A letter to my Children

To My Beloved Children,

I am not a perfect parent. In fact I have made some big mistakes along the way.

(Okay stop with the “Amen’s”)

Some I have apologized for and some are still being revealed to me and I am trying to right my wrongs as we grow in this family together.

One area I have perhaps brought you along with me unwittingly, is into an arena of faith that was sometimes more religious than spirit filled and had some damaging teachings.

I need to speak to you on these matters as Jesus is revealing Himself to me in a new light that is showing me my true value in Him.

There is a lot of theology out there that speaks from a place that I believe Jesus would never speak from, and what I need you to ask yourself when you hear or read a teaching is this;

“Is what I am hearing  born of love or fear?”

Because, If it is born of love then you will feel excitement, chills, and filled as you hear it. Its those moments where as you hear it you feel more alive than before you heard it. It resonates in a deep place that makes you  think or shout “Amen!”

Please, lean in to this and soak up what God has given to pour richly into your soul, to build you up , and make you strong, and wise , and in line with His will for your life.

If it is born of fear you will know, because there will be a little kick to your gut or a flush that comes over you or an uncomfortable feeling that makes you feel ashamed or fearful. Shame feels crusty and makes you want to hide or be something you are not.

This. is. NOT. of. God.

Trust your instincts.

Trust your emotions.

If anyone tries to tell you that you should never trust either of these things…please, please, please know that this is false teaching.

God has given you instincts and emotions for a reason so you know how to stay in the fullness of His love.

Does this mean that if you hear something that challenges you to stay out of sin and you feel discomfort you should ignore it?

No.

What I am saying is that if someone is trying to teach you that your obedience to scripture should come at the expense of your dignity…..there is something wrong in the teaching and you will feel it on some level.

Pay attention to that….it is a place that breeds shame.

This. Is. NOT. of God.

If anyone makes you feel small for questioning matters of faith, know that this is fear and not love. Questioning is healthy and important. God gave us the ability to have reason and faith. The two combined can create amazing advancement for humanity and society. Science, math, art, music, humour, etc are all born out of the partnership between reasoning and faith. This is how God designed us to be and to honour this is to honour our creator.

Besides….extreme certainty with out faith or questioning is self righteous.

 “Self righteousness feels good for a moment just like peeing your pants feels warm for a moment.”Rachel Held Evans

Faith with out reason is irrational and can lead to spiritual abuse. So question and question and wrestle ideas and concepts and points of view and when someone says your questioning is offensive or against God or lacks faith, then know that is not a safe place to be living out your faith.

My children I tell you this because I have lived a fear based faith system where I was asked to submit to men and authority in a way that diminished my dignity. Certain scriptures were used to tell me that my husband has authority over me and that if things are going wrong then perhaps I needed to submit more, pray more, forgive more. This has been damaging to both me and your Father and our marriage.

This. Is. NOT. of. God.

Fear based theology will tell you that your body is not your own and that your spouse has ownership over your body. That if you deny your spouse sexual favours then you are not living up to your covenant with God. This my children is twisted and puts each spouse in a place where their “love” can incur penalties for non fulfillment. This is about honouring a desire not about a covenant of love. Do not believe the lie that we were made solely for the purpose of sexual fulfillment.

Adam was not walking through the Garden becoming aroused and thought ” What should I do with this?” so God god gave him a prostitute.

It is just not how the story goes. NO, first God made Adam out of dust to be full and complete in Him. Not needing someone else to fill him, but feeling fully satisfied in God first. Then from that beautiful, sacred, fullness that was in Adam, God created Eve.

She came not from the garden like a plant whose purpose was to satisfy Adam’s hunger. No, she came from a place that was already fulfilled and brought into existence so that Adam had someone who was also made with the fullness of God to experience the glory of God with him.

You see we are not designed to be in marriage out of empty need, rather to bask in the continued fullness of our creator in a partnership. You see my beauties, love comes from fullness not from scarcity.

“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” 1 John 4:18

I think that scripture can be interpreted in a misguided way and  is sometimes used to force sexual intimacy in a marriage saying that each spouse does not own their own bodies. No my children, please know that there is a BIG difference between demanding sex to fulfill your own pleasure and responding sexually out of love and openness. No one should give pleasure at the expense of their own dignity….EVER.

And if someone is asking for sexual favours that you are not ready, willing or able to give you have EVERY right to say no. In fact, practice your no. Say it, write it, know it and understand that “No” comes from a place of self respect. Someone who loves you will ALWAYS respect your no as much as your yes.

And if you are demanding sexual favours from an unwilling partner , then know that you are acting outside of God’s beautiful will for your life. Love NEVER seeks it’s own selfish desires. Stop it , apologize, and get help from a trained counsellor. If you love someone you will always respect someone else’s no as much as their yes

And if anyone tries to make you feel bad about saying no, please, please know that this is not love. This is manipulation for fulfilling a toxic need (like a drug) and if you succumb you will be stepping out side of God’s will for your life ,as a child of God and as a spouse. So learn strong boundaries and the language to respond with dignity and get help from a trained counsellor if it becomes a problem.

Lastly, my hope for you is that you will grow up and be a people who strive to know love and desire to out-do each other in acts of love . That you would know love so well that your first response is a from a place that others will be in awe and be curious of where your ideas of love come from and in this know Jesus.

Love Always,

Mom