When You Need Community–And You Don’t Have It

by | Dec 13, 2018 | Faith, Uncategorized | 25 comments

Christian Community and the Body of Christ
Merchandise is Here!
Remember the song “Lean on me”? When you’re not strong? I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.

That’s what Christian community is supposed to be like.

We weren’t made to go through life by ourselves, to bear all our burdens by ourselves, to figure things out by ourselves. We were made for relationship, and to be in community so that we can help, and so that we can be helped.
I’m talking about boundaries a lot this December, as we gear up for Christmas and often deal with family drama and other people’s expectations–and even our own. How do you figure out what’s your responsibility, and what’s really someone else’s?
On this blog I give a lot of advice on how to think through problems, and how to address issues in your marriage that are damaging to the relationship and to the person.
However, that hard work can’t be done in isolation.

That’s why often my main piece of advice, when it all comes down to it, is to get a group of people around you to support you, mentor you, and help you.

If your husband is watching porn, for instance, and won’t admit how bad it is or won’t get filters on the computer or accountability, you need other men you can trust to come alongside him and say, “no more”. If your husband won’t get a job, and plays video games all day, you need a group of people around you to come alongside him and say, “If you don’t start working, we’re going to support a separation, because the family needs to be financially stable.”
But maybe it’s not even a crisis. Maybe it’s just regular life and getting adjusted to marriage. That’s where you need people in healthy marriages hanging out with you, encouraging you, and giving a positive model of what marriage is supposed to be.

The struggle I have as a marriage blogger is that I know that this one piece of pivotal advice–get a group of people around you to help you–actually won’t work for many of you, because you aren’t in Christian community.

I have heard from so many who have gone to pastors to talk about their husband’s porn use, only to be told that they just need to have sex more. I have heard women who are emotionally abused go to pastors, only to be told that they need to understand their husband’s love language, or work at romancing him more. And so on and so on.
This week, I was so saddened by the report that was published about sexual abuse in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Churches. A scandal of proportions similar to the Catholic sexual abuse scandal, the report originally published in the Forth Worth Star Telegram found 400 allegations of abuse across 200 different institutions.
It’s a hard way to end the year, especially as it began with the Andy Savage scandal, where a Tennessee megapastor was revealed to have abused his position as youth pastor 20 years ago to coerce oral sex from a 17-year-old. And then the stories just kept happening. Sexual abuse scandals in the Southern Baptist Convention. The leader of a large network of churches suing bloggers (and their wives!) for reporting on financial and spiritual abuse within the church network. And it keeps happening.
This is depressing. Many churches are indeed unsafe places and do not build good marriages. But if you’re in a church like that, please, please know that not all churches are like that.

Healthy churches exist.

I wrote earlier this year about being in a legalistic church, and having a legalistic view of marriage, and how both of these things often work against marriage health. I want to expand a bit on what church health looks like today, because I think that when you’re in the middle of an unhealthy church situation, you often don’t feel like you have a choice. And we’re told that because we’re in community, we can’t just leave. We have to push through and make it better.

Sometimes that’s true. But I don’t think it is always true. Just because a church says that it preaches the gospel does not mean that that church is actually the body of Christ. We tend to believe that if someone can recite all the right verses and believe the right doctrine that they are Christian, and therefore they are part of the body of Christ. Jesus never said that. Instead, Jesus said things like this:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

He also said:

“If you love me, keep my commands. (John 14:15)

And then there’s this:

Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:49-50)

You see, it’s not about what you believe. It’s about actually following what God wants. It’s even more explicit here:

James 2:18-20

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]?
If you are in a church that believes all the “right” things about salvation, but does not practice love and does not work to bear each other’s burdens, then you’re not really in Christian community.
I think we have this tendency to believe that all churches are good, and we just need to stick it out. But Jesus was so clear that yes, the church would grow–but within that church would be evil elements. Here’s the parable of the wheat and the weeds:

Matthew 13:24-30

 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
He told other parables about how the kingdom of God was like a mustard seed, that grew into a really tall tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches. We know that in other parables (like the parable of the sower) birds represented the devil, or those who work to destroy the work of God. So in the parable of the mustard seed, Jesus is really saying that the church is going to grow, but those who want to destroy it will dig right in there, too.

It’s okay to call a spade a spade, and to recognize when a church may be working against the will of God

At the same time, there are very healthy churches out there. They just may look different from the things we often associate with a good church.
When we look for a “good” church, what do we normally look at? We want a large church that’s thriving. We want great preaching, amazing music, great youth groups. And that’s all good. But can I tell you about the best church experience my daughter Rebecca ever had?
In her first two years of university she attended a church plant in downtown Ottawa. It only had 40 people. They met in a community centre. The acoustics were awful, and the music was merely okay (largely because of the lousy acoustics). But what they had in spades was community. It was inter-generational, and the older people who were there came specifically to really care for the students and others who attended. When Rebecca started dating Connor, other men came alongside him to mentor him (he was a new Christian). When they got engaged, Rebecca’s mentor was Debbie, a woman my age who drove her to music practice, gave advice, and asked her how she was doing. Grandmotherly Lynne also was always there for her.
Right now my daughter Katie is attending a church in a backwater town up north in the middle of nowhere nearby the military base where my son-in-law David is posted. It’s not overly large; the music isn’t always great; the “extras” are almost non-existent. But they have great community. We were talking last night as to why that is, and we decided it hinged on two words: authenticity and humility. From the pastor on down, those are two of the big values of this church. People are authentic, and they are vulnerable, which means you can go to them with problems, you can talk to them if you think something may be a bit off base, you can ask for help. That’s what matters. That’s what makes community.

Often we judge what church to go to based on the quality of the sermons, and I think that’s a huge mistake.

If you want great teaching, there are so many podcasts out there now. Just pick a good one and listen in every week. What you can’t get on the internet is community.
Sometimes when you are in a very large church it can seem like that IS Christianity. You’re often taught that everything outside of the church is off base and wrong. So it can feel like if you leave the church, you’re leaving Jesus. The opposite may be true.

Sometimes when you leave that church, you find Jesus.

I see so many people leaving churches altogether after a bad experience, and that makes me so sad. If you had a bad experience at a church, chances are that church wasn’t really functioning as the body of Christ. So don’t reject Jesus because the church wasn’t good. Find a real expression of Jesus–one that’s about authenticity and humility, because trust me–it’s out there.
It’s not even about denomination necessarily, either. We had all our babies when we were living in downtown Toronto. We attended Little Trinity Anglican church there where almost no one had grown up Anglican. It was just an awesome church, and still likely my favourite church of any I’ve ever attended. As a family, we believe in adult baptism. So when our girls were born, we asked for them to be dedicated rather than baptized. And you know what? They did it, even though they practice infant baptism, because they cared about us. We were the focus.
Interestingly, when our son was in the hospital and it was clear he wouldn’t make it, we actually asked the minister to baptize him. He came to the hospital and he did, and it was a lovely service. But they just cared about us where we were at. When our son died, the church really was there for us. They had a “Stephen” ministry program, where people had been trained not to counsel others, but just to listen and pray and walk through difficult times. And I’ll always remember Pat, who sat with me and cried with me as I tried to process Christopher’s death.
Our minister, Duke Vipperman, came to the hospital at 3 in the morning the night that Christopher passed away, even though Toronto is a very big city and he lived in a different part of it. It was community.

My biggest prayer for all of you who read this blog, beyond good marriages and good sex lives and all of the stuff I normally talk about, is a simple one: May you find true Christian community, and may you then be a part of growing it.

When we do that, a lot of these other things become so much easier.
When I saw that report on Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches, my heart sank. It’s been a hard year for churches. But let’s not end the year on that note. Let’s instead get back to the heart of God, and know that God is simply shaking the church right now so that abusive power structures are brought into the light so they can be disposed of. That’s messy, but it’s okay. As those things are dealt with, the real body of Christ will start to shine.
And I’d encourage all of you to search for it. To create it and be part of it. And then to help it to spread.
What Real Christian Community Looks Like as the Body of Christ
What do you think? Have you ever had to leave an unhealthy church? What happened? Let’s talk in the comments!
 

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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25 Comments

  1. Phil

    Hi Shiela – I really like those two words. Humility and authenticity. Those are two very attractive qualities in people that I am drawn towards. I really have a lot to say about this post today. Been thinking about it hard for over an hour. All that I have to say would never fit here. I found these words the other day – I liked it so much I cut and pasted it and emailed it to myself! Christian fellowship is an important practice from which we draw encouragement and accountability, yet when we limit ourselves to relationships with believers alone, we’re not mirroring Christ. It’s challenging to cultivate relationships with people who don’t already know the Lord. Do you know that for me it is more challanging to find Christian fellowship with those two qualities than it is to find the latter? My Pastor happens to have those qualities and I beleive it is reflected in our church however, seems to me drawing Christians out to be genuine and humble is a ton harder than drawing out people who are in pain and need help in a bad way. …there is more but thats where I am stuck at the moment.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, I’d agree. We need to get relationships with those outside the church too. But I do find that as a blogger, I’m continually sending people back to “Christian community”, and the truth is that much of what happens in some churches just doesn’t meet that criteria. I do think we’re going through a time when God is really shaking the church, and I just want to reassure people that good churches are out there. You can find them. There is hope, because sometimes it feels as if there’s nothing.
      Now, no community will function unless we ALL contribute and do our bit. So you won’t find community unless you’re willing to be a contributing part of one. But I talk to so many women who are trying to so hard in their church, and they’re getting beaten down. And it’s to those people that I want to say: It doesn’t have to be like this. It could be that your church is not actually functioning as the body of Christ. There’s a lot of that right now, and I hope that as people start saying, “we want authentic community”, then fewer of us will settle for less. And that will have a very positive effect on the church as a whole. The fact that so many settle for an inauthentic or abusive church, thinking that they’re being “unChristian” if they don’t stay, I think does contribute to more inauthentic and abusive churches. It’s just sad. Sometimes God does call people to stay; but other times I think He is calling people out, and I just want to reassure people that God can and does do that.

      Reply
  2. Cara

    Loneliness is alive and real and gets in every corner of your being.
    People are too busy doing all the “good” things (you know, soccer, basketball, baseball, swimming, dance, competitive gymnastics, PTO, PTA, church committees, selling their latest oil, supplement, etc) to just sit and visit. To be a regular friend whether Times are good or bad. To feel comfortable sharing your breaking heart you need a friend that you’re already comfortable with generally. But no one has time for that anymore. Thankful I have a good husband but girlfriends would still be nice. I’m willing to be one….
    I’m noticing the same for my daughters. I tried to teach them to be good friends-people before achievements etc. Ironically, my son has a great group of friends.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      It is so hard, and people are so busy! I try to get together with two people a week. It doesn’t sound like much, but I try. I find that it’s even more difficult now that my kids are older because I really like my kids. So when I want to talk I talk to them, and that’s not really healthy. And it doesn’t help those who don’t have kids. But we do need community!

      Reply
      • Cara

        I’ve found that the least invested people have been at church. We attended a smaller church in the hopes that we would have community. We have been through some pretty rough stuff (union related lock out and no income really for months and spiritually struggling) and our pastor never once prayed with us or visited. He did pass us some gift cards for groceries and stuff but spiritual support was what we needed.
        Where we have seen church community at is finest?? We have multiple friends that are LDS. They get that 110% right. They are like one big family.
        Honestly I’ve mostly given up at this point. I do have my mom and my now grown daughter and a couple of friends I text. That’s apparently what it looks like now.
        We found a church we LOVED in one place we lived for a year but we had to move (work). I had started a couple friendships there. Looking for a new church now.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Oh, Cara! I do hope you find a good one soon.

