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Home » CHFWeb Forum » HotTopics » bt. baby showers/ unwed moms.
bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753662] Fri, 15 June 2012 19:49 Go to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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baby showers / unwed moms[ 42 vote(s) ]
1.I am uncomfortable with them. 6 / 14%
2.I am in favor of them. 23 / 55%
3.somewhere in between. 13 / 31%

Are there any out there who are uncomfortable with baby showers for unwed moms? Let's make a poll.


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753664 is a reply to message #753662 ] Fri, 15 June 2012 19:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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I'll tell ya. I am uncomfortable with them. But i could just as easily say in between.

It is due to personal experience. Ive been so turned off by unwed births in my circle. They become lavish affairs and truely do seem to celebrate a very undisciplined lifestyle. Im not sure how much i should divulge about why i feel as i do.

Let's just say it is similar to the recent picture from pinterest that ive seen that says, something akin to * Gee, i wish i could afford an iphone like that lady in front of me in the checkout line who is paying with food stamps can*.

I have seen them done well within the church. But that has been rare.

I have just been so turned off by the life that happens after the shower. I will help the Mother and child. But i am not usually going to be going to the shower these days. I hope you all can forgive me.


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753669 is a reply to message #753662 ] Fri, 15 June 2012 20:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
K in nc  is currently offline K in nc
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I am in favor, because my only experience has been women of the church giving them for teens our very young women who needed to know they were still loved by God and the ladies around them.


Wife to the most wonderful man in the world for 27 years! Mom to the three most wonderful kids in the world! (well most of the time)
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753672 is a reply to message #753664 ] Fri, 15 June 2012 21:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
carolinec
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Dina wrote on Fri, 15 June 2012 18:55


It is due to personal experience. Ive been so turned off by unwed births in my circle. They become lavish affairs and truely do seem to celebrate a very undisciplined lifestyle. Im not sure how much i should divulge about why i feel as i do.

Let's just say it is similar to the recent picture from pinterest that ive seen that says, something akin to * Gee, i wish i could afford an iphone like that lady in front of me in the checkout line who is paying with food stamps can*.



Dina, you're put off by the many things unwed mothers are given, lavish things, while mothers who have "done it by the book" scrimp and save and have much less?

Is that the crux of your objection? I think it is from what I understand but please tell me if I'm wrong!

I get that it can bite a little when we work really hard to cover our costs and "do it right" and someone else doesn't, but gets lavish gifts and lots of attention. A little like when the prodigal son cames home and a party is thrown! But the prodigal son had already spent his inheritance - his pa may have loved him with al his heart, and celebrate him - but there was no changing his future was going to be that much harder than his brothers, whose inheritance was intact and whose future was secure. It's the same with these single women - a lavish party doesn't change the fact they (generally) will have to scrimp for the next 20 years (and likely the rest of their lives) in a way that married and partnered women aren't going have to. The long term picture is bleak -

Quote:

Poverty is widespread and severe in single mother families. According to the recently released Census Bureau data on poverty in 2010, people in single mother families had a poverty rate of 42.2% and an extreme poverty rate of 21.6%. Poverty means an income less than the official poverty standard, $14,570 for a family of two in 2010. Extreme poverty means an income less than half the poverty
standard.

Poverty rates are much higher for single mother families than for other households. The 42.2% poverty rate for people in single mother families was almost three times the 15.1% rate for the population as a whole, and was more than four times the 10.1% rate for people in married couple families. The 42.2% single mother rate was also much higher than the 25.6% poverty rate for people in single father families.

from: http://www.ncdsv.org/images/LM_SingleMotherPovertyInTheUS-20 10_9-15-2011.pdf

A party before their baby is born doesn't change the underlying reality of their situation. Maybe it cushions them from the worst for a short period. Rather like the woman's iphone: it doesn't change she's using food stamps. And when you've paid down your land and car, she'll still likely be on food stamps. It's ok to envy the iphone or the gifts (and I would LOVE an iphone!) but I would much rather my lot with its stability and slow, incremental, loving progress than flash in the pan lavish parties, and lonely nights.

Anyway... I'm... torn about baby showers, mothers wed or not! They're not so big over here anyway. I want to participate when I know that the parent(s) aren't able to provide what their new one needs: if the parents are comfortable, then they don't need me buying things; they will get those things themselves (and they will, because baby!!). As a general rule, when I know that mom and dad are doing ok, I would rather get something special for mom - a bubble bath, or a hand cream or something like that. The baby is a wonderful gift, but we've all bene born. It's the mom that's doing the hard yards bearing and tending to her babe early on, I want to acknowledge that. But anyway - sorry, that's a total tangent.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753673 is a reply to message #753662 ] Fri, 15 June 2012 21:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
elliemaejune  is currently offline elliemaejune
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I'm somewhere in between.

On the one hand, the birth of every baby is wonderful and worth celebrating.

On the other hand, if the woman is, say, a member of a church, and is pregnant because of purposeful behavior, and she's unrepentant, and has no plans to marry the father...see, I might be able to give her presents, but to officially have a shower...maybe not.


Born again since 1974
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years
Mom to 2 amazing grown-up dds and 2 dsil
Grandmother to 1 beautiful baby boy

A kitten dies every time you use an apostrophe to pluralize.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753686 is a reply to message #753664 ] Sat, 16 June 2012 05:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Quote:

* Gee, i wish i could afford an iphone like that lady in front of me in the checkout line who is paying with food stamps can*.




