You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2010.

I should say that I am a new Christian, or as I would be labeled within the community, I have opinions and I have not lived a ‘Christian Lifestyle’ prior to becoming a Christian. I have lived with my partner, have had sex, have done naughty things, have lied, have said the Lord’s name in vain.

However, I feel as though becoming a Christian has been one of the most FREEING and CONFINING things I have EVER committed myself to.

One of my biggest gripes and ‘soap box inducing’ is relationship ‘guidelines’ in the Church. I find things like this, very confining: (this is an e-mail I recieved that was part of a mature adult group I belong to)

Honouring Jesus, Your Date, and Yourself!

Dating Tips to Grow a Strong Relationship!

  • Pray –Spend time asking God to help you honour Him and your date.
  • Talk a lot –Get to know someone by talking to them about a wide variety of topics.
  • Let’s be friends! – The person you are dating could be someone else’s future mate.
  • Pray in groups – don’t pray together alone as a couple too early in your relationship.
  • Choose to not kiss – Avoids unnecessary stimulation,
  • Avoid physical contact or being alone

Christian dating is not a subject heavily taught on in the church so we thought we would offer some tried and tested advice courtesy of Christian life advisor for those who are in this season in their lives

My response to this was:

Apparently as a mature Christian women, if I want to date I shouldn’t kiss. I am offended not only as a woman, but as a Christian because it pre-supposes that I have no control or commitment to my faith.

It is NOT one person’s place to put blanket ‘rules’ on what should and shouldn’t happen between two consenting adults. In fact, I think that it’s incredibly dangerous and pompous. I was highly offended by the advice (and I have included the whole of what was written) because I think that it makes a sweeping generalisation that all Christians can’t control themselves. That all dating Christians will give into temptation.

Yes, some of them do/have/will do.

What annoys me the most is that NOTHING was written about the idea of discussing why we give into temptation. Ways of being intimate with someone that maintains the Biblical teachings (which are also debateable for some) and what it is like to discover and enjoy the dating/intimacy/sex/relationship experience.

Instead, just incredibly conservative, confining, stagnent guidelines.

After posting my comment I had people weigh in on their thoughts as responses. Some had abstained from kissing their partners, other atheists, others reformed from past experiences. I spoke to friends who, in my opinion are in some of the MOST healthy relationships I have EVER seen (kissing included), and their response was ‘well, I have gone against those rules already’. I mean, COME ON…to put such standards on people negates all of the fabulous relationships out there.

What I think that these type of condemnations do, is take away the beauty of the evolving relationship. The connection. The physical touch. The intensity. The passion. The boundaries. The needed communication. It puts a normal and progressive process between two people into boxes that are so tight, either people conform out of the immense guilt they would feel, rebel because they feel oppressed or walk away from their faith.

Although, perhaps there are people who need to check their physical endeavours with others (I have been there)…it wasn’t conversations with friends who told me I was doing terrible things and needed to go cold turkey. RATHER, it was friends who gave me their opinons, how they overcome temptation and found a happy ground. It was open, honest, non-judging/confining discussion.

I detest that these types of things are being sent out to hundreds or already stagnant Christians daters who are struggling to sort out how to date…as yet more guidelines to shut out the natural flirtation and progression of relationships.

I am not saying got shag or even get naked.

But a kiss…I think I can control myself.

~Farm Girl

Advertisements

The whole journey of becoming a Christian has enabled me to really think a lot about the idea of resistance. Why would I choose to resist God, myself, others at times?

Because I wasn’t ready to let myself, God, others in. One of the areas which has been the biggest struggle for me, is the idea of Love. Self-love, Others loving me, God’s love for me. I can’t wrap my head around the idea that others would actually love me. That GOD would love me!

I have heard OVER AND OVER again in Church and through friends:

  • “Just hand it over to God, he’ll take care of everything”.
  • “Can’t you see the beauty that God has for you, since you’re beautiful and made in God’s image, look at the love and beauty God has for you”
  • “You are made in the image and likeness of God to be JUST the way you are. So be glad”

BUT IT COULDN’T and didn’t understand these things. In fact they annoyed the bee-geezes out of me when people said these things to me, because I just couldn’t see it. I couldn’t feel that love and it felt syruppy/unattainable.

What I did, was stopped trying to see God’s love for me. (can I write that as a Christian) Instead, I started working on myself. I started working on the love that I had for myself. It was fleeting and then has become more solid. I knew that the walls around me heart had to be chipped away by me first. God, couldn’t do that directly by me seeking him, because my heart wasn’t opened yet. I knew that God was chipping away on the other side, but it was my effort as well to draw new him.

Yet, the idea that God LOVED me was still foreign. Appreciate, like, understand, appreciate me..all made sense. Love me? Yeah RIGHT!

I went to a worship conference last night. I love to sing.

I love to just be in the place where whatever I feel is through music. I was in the middle of worship and there was just music playing. No words. Just suspended musical arrangements.

Hands folded I stood there swaying along to the beat.
I was in a moment where I felt connected and surrendered.
“God”
(I look a breath, a complete exhale, a surrender, a calm) “I love you”

It was weird, because I think that I have wanted to say it for a long time but I was afraid. I was afraid of letting someone else into my world, because I hadn’t let myself in yet. I was afraid of having someone run away from me, or tell me that I wasn’t good enough or feel inadequate.

None of that is what I felt in that moment.

I get what my friend was talking about. I think that I could have thrown around the idea of Love before this moment. However, the peace of saying it was effortless and right.

It happened, because I first started loving myself.

~Farm Girl

There have been many times when I have felt like pushing God out of my life. In fact, there have been many conversations with some close friends where I just wanted to ‘give up on this Christian thing’. I believe that there have to be many times in all of our lives when we just want to give up. Stop trying. Just be where we are, even though it isn’t exactly what we want. The plowing ahead is almost TOO much!

However, I have brought myself back to the idea of forging ahead with my journey in my faith.

This morning I felt it again. I was tired, had tons of things racing through my brain and felt like my connection with God was weighing during worship. The Pastor started to pray and I was just about over it all. I just wasn’t feeling it.

Then I stopped.

It wasn’t about the Pastor or anything else. I was a bit annoyed, but really it has nothing to really do with church or the people around you or the rules that you think you should be living by. It has EVERYTHING to do with opening your heart to God. I believe that many times we try to legalise our lives…wanting specific answers to questions NOW. In the most clear/concise/rule-focused approach to faith, you won’t be able to find God in your life. Well, I think that you maybe able to find God in your life…but I don’t know if you’re owning the relationship with God for yourself..or for outside reasons.

I stood in church today and shut out the yammering away of the Pastor and just let God into my heart. I have to admit that today it was hard. I didn’t feel in my element…I am exhausted. But the amazing thing is, that when we stop thinking about how it should be…it just becomes what is.

My heart was set on fire and God was with me, because I stopped pushing against everything that isn’t God.

~Farm Girl

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1 other follower