Raised in a Christian Home: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
I was raised in a Christian Home.
My parents taught me about a relationship of love and obedience to God…not a religious observance of a certain set of teachings.
I appreciate how unusual my childhood was. Religious households often embrace empty spiritual rituals. I have noticed kids of simply religious homes (regardless of what religion) tend to either fall in love with the structure and security of the belief system – continuing the tradition of a dead religion, or reject it as irrelevant – which it certainly is.
My home was not the dead religion kind of home.
First, the good.
The foundations of my life are solid! I cannot even describe what a blessing it is to have so much wisdom poured into my life from infancy…to be taught the power of prayer, the love of God, and the knowledge of scripture . . . just awesome!
I am grateful for the legacy I was fortunate enough to receive. People say I am a strong person, but whatever strength I have stems from my faith – demonstrated to me by my parents and grandparents, along with a bunch of aunts, uncles, and cousins in varying degrees.
But, there is some bad . . .
Since real faith is a personal rather than collective choice, a danger lurks in beautiful Christian homes; the danger of simply adopting the Christian lifestyle (because of your upbringing) without an actual relationship with God. The Christian life can be very appealing to a person raised in a truly happy and sincere Christian home.
Though my faith was genuine, for many years I loved the gifts more than the giver; the lifestyle more than the author of life. As strange as it may seem to some, I have always enjoyed church simply because I like other Christians (perfectly lovely when you fit in) and love to learn. I acted charitably toward people because it resulted in better communication and interactions. Everything just goes more smoothly when following Godly principles.
Enjoying the blessings of a Godly life is not wrong. (Check out the book of Proverbs!) But, when the focus shifts from being in love with God to being in love with the life He gives…that is a problem.
“Its gotta be more like falling in love, than something to believe in – more like losing my heart, than giving my allegiance….’cause all religion ever made of me was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet. It never set me free.”
And the ugly?
Well, for me I guess that would have to be God’s withdrawal to teach me to love Him more than His stuff.
With my idyllic upbringing, I embarked on adulthood fully expecting everything to be wonderful – with my hard work and dedication along with God in my corner – life would be awesome!
But, about three years into our marriage, my husband became addicted to drugs. (It might be a stretch to relate this period of time to being raised in a Christian home…but that is what happened, and we need an “ugly” to make the title work.)
Those next three years were a nightmare. This was NOT supposed to happen to ME. I was angry with my husband and with God for most of the three years. How could they do this to me? I did not deserve this! Etc., etc.
When I finally stopped telling God what He could and could not do, stopped crying and whining, and simply told God I was at the end of my rope…would he please do something for me…within one week God dramatically intervened in my husband’s life.
Even that did not look like I thought it would. (It started out with jail!) But I knew God was working and I began to discover a deeper relationship with God based on love, trust, and obedience…not following a formula to receive a prize.