****warning, rant coming........ :) *****
I want to be completely honest. I'm extremely frustrated and broken. I'm struggling with the attitudes of people around me and my own as well. My thoughts keep coming back to the words of Casting Crowns' song "Slow Fade". To watch an actual video with the lyrics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9BprPPzIjQ (This particular video is based on marital infidelity, but it applies to MANY MANY other issues).
The song talks about how "things" just don't happen. You don't wake up in the morning and decide to break you wedding vows without having made some previous choices to take you down that path. You don't wake up and say today I'm going to become addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc... It's about the small decisions we make, the things that we don't think matter at the moment. It's about those first steps that "blur" black and white. WE are living in a world that tends to only see gray, without distinctive definitions of right and wrong. And it breaks my heart. Finding people that see the black and white is becoming more difficult all the time. Kevin and I have almost a daily discussion about the alienation we feel because it just seems like we are "freaks".
Let's get it down to where the "rubber hits the road" as one of our pastors used to say. Many of us can say, we aren't addicted to drugs. We treat our marriage vows with respect. We don't do anything nearly as "sinful" as that. WE are above those sins. Maybe.....maybe not! What difference does it make as to "what" sin it is? Sin is sin.
As Christians our lives ARE supposed to look different from that of non-Christians. Romans 12:2 tells us to not be conformed of this world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds.... Kevin and I feel like we stick out like a sore thumb! We get told VERY often that our morals are just so outdated and not "normal". As lonely as it feels MANY days, we are making a daily choice to not back down. The problem is that the further we go along on this journey with God, the more it seems like we ARE "freaks".
What happened to parents BEING parents and not best friends/peers? I'm thankful I have a close relationship with my daughter and that we are able to talk about ANYTHING. However, there is not one instance that she doesn't know that FIRST and FOREMOST, I am her mother. When did we as a community decide that it was better to be concerned with our kids "liking" us and less about what MATTERS MOST! For example, I have an almost 13 year old daughter that isn't allowed to watch PG-13 movies, except in very RARE circumstances. For the most part, we check movie reviews with Plugged In from Focus on the Family BEFORE we watch most movies as a family (even PG or G). Adriana is just about the only one in her group at church that doesn't have her own facebook, yet. Why are so many parents signing up their children as young as elementary school age? Even if you CLOSELY watch your child and "protect" them from what they may see or who may see them, you still are teaching them it's OK to LIE. Facebook policy states you must be 13 . What are we teaching our kids by "fudging" their birth dates? I don't want to teach my daughter that's it's OK to lie just so she can fit in with her peers. Our kids are WATCHING every tiny thing we do. They see the good, bad, and ugly.....and I give her enough of the bad and ugly that I SURE don't want to add to it!
Kevin & I are also hard pressed to find other adults that choose not to socially drink alcohol. WE are no longer the "norm". We have MANY reasons of why WE choose not do, but our biggest reason comes back to that "do not be conformed" and believe it hurts our Christian witness. It's also about believing that we teach our children BEST by example.
The problem is that I feel when we make those "small" decisions that don't seem to really make much difference, we fail to realize that they set us up for the next step. Before long we will find that our comfort zone changes. What once gave us a pause in our conscience no longer even has a flicker.
I'm finding that happening especially in our choices of TV shows. At one point in our lives ANY usage of "poor" language....even the "softer" words.....bothered us. Now it seems to fly by without nearly an alarm going off unless it's one of those HUGE no-no words! I'm no longer comfortable with that. I'm not happy with myself in becoming "used" to language, images, and such on TV. I think it's time I step back and see where my own lines of black and white have turned to gray. As the song warns, be careful what your eyes see....... For example, I admit I LOVE the show Brother's & Sister's because I have always enjoyed some of the actresses and I find myself ALWAYS finding something to laugh about and get pulled into the "drama". However, I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed that I'm drawn into that world. A world I KNOW is wrong. A world that promotes MANY of the things I'm against in real life. Where did I cross my own line of black and white? At what point did I let little choices lead to compromise?
Perhaps the big question is where else is God going to lead me to show me that I've compromised? Where is he going to lead you? Are we going to listen to Him when he shows us REAL black and WHITE or are we going to walk in the gray? I guess I'm going to be finding myself being called "freak" more often, because I'd rather be listening to HIM than trying to fit into a world that no longer can see what is right and wrong. Sometimes it's going to be a painful choice, but the benefits FAR outweigh the temporary discomfort!