Ask Abbie: Churches full of hypocritesPublished 9:23am Saturday, October 20, 2012
by Abbie Long
Question: I’ve been married 8 years and have a 6- year-old son.
I am a Christian and my husband hates going to church because he thinks it’s full of “a bunch of hypocrites.” I stopped going for several years because it was causing so much tension in our home.
I recently started going back to church with my son so he will have that exposure. The tension has returned especially on weekends when we go to church.
I want to do the right thing for our son, but I’m confused.
Answer: Your husband is right! The church is full of a bunch of hypocrites!
A very bad car accident just occurred with victims still on scene. Should the injured be taken to the hospital where doctors and other necessary resources are to help them recover? Should they instead be transported back to their homes and left by themselves to the parting words — “best wishes”?
Injured people should be taken to the hospital. In addition, healthy persons have the responsibility to get them to the hospital and to treat them upon arrival.
Hypocrites are injured Christians. Should we hope they stay home without regard for their well-being? Should they instead be airlifted to the church where they can at least be exposed to healthy Christians who are available for support and encouragement?
The church can and should be the “hospital for hypocrites.” Yes, the church is infected with the virus of hypocrisy, however, the church is also where you can go to get treatment for and be inoculated against the disease.
Both hospitals and churches will forever house sickness for that is their fundamental purpose.
In the opposite fashion, your home was built to be a protective shelter from outside infirmity. Yours, however, has become infected with the disease of tension. This is a problem because it should be your son’s safe place.
If there is tension in the place where he should feel ultimate safety and security, what is he to think as acceptable for the rest of the world? To him, unrest and turmoil become just the way of life. This is wrong.
If instead there is a general feeling of peace in his home, he knows what is possible when he goes out into the world, and as a result, sets the standards for himself and others at a higher level.
You must set your level of acceptance higher than that which is viewed as acceptable by the rest of the world.
Your son does not need to go to church to be exposed to God and the fundamental elements living a Christian life. Yes, going to church has many benefits. However, attending church for two to three hours once a week is not worth upsetting your husband to the point any unsettledness transfers your son.
Kids instinctively associate any household tension as their fault. Consider your statement for part of the reason you are going back to church as “so he can have that exposure.”
That says to a child “I am the reason dad is upset. If it weren’t for me, mom would not want to go to church so badly.”
See how your son could start to accept the blame for dad being upset?
Your charge is to eradicate the tension from your home. Pray for the internal peace and humbleness you need to get you through the difficulty you may encounter as you sacrifice something — attending church — you hold dear for the long-term benefit of your son.
Be a living testimony to your beliefs. Your husband will see from your attitude and actions much more that could ever be said with words. In addition be a prayerful wife for your husband and never have a holier than now attitude, or be one that passes judgment toward him because that would be “hypocritical!”
Abbie Long is a Franklin native and advice columnist for The Tidewater News. Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.