Complete bunny trail, but remember that our food stamp system is totally messed up and not really geared toward what it needs to be geared for...and if people use it "correctly" that might not be such an unusual thing.

For instance, just before graduating from seminary, dh lost his job and ultimately, we signed up for food stamps. First, we were spending about $120/month on groceries (including diapers and paper products, etc.). They said our choice was $440 for food only, or nothing. There is no mechanism to say, "I only need the $120, you can give the other $320 to other families. Second, we were having an unexpected baby and had outgrown our car, so had to get a larger vehicle of some sort. So after a few months on the food stamps, dh graduated, got a secure job, and we bought a (mostly) new vehicle. So, you might well have seen ME using up the last of the food stamps while driving up in a van that would make you raise your eyebrows. That was our last "batch" of stamps and we went on to be productive citizens. Smile

So...that's hard to judge sometimes. (And if you had an iPhone before getting in a position to lose a job or whatever, you may as well keep it if you're under contract, because you may not be able to afford to buy out your contract...the $25/month is much cheaper than up to a $600 lump sum to pay for the phone and the buy-out fee--it's another stupid situation).

Anyway...I totally get it and I'm guessing that the VAST majority of folks you see like that are probably taking advantage of the situation...but there are a lot of reasons why things might be different than they appear, not the least of which is that our government is such a ridiculous bureaucracy that it can't even have it's employees make logical decisions.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753687 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sat, 16 June 2012 05:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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I put "uncomfortable." I would *act* on the fact that it's not the baby's fault that his mother made bad choices, and with abortion being so very commonplace, I believe it is a very good thing to celebrate the fact that the mother chose to give life to the baby. Every baby needs to be celebrated!

The part that makes me uncomfortable is that so often the sin part really is glossed over and there is no repentance. I want to see folks minister to the mother in a way that leads to repentance. The Bible does teach that God's kindness leads us to repentance, and that is another reason to have the shower. When church people look down on and snub an unwed mother, it turns her away and makes us comfortable in our own arrogance. I don't see any examples in scripture of Jesus snubbing or "Lording it over" even the worst of sinners.

I do hope that when churches are having showers for unwed mothers that some older women are coming alongside her in a Titus Two/discipleship sort of way, for her benefit. (I have seen churches handle this in a marvelously redemptive way...it's amazing when done right!), as opposed to just having a shower and leaving her on her own.

[Updated on: Sat, 16 June 2012 05:40]


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753713 is a reply to message #753669 ] Sat, 16 June 2012 11:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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K in nc wrote on Fri, 15 June 2012 19:47

I am in favor, because my only experience has been women of the church giving them for teens our very young women who needed to know they were still loved by God and the ladies around them.


Kim, i was thinking about your beautiful OP after my late night posting. I do think that it is / can be quite Christlike to give a shower, expecting nothing back. Perhaps that is easier to do when you do not know the gal all that well. Or when you will not know the gal afterwards all so well. Or if the girl is truely open to discipleship.

Also, Re: pregnant brides.... I am all in favor!! Things happen! And I celebrate marriage AND babies! I think that I am in a place where i would much rather celebrate the wedding of an expectant couple than a lavish baby shower.


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753714 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sat, 16 June 2012 11:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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Lisa wrote: The part that makes me uncomfortable is that so often the sin part really is glossed over and there is no repentance.

Yes. this is a part of my issue.

The iphone comment was just my way of not going into actual detail. Im sure that many of you can at least get your head around why i feel as i do. The iphone comment was probably too general and too much of a bunny trail, and really does sound rather mean spirited. That wasnt my intent.

I think that id like to see women come along side an unwed mother, but to use the time and money in more practical ways for her. I do not like to see gals get 20 and 30 newborn dresses etc. That is so wasteful and totally makes the gal feel like a princess for the day, sure, but is that really helpful or ministering to her?


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753717 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sat, 16 June 2012 11:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
K in nc  is currently offline K in nc
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It is not my job to be someone's holy spirit, it is my job to love them with the love Jesus has for them, or at least to the best of my ability. (this does not mean I approve of the lifestyle or choices etc)

In the particular situation I am in, the young gal knows the right way, she is just running. So, I choose to ere on the side of too much grace, and trust the Spirit to woo her back to him.


Wife to the most wonderful man in the world for 27 years! Mom to the three most wonderful kids in the world! (well most of the time)
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753725 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sat, 16 June 2012 15:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mary Jo  is currently offline Mary Jo
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Uggggg.... I read "I am comfortable with them" and voted wrong.

I am totally fine with them " ) I often feel sorry for the single mother becuase her sin is so evident. I'm glad the consequences of my sin do not grow into a large obvious sign for the world to judge and see.
But... a beautiful, adorable little baby comes along so it's not all bad.
We ALL sin and WE are ALL forgiven when we repent.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753727 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sat, 16 June 2012 16:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SkiGirl
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I think I am comfortable because of the fact that it is VERY easy to choose not to be pregnant through means of abortion. It seems double minded to say that you're against abortion, but not give support a woman who chooses not to.

I have only known one person personally who wanted to be a mama and didn't care about having a husband or even a boyfriend. And she told me this was her plan. I was good, good friends with her and I think part of it had to do with how her dad treated her. I think she wanted to prove or at least show a child that she could be different. By the time she was 22, she had three kids by three different fathers very close together. And it was not hard to get an abortion back then and there were lots of resources. To me, the whole thing was sad, but she was thrilled. She did eventually marry...

