Wednesday, June 19, 2013

When Extended Family Disagree with Modesty {or Any Matter of Faith}

When the Lord was leading us to modesty, I didn’t even think about what it might mean with our extended family. Quite frankly, I’m glad I didn’t, because sometimes following the Lord’s leading can cause great division in a family, even with a whole lot of issues other than modesty.


I’m really not sure at what point our families began to notice our change because we didn’t talk about it as we prayed and learned. We had a lot of other dynamics going on at the time, and it just wasn’t discussed. Eventually, we did, in our enthusiasm, decide to share what we had learned with our parents. Our intent was not to preach or to tell them, in any way, that they were wrong and needed to change. That never occurred to us, since we’re not the Holy Spirit. J We were simply excited about what we had been learning and how our faith had been growing in many different areas.

One family member went to her own pastor and asked him about our changes. The associate pastor of that mainstream megachurch said that our choices were Biblical. They just weren’t convenient.

Another family member stated emphatically that he would never go to our church. But in the past ten years, they’ve attended several special events and been warmly welcomed.

Some family members have just never expressed any interest in or asked any questions about our changes.

One verse the Lord spoke to me has comforted me over the years. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” {Matthew 10:34-39} Controversy will come because of our faith.

But what about Romans 12:18? “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”
What do we do with disagreement in our extended family?

We are courteous. We love. We smile.

We don’t preach. Not once have my husband or I said to any family member that she needs to wear skirts or that he should wear a shirt with sleeves. That is for the Holy Spirit to whisper in His time. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” {Proverbs 15:1}

We pray. For ourselves…to stay strong. For them…their walk with the Lord. (A good prayer for all family no matter what the circumstances.) We ask the Counselor, the Prince of Peace, for His guidance in all things.

We stand our ground. Their lack of conviction doesn’t mean we have to give up ours. For example, if we were invited to a pool party, we would politely decline and find someplace else to be that day.


The Bible never says that life will be easy, but there is joy in obedience.










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26 comments:

  1. You are right it takes the LORD JESUS to change people. I have many dear friends that are very worldly people. I still love them and they seem to love me even though I do not wear pants or shorts or cut my hair.

    GOD BLESS!!!

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  2. Our former pastor used to say, "Your actions are so loud I can't hear the words coming out of your mouth." How true this is and we can apply it when extended family and friends disagree with our beliefs. Sometimes actions are all we need to get a message across. I have never said anything to my coworkers about my beliefs unless they ask me about it but a couple of years ago I was at a conference and that night several of my coworkers went to a bar. One of them asked another about me coming and the response was, "She would NEVER be in a place like this." I never had to say a word. Thank you so much for your continued posts on this subject.

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    1. I agree with Val -- wonderful testimony. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Meghan, I have been blessed by your post and wanted to let you know. Take care and I hope you are having a good week.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kindness, Mrs. Smith!

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  4. Another great post. When we first switched, I would almost "hide" that we had switched. So silly! Eventually, though, it just became natural. At some point over the years, the family finally realized that we quit wearing pants. None of our family members where skirts/dresses. However, over the years, we are starting to see more modest dress from them. That is great! And, my little niece will ONLY wear dresses/skirts because that's what her cousin wears. So neat! One of our little daycare babies comes in dresses more often than not these days, which is different than when she first started coming. We don't have to say a word...we just have to LIVE the Word. We were invited to two daycare b-day parties over the weekend. One is a holiness believing family who met up at a park. The other is a family that does not dress modestly and was a swimming party. You can probably guess which one we picked. You do what you have to do.

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    1. No truer words were written, Val -- "You do what you have to do." There were times when I wanted someone to ask, just because I was so excited about how we were growing that I wanted to talk about it. So, we talk to our children a lot! :)

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  5. Thank you, Meghan, for another great post.

    I wonder if my family (in law) has picked up on me wearing mostly skirts yet. If they did, they haven't said anything yet. I'm really glad I got to read your post and the encouraging verses in it, so I can be prepared should they ever say anything. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Bibi. It encourages me to know that my experiences are now encouraging to others! :)

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  6. I wish we lived close to each other, Meghan! Where do you live? I'm going to move there. ;) We think alike on so many different things and have had many of the same experiences, from what I can tell from your blogs. It would be so nice to have a like-minded friend close by!!

