developed, regardless of their ability to perform, regardless of how disappointed you are that they cannot live up to your expectations, regardless of their anger or emotional outbursts. They need to know that you will love them no matter what.

ADHD is a problem with self-regulation due to underdeveloped parts of the brain. This can be measured and proven scientifically. For this reason a child with ADHD needs help self-regulating. It is a brain disability in which the part of the brain the regulates inhibitions isn’t working properly.

This video series is long, but if you never watch anything else about ADHD ever, watch this. It is about 3 hours total but is broken into smaller videos in a series that could be watched in shorter chunks. Watch it over a period of time if you need to.

Be informed. Don’t believe the lies about ADHD.

You NEED to understand what’s going on in your child’s brain. You need to understand why he’s doing what he’s doing.  You need the tools to help him.

This video provides that.

While there are a few points I disagree with,  the majority of this information is on par with what my doctor (a leading ADHD clinician in our area) told me.

This video is from 2009.

Some of the treatments discussed have been further studied, and new treatments have been made available since that time. One such issue is supplements and omegas.

Since this video was made new studies have shown that some supplements, particularly fish oil, can help ADHD. He is right that it doesn’t make it go away.

Additionally, I think that more ADHDers than he suggested find improvement from diet changes. I would guess 25% or more from my experience working with adults and kids with ADHD.

Take the time to watch this even if you don’t have a child with ADHD.

A significant part of the population does have ADHD children and the more actual, factual scientific knowledge people have about this topic, the more we can dispel the myth that it doesn’t exist, that it’s just bad parenting, or that it’s caused by too much media,TV, and video games.

ADHD is documented all the way back to the 1700s –way before any of those so-called “causes” existed.

This disorder is one of the most misunderstood disorders out there. The public and media has continuously perpetuated lies about ADHD. Consequently, people believe it is made up.

Science gives us the explainable facts that show it is not a created disorder but a legitimate and significant issue.

In the video, Dr Barkley discusses the need to be careful about social interaction. What he says supports my view that the homeschooling atmosphere is best for ADHD children (although he doesn’t mention homeschooling specifically). The mentorship/apprenticeship style homeschooling education would be a safe environment for a child who has delayed development such as ADHD.

As a caveat, this video is from an evolutionary perspective and does not take into consideration the soul or the effect that the Holy Spirit has on our lives as Christians. I have ADHD, and the Holy Spirit in my life has empowered me to live beyond my diagnoses.

I hope this will be encouraging and educational for you.



http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzBixSjmbc8eFl6UX5_wWGP8i0mAs-cvY

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

PS Sometimes, the imbeded video isn’t working. If that’s the case, follow this link to view Dr. Barkley’s video on YouTube

marriage

Four Reasons I Stopped Criticizing My Husband

Four Reasons I Stopped Criticizing My Husband:


  1. It was not loving.  Love believes the best in people. When I began to understand this, I realized that it was my duty to believe he was doing his best.  Criticizing and nagging was the opposite of believing the best in him. Criticizing undermined his self-confidence and had the opposite effect than what I wanted. It did not cause him to try harder.  It was a wedge between us that I had the power to remove. I could remove it with unconditional love. Do unto others as you want them to do to you means that if I want him to believe that I’m doing my best I had better believe that he’s doing his best.

  2. It was disrespectful and not the way God intended us to interact. We are commanded to act respectfully toward our husbands. The more disrespectful I was,  the less he wanted to be around me or do anything I was doing or wanted his help with.  The old saying goes you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. That was certainly true for me.

  3. It didn’t work. About 10 years of nagging, complaining, whining, and sighing produced very little results for my effort. For the last 5ish years I’ve prayed instead of nagging or criticizing. I’ve seen more change in a few years of praying for him than I ever did in the years I was criticizing or complaining.

     

  4. There’s a better way. Now, when I have a request, I petition him. A petition needs to be done in the right way.  It shouldn’t be done when either of us are upset. It needs to have clear and concise expectations (not just I’m angry about something). I write out my concerns ahead of time so that in clear-headed.  I’ll even write out all the stuff that makes me angry, but I don’t tell him this part. I take that part to God (refer to #3).  I then talk to him when we’re both in a place that we’re ready to have a conversation; I learned that right when he walked in the door from a hard day at work is a bad time. I don’t make a demand. I ask for his support on whatever I need. Sometimes support just means hiring someone to fix something. Sometimes it means the two of us addressing something together. Sometimes I take care of the problem myself. If I address it myself, I work really hard to not become frustrated or bitter (refer to #1).

february-bible-reading-list-16“No man has risen from under his wife’s criticism to become a better man.”

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes