Sunday Morning Coffee: A Movie

So I’m watching a Hallmark movie–not embarrassed to admit it–on Saturday evening. It’s about an Amish girl who is struggling with the restrictions of her life, not sure she wants to stay in it. She knows that if she chooses to go to the “Englishers,” it will be a blow to her family and her community. She hasn’t joined the church yet, so she would not be put under the Meidung, in which she would be shunned by even her closest family members.

When we first moved to Pennsylvania in 1974, I was intrigued with the whole Amish culture. We didn’t have a computer back then, didn’t even know for sure what they were. So I used the library, looked at various magazines, did a lot of reading and even got an Amish cookbook that I still use quite often.

They don’t want to have their pictures taken. They even make dolls with no faces for their little girls. Too much like making a graven image.

Cloth Amish Doll

Some communities are much more strict. Others have loosened the reins just a bit, hoping to keep their young people in the church. I’m not writing tonight to comment or express any opinions about any of this. I have, however, been reflecting on my own upbringing.

I was the kid who wasn’t allowed to learn to dance in gym class. I didn’t attend movies; didn’t ever, not even once, try smoking or drinking. There were other things, but they didn’t bother me a whole lot. Life was good. I had friends, was involved in lots of extra-curriculars at school, was busy at church, and spent a lot of time trying to learn to play the piano for church. I even had a boyfriend or two 🙂

So why the rules? Well, let’s back up a bit.

My parents were born in the 1920’s, grew up in the Depression, got through WWII. Dad trusted the Lord as his Savior when he was 14, but no one really discipled him. He joined the Navy at 19, after he and Mom were married. She was 16. Things were different then, huh?

While Dad was away, my Mom got saved. Dad was learning to drink and carouse and he was not impressed when Mom wrote to tell him. They had some rough years once he came home, until he finally surrendered to God’s call on his life to be a preacher.

They both grew up in what we knew as “worldly” activities, things that, looking back, they felt did not bring honor to God. They chose to rear us differently, avoiding worldly activities and thereby the temptations that could destroy our lives.

Did I agree with everything? No. But I loved and respected them, and as I said, life was really pretty good. I never felt deprived, really, although I think I would have loved to learn to dance 🙂

Didn’t I ever have a rebellious thought or desire? Well, sure. I’m very, very human.

I’ll tell you one thing for sure, though. I’m not sorry at all that I have nothing to regret in abiding by my parent’s rules. I was saved when I was only five, but I understood that I was a sinner. Lying is sin. Temper is sin. Cheating. Jealousy. Gossip. All just a sinful as the list of Baptist no-no’s that I grew up with. I’m not sorry I’ve never been addicted to alcohol or drugs. Never had to fight the terrible battle of giving up nicotine. There have been plenty of other battles that are just between me and God, and I’m so thankful that He knows all about me and loves me anyway.

I’m also thankful that I understood that I could never be good enough in my own strength to be allowed into heaven. That it was “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us (Titus 3:5-7). It is not belonging to any particular church, or denomination, or creed, or community that paves my way to heaven. It is the precious blood of Jesus, shed in my behalf, that cleanses me from sin and gains me entrance to heaven.

5 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Coffee: A Movie

  1. Such a lovely post. I have been thinking this morning about what kind of church I would want to be a part of if ever able to physically attend again. It’s been interesting and I will be thinking on it more. I’m in touch with one locally online & it is challenging me. But ultimately it’s all about relationship with God, with Christ. I don’t come from a Christian upbringing, but many of the compassionate messages were. It’s Holy week already. An opportunity to renew once again. Thanks again.⚘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for this Linda. I’ve never met you but I swear the Lord seems to be giving you the right word for me every time I read one of your posts lately. I am saying this over and over, because I need to say it over and over for myself. This is exactly why I’m leaving the Roman Catholic Church for good this time. All of this legalistic drama. I’m going back to being one of those spiritual not religious people and that is okay. Thank you for sharing some of you and your family’s personal story. There are so many different ways to follow Jesus. The important thing is that we follow His lead and no one else’s. Peace, Anne

    Liked by 2 people

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