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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Father's Worst Nightmare

Real Live Preacher has a post on a father's worst nightmare: What do you do when your daughter announces she no longer believes in God? Here's a snippet...
My oldest daughter doesn’t believe in God anymore, so she says. She told me this recently at Starbucks... We were sitting there sipping our hot drinks recently and I said, “So tell me how you and God are doing these days.”

She got a sad look in her eyes before she spoke. She never hesitated, apparently never even considered hiding this from me. She put a mock-frown on her face, which is a way of indicating that you are serious about what you are going to say. Then she shook her head slowly back and forth in the way people do when they want you to know they regret having to say something, but they must.

“Don’t believe in him. I want to. I really wish I did. I’ve tried to believe in him, but I just don’t.”

I’d say about a hundred thoughts rushed into my head in that instant. But the thing that pushed its way to the surface was a warning thought. “Be very careful with her. Listen to her. Don’t speak.”
...
Click here to read the full article...
(and yes, you really should)
I confess this scares the crap out of me as I watch my own children venture into their teenage years. But I hope that I will respond as well as he does.

One of the things that impressed me is this:
"When someone is giving you their theology, their God words, you should listen hard and be very gentle. The time to deliver your God words is when you are asked."
and this:
"My daughter doesn’t believe in God right now. Why do I feel so happy? Because she wasn’t afraid to tell me."
Why did those lines speak to me?

First, it shows me that he understands unbelief - he doesn't treat it likes its HIV, like its going to infect you if you get near it. That comprehension only comes when we realize that all of us are already infected - we all wrestle with unbelief. And God's big enough to handle it. We don't need to act like it's the plague. We need to repent and believe.

Second, I can see that he loves other people in spite of their struggles. That's the kind of person I want to be, not simply because I think that people are looking for that in life, but because that's what I need myself. And that's precisely how God loves us.

Now make no mistake - it's not a love that says unbelief is ok; it's not! Unbelief is dreadfully serious, its fatal. Its like no cancer you have ever seen. But unbelief can be beaten, and it's love - God's love for us, and our love for one another - that does it. This man seems to understand that truth, and I appreciate it greatly.

Last but not least, it's worth checking out his own story. I think you will appreciate his candor, and you just might be encouraged in your own quest for truth...

(Addendum: There's also a good article from earlier this week called Telling the Truth).

4 Comments:

At 4:01 PM, March 26, 2005, Blogger Christian said...

BTW - someone suggested I check out Real Live Preacher a couple of weeks back, and I can't remember who it was... if that was you, could you please drop me an email?

 
At 12:34 AM, March 27, 2005, Blogger Charles said...

OK, so it's good that I haven't infected you guys, and you aren't affraid of the coodies. I know I'm the Pegan friend, but now I have Cancer? Jeez, what a bumber.

 
At 8:11 PM, March 28, 2005, Blogger Christian said...

Hey, we all have that cancer. But you're still our friend ;-)

 
At 1:12 AM, March 30, 2005, Blogger Charles said...

I know, it was a joke. Just to make sure you weren't worried.

 

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