          Reply
  3. Eb

    We have been to many churches in our city and none have been friendly. I always picture walking in and being welcomed with open hearts and minds. Either we are ignored or you have the small talk, add friends on FB (and then they refuse to chat to you!) and you are constantly small talked. Meanwhile everyone else seems to be connected. Though we’ve discovered that many people feel disconnected while the “inner circle” gush online about how their church is the greatest thing that has ever happened to them. It is hard when the pastor is in that inner circle. They don’t see that the outsiders don’t feel that. We were part of a small church plant before and no one new ever left without an invitation to dinner that week or plans for a play date (if they had kids), we had “after parties” every Sunday night and we served one another and the community. Miss it! It makes it hard not to judge too. We make sure to reach out to new people and try to get to know people, never giving up. We don’t want to be that inner circle anymore because we don’t want to be blinded.
    Some may say we need to find another church, but we’ve tried about 20 and we can’t do that to our kids anymore. The children/youth ministry is good and we example hospitality and service in our home and we started our own bible study type community group for others who feel like us and want a true community.
    🧡💛

    Reply
    • Cara

      Eb-yes!!!!!
      I will say that in the past I’ve been partly at fault by being introverted and not serving (I homeschool and when the kids were all little I was so EMPTY of anything to give that it seemed impossible. )

      Reply
  4. Ashley

    Such a good post! I do believe it’s important to be fed spiritually at your church, but if the community is missing, there is a huge problem.
    As you know, I’m divorced. I left my ex-husband just under a year ago, and I am doing SO WELL. The amount of healing that has happened in my life has surprised me and the people close to me. I haven’t even gone to therapy.
    On the other hand, I am connected to many other Christians going through the same thing, through Facebook. I have observed that I am so far ahead in my healing than many of them, some of whom have been divorced for a few years. Now I know some of them are healing from 20+ years of abuse and cheating compared to my 5, and that has to make a difference. But what I’ve seen over and over in their stories is their churches have really dropped the ball.
    When I left my ex I moved back with my family and started attending the church I grew up in. We are a small group right now; the church went through a split a while back. But we have a really close-knit group. We are family to each other. I think this is one of the biggest things that has helped me heal so fast.

    Reply
  5. Phil

    Sheila – you did a post on community maybe it was the beginning of this year? Surprised you didn’t drop that link.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yep! Thought of that one, too. It’s right here.

      Reply
  6. B.O.

    That part about being a real Christian… We are saved by who we are trusting : Jesus alone. People can believe a bunch of facts without actually trusting in Jesus. Just as Noah had to enter the Ark to be saved, we have to cling to Jesus. The will of the Father for us is simple : Believe (Trust) in the one whom He sent. THAT is how we are saved. He will NEVER cast us away because of our sin if we trust Him alone for salvation. If anyone is cast away, it is not because of their evil fruit, sin, lack of love etc. It is because of their unbelief, their trust in anything apart from Jesus, their self-righteousness etc. The real fruit that real Christians produce is more real Christians, trusting in Jesus alone, because of the real Gospel of forgiveness and everlasting life thru the work of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus on our behalf.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I agree with you, B.O. The problem is that many, many people say that they believe. The real proof is in whether they actually act like Christ did. It is not that those works save us; but without those works, without love, we cannot and must not assume that the Holy Spirit is indwelling that person. So many claim Christ and can preach Christ, but they have absolutely no love. And that, Jesus was very clear about, is not real Christian community.

      Reply
      • B.O.

        Yes, true love can only be known and shown through faith in Jesus. We have to also be careful though to dig deep when we hear what people say because their “loving acts” may be superficial but what they believe/trust is not so visible. So, we need to also talk and get to the heart of what they believe/trust cuz they may not be trusting Jesus or they may just be a bit insecure and not really comprehend how great a salvation it is that they already have. I wish someone had dug deep with me. Sooo many wasted years. But, at least I can see things from a different view cuz I was there on that side of the fence for a long time and know what to look for now that I am in Him and His love is in me.

