Thursday, December 29, 2011

Please Don't Judge Me because I have C-Sections...

I'm amazed at how many strong opinions there are on natural birth, hospital birth, and csections. I never planned or hoped to have a csection and yet, several weeks after my oldest was due, when I still had no signs of labor, I had my first csection. It put me in a humble place at future baby showers and I noticed, maybe for the first time, just how strong we can hold a preference. Sometimes saying hurtful things as a result towards others who don't do things our way.
As I walk through the early childhood years, I'm learning that there are SO many areas the Bible doesn't speak clearly on that we tend to get overly passionate about on: Santa or no? public, private, or homeschool? potty training early or waiting? discipline, "clean" eating etc... Truthfully, we all are prone to judge each other in areas we are passionate about even though the Bible really never addresses them. I'm no less guilty than the ladies who have judged me, so I need to look inward at my own opinions-turned-judgements and learn what God says about it. Just because God has guided my family in certain directions following His principles does not mean other families will sense Him call the same. I've landed in Romans 14.

"As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin."
I've appreciated the wisdom of Pastor Mark Lauterbach (of Grace Church in San Diego, CA) to think on as we tackle any subject that the Bible doesn't clearly teach for or against:
"In cases where there is no one to one correspondence and where multiple principles apply, seek personal application and follow it without universalizing the rule.
 I must apply.  I have every reason to seek the application of Scripture to my life -- and to do so as unto the Lord.  To say, "It doesn't matter, I am free" is not living unto the Lord.  To say, "I think this is an area of life where I may partake or abstain and know I am pleasing God, but I sense God is calling me to partake" -- THAT is conscience toward God. 
 I dare not add to the Word of God.  I also have no warrant to go beyond what is written, and make the work of the Spirit in my heart and life the universal rule for all, and to judge all by my rule.  And I must turn from the most subtle form of legalism, to think my rule is superior and if the other person "got it" as well as I do, they would agree with me.  It is precisely against such pride that the Apostles speaks in Romans 14."
Let's seek Christ and unity in Him. Let's forgive when others judge us and fight against our own tendency to judge others. Let's live so fully in Christ, that love and grace flow constantly in our relationships with each other and there is no room for judgement.


Virginia Knowles said...

I had quite a chip on my shoulder about breastfeeding until I could not produce nearly enough milk for my seventh baby over 12 years ago. The choice between letting him continue to lose weight or supplement with formula was clear and liberating. The next three babies were the same. I say, do what it takes, don't worry what others think, and enjoy your sweet baby!

Anonymous said...

Ginny thank you for these wise words! Much to think about and apply.

Love you!