But I think most women don't choose to be a mom without any kind of support. I think they find themselves in a situation and it is very difficult to choose to kill or give your baby away. I lost a child so I cannot imagine how I could choose that. The girl I mentioned who was disowned...she had chosen adoption, but when it came to that point, she just couldn't do it.

I think giving to them is how we can show them Christ's love when their families and friends sometimes do not. And a way we can cheer them on for choosing the right thing. Sure they got there because they made a bad choice. But I don't think conception is ever an accident. So I believe that those lives have a purpose.


Rebecca
Married to my best friend and mommy to 6.

Daily given more Grace than I will ever deserve....




Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753730 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sat, 16 June 2012 17:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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So this IS a hot topic! Wink

You all make beautiful points! Honest. I have been there and i even do hear what you are saying. I am glad that there are those of you who do feel so comfortable with the idea. I am sure that many young ladies will be blessed.

I, however, would like to have the option of declining the invitation without judgement as well.

I have often thought about how the church deals with abortion and unwed mothers. I am totally opposed to abortion. I have see the young gal choose life, and the church have the shower.... and a couple of things often leave me wondering from there...

1. The young gal gets the impression that all of these people are supporting her and will stand by her. In the end, in reality, few do. Very often, the few who do stand by her are just burned out beyond measure before they back off.

2. The church at large feels triumphant that the woman has chosen life. But no one mentors her from there. Or she does not want to be mentored. I often wonder why the church doesnt minister more in counseling young women towards adoption. Or why the church doesnt more actively take a role in teaching women how to parent, seek employment, manage finances, choose to not get pregnant a second and third time, etc.

At the very least, maybe this discussion will help you to feel more gracious to ladies who would prefer to not attend a shower. Some of us feel better celebrating the birth in ways that feel, to us, more practical and private.


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753735 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sat, 16 June 2012 19:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mary Jo  is currently offline Mary Jo
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I would never notice who comes and who does not to the baby shower. I am organizing a Baby Shower for a young lady who clearly went against all my counsel! She is now VERY REPENTANT and she is very forgiven.

Choosing to stay in our church was very embarrassing, very humiliating and hard for her to do.

She is a difficult person to begin with and has a lot of growing up to do. She is willing and eager to learn but I have no guarantee she will do the right thing as far as attitude and becoming Godly. I think loving people is risky and God loves me regardless of my faults.

I have not turned my back on her becuase she needs advice, wisdom and training in how to be a good mother.

I have no idea how things will turn out but I am glad many Christians and God have stood by me even when I was foolish or sinful and allowed me the grace to grow and mature.

I personally would never judge anybody for not being on the same page as I am or for not coming to the baby shower. There will be ladies that will wonder why I give this girl and baby shower. I am the pastors wife and these ladies will judge me. I have learned to ignore things like that and do what God has put in my heart to do with a smile on my face. For those ladies that have a problem with it I will allow them their opinion and just stay out of it.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753737 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sat, 16 June 2012 20:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
K in nc  is currently offline K in nc
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In my particular situation, our church is not giving her the shower. We do not do showers for anyone. However, ladies who know the grandmother, and the girl are giving her the shower.

Whether this girl is repentant or not, I don't know. Will she come to full repentance? I don't know. But that is between her and her Lord, not her and me.

The bottom line in my situation is that I felt a nudge to do this, and I had to move on that nudge.


Wife to the most wonderful man in the world for 27 years! Mom to the three most wonderful kids in the world! (well most of the time)
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753741 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sat, 16 June 2012 21:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mary Jo  is currently offline Mary Jo
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Our church does not give baby showers either. I am doing this on my own becuase there was so much controversy and bad feelings over this girl I know nobody else will.

She is a young women who was abandoned and abused as a child and since then she has made some very unwise decisions. She was a Christian when she became pregnant and I warned her before hand that was where she was headed. I am very firm and honest with her. She has taken a lot of rebukes from me and is willing to change and get right. She drives me a bit nuts becuase she is so needy but I have drawn very firm boundaries with her.
She is a wounded person who needs God, firm lines, and lots of love.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753743 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 04:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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Kim and Mary Jo, You are sweethearts! And Mary Jo, it is clear that you have a ministry to young girls!

We should absolutely follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

This has me thinking: Is a baby shower the necessary way in which to show the love of Christ? IOW might someone who is not comfortable with a shower in this situation still be showing the love of Christ?


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753746 is a reply to message #753687 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 05:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
praise2christ  is currently offline praise2christ
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Lisa R. wrote on Sat, 16 June 2012 05:35


The part that makes me uncomfortable is that so often the sin part really is glossed over and there is no repentance.


I want to challenge this a little. How do you know there is no real repentance? Of course, if they continue in the sin without a care, you might know. But, I want to make sure that no one thinks that because they aren't acting weepy and ashamed throughout the entire pregnancy, they aren't repentant. I'm not saying you are, just that this is a distinction that we should be careful to make.

I mentioned in the other post that I got pregnant while DH and I were engaged. I spent the first few months in tears whenever I was alone. I poured my heart out to God and asked for forgiveness. But, no one saw that. By the time most people knew I was pregnant, I had already confessed and God had worked on my heart. There were some people who were close to me who saw my regret and that I was still beating myself up. But, most people never saw that.

