I am trembling as I begin this one. I have been wanting to share this for quite some time – and scared at what may come once I hit publish. I don’t just stir the pot or cause controversy for fun. I share my struggles so that others may grow. I love this group call mothers. I want us stronger, wiser and closer. I believe we can begin to kick comparison further away as we wrestle with issues like our faith.
- Do you believe only the Christian moms have great kids?
- Do you believe Christian moms THINK they are the ones with the best kids?
- Do you think Christian moms judge other moms that don’t incorporate some type of faith or spiritual life in their home?
- Are Christians inclusive or exclusive to moms that do not believe in God or do not think just like us?
Let me tell you an embarrassing story.
When I started reading “mom blogs” several years ago. Someone sent me the story of Nella’s birth by Kelle Hampton. I cannot tell you how many times I read it – and how many times I cried. I had never been so hooked to a blog or a person.
I was able to see that a mother’s writing could be so pure, so raw and so endearing. I couldn’t WAIT for her book to come out.
She mentioned that she could share more about “faith” and other topics that she didn’t share much about on her blog. Honestly, I really thought she was going to come out of the closet – that she really loved Jesus.
After all, we were kind of the same exact mom – as far as I could tell from her blog. She loved her kids, madly. She did random acts of kindness. She was crazy about making memories and making her home a loving environment. She honored and loved her husband. She oozed LOVE from every blog post. She spoke of core values and virtues that she held dear. And she does handstands!!!
I was also watching her GIANT influence climb. She would just mention a shirt at Target and it would sell out. I really became excited at her book and in my head created this huge moment for Jesus. I was thinking: She’s going to tell everyone she’s a Christian – then all these crazy Kelle Hampton fans will follow her and Jesus and it’s going to be so neat.
I read her book and tears fell with disappointment.
She had a horrific experience with the church and said some things that truly made me so mad. The story didn’t play out like I had hoped. You guys – I turned judgy Christian and sent her an email. A really judgy one. Letting her know my disappointment. I was such a HUGE JERK! She didn’t respond. Good for her.
Fast forward some months and I started to feel the guilt. What was I thinking?! Shouldn’t she be allowed to be a great mom and not love Jesus? Who am I to judge her past and her current journey of faith?
So, I was headed towards her area of town for a speaking thing… and I asked her to lunch. After a few stalker-like attempts, she responded. And said yes.
I was clear on my intentions: To say SORRY and THANKS.
I was clear from the moment we got there – I was there to say sorry for an email she didn’t even remember or maybe even read. I told her I judged her. I told her she had changed my perception and I wanted to grow and be more open. More inclusive. More accepting. I thanked for how she inspired me as a mom and a writer.
We had the best talk. She was amazing. The truth is we do disagree on many things. There are so many things on her site that I read – and I want to prove her wrong and I just click off these days. It is her journey. How could I ever debate her past and her experience?
Do you know so many hurting people around us have been through severe pain caused by Christians? Why would they want to walk back into the doors of a church or trust their family when all they know is pain from that place? I want to seek to understand.
I want to plead with all of us (or those that are Christians) – that we are careful with our comments and proving our points. It’s not about watering down our faith or losing our own passion for what we believe. However, it’s so so good for our families and our own personal walks that we surround ourselves with people that believe different things than we do. It is critical that I seek more to understand before I seek to be heard. The relationship between families and friends has to be there before anything else. Being neighbors, friends and loving one another well. Let’s start there.
My closest friends will always be centered on God’s word. (see my note to Daisy below to clarify this). I do believe in raising kids around like-minded families. However, my entire bubble will not be made up of Christians. It just can’t be. And I might have to work harder at that – since our current circles only take us to those relationships.
So, if my blog has offended or made folks of other faiths or non-believing moms feels “less than” – please accept my apology. You are doing so great with your kids. It is really hard for me to separate a lot of my ideas and blog posts away from my faith – because it’s the root of everything for our family. Please know that my belief in heaven is real and I will never stop talking about that. If we were face-to-face – I wouldn’t shy away from urging you to think about it one day – when your heart is ready. The stakes are too high to ignore it forever.
I honestly believe in my heart – YOU as a mom and YOUR KIDS are of equal value to God. You are just as important as me. If my kids know scripture and yours don’t. If mine go to church and yours don’t. We are equally loved by the creator of the universe.
This video has also rocked me recently. When an openly gay mayor and a pastor basically changed a city. Don’t we agree on about 80% of things? Can’t we stop fighting for one second so that we can feed starving kids and serve those in most need? This video will change your perspective. It isn’t about settling on your views – it’s about moving forward and still making changes in the world together with deep respect for other humans.
Thanks for letting me rant about something dear to my heart this morning. And for the love people – be a little sweeter to my friend Kelle. And get out there create a chalk art masterpiece in her honor today. She’s so so brave – just like you.
NOTE: I am not going to edit or take out something every time I offend, but I really ticked a few off with my title “Do you have to be a Christian to be a good mom?” I DO NOT believe this – I was merely getting the conversation going. I think quite the opposite as I explained.