Apr
26
2012

Temptation to Retreat and Conform

We’ve all offended people before, and you probably can recall some times when the offense becomes unsalvageable. No matter how much you attempt to explain yourself, the person just will not accept your sincerity.

But what if your entire life is offensive? Our message of parenting, children, love and Jesus is our life, not just a misspoken word or conflict. We offend people. Sometimes without having a utter a single word. We try to articulate ourselves – that’s really what our blog, our books, Facebook venues are all about – but sometimes to no avail.

Is your life one big misunderstanding to your church friends, family members, or neighbors? You try to explain yourself in the best spirit possible, but there is a resistance. A disgruntled wall that cuts you down. It keeps you from speaking your mind and settling misunderstandings.

If you are doing something out of the ordinary, you get what we are saying. The choices in your life demand an explanation. Perhaps you are

  • an entrepreneur with an idea that is sure to take off,
  • a church layman who feels called to ministry, or
  • “just” a Christian who wants to uncover your love for Jesus to your not-so-understanding peers.

You are being transformed, but there are those in the shadows who want you to conform. 

Our blog and books attempt to explain how LOVE is the most important commandment, and that every child is a blessing. Believe it or not, this message is hostile to some. This boggles us. What is there to hate with the message of Love Another Child? Check out this comment…

Jesus Christ is my savior. But he gave me a brain. And no way did he tell the Jeub’s to have that many children while ignoring the rest of the world and the monsoon of problems ahead of us.

We enjoy challenging thoughts, so we’re surprised when people take offense. Sometimes we wonder if it is worth bringing up the sensitive topics at all.

When you’re plowing through with a unique message, it is easy to think one person’s opposing voice is representative of many. “Oh, what’s the use?” You contemplate quitting, crawling back to a simple life, giving up on the calling God has for you. “Perhaps this isn’t right after all…maybe God isn’t in on this like we thought.” The doubts eat you alive.

Then you get a comment like this:

Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading your blog. Originally I’ve been quietly simmering and hostile to your message. But I’ve changed my mind along the way. I would like to say, “I get it now”… Thanks for opening my eyes.

 Whoa.

God is in on this. He’s moving people’s hearts. Conforming to this world is just not all that interesting to us.

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado, with 14 of their 16 children. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • http://twitter.com/raisingrealmen Raising Real Men

    Amen. We are so with you. We face this all the time, too. We keep remembering, “Do not be surprised when the world hates you,” but we it is so hard not to be. How much harder when it’s not just the world, but those who claim to follow Christ, too. Stay strong, friends!

    Hal & Melanie Young

  • Sara

    At times I feel so lost, when others judge my life as a foster carer as well as a woman with an illness. Yes at times I’m tired and in pain but God gave me a heart that could love others children as my own. Who am I to question or doubt.

  • salamander9

    wow!  I’ve never had a blog quote one of my comments before!  i was chatting with a young person recently who was condemning a family of 8.  i told her it was a matter of how people choose to live their lives and perhaps not having a lot of material possessions was ok because they would rather be surrounded by children and that she should consider a different perspective. we are so lucky to live in a country where we have the freedom to make such choices.  :)

  • Sheila (UK)

    Hi Chris and Wendy,
                     We experienced very negative reactions when we took our son out of school to homeschool him. They were more than negative, they were really angry at us.
                     Sometimes I think that when we make a decision based on what we feel God has prompted us to do that is when we receive the harshest criticism.
    Is this a test to see if we will do the right thing ? Is it the enemy trying to blow us off course to make us conform to the world?
    Whatever it is we must always do what we feel led by the Lord to do regardless of what those around us think. This is difficult especially when it is sometimes those closest to us who express the most negative opinions.
                  Perhaps it is the case that the closer we walk with God others will be offended and there is nothing we can do about it!

  • Katie

    They only hate you because they feel you are implying that the way they are living their lives is wrong, or else because they want to be more like you and can’t.  Maybe for some it is wrong.  I think it’s wrong if you don’t want to welcome another child because you “need” a 2nd car or fancier clothes.  But not necessarily wrong if someone wants to limit their childbearing because of severe illness or injury.  I have met a couple of women for whom pregnancy could be deadly.  We don’t know what it’s like to walk in their shoes.  Others are preventing in submission to their husbands.  There are also others who can’t have kids and feel unhappy about the topic because they feel people blame them for not being blessed.  We should all be careful that we aren’t straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.  God is not such a stickler for rules that He wants us to lack compassion otherwise He would’ve judged David for eating the consecrated bread.  I believe you are living your own personal calling and not trying to condemn others but some people are very sensitive.  Like I said, they could be sensitive because they want to and can’t or sensitive because you are pointing out what is wrong with their lives.  Or perhaps they are very attached to their lifesyles and terrified to disrupt it, and can’t imagine giving it up for anything but the threat of hell, so they assume that is what you are saying.  Your ministry is good but it isn’t everything.  I personally am very blessed but there are times I feel a large family is a heavy load to bear.  It’s much easier when there are people around you who say your ways is good.  I live in a predominately muslim neighborhood and the reaction to large families here is overwhelmingly positive.   I do not have to preach about the joys of children to them, yet these people have denited the risen Lord.  It’s nice to be treated kindly and fit in, but it’s more important to pray for my neighbors and take any opportunity to reach people for Christ.

    • Katie

      *way* and *denied*.  I did not see an option to edit.  I type very fast and am quite tired.  :)