Some people could easily have thought I wasn't repentant if they were looking for me to constantly be showing remorse on the outside. But, they didn't know my heart or what went on when I was alone. This would probably be particularly true by the time my baby shower rolled around. By then I was actually excited about being pregnant! I was going to have two babies, I could feel them growing inside me, and I was looking forward to holding them and being a mother. No one would have known the conflict I felt because I felt guilty that I was bringing them into the world this way and I would someday have to explain that to them.

I just want to make sure we are careful not to say, "If it doesn't look like this, it isn't real repentance."


Stacy, mom to 11-year-old boy/girl twins and a three-year-old boy.

"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." Hans Christian Andersen
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753747 is a reply to message #753746 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 05:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Quote:

I just want to make sure we are careful not to say, "If it doesn't look like this, it isn't real repentance."


Oh absolutely! I wasn't even particularly speaking of the woman herself, but the church. And one reason I struggled with answering this poll has to do with the fact that I can't make any blanket statements, but would determine my own comfort level on a case by case basis, and that not because of how things appear to ME.

I have seen situations where church folks are so relieved that there is not going to be an abortion that they "celebrate the baby" without any ministry to the mother at all. In fact, I've seen a young unwed mother who was hired by the church to work in the nursery, but was essentially viewed as a sort of servant, whose personal life was nobody's business. She wasn't invited to church events, unless she was paid to keep nursery. She was essentially shunned by the church, and went on to have 2 more babies out of wedlock while very few in the church even made an effort to know her on a personal level (I was one of those, which is how I know what I know).


I saw another situation where a young girl was about to have an abortion. I was blessed to be a part of turning her from that decision. However, she came from a strong Christian family. There was talk about marriage, but her father said that they would not automatically married just because the committed the sin...long story, short, they went through some counseling together, dealt biblically with their sin, and had a glorious wedding in which they celebrated their reconciliation with the Lord, their love and their upcoming family. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!

I know a little of the story, because I was peripherally involved. I'm sure there are folks who didn't have much of a clue, other than some oblique comments about it at the wedding.

And now this woman is happily married, with two kids, and is such a joyful, well-adjusted young woman.

There are so many situations....and you are so right, that what appears on the outside to strangers has nothing to do with real repentance! But I have run into many in the church who are so eagerly pro-life, and so eager to prevent young girls from abortion that they jump on the "love on the young mom" viewpoint that they forget that the sin needs to be repented. Someone, somewhere along the line, should be as concerned about the mother's relationship to the Lord as they are about the birth of the baby. Because it is incredibly easy to be so joyful about the new baby that the mom is allowed to go right on never hearing about the forgiveness that is in Christ.

And that is my point...not that *I* need to see some evidence of repentance or else I will continue to have a judgmental attitude toward the mom. Not at all!! But that when sin is glossed over, forgiveness is often missed, and the mother either doesn't know the Lord or lives with unnecessary secret guilt and shame.

It may be that I have a certain idea of the term "love on," which is not a term I use myself. But real love must lead people back to Christ, not just stop with overlooking sin for the sake of a blessed baby! It's the mother's relationship with Christ and the church that concerns me about how *I've seen* some folks do it. I'm sure many of the folks here are not in that camp, and I'm glad of it.

Anyway...does that help any? I'm afraid I'm probably still not articulating myself properly.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753751 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 07:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tracy in Peru  is currently offline Tracy in Peru
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I go back and forth.

I have no problem with giving gifts to an unwed mother. She should have advice and be shown the love of Christ. There should be no shunning of someone who is recieving a blessing from God and chose life. Meals arranged after the birth, etc. I have no issue with at all.

However, I am not entirely comfortable with a church sponsored baby shower. The baby isn't there, the gifts aren't for the mom, it seems too, brazen? forward? in your face? I don't know--there is some word I am looking for....

If a friend or titus 2 woman wanted to host a low key shower for the moms-to-be closest few friends and the grandma-to-be I think that would be a lot more appropriate.

.....ducking for cover.....


In Him--Tracy
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753752 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 07:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mary Jo  is currently offline Mary Jo
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The lady I am dealing with is about 30 and has some major character flaws and huge rejection issues. She is working on them and growing. I am doing a very discreet, small baby shower for her. I would never know the reasons why certain people do not attend and I will never ask.

If a church group was against me doing this and became vocal I would confront them and ask them why? To be honest since this is small event I am organizing in my house I would see it as none of their business and ask them to stop talking about it. I would still do the baby shower as I am not easily swayed by peoples "opinions" even in my own church.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753753 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 07:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa T.  is currently offline Lisa T.
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Our church doesn't give showers for anyone...but they do run a program for pregnant and parenting teens, young women, and even young couples to help them prepare for the birth and care of the baby. This assistance extends to spiritual counseling, child care classes, help with needed medical care, assistance in finding work and child care, training in handling finances, and anything else the young family might need. It is a very extensive program, and even offers housing for certain situations. This help extends for as long as the family needs it.

I'm a member (as you may know) of a very liturgical denomination. This denomination has a long history of delivering this sort of assistance to unmarried mothers and young couples in need. We have extensive resources, which is probably very different from a single non-denominational church or some of the denoms that are structured for each little church to govern itself....


Lisa T.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753772 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 15:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
K in nc  is currently offline K in nc
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I should say, my "ministry" to this young woman is really just the shower. I don't feel lead to do much else. We will see how things go. Apparently one of her friends wants to throw her a big ole huge shower and invite "everyone". This friend is not a good influence, but what do you do? She is an adult. M, the one who is pregnant, told me what her friends plans were. And i said for her to just let me know what they decided to do.