        Reply
  7. Brokenhearted

    Yes, a few months ago we left the church that my husband grew up in, where we were married, the church my children knew.
    I thought that the people in church leadership were being a strong Christian community. I went to them for help when my marriage fell apart and they started counseling my husband and I as we tried to pick up the pieces. It was very hard as my husband continued to lie, cheat and keep secrets. After a year of counseling and my husband giving himself to God, he relapsed and I was devastated.
    The people counseling us, people I trusted, told me I had to separate and send my husband away to a special counseling facility. I felt like I had no choice. I was numb from my husband’s betrayal.
    During separation the church leadership said they would be there for me and my children, but they had a list of rules that I had to follow. They tried to keep me away from my family because my mother could see how the church leaders were forcing their decisions on me and the church leadership didn’t want me to have anything to do with my husband.
    I cried out to God constantly and He did not give me peace about the counseling service they recommended or staying away from my husband. When I shared that with the leadership, I was told that I had to stop seeking God’s will on my own and only listen to them. Because they were church leaders, they knew what God wanted. I cannot describe how hurt I was by those words.
    They were angry and disappointed when my husband came home after repenting. They told me to seperate again and that I was disobeying the church leadership. We left that church and all I have left are painful memories of that place.
    My husband and I found a local Celebrate Recovery group and we now attend that church as well. The people at Celebrate Recovery are all a broken mess like me, desperately seeking God, and although I want to be there, it’s hard because I have to fight the fear that they will turn on me just like people at my former church did.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, I’m so sorry! To have the pain of a church betrayal right when you’re dealing with such big marriage issues is so, so hard. It sounds like you both made a healthy choice. I’m glad he’s in Celebrate Recovery. I’d just encourage you to not be afraid to be open, but to also be wise. Get some people around you that you do really trust, like your mother. And don’t listen to people who say things like, “you can’t trust yourself, you have to listen to us.” That’s not of God. God speaks to people. The right response, if you think someone is doing something wrong, is not to say, “You shouldn’t be thinking for yourself.” It’s to say, “We have some concerns for you, and here’s why…” I’m sorry you went through that!

      Reply
  8. Brievel

    As I’ve mentioned before, my sister goes to a very legalistic church (to which I won’t return.) She told me flat-out the other day my family’s problems were because we weren’t attending [her] church. I always felt cold-shouldered there, my husband hated it. And if that’s what she thinks (I wish I’d said this) then why are she and her husband and from what she says, everyone else in the church, also struggling? (It’s worth noting that all the kids who grew up in that church either left the church, left the faith, or ended up in abusive marriages.)

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      There’s far too much of this “our church is the only real way to know Jesus” mentality. I love the fact that my pastor prays hard for all of the other churches in our small town every Sunday morning, and advertises their events. We are part of a mission together. If your church is trying to say “we’re the only way”, that really is a huge red flag. It’s too bad your sister can’t see it, but I don’t think it’s wrong to challenge her on that. I really don’t.

      Reply
  9. Molly

    We just officially left s church in May, but i had checked out sometime around Christmas. This was after about 6years of me trying to make it work. My depression and anxiety were at an all time high. I went to the same bible study for 12consistent years but they did a number on me. I don’t even know if the books i read were good or bad. The leadership was above reproach. I finally had my eyes opened when i noticed all these people saying “we’re not enough.” and using really defeatist language. There’s a lot more to the story but it makes me sad to think how long i stayed there.
    It’s been 6months since we left, and my depression is lifting.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, I’m so glad, Molly! I hope you’re in a healthy community now. And I’m sorry you were so beaten down. That is not of God! And you’re right—when we’re in unhealthy community, it really can cause depression.

