Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Lamb for the Household

In earlier posts, I recount being the only Christian in my household. When I was 23, my family actually began to shun me. I can't begin to describe the pain this caused, especially because I couldn't understand why???? I flew across the US to see my parents, five minutes after my arrival my Mom "had" to leave for an important meeting - what?? Later, she confided, she was concerned that being a Christian had taken my sense of humor. Like somehow Christians can't be fun.

I invited my older sister to my church, and she claimed that her husband said he would divorce her if she continued to attend. My younger sister and her husband said they couldn't possibly attend a church that didn't have pews. My brother and his wife didn't even bother to make excuses, but the whole clan embarrassed me greatly one Sunday. They traveled in for my wedding, and since they believed in Christening a baby, but had no intention of joining a church, they asked if my Pastor could perform the dedication the Sunday after my wedding. The Pastor agreed, so the day after my wedding, 17 family members came to my church - I was so excited! They would finally hear the Pastor preach, and maybe become Christians!

The dedication took place before the service. Pastor dedicated my niece to the Lord, prayed for her, AND THEN ALL 17 FAMILY MEMBERS LEFT THE BUILDING, in one great exodus, before the sermon began. I was humiliated. They used me for the "religious" but didn't want anything to do with the spirit (2 Corinthians 6:14).

After that, they gave up all pretenses, and stopped inviting us over all together. The pain I experienced was awful. I would cry, and beg God to help me forgive them, and try to be a good testimony. Years would go by and important family events were missed. Later, they claimed it was my kid's dad, but it was the spirit of God. In spite of their behavior, early on God impressed upon my heart that I was to be a lamb for my household (Exodus 12).  So, when they would behave wicked or do mean things to me, I would struggle to forgive and remind God that I was their "Passover Lamb."

Fast forward 25 years. My older sister has become a Christian, of sorts.  She says she is a prophetess. She attends church (apparently her husband isn't divorcing her :). Part of me rejoices for her. The other part is wondering, "Where's the repentance?" "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret (2 Corinthians 7:10), or the demonstration of repentance by her deeds (Acts 26:20). Much to my Mom's heartache, my sister went eight years without speaking to her. After the 8th year, I urged my sister to mend whatever fence was erected (none of us know why to this day), and I flew out with her to see our Mom and act as a buffer. They reunited, in surface kind of way (oh, and after that my sister went another year without talking to me). But she still hasn't apologized to my Mom. Where's the forgiveness, the repentance?

I could recite many tales of her naughtiness, but that's not the point. The parable of Mark 4 (which is the foundation of this blog), talks about the seed that has no root, and will be blown away when trouble comes. Repentance is a key to sprouting roots, or as Hebrews 6:1 says, ...(it's) the foundation...from the acts that lead to death, and of faith in God. It leads us to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 2:25), and is one of the fruits that we are supposed to bear (Luke 3:8, Matthew 3:8).

It's not enough to say we believe in God. The demons believed and recognized God: Mark1:34, Mark 5:12, and Luke 4:41. It's not enough to attend church and read our Bibles. The Pharisees never missed a service! And I understand perfectly that not all situations lend themselves to the ability to apologize to everyone we have hurt or offended, God knows that. But this point,  my sister doesn't have a testimony for God in our family. In fact, religious folk often turn people away from God and she has caused my own children to stumble by her behavior.

My Mom can still cry over those lost eight years, and she still hasn't a clue what happened. She's so forgiving, that, of course, they converse occasionally over the phone or in writing, but the lack of repentance on my sister's part is a stumbling block to my Mom. And she views my sister's brand of Christianity fake. My Mom is so grateful that I didn't give up on her, that I continued to honor my parents even during the time they rejected me, that we now an good relationship.

I know my prayer of almost 30 years ago, to be the Lamb for the Household, assures me that my entire family will be saved. Sadly, my sister will not grow in the Lord, or influence her non-Christian hubby (I Peter 3:1-2), until she humbles herself and repents. Yes, I know it's embarrassing. I often say that I've grown fond of the taste of Humble Pie and eating crow. Especially since PRIDE is one of the sins that I still battle to overcome.  But there are no shortcuts with God. Putting scriptures on your Face Book is not a substitute for repentance.


  1. Man... that's pretty messed up. What a bummer. I suppose I should count my blessings, as far as family is concerned. Thanks for the wake-up call...

  2. It's been a cross to bear. But I'd like to add, when my son passed, they rallied! It was brief, but treasured. I prayed and wrote out a blessing for the sister in this story and her husband.

    My kids and I are thrilled we no longer have to live close enough and not to be invited. The last two Thanksgivings my other sister uninvited my middle daughter: the first year because she had a sore throat, and the second year, because in the SEPTEMBER prior the doctor said she had mono.

    Needless to say, this Thanksgiving shall be wonderful and uneventful :)

    PS: My Dear Readers can now understand the necessity of anonymity!