In retrospect, after thinking about it a bit, I will probably tell her that She and her friend can do whatever they want. But i would still like to do a shower for her myself (with a few other ladies). Maybe a different kind of shower, a diaper and wipes shower instead of a "general" one. The focus as the one myself and the other ladies will throw will be very different than this friend of hers, and I think she is in need of that angle as well.


Wife to the most wonderful man in the world for 27 years! Mom to the three most wonderful kids in the world! (well most of the time)
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753779 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 16:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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I've been thinking my about my comments throughout the day, trying to figure out what's bugging me.

Here's what I think I've come up with...the question is too broad. There are too many "ifs" to make a blanket statement. I'm too much of a "case-by-case" kind of girl.

So...I think I would feel uncomfortable about attending church showers for unwed mothers in general. No one here seems to attend a church that gives/sponsors showers in general like that, so maybe that is completely irrelevant. But, if "showers for unwed mothers" were a ministry of the church, it would not likely be the ministry where I plugged in.

But if I personally knew an unwed mother, and had enough contact with her to know where she stood spiritually (i.e., had some idea of her repentance, etc.), then I might well be pleased to give her a shower myself, and certainly to attend one.

For strangers, I'd rather be more low key, and simply give practical gifts and an encouraging card.

So...still very much an "it depends," but I'm definitely not opposed to the idea in a blanket sort of way. I commend anyone, repentant or not, for saving the life of a baby who had no part in the sin!


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753791 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 17:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Leigh  is currently offline Leigh
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I'm with Lisa R. It depends. There have been some people for whom I was happy to celebrate and support. On the other hand, there are others I didn't want to celebrate.

Last year a coworker became pregnant and proceeded to be a Momzilla. The supervisors put on a baby shower for her and spent a lot of money and effort to do it. We were more or less forced to participate. Not only was coworker snooty, but she did not thank us by sending notes or even at the event. We were all highly offended by her behavior.

When she gets married this year I will NOT participate in a shower beyond a card as a courtesy, nor will I attend the wedding. I have another coworker getting married about that time whom I will celebrate and gift.


Leigh
Tennessee

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

~~Benjamin Franklin

Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753802 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 18:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
K in nc  is currently offline K in nc
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I am finding this whole discussion quite fascinating. Thank you for your opening and honesty!


Wife to the most wonderful man in the world for 27 years! Mom to the three most wonderful kids in the world! (well most of the time)
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753806 is a reply to message #753779 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 19:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara K (NC)
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Lisa R. wrote on Sun, 17 June 2012 16:30



But if I personally knew an unwed mother, and had enough contact with her to know where she stood spiritually (i.e., had some idea of her repentance, etc.), then I might well be pleased to give her a shower myself, and certainly to attend one.





Just for the sake of discussion....

If you knew that a bride-to-be had slept with her fiance, would you apply the same standard or expectation before you'd attend a bridal shower for her?

And discussing this a little more....

What if it was a different sin. If someone frequently fell into the sin of gluttony, would you make any shower or party attendance dependent on their state of repentence?

I'm not asking combatively. Really! I'm curious. It seems to me that we often categorize sins....especially if the consequences are visible, like a pregnancy.

I never hear discussions of whether the bride has sufficiently repented of her gossiping before we can throw a bridal shower. Or whether we can attend a birthday party thrown to honor a woman who harbors bitterness in her heart.

Is there a solid biblical precedent for needing to know whether someone has sufficiently repented of a sin before we give them gifts? And does that apply to all sin or just premarital sex that leads to pregnancy?

Coming back to edit: I'm really not FEELING antagonistic or adversarial. I'm trying to figure these things out and that's where my questions are coming from. Please forgive me if it sounds like I'm trying to pick a fight because I'm not. I'm just wanting more discussion on this.

[Updated on: Sun, 17 June 2012 20:02]


Barbara K (NC)

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Cor 9:8


Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753811 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 20:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
K in nc  is currently offline K in nc
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Thank you Barbara, I have some of your same questions.


Wife to the most wonderful man in the world for 27 years! Mom to the three most wonderful kids in the world! (well most of the time)
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753812 is a reply to message #753662 ] Sun, 17 June 2012 20:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mary Jo  is currently offline Mary Jo
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Great questions Barbara " )
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753819 is a reply to message #753806 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 02:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa T.  is currently offline Lisa T.
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Barbara K (NC) wrote on Sun, 17 June 2012 18:50



Is there a solid biblical precedent for needing to know whether someone has sufficiently repented of a sin before we give them gifts?




WWJD?

[Updated on: Mon, 18 June 2012 02:29]


Lisa T.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753844 is a reply to message #753806 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 07:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Barbara...I don't know...good food for thought. I need to think them through, as they are good questions.

But bear in mind that I'm answering the question that asks, "are you uncomfortable with..."

My comfort level rarely has anything to do with my actions. Smile

[Updated on: Mon, 18 June 2012 07:01]


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753845 is a reply to message #753844 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 07:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara K (NC)
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Lisa R. wrote on Mon, 18 June 2012 07:00

Barbara...I don't know...good food for thought. I need to think them through, as they are good questions.

But bear in mind that I'm answering the question that asks, "are you uncomfortable with..."

My comfort level rarely has anything to do with my actions. Smile


Lisa, the reason I feel comfortable asking those questions is because I AM confident that you'll do what God calls you to do regardless of your comfort level.

