Hard Truth From A Soft Perspective

I’m bumping this in its entirety because there are still some responding to it and I just want you to know that I really appreciate it. Thanks.

    Originally posted 3/15/07

OK. This isn’t an easy post to write. Being a man I can say for sure that I like the idea of finding the answer myself. But I can’t on this one. I don’t have the perspective. Lets just start with this:

I think I broke her heart.

You see, last night we were talking about the church and how messed up the SBC is right now and the Bible and things shifted, as they usually do these days, to salvation and theology and such. Me, being the big mouth that I am, pointed to the Abstract of Principles as sort of an anchor that says to me as a Southern Baptist “We haven’t always been this way.” The problem is that The Abstract is a decidedly reformed document and its not something that’s easily processed by anyone raised up in the Southern Baptist church who is still able to get around under their own steam. Are you reading me?

Now the ‘she’ in question–my dear wife–is a smart girl and it took about two seconds for her to reason her way from predestination and election to ‘God might send my babies to hell and there’s nothing I can do about it. Why did you tell me this!’ Ouch. So I guess I’m a little heartbroken too.

And I don’t know what to do about it. If you knew me at all you would be shocked to hear that I was speechless—a rare enough occurrence as it is—and pretty helpless—which no man likes to admit. It was hard enough for me to get my head around the ideas we were talking about without a stitch of maternal instinct, I can’t imagine how hard those words were for her to hear. Hard or not though the Word of God is sweet and I’m hoping that God can use this weakness of mine, this helplessness to do something delightful. I would dearly love for my sweetie and I to see eye to eye on the concept of God’s Sovereignty. It’s a long shot—Southern Baptists don’t do Sovereignty very well.

So what I’m asking is that some of the reformed women bloggers out there who have dealt with this issue can write about it and say more than “Uh, but God, you know…” which is about all I could come up with.

Surely I’m not the only person who has had this trouble.

So the only thing I can come up with, since most of the reformed female bloggers I’ve looked up have wisely concealed their email addresses, is to tag all of them and let Technorati or whatever do its work—for the Glory of God for a change—and ask them to please post about this and drop me a link in the comments of this post. Let me add that if you’re not on this list and you can write about this as a reformed female then by all means add a link too.

In advance, I thank you, ladies, for your help:
For The Girls
Hiraeth
The Hutch
Seasonings of the Heart
A Complete Thought
Lisa Writes
The Upward Call
Lifesong-Kim
Everyday Mommy
Sweet-tea With Lemon
Lux Venit The Doctrine of Election and My Children
Carla Rolfe
Deo Volente Not Because Dad and Mom Say It
Rocks In My Dryer
Reformed Chicks Blabbing

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33 responses to “Hard Truth From A Soft Perspective

  1. It’s a delicate and very personal topic indeed, especially to women and to mothers in particular. I’m honored that you’ve included me in your list and will prayerfully consider a post on this in the near future.

    SDG,
    Carla Rolfe

  2. I, too, will address this issue, either on my blog or personally in an email. I may not get to it until tomorrow or Saturday.

    In the meantime, please know that I am praying for you, Josh. And your wife.

    And, it was nice hearing from you again, even under such circumstances. How’s the calligraphy going?

  3. Thank you ladies. This means a great deal to me.

    calligraphy

    *chuckle

    Kim, I’m a terrible calligrapher. I’m hoping my daughters will find my old supplies some day and say, “Oh! This should be fun!”

  4. Josh, I really understand how your wife is feeling and will attempt to address this in a blog post as well. I have thought about this a lot. It’s one of those things that will keep a woman up at night. Not just considering her children, but herself.

  5. Josh,

    I’m not a woman and I don’t play one on TV…BUT…women aren’t the only ones who wrestle with that issue. Fathers do as well.

    As I wrestled with it, I came to the point where it is a matter of trust. Who do I trust to be perfectly just, good, and right with the eternal destiny of my children…my great parenting? my kids’ innocent hearts (as they fight eachother, again, for some trinket)? or the Sovereign God Who loved the world and sent His only Son to die and redeem me that I would have the knowledge, desire, and dependency on Him to teach my children the ways of the Lord in the hope that He would do what I can’t do for them and what they cannot do for themselves?

    Ok, that was a long sentence, but I think you get the point.

  6. I agree Kevin but apparently girls look at it differently. Thats the problem. Ask your wife what she thinks and it’ll probably scare the life out of you.

  7. We look at it differently because we’re hard wired to be more emotional than analytical about these things. That is not to say that being emotional is a bad thing at all, but it is to offer a bit of an insight into why it’s different for us.

    Just a thought. I hope to address this in more detail on my blog this weekend. I hope it serves to help.

    SDG,
    Carla

  8. Hi there! I would like to recommend a book that we have read.* Safe in the Arms of God * by Dr. John MacArthur.

    This is a hard topic.

    We have never lost a child or a baby from miscarriage. I know it must be heart breaking.

    We have wrestled with this area,seeking Biblical answers,and we have come to this conclusion: We may not know all the answers on this and many great theologians even disagree on this…but I do trust that everything God does is just, right, and good. I just have to trust in that.

    Maybe this book can help!

    Kim

  9. Thanks for stopping by with the book suggestion Kim. MacArthur does have some good stuff and he’s very readable so I’ll probably try to pick that one up.

  10. Alright Josh. I asked her. I addressed our discussions on this topic a little more thoroughly on my blog. But, after initial struggles that you and your wife are going through, Tammy just needed some time to read Scripture for herself. It was during the course of her regular Bible reading that she just came to grips with what God has revealed. She embraced it intellectually first, and later embraced it with her heart as a comforting truth concerning the salvation of our kids. She does not see God’s sovereignty as a capricious thing in relation to our kids.

