I was sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. A commercial came on and it displayed a theme that I’ve seen before. A crowded street — downtown Manhattan or somewhere similar — with hundreds of people all walking in the same direction.
It’s a familiar storyline. You know what comes next, don’t you? One guy looks behind him with a look on his face that says, “Wow, I should’t be going in this direction!” In this commercial, the good looking young man found a good looking young lady. The two, together, found the light with walking against the current. They’re rewarded somehow…they buy whatever the commercial was selling.
My, my. Isn’t it interesting how media glamorizes nonconformity? You’d think nonconformists would be more appreciated.
Like a lot of families who visit this site. Moms and dads like to read our articles to be encouraged as they raise their children – sometimes several children. They are not the typical two-income, two kids, two car families that you’d find on television. In fact, it took me sitting in the waiting room at a hospital to turn on the boob tube for the first time in months! We don’t even own a television set, as do 97% of American homes. In fact, there are lots of odd-ball things we are in the minority on:
- We home educate (3% of American children educate at home)
- We live on a self-employed income (7% of Americans are self-employed)
- We have more than 10 children (less than .01% of American families have 10 children)
There are more, I suppose, but it is interesting to note that many large families fit this mold. It isn’t because there is some “how to be a nonconformist family” book out there that mandates these things. I believe (at least it’s a strong hunch) that Christ followers are – or should be – repulsed by conformity:
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” – Romans 12:2
Meditate on this for a bit. This is not a bitter condemnation of all things of this world. We wear normal clothes, eat regular food, go to popular movies, and all sorts of things that some Christians may feel are worldly. By all means, our convictions are not condemnations on small families (or television or public schools or employed people). This is a simple understanding that, for most, the conviction to walk the road less traveled is usually that — a conviction — that doesn’t come from a popular mandate. Convictions come from God. It takes a significant amount of faith to step out of the expected direction.
Here’s another thought. While the media may glamorize nonconformity in commercials like the one I saw in the hospital waiting room, the media doesn’t really encourage it. They want everyone to buy their bag of goods, just like in the commercial. Nonconformity has a cool factor to it, but those of us who are living it feel the subtle condemnation that comes from our family, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Wendy and I have learned to shrug it off our backs, growing in confidence that the life of nonconformity is more than just a cool trend. It’s quite awesome.
And what a wonderful conviction it is to love another child. We have a house full of blessings as a result of this road less traveled, this life of Family, Children, Love & Jesus. Nonconformity definitely has its blessings.