As a side note, we've had some very lively discussions in our home the last day or two because of this topic. I love how often interesting discussions HERE wind up continuing with my grown kids around the dinner table.


Barbara K (NC)

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Cor 9:8


Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753850 is a reply to message #753845 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 07:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Barbara, my time for thinking about these things is limited, but I really do think about them...sometimes it's an isue of needing to really think my thoughts through, and challenge "what I've always believed," and sometimes it's a matter of articulation.

But here are a few thoughts that have trickled in since I read your post...

First, if we're dealing with non-Christians, none of it matters...I don't hold them to Christian standards, as they don't know any better.

Second, we all sin, of course. Mt. 18 and other passages dealing with "sinful brothers" aren't talking about the occasional sin that we fall into, nor are they talking about sins that we are fighting and struggling against. Jesus told us we're to forgive our brother 'seventy times seven" when forgiveness is asked.

I suspect my issues have more to do with certain folks I've run across in my own life who claim the name of Christ, but FLAUNT their sin. And maybe those situations are not common enough for me to be letting them influence a principle I'm trying to draw.

What I'm struggling with articulating, perhaps because it's a false or irrelevant distinction, is that I want to know that someone recognizes the sin before I celebrate the consequence of it....but I don't want to set myself up as judge, because that's not my place. So...I see that I am talking in circles because what I'm saying *requires* me to be the judge that I cannot be, nor do I want to be.

I'm thinking more like Leigh, of people who are entrenched in their sin, don't see a problem with it, don't learn their lesson, continue in the sinful behavior AND want all the benefits of fellowshiping in the church body.

And probably nobody else is looking at things that way. And maybe I shouldn't be, either, because so many young ladies in the church who find themselves in that situation really ARE repentant and saddened and really are doing the right thing...so the conversation is a general one dealing with "most" situations and I'm looking at one particular negative one.

Still thinking...


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753855 is a reply to message #753850 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 08:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara K (NC)
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Lisa R. wrote on Mon, 18 June 2012 07:42

Barbara, my time for thinking about these things is limited, but I really do think about them...sometimes it's an isue of needing to really think my thoughts through, and challenge "what I've always believed," and sometimes it's a matter of articulation.

But here are a few thoughts that have trickled in since I read your post...

First, if we're dealing with non-Christians, none of it matters...I don't hold them to Christian standards, as they don't know any better.

Second, we all sin, of course. Mt. 18 and other passages dealing with "sinful brothers" aren't talking about the occasional sin that we fall into, nor are they talking about sins that we are fighting and struggling against. Jesus told us we're to forgive our brother 'seventy times seven" when forgiveness is asked.

I suspect my issues have more to do with certain folks I've run across in my own life who claim the name of Christ, but FLAUNT their sin. And maybe those situations are not common enough for me to be letting them influence a principle I'm trying to draw.

What I'm struggling with articulating, perhaps because it's a false or irrelevant distinction, is that I want to know that someone recognizes the sin before I celebrate the consequence of it....but I don't want to set myself up as judge, because that's not my place. So...I see that I am talking in circles because what I'm saying *requires* me to be the judge that I cannot be, nor do I want to be.

I'm thinking more like Leigh, of people who are entrenched in their sin, don't see a problem with it, don't learn their lesson, continue in the sinful behavior AND want all the benefits of fellowshiping in the church body.

And probably nobody else is looking at things that way. And maybe I shouldn't be, either, because so many young ladies in the church who find themselves in that situation really ARE repentant and saddened and really are doing the right thing...so the conversation is a general one dealing with "most" situations and I'm looking at one particular negative one.

Still thinking...


And it raises yet another question...how do we know if an unplanned pregnancy is the result of entrenched, flaunted sin or a result of one occasion of failure. It does, actually, only take once to get pregnant. And while I'm aware that there are plenty of gals (I knew some when I was young!) who insisted that they'd "only done it once" when that was patently not true....still, the question remains of how can we know if it's entrenched, ongoing sin or something that the girl (and guy) wrestle with and fall into (because of weakness or foolishness.)



Barbara K (NC)

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Cor 9:8


Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753859 is a reply to message #753855 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 08:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Well...you don't, and you don't know what their spiritual condition is, nor whether they've repented or not...which is what makes it difficult to go from a theoretical discussion to action.

The action I'd take would always assume the best of the person unless I had reason to think(know) otherwise.

In theory, there are other things to consider such as the idea of confronting our brother's sin and so forth.

What is it Kevin Megill (I think) posted...in theory, there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. Smile

So...unless I had reason to be "in the know," I don't see that there would be any other choice, but to believe the best and go from there.

We're more likely to win someone to the Lord and to repentance by showing kindness and the love of the Father than we are to be harsh and confrontational. (Harsh really has no place). So, always best to err on the side of kindness and gentleness and let the Lord handle the hearts.

[Updated on: Mon, 18 June 2012 08:45]


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753872 is a reply to message #753753 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 09:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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Lisa T. wrote on Sun, 17 June 2012 06:49

Our church doesn't give showers for anyone...but they do run a program for pregnant and parenting teens, young women, and even young couples to help them prepare for the birth and care of the baby. This assistance extends to spiritual counseling, child care classes, help with needed medical care, assistance in finding work and child care, training in handling finances, and anything else the young family might need. It is a very extensive program, and even offers housing for certain situations. This help extends for as long as the family needs it.

