Well, our first experiment with Your Turn feature here was such a rousing success, we’re back at it again this morning.
Last time, on behalf of readers, I asked you, “Should an egalitarian attend a complementarian church?”
And you all showed up with such thoughtful, wise, nuanced, disagreeing opinions that I feel like we need an award from Al Gore or something. I mean, who has respectful disagreement and discussion in the comment section of the Internet anymore? Apparently we do. Here’s to being grown-ups!
So today’s question is based on an email that I receive many times a week from people all over. I think it’s a pretty common problem so I’ll kick it over to you guys and let you weigh in here. (I’ve generalized and combined details from a few different emails so that it’s not singling any one person or situation out.)
“We have recently changed our opinions on some important aspects of our theology. Specifically, we are now affirming of women in all aspects of church leadership and we believe in mutual submission for Christian marriage. Unfortunately, our families completely disagree with us – and they make sure we know it. My husband and I are on the same page for the most part – although there is still disagreement and growth happening for both of us – but with my parents and his parents, it’s getting really difficult to be together. Every time these topics come up, we end up having huge disagreements. I love our parents and I want to honour them but I don’t want to back down from something that I believe is a very serious justice issue for many women either. I can’t seem to get them to listen to us or even give us space to disagree. It’s like if they won’t be happy until we are back to agreeing with every single thing they believe, too. And they are judging us and our marriage as “less than” now. It’s very uncomfortable. So please give me some advice: How do you handle family relationships when your theological opinions change?”
Your turn: Feel free to share your own story, tell us what you’ve learned, what has worked – and what hasn’t! – as you’ve navigated changes in your opinions within a family that isn’t willing to listen or welcome your changes.
I’ll weigh in with my own thoughts in the comment section a bit later on. Right now, I want to listen.