Happy God = Chained to a Stove?
By jshamsmith on November 26, 2012
After two glorious days of not leaving my house, I thought it might be time for a test run back into society before I had to return to the real world and life’s responsibilities tomorrow. If you’ve learned anything from this blog, you assumed correctly that I stayed as far away as possible from the madness of the retailers on Friday and Saturday. I am much more of a Cyber Monday type of girl, where I can do my purchasing safely and on my own time. I don’t like people in general, let alone half mad, sleep deprived people willing to claw, scratch and kick small children and puppies out of their way to be the first in line for that crazy deal on a TV or iPod. They could be handing out FREE TVs and I’d be running the other way. Anyone who would skip Thanksgiving food to camp out in front of Best Buy scares me.
Anyways I digress. I thought church would be a great way to slowly emerge from my cocoon of comfort. But first, this happened….
And then this happened….
And once we returned from the ER safe and sound, I vowed never to leave the house again.
Let me go back. Today was one of my favorite Sundays. Every Sunday after Thanksgiving, my church takes the church hour for the congregation to stand up and say why they are thankful. This is always a heart-warming, life affirming morning that gives you renewed faith in humanity and God’s presence in the world. I love it, and I still do, even after this story.
A mother stood up about halfway through and said she was thankful that this year she had truly learned to submit to her husband, become the obedient wife God intended and let her husband be the man of the household. I had to physically refrain from snorting in derision because this statement goes against every fiber of my liberal, feminist being.
Before I launch into my opinion, let me give this disclaimer. I am in no way bashing this lady for her beliefs or thoughts. My mother in law, God bless her, being so quick to point out the good in people, reminded me that I have no idea where this woman is coming from, what her marriage is like, and how exactly she intended this to sound. This I keep in mind as I launch into my tirade. Another thing my mother in law reminded me was that in order to obey your husband as she is perhaps suggesting, he must respect you first, because if you don’t have that, you are treading into some very dangerous territory. I agree. I don’t think for one minute this woman was saying stay in an abusive relationship or with a douche bag, lazy, good for nothing waste of space. I think what she means is playing your God-given role in society. Raise your kids. Take care of the home. Be an animal in bed….wait, no, maybe not that last one.
Anyways, this statement just goes against everything I have come to believe is right in this world, and why organized religion will always make me skittish. When someone stands up and says something like this, I assume that EVERYONE in the congregation agrees and totally judges me for having the audacity to work and actually enjoy doing it. To have a crazy messy house and dinners that consist of PB&J more often than not. Am I wrong to assume this? Of course, I am also one of the congregants and I don’t agree with her, so why should everyone else? It’s just my insecurity with my faith and with organized religion.
For me, every time I walk into church, I assume everyone around me is more wholesome, more genuine, more giving, but also waaaay more judgmental than me. I go to church to deepen my faith and understand my God and Christianity as a whole, and the church I attend has never ever preached hate or intolerance, which is a total deal breaker for me, so I try to attend as faithfully as possible to help answer my endless questions and also help give my kids a good jumping off point for their own religious journey. But for me, it is imperative the church I attend be welcoming, accepting and loving to all God’s children, not just the ones organized religion deems “acceptable.” And believe me, in Christian churches, this is no easy task.
I am fortunate to have found this in my church, where we have been going for the past three years. That still doesn’t alleviate my discomfort with organized religion. And when someone stands up and says I must be obedient to my husband, I just take it as a slap in the face and I feel a sadness that I will never truly fit into a church lifestyle. At church, I put on my most wholesome face (yes people who go there, that’s as nice looking as I get) and to some extent pretend to be a nice girl who doesn’t swear, drink, tell dirty jokes, read really dirty books, or laugh at TV shows like Family Guy. Because to me, this girl is a sinner, one God wouldn’t enjoy having around. But this girl is me, warts and all, and I doubt no matter how much I read the Bible or donate to charity, she will always be me.
So my vow to myself is to keep going to church, evolve in my faith, be the best person I can be, but still be true to myself, tell the occasion raunchy joke, get really excited about the DVD release of Magic Mike and read smut like it’s going out of style…or soon to be banned.
PS – G is fine. Poor girl got my clumsy gene and maybe my bad eyes. We’re looking into that. She was a trooper at the ER and thankfully no needles were needed.
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