Sunday, September 04, 2005

your comments please

i am going to open up something without giving you the solution that we have arrived at for this problem. i may end up with my pastorly butt in flames, but i want your thoughts and opinions anyway. all opinions respected and considered.

problem one:
it has become necessary for our milly to leave her home. i alluded to it earlier and i do not feel that i can share all of the details, but i will share that she has no other family, she was not even living with her parents, but her mother's cousin and there was a good deal of abuse and other activity involved which left her with nowhere else to go but to our home.

we could have sent her to a shelter, but i've been in one and i know it would be out of the question for her. she's street smart in some ways, but broken in others.

problem two:
robby wants milly to sleep in his room with him. they have both assured me that they have chosen not to have sexual relations, and that they fully intend upon getting married in a few years. i certainly concur, they are made for each other.

of course, bill and i disagree with them sleeping in the same room. morally ... because i am a pastor ... and for their own good.

i have tried to explain that when i accepted the ordination, i took all the curtains off my home. i must live to a moral standard that is above reproach for the sake of the people God has put under my care.

- they both agree that this is not the 'way it should be'. she should be home with her family.
- they both agree that the Word of God is clearly against premarital sex and even the appearance of evil.
- they both agree that the church would not approve.
- they both agree that they need to obey the rules of our house and our morals.
- she knows that she wouldn't have been able to do this at her home, and they were not christians, nor in full time ministry.

they believe they are not doing anything wrong because they are not having sex.

they really have grown up in a completely different world. we wouldn't dream of bringing this up to our parents. this generation thinks nothing of it. society thinks nothing of it.

bear in mind, robby knows he will be a pastor one day, but his relationship with the Lord (i want to say 'obviously' but have a check about it) is not what it will be. he says it is much better than it 'was', but not what it will be. i believe that it is Holy Spirit's job to convict them of sin, not mine.

there are other issues involving my husband that robby brings up. he has done it privately because he does not feel that he should intrude or judge what bill is doing, but he has a point. bill has some besetting sins that are as bad or worse than the issue at hand. i have discussed the difference between a parent and a child. but robby really is not a child any longer. he believes that bill is being hypocritical by doing this and not dealing with his own issues.

*ducking the flame thrower*

problem three, and probably more the root of the situation:
- i'm afraid i will lose robby if i am hardnosed about this
- he is afraid he will lose her
- she feels she has caused way too much trouble at our home
- we are all afraid that this will cause irrepable harm to my marriage because bill is dead set against her living in the home for a moment longer than necessary.

my struggle:
- i want to honour my husband, but feel he is being very hardnosed and not dealing in love with this.
- as a pastor, i know i should be dead set against this, but i have such peace that we will come to a compromise that will work for us all and that getting legalistic and hardnosed about this is not the solution.

have i lost it?

we have come to a solution, not everyone is happy about it, but it is one that we can all live with for the moment. we have agreed to come back together in one week and discuss how we feel.

we have agreed that bill and i meet with our senior pastor - my boss - and talk about our feelings.

they have agreed to meet with senior pastor and talk about their feelings.

is there a glaring issue i am not seeing?
mothers really cannot counsel their own family.
what do you think?

11 comments:

WES ELLIS said...

As you said it is God's job to convict of sin. It's important to see where something can be destructive in someone elses life. I don't know how to solve your problem but it's always been an issue for me that two people that aren't married would sleep together. I hope ll this works for good.

Carolyn said...

it's always been an issue for me that two people that aren't married would sleep together. I hope ll this works for good. me too, wes. me too. *sigh* how do you love someone, respect what they believe, but have your own piece of mind at the same time? where does the line of parenting cross his adulthood? while he is still under my roof? how about when they both pay rent? these are the issues we are struggling with.

saltnlight said...

im in prayer for u all love you lots just thought id say hi

Gayla said...

Oh Carolyn, I'm sorry you're having to go thru this. OK, here's my 2 cents.

It's your and Bill's home. That Bill may have 'issues'or sin that he's dealing with is completely irrelevant. Quite frankly, it doesn't really matter what Robby thinks. If you and Bill lay down a rule - in your home, I might add - then whoever is in your home should respect it and abide by it.

It also doesn't matter that Robby is not a child either. Did I mention that it's YOUR home? You've very generously opened it up to the both of them. I'm not so sure that they're entitled to much say - in YOUR home.

Your marriage has to take precedence over your relationship with Robby and Milly. (you know that, though) You cannot make a decision based on fear - fear that you'll lose him or he'll lose the girlfriend or whatever.