    On another note, who knew that there was such a long list of Reformed female bloggage? I was completely clueless.

  11. Carla, if men and women were the same not only would life be a lot more boring but what would be the point…of anything?

    Kevin, heck have HER write about it, that’d make a great post. Most every woman I’ve ever talked about this with has had a similar reaction to the one I described in my post. (You got blessed real good with that one bro.) And yeah there are a lot of reformed female bloggers out there…this was sort of a random sample and a lucky hit on a list called ‘Sola Moms’. I couldn’t think of anyone who would be better equipped to discuss this because there are CERTAINLY no women in this part of the country that have that outlook…at least none that I know about.

  12. Josh,

    She DID react that way at first. Time and slowly reading through the Scripture was the antedote.

    (You got blessed real good with that one bro.)

    What can I say? I married up. 😉

  13. You and me both. If this ever gets a grip on her…watch out.

  14. Hi Josh,

    I just popped in to tell you I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write anything cohesive yet, but I’ve been thinking about it as I’ve been going about my daily chores.

    I do have some thoughts on this and will sit down ASAP and write them out for you, either here or on my blog.

  15. Kim I do my best thinking while I’m doing other things–like dishes. Thanks for the update and may the Lord bless you this week.

  16. I finally posted my struggles with this doctrine on my blog. I hope it encourages you.

  17. I would recommend “Your Child’s Profession of Faith”, by Dennis Gundersen. A very good, short read!

  18. Thanks Leslie, I’ll drop by in a bit.

  19. This is a very sensitive and emotional issue for mothers especially. I recently blogged on the issue of infant salvation and my own experience with this. As for the salvation of our living children, Leslie at Lux Venit did an excellent job of describing the tension between our responsibilty to train our children in the way they should go and God’s sovereignty over who will become one of His own. In the end though we need to remember that none of us deserve to be saved and are the recipients of His unmerited grace. May this be true of our children also. Knowing WHO the God we serve is and His character can also bring tremendous peace when grappling with these issues. We serve a GOOD God!

  20. This subject has consumed my thoughts the past few days and today I posted some of them regarding the salvation of my living children. Thanks for dropping by my site today and the encouraging words.
    Just wondering if your wife has been encouraged by reading some other women’s thoughts on this issue?

  21. My wife doesn’t do computers much or the Internet at all really and this subject has, essentially, been pigeon-holed. My hope is that I will read something with which I can encourage her later. So we’re in the wait and pray stage…

    Thanks a bunch though for the kind words and the great posts. It does help.

  22. I’m so honored to be on this list. My deepest appreciation.

    Warm regards,
    Jules
    everydaymommy.net

  23. Thanks for dropping by Jules.

  24. I sort of already wrote about this HERE and the book recommendations given in the comments are the ones that came to mind before I read the comments. 🙂

    Press on in HIS truth and HIS love for HIS glory,
    Lisa

  25. Kim wrote: We may not know all the answers on this and many great theologians even disagree on this…but I do trust that everything God does is just, right, and good. I just have to trust in that.

    Amen.

  26. Thanks Lisa for the link and the exhortation to press on. It’s pretty easy to forget that in a world where “press on” is something you do when you want to watch TV.

  27. That was actually quite hilarious… in a sadly true kind of way.

  28. Pingback: Hurts too much to laugh... « Unbound

  29. Wow, seriously, I am floored to be mentioned in such company. I just happened to stumble across Technorati, which I have never paid attention to in the past, and found this post mentioning the Hutch. Look at God’s sovereignty at work in that! 😉 Josh, thank you for the mention, and I will be praying/studying about this in particular this week. I’ll let you know if I’m able to work up a post about it. In Him, Rabbit

  30. Thanks for dropping by Rabbit and I appreciate the time spent writing.

    This has had a greater response than anything else I’ve posted, I think, becasue it’s something we all have to wrestle with.

  31. Hi. I just found your blog through a sitemeter hit on my blog. I had no idea you’d tagged me, but thank you! I grew up in the SBC and we are members of an SBC church now, and I share your concerns. I can’t tell you how many Sundays I’ve come home in tears wishing our pastor would just preach the Word clearly! I can also relate to the emotional response that you mentioned your wife has to the doctrines of grace. I think my understanding has come along gradually by reading my Bible carefully, praying, and listening to good, expository preaching by men like John MacArthur and Alistair Begg and others. I looked for your e-mail, because I don’t want to take up your comments section and I also saw your post that you’re taking a blogging break, but I couldn’t find it. I’m kind of a blogging ignoramus, so I don’t really get all the technical aspects like Technorati and such. Feel free to e-mail me (and I could also give you my husband’s e-mail if you’d like) if you’d like to hear a little more about what my husband and I have thought and discussed along some of those lines – i.e. our children. I’ve written a few posts about God’s sovereignty, but I don’t think I’ve written specifically to this topic, though I think I’ve touched on it a few times. Perhaps I should think about such a post.

    For one thing, whether one embraces the doctrine of election or not, our children’s faith eventually has to become their own rather than just what mom & dad say. So, in that sense, there “isn’t anything I can do about it” either way. No matter if someone has come to the reformed view of election, parents are called to train up our children in the Lord and trust Him with the results. I can’t force my kids to become genuine followers of Christ, but I want to be very sure that I give them a firm foundation to stand on and that when they leave our home they will know the truth. Whether they do, in fact, become genuine followers of Christ is not in my control, but I’m trusting God and praying He will grant them saving faith. Does that help at all?

  32. Amen Rebekah and thanks for dropping by and also for the encouraging words. It does, indeed, help.

    If you do decide to post drop me a note and I will surely link it.

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