I'm a member (as you may know) of a very liturgical denomination. This denomination has a long history of delivering this sort of assistance to unmarried mothers and young couples in need. We have extensive resources, which is probably very different from a single non-denominational church or some of the denoms that are structured for each little church to govern itself....


Lisa, I love your church! Based on how you have described it a few times here on the boards!!


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753875 is a reply to message #753747 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 09:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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Lisa R. wrote on Sun, 17 June 2012 04:40

Quote:

I just want to make sure we are careful not to say, "If it doesn't look like this, it isn't real repentance."


Oh absolutely! I wasn't even particularly speaking of the woman herself, but the church. And one reason I struggled with answering this poll has to do with the fact that I can't make any blanket statements, but would determine my own comfort level on a case by case basis, and that not because of how things appear to ME.

I have seen situations where church folks are so relieved that there is not going to be an abortion that they "celebrate the baby" without any ministry to the mother at all. In fact, I've seen a young unwed mother who was hired by the church to work in the nursery, but was essentially viewed as a sort of servant, whose personal life was nobody's business. She wasn't invited to church events, unless she was paid to keep nursery. She was essentially shunned by the church, and went on to have 2 more babies out of wedlock while very few in the church even made an effort to know her on a personal level (I was one of those, which is how I know what I know).


I saw another situation where a young girl was about to have an abortion. I was blessed to be a part of turning her from that decision. However, she came from a strong Christian family. There was talk about marriage, but her father said that they would not automatically married just because the committed the sin...long story, short, they went through some counseling together, dealt biblically with their sin, and had a glorious wedding in which they celebrated their reconciliation with the Lord, their love and their upcoming family. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!

I know a little of the story, because I was peripherally involved. I'm sure there are folks who didn't have much of a clue, other than some oblique comments about it at the wedding.

And now this woman is happily married, with two kids, and is such a joyful, well-adjusted young woman.

There are so many situations....and you are so right, that what appears on the outside to strangers has nothing to do with real repentance! But I have run into many in the church who are so eagerly pro-life, and so eager to prevent young girls from abortion that they jump on the "love on the young mom" viewpoint that they forget that the sin needs to be repented. Someone, somewhere along the line, should be as concerned about the mother's relationship to the Lord as they are about the birth of the baby. Because it is incredibly easy to be so joyful about the new baby that the mom is allowed to go right on never hearing about the forgiveness that is in Christ.

And that is my point...not that *I* need to see some evidence of repentance or else I will continue to have a judgmental attitude toward the mom. Not at all!! But that when sin is glossed over, forgiveness is often missed, and the mother either doesn't know the Lord or lives with unnecessary secret guilt and shame.

It may be that I have a certain idea of the term "love on," which is not a term I use myself. But real love must lead people back to Christ, not just stop with overlooking sin for the sake of a blessed baby! It's the mother's relationship with Christ and the church that concerns me about how *I've seen* some folks do it. I'm sure many of the folks here are not in that camp, and I'm glad of it.

Anyway...does that help any? I'm afraid I'm probably still not articulating myself properly.


Lisa. Thank you! This was very well stated, as was the post afterwards. I so agree with how youve articulated it!

Kim, thank you for opening this topic up! To be honest, my more recent memories are the Big ole huge shower where everyone is invited and the decorations and food are just too much. Quite a turn off to me, especially, when as Leigh mentioned, you are made to feel like you must attend because you are family or church family.

This is the sort of thing that i am opposed to.

I would certainly celebrate at a shower, if the situation were different... if there were true repentance, if there were true ministry happening, and if it didnt have to be a Cecil B Demills event.


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Long ... sorry ... this is not a vent, but kind of a brain dump... [message #753878 is a reply to message #753662 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 10:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
K in nc  is currently offline K in nc
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I don't know if I will go to the one that the friend throws for her or not.

If I did, it would be to show my love for this gal, and for her grandma (who is one of my closest friends) and for her mom (who is basically watching history repeat itself in her daughter with the exception of the father, her daddy stayed around, this boyfriend -now x- has been the ultimate jerk!). The gals mom only attends church on Christmas and Easter, and only cause it means so much to her mom, the grandma.

This family needs to see that "church" people are not going to snub or shun her daughter cause she did something stupid. And, this young woman needs to see that the church is a safe place for her to come, and that we will love and accept her, regardless.

We have an unmarried couple with a young child who attends pretty regularly. The man was baptized last year. Our pastor preaches about marriage and not sleeping with those you are not married too. The keep on attending. If she got pregnant again, I would attend and probably help do something for her too. Yep, even as she continues to claim christ as savior and live in sin.

We have a man who is a homosexual, he recently came out in a discussion on facebook that he thought was private, but was on his actual page. He is married to a gal, his son is also gay and sometimes comes to services. The family is irate at this man who continues to attend, put his wife through pain at his words, but he is still welcome. Those of us who know the situation continue to pray for God's grace and mercy and for this man to come around. Our pastor preaches about homosexuality being wrong, with truth and love, but firmness. He keeps on attending, claiming Christ and yet supporting sin.

I could go on and on. But suffice it to say, our church is filled with people who regularly claim Christ and live in sin. We have liars, cheaters, those who gossip, those who lust, people ensnared in addition to prescription drugs, those who have anger issues, those filled with pride...should I go on? ...