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    1. How sweet, Sarah. Thank you! It's wonderful to know friends wherever they may be. There is always email or FB messaging.... :)

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  7. Modesty is a big issue right now! I just wrote about it on my blog, as well with the discussion of a new swimsuit line out that is trying to stay with fashion, but still be modest.

    http://chrisandkrista.org/2013/06/the-responsibility-of-modesty/

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    1. Krista, I have seen that video of the swimsuit line designer. She has some good things to say, and I love how, in your blog post, you discuss serving others through what we wear. Unique take on the whole issue. :)

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  8. Sometimes people don't like change.....period. Sometimes change in others makes one question their own choices. You continue to stay true to God's leading and direction.

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    1. Thank you, Ana, for the encouragement.

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  9. What a beautiful testimony! None of my friends have ever mentioned the way my daughter or I dress, but my mom has, unfortunately. She even went so far as to go out and buy my daughter jeans once. I did my best to be a Christian and not start trouble, but the jeans mysteriously "disappeared" one day and were never brought up again. I think she believes me a "fanatic" and "old fashioned," but I keep reminding myself that Christ and His followers were called much worse. We truly love our church community, but my daughter and I are the only ones who wear skirts exclusively and I know that is difficult for her, especially since she doesn't have any sisters. I wish I could find a way to make it easier or to find friends with similar convictions in that area.

    Thank you for the post. It is so encouraging!

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    1. Great reminder, Lisa. Jesus was called much, much worse. I'll be praying for your strength and that you find like-minded friends. I wish we were closer and she could come play with my girls. In the meantime, at least we have the online community!

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    2. Hi! My name is Mandi (Idk why it says unknown?) I think I can relate to how your daughter feels. I am an only child and there's only one or two people in my church who wear skirts all the time and they're not my age. My mom didn't start wearing them until 6 months after I did. I started wearing all skirts about a month or so into my senior year of public school! On top of that my family basically harassed me over my conviction. They've calmed down after about 3 years, however, I still get told I need to put jeans on when hiking and yada yada. So, I have 1 pair of jeans and 1 pair of wide leg pants (which look like a skirt to me) and I will only wear them under my skirts and dresses and only doing activities where I need more coverage then shorts or leggings under my skirts. Like at amusement parks, baby sitting, swinging on a swing in the park, hiking, ect. Please tell your daughter she is not alone! There are lots of women who do this and it is not abnormal. I have lots of friends who do that live in different states. We are snail mail pen pals and sometimes keep in touch online. Maybe your daughter could find a pen pal of her own?

      God bless you! =) Hope this lifts you and her both up. =)

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  10. Great post! A friend in my homeschool group recently shared a modesty blog post in our FB group and recieved quite the backlash. It is disheartening to think that even among Christians modesty is such a touchy issue. You give great ideas on how to deal with that. Thanks!

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    1. It makes me nervous to post about modesty because it can be such a volatile subject. It grieves me that it is that way when, considering the world we live in, we Christians really need to stick together. I'm glad the post was helpful, and thank you for your encouragement, Misty.

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  11. Great post! So inspiring! =D My family didn't understand my choice to wear skirts either. They thought my mom was forcing me to do it. However, my mom didn't have the conviction to wear skirts until 6 months after I did! Then I got the "You're in a cult" comments. It was tough that first year. Now, nearly 3 years later, my family compliments me on how pretty my skirts are. They still don't agree but at least I don't get crude comments anymore. Thanks for posting!

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    1. Stay strong and keep in God's Word, Mandi. You're doing a wonderful job! Thank you for sharing your story. :)

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  12. I am happy that you were encouraged by the faith in Matthew 10:34-39, standing up for the principles of Christ always brings offense even in family relationships. Be strong and of good courage and remember your stands on modesty is already a testimony-you are preaching already.

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  13. Just an f.y.i., I have seen modest swim dresses around the Internet should you ever want to go to a pool party.

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)