I firmly believe that shouldn't be allowed to run rough-shot over your or Bill - in YOUR home. If they want to sleep together - sex or no sex - perhaps they should get their own place. Or if they wish to cohabit like married folk, maybe they should consider actually getting married. Just a thought.

I'm more concerned about the attitude of these two than I am about the issue of them sleeping together. Carolyn, it's not their shot to call, it's yours and Bill's. It's YOUR home.

Sorry, I don't mean to sound mean or harsh. I do mean to sound firm, though. It matters not WHAT the rule is you've set forth, it needs to be abided by. Period.

Carolyn said...

gayla, thank you for your input. you did not sound harsh or mean at all, i understand completely what you are saying.

as i said before, i purposely have not expressed our decision because i wanted to see how people feel about this issue. especially in a pastor's home.

as i told robby, when i accepted the ordination, i took the curtains off my home. i must be the example of righteousness for those i am responsible for.

that said ... anyone else have any possible solutions?

Carolyn said...

hi michelle. thanks for stopping by. thanks for the prayers.

~m2~ said...

kk, how old is milly?

i said in an earlier reply (other post) that you have to pick your battles. you are setting a standard about what you want to go on in your home; bill's alleged sins are none of rob's business, as strange as that sounds. you and bill are married - rob & milly are not. there is a precedent that needs to be set and as much as you have done for this couple over the last few weeks, i believe it is the least they could do to show you honor and respect, out of love.

it is one thing to say "we only sleep" together we won't have sex. why put yourself in a compromising position if you wish to remain chaste? why would you open yourself up to that sin? would you send an alcoholic who is trying to abstain to a liquor store to pick up wine for you?

it's easy to be objective because we are not in your shoes -- you had rob away from you for many years as the prodigal. however, you need to feel confident in your parenting abilities (you are a wonderful mom!) and set boundaries. boundaries are okay, really.

would you let them get high in your house? no - it's against the law and against your house rules. this should be no different. have them alternate who sleeps on the couch and move forward with his going to school and eventually the seminary.

don't know if i helped or rambled :)

love you.

Carolyn said...

penni, milly is almost 18. she is in grade 12 at the same school robby is going to.

i admit that robby being away so long is messing with my mind. i know the Lord has told me to be loving with me in this, not hardnosed.

the solution?
she is in his bed in the bedroom. he has the couch right now, but we are moving a single bed into the other room and they have promised to obey the rules of the house.

some of my associates thought we should send her to a shelter and not have her in the house at all. i couldn't do that.

it's difficult. they had a little scuffle tonight (non physical) and robby went up the street to the local coffee shop to hang out. but so far, they appear to have reconnected.

we're concerned they will get too entrenched in each other too early. i have a sense they will be married one day ... so do they ... but we don't want to push it.

we've decided to leave it for a week and see what we will do next.

sr. pastor and his wife are foster parents, they may be willing to take her in, but that will have to be discussed.

please do continue to pray and thank you so much for your clarity on this issue.

it is much easier when it is a client, gotta tell you. thank You Lord for love and wisdom and unity.

Carolyn said...

penni, milly is almost 18. she is in grade 12 at the same school robby is going to.

i admit that robby being away so long is messing with my mind. i know the Lord has told me to be loving with me in this, not hardnosed.

the solution?
she is in his bed in the bedroom. he has the couch right now, but we are moving a single bed into the other room and they have promised to obey the rules of the house.

some of my associates thought we should send her to a shelter and not have her in the house at all. i couldn't do that.

it's difficult. they had a little scuffle tonight (non physical) and robby went up the street to the local coffee shop to hang out. but so far, they appear to have reconnected.

we're concerned they will get too entrenched in each other too early. i have a sense they will be married one day ... so do they ... but we don't want to push it.

we've decided to leave it for a week and see what we will do next.

sr. pastor and his wife are foster parents, they may be willing to take her in, but that will have to be discussed.

please do continue to pray and thank you so much for your clarity on this issue.

it is much easier when it is a client, gotta tell you. thank You Lord for love and wisdom and unity.

Gayla said...

I can see that as a workable solution, provided they abide. :)

Can't send her to a shelter, uh-uh.

Carolyn said...

thanks, gayla. i strongly feel that i should not 'insist' but that they need to agree out of respect and honour.

not taking it hardnosed as worked, because they told me tonight that they realize the position we are in and will honour that.

praise God! had we tried to force them, they would have agreed, but reluctantly and with rebellious hearts and as we know from the Scriptures, that is not agreement.

God has proved Himself powerful in this and i beleive they have learned a valuable lesson.

see today's post ...