Have you ever been on vacation with another family or had a family in your home for an extended period of time? As you observe their family culture, sometimes you think, “That’s such a sweet way they do that. I wish my kids would learn to… also. I like the way her husband does…” Sometimes you think, “That is really different from the way our family does that.” And sometimes you think, “OK, that’s not just different. That’s harmful. They don’t see the repercussions of the way they are doing that.” And then the trip is over, you’re not in such close quarters, and you can get over your annoyance or worry.
Well, it is as if we have moved in with a whole country of other families and we’re trying to get along with them. I really like the way they greet each other so warmly and they are so considerate when they say goodbye. They amuse me with their formality when the address a crowd. They are very proud of their city and their country. Some things are just different, not bad, like breastfeeding anywhere, while doing any thing, every fifteen minutes or so. And then there are the things that we see that are not just new, they are actually unhealthy, unbiblical, and sad. Will and I both have been struggling with judgmental thoughts and impatience with the culture at large. Please pray for us to see these people through eyes of love, to speak the truth in love as needed, to persevere in love, and to allow God to pour His love into our hearts. Thank you for helping us with those daily struggles that plague us.
I love you so much! Praying for you. You guys have been on my heart all week. Especially because of the Ebola story with a Dr. who came from ACU. 🙂 I pray for him like I would pray for you guys. I have these culture struggles and I share the same country with people that have a completely different culture from me. Working at the Pregnancy Center takes me deep into other cultures that aren’t defined by race. A culture of generational abuse, a culture defined for generations by drugs, a culture defined by divorce and self centeredness, a culture defined by the occult – different worlds in the house next to me. It is feels like you are sitting next to hungry people while eating off a buffet. You look and offer some of your food but they don’t understand how to eat it. You try to model it but they just look at you and decide to stay hungry. Hungry, broken, abused, hurting – I have Christ! Their very lives, relationships, children, generations could change with a simple taste at the buffet. Then we have our Christian brothers and sisters sitting in the pew next to us who struggle with things that are unhealthy, unbiblical and sad. Pray for us too. Praying for you.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Jana, Very insightful comment and you’re right– cultures are formed by generational sin patterns and are not defined by location. I pray God’s protection as we establish our own family culture. Blessings to you as you work among the hungry and as you guys continue your welcoming WP church culture. You are an inspiration!