      Reply
  10. who am i

    “What you can’t get on the internet is community.” It sort of depends on what you mean by community, but I partially disagree with you, if some of what you mean by community is authentic sharing and emotional support.
    The Marriage Bed, is shutting down it’s forum, to reconfigure it and it maybe very different when it comes back.
    Quite a few people have been deeply mourning the loss of community there. Quite a few people have gotten huge emotional support, spiritual guidance and empathy through some very serious marriage and life issues, and have deeply appreciated the on line connection with anonymous people who truly cared for them.
    And many have found a level of community and sharing that they have been unable to find locally.
    On the other hand, if community is having someone come over and sit with you during a tragedy , or clean your house or bring meals to you during a rough season- that does not work with an on line anonymous community.
    It just bothers me that you made the blanket statement about not being able to get community on the internet- because I have been a witness to different communities on the internet.

    Reply
  11. Nelly

    Sheila, what do you recommend when one spouse wants to find a new church family, but one wants to stay? My husband and I are in this situation. I am not happy in our church (that we both grew up in) but he really thinks it is one of very few “true churches”. He is in leadership too, which makes it harder. I don’t agree with some of the fundamental doctrines, particularly around the roles of women. I have hung in there for years, not wanting to have our family separated on Sundays and other church activities, but it has affected my own relationship with God to the point that I feel very negative. I am almost certain my husband will never leave that church, and I do feel bad for him because it is me who has changed in my beliefs and ‘shifted the goalposts’ on him. Do you think it is more important for a married couple to attend church together, or to each attend somewhere they can be happy and fruitful? And then what would we do about the kids? 🙁

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That’s a tough one, Nelly! I’d say that #1, you do need to be fed. If you aren’t being fed at that church, start attending a women’s Bible study during the week at another church, maybe? And then the #2 consideration is your kids. Are they being fed? If the church really is a toxic place to women, what are they learning about their own identities (if they’re girls) or how to treat women (if they’re boys)? If it’s not blatant, and they have good friends who aren’t extreme, then it may be okay to stay. But if the kids don’t have friends and if the children’s program or youth program isn’t good, that really matters. Kids tend to drift off in high school, and kids at more conservative churches drift off often faster. So I would maybe get the kids involved in a mid-week program or youth group program at another church, even if you still attend on Sunday mornings. And then just pray hard! And if, every now and then, you want to attend a different church on a Sunday morning, that’s okay, too. It’s okay to say to your husband, “I want us both to be fed. I know that’s important to you, too, but I’m telling you–I’m not being fed here, and I want that to matter to you. Can we find a church where both of us can be fed?”

      Reply
      • Nelly

        Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply, Sheila. That has given me some ideas that I hadn’t thought of.
        Unfortunately this church doesn’t approve mixing with other denominations (they do stuff with other churches of the same denomination), so for me to attend elsewhere will be disapproved of, and may mean my husband won’t be able to continue in his ministry, which is important to him. Fortunately it is not overtly toxic and so I am not worried for my children in the short term, it just a bit on the legalistic side and more conservative than my personal beliefs.
        I definitely need to pray about this, and trust that God will make a way. I do need to start being fed from somewhere, as I have essentially given up on ever being spiritually happy. Your blog has awakened a spark of interest in me in drawing close to God again, as I can see what joy and contentment you have in your faith. Thank you for that!

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Hi Nelly,
          I’m sorry that your church doesn’t approve of “mixing” with other churches. That’s actually quite scary. I know in our city, people often send their kids to the youth group at the bigger church, or to the Awana program at another church. Even attend women’s Bible studies at other churches if they meet on a more convenient day! So that seems very controlling and unfortunate. I would really pray that the Lord will guide you. And it is okay to want to be fed. I think sitting down with your husband and telling him that, clearly, is likely warranted. If he believes that he is spiritually responsible for the family (which it sounds like he does), then telling him, “I have a spiritual need which can’t be met here,” does make it his responsibility now. I hope that may help!

          Reply

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