Heyooooo! First post using the “/classic” block in the new, garbage WordPress editor. Lets see how this goes, eh?
So, a previous post I made titled The “Pray More” Trap lamented the practice by pastors and other christians urging husbands to “pray more” when they are at odds with their wives in an attempt to keep them praying until their wives break them and they give in. Its a horrible tactic but it works because the men of the church are trained to believe that their wives are somehow holier than they are, more “attuned to the holy spirit” and thus wiser, while the women of the church are trained to believe that their husbands are a wife away from being drunken, sex-starved despots.
I’d like to bring up another trap I ran into recently, the “Trust God” trap.
After a long time I finally got around to talking to my wife about leaving California and moving to Florida. I didn’t demand that we were moving, only informed her that I was going to be seriously seeking out the information needed for us to leave CA within the next six months or so, and that its a real possibility she needs to consider. I also offered to answer any questions she might have about why I am choosing to do this (which I pretty much explained to begin with).
One of the first things she asked me, which is something my father asked me as well when I talked to him about moving, was “where was my faith”, where was my “belief that God is with us and will protect and provide for us here”? My response was that I had been praying for months. Praying and fasting, in fact, and this was the decision I had made. Still, when we see danger why do fellow christians think we need to consult and “trust God” before getting out of the way of said danger? If I am walking down the sidewalk and I spot a semi speeding toward me, do I need to stop and pray first to ensure God wants me to move out of the way? Do I “trust God” and stand there, defiant, waiting for Him to intervene and cause the truck to swerve or stop suddenly or (and this would be cool) launch into the air and disappear? We know that God created our human mind with certain instincts and understandings, one of those being to move out of the way of danger. Whether a runaway truck or a runaway state, wouldn’t it be wise to get out of the way? If given the opportunity wouldn’t it be wiser to leave a state who’s iron grip has only tightened on the neck of freedom since the time I was born rather than wait until the last minute or not leave at all? Yes, God is with me if I walk down the middle of the busy highway, but He is just as with me if I walk where it is safe on the sidewalk where people are meant to walk (assuming there are no runaway trucks, of course).
I think other christians will use this question often, not to entice others to actually seek to trust God, but to guilt them into changing their minds. “Oh you decided to do x? Why? Don’t you trust God?”, “You want to buy a new car? Don’t you trust God to keep your old clunker running?”. It’s an underhanded tactic, but one I think a lot of christians don’t really use maliciously. I think its a self-preservation response when someone says something they don’t fully understand or aren’t fully on board with. When I spoke to my dad the conversation included the possibility of me leaving for Florida without my wife, if she decided to be rebellious and insist she would not move, regardless of what I decided. This made him irritated and frustrated, and he asked me the same question. Now my wife, faced with the prospect of moving and leaving our children here in CA, now asks the same question in an attempt to throw me off and cause me to question my own motives and decisions. Whether she does this maliciously or not I can’t say. I wouldn’t put it past her simply because she is a woman who is facing something she may see as needing to be done but not really wanting to do, and I would expect the roadblocks to come up.
God gave us a mind, and though we should always keep Him in mind, I don’t think its a good use of what He has given us if we stand paralyzed, wondering if we should pray, when the danger is readily apparent and headed our way. I mean, in the above example, if I heard a voice from God telling me to remain in the path of said runaway semi, and that He will save me, then sure, but unless I hear that voice I would do my best to get out of harms way. Likewise I don’t think its “trusting God” or even a test of your faith to simply stand in harms way expecting God to take care of it. If that were they case then why give us a brain at all?
Anyhow, that’s it for now. Have you run into anyone who has used this tactic on you? Am I off base?
As I begin to get serious about getting out of CA I will post occasional updates on how things are going. In the meantime I ask for your continued prayer, as this IS a big situation, but I know that God is with us no matter where we go, and will provide and care for us regardless. I move forward with caution, but without fear, knowing He is with us, always.