I guess the reason I say all that, is our pastor while preaching the truth, and holding people to account, trusts God to be the one who convicts of sin, and asks the Spirit to move on peoples hearts, while he shows grace...and encourages us to do the same. We are all in process. And while there are times when sin must be called out and confronted, and it is when deemed necessary, sometimes we just need to let the Holy Spirit do the convicting and us do the living and loving in His name.

I know it can be such a slippery slope, and there are things where I would probably draw the line in regards to "events" that I would attend, and then there is the whole other issue of service, teaching or being in authority over others, but I am trying to live in such a way that I can only be accused of giving to much grace, than not enough.

I read a book once called "no perfect people allowed". It was a good read and I highly recommend it when thinking through how to love and serve those around us, believers and unbelievers.

Please don't read this as an angry response, just kind of brain dump unloading after days of thought...


Wife to the most wonderful man in the world for 27 years! Mom to the three most wonderful kids in the world! (well most of the time)
Re: bt. baby showers/ unwed moms. [message #753892 is a reply to message #753662 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 11:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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Barb, the difference for me is that there is a real, human baby involved. ( eta. as opposed to the married couple who had lived together. In this case, the only ones affected are themselves. I would celebrate a marriage.... and my thinking would be that they are looking to the church and choosing to make it right)

Now, at first glance,that in it self seems reason to celebrate! And it is! But the shower is not for the baby, other than to make sure that the baby has a place to sleep and has his/ her physical needs met temporarily. The shower is really for the mother- to- be.

All too often, these showers are held for people who are not actually a part of the church, and who are , in essence, repeat offenders. I feel like the shower makes the young girl feel fully accepted and on par with the other mother's in the church as she is,with no need to change. I feel that the shower does , in many instances, condone and encourage a certain lifestyle. The babies get tossed around all of their childhood, between families, thru disputes involving the legal system and move in and out of foster care. It can become quite a mess.

In this sort of situation, I would much rather counsel, and encourage this young lady toward a fruitful life for both her and baby. Of course, that needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis. In many cases, as a ministry to the baby, the truly loving thing to do is to encourage adoption. This is also a ministry to the young Mama who has no idea what is ahead. I'd prefer to see the church,more times than not, come along side and make the main focus discipling her and helping her to find / develop skills/ work/ education/ right thinking / grief work regarding giving up baby and all that comes with that. Then....In the end, just maybe we would see more of these girls get out of the cycle of multiple unwed births.

That is the difference for me, Barb. But great question!!

Remember, the poll asks if you are uncomfortable with these showers....it doesnt specify that you might never attend or throw one.

[Updated on: Mon, 18 June 2012 11:10]


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: Long ... sorry ... this is not a vent, but kind of a brain dump... [message #753893 is a reply to message #753878 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 11:07 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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K in nc wrote on Mon, 18 June 2012 09:09

I don't know if I will go to the one that the friend throws for her or not.

If I did, it would be to show my love for this gal, and for her grandma (who is one of my closest friends) and for her mom (who is basically watching history repeat itself in her daughter with the exception of the father, her daddy stayed around, this boyfriend -now x- has been the ultimate jerk!). The gals mom only attends church on Christmas and Easter, and only cause it means so much to her mom, the grandma.

This family needs to see that "church" people are not going to snub or shun her daughter cause she did something stupid. And, this young woman needs to see that the church is a safe place for her to come, and that we will love and accept her, regardless.

We have an unmarried couple with a young child who attends pretty regularly. The man was baptized last year. Our pastor preaches about marriage and not sleeping with those you are not married too. The keep on attending. If she got pregnant again, I would attend and probably help do something for her too. Yep, even as she continues to claim christ as savior and live in sin.

We have a man who is a homosexual, he recently came out in a discussion on facebook that he thought was private, but was on his actual page. He is married to a gal, his son is also gay and sometimes comes to services. The family is irate at this man who continues to attend, put his wife through pain at his words, but he is still welcome. Those of us who know the situation continue to pray for God's grace and mercy and for this man to come around. Our pastor preaches about homosexuality being wrong, with truth and love, but firmness. He keeps on attending, claiming Christ and yet supporting sin.

I could go on and on. But suffice it to say, our church is filled with people who regularly claim Christ and live in sin. We have liars, cheaters, those who gossip, those who lust, people ensnared in addition to prescription drugs, those who have anger issues, those filled with pride...should I go on? ...

I guess the reason I say all that, is our pastor while preaching the truth, and holding people to account, trusts God to be the one who convicts of sin, and asks the Spirit to move on peoples hearts, while he shows grace...and encourages us to do the same. We are all in process. And while there are times when sin must be called out and confronted, and it is when deemed necessary, sometimes we just need to let the Holy Spirit do the convicting and us do the living and loving in His name.

I know it can be such a slippery slope, and there are things where I would probably draw the line in regards to "events" that I would attend, and then there is the whole other issue of service, teaching or being in authority over others, but I am trying to live in such a way that I can only be accused of giving to much grace, than not enough.

I read a book once called "no perfect people allowed". It was a good read and I highly recommend it when thinking through how to love and serve those around us, believers and unbelievers.

Please don't read this as an angry response, just kind of brain dump unloading after days of thought...




I am familiar with this sort of thing. In this sort of style, do you feel that the church is being built up or weakened? Do you feel that you are seeing real converts or false conversion? And does it matter? Could it be that the church is allowing people to believe that they are right with God, when actually, they may not be? ( as in the case of actually baptizing someone who is known to be living as a married couple while not being actually married) Could it be that a couple such as this one , feels that the church has blessed their union?


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
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