April 19, 2017
I have had a few instances over the last month where I have felt like I just don’t fit in with lots of people. In conversations with friends I have realized that we have very different views on what is appropriate to watch and read and how to keep the Sabbath Day Holy, etc. I am not saying I am right and they are wrong, but several times lately I have felt like I don’t fit in with my friends very well. I am a pretty “PG” type of person when it comes to entertainment choices and I think I come across as living a “letter of the law” type of obedience. Sometimes some of my friends tease me a little bit in jest and it hurts my feelings.
Example one, Spencer went to his high school prom dance last Saturday night. The price of the prom tickets included admission to an after party at Krazy Air. The after party started at 11:30pm and went until 2:00am in the morning. Chad and I didn’t want Spencer to go to the after party because it went so late into the morning (he just barely turned 16) and especially because the party went into the Sabbath Day. The church has been counseling us to do better to keep the Sabbath Day Holy for the last few years and we felt like the party would not be a holy way to start the Sabbath. We talked to Spencer about it. He said the rest of his group really wanted to go to the after party. Chad and I told him our feelings and asked him what he wanted to do. He said he felt he would be tired after the dance and didn’t really want to go to the after party. We told him we could come pick him and his date up if the rest of the group was heading to the party. Spencer decided to talk to his date about missing the after party. The day he talked to his date I decided to call her mom and explain the situation in case his date was really sad about it. I realized his date might feel let down or that she was missing out on a major part of their school prom experience if they didn’t go to the after party. Spencer’s date’s mother didn’t even know there was an after party. She wasn’t too keen on the idea of them being out so late either and she said she totally supported my decision to have our kids home by midnight and to skip the after party. (It ended up that all the other kids in the group decided to skip the after party as well and they all came home together.) Here’s the part where I felt like I didn’t fit in, I was talking to some friends (these friends happened to be members of my faith) the day or two before prom and all their kids were going to the after party. I mentioned how I didn’t like that the after party went into the Sabbath Day. They weren’t worried about that. I’ve wondered why it bothered me and it didn’t bother them. Is my conscience too over active? I am not trying to live the letter of the law. I have received many personal blessings for doing things to set the Sabbath Day apart from the rest of the days of the week and to keep it holy. I want Spencer to have those same blessings. I hope he didn’t feel forced in his decision to talk to his date and to skip the party. Chad and I were very proud of his decision to do so. When we learned the kids of our church leaders were going to the after party, that didn’t change our decision of wanting Spencer to skip it. We try not to make excuses for our decisions because of other people’s deisions, even if they are in a leadership position. We know we are accountable for our own actions; our leaders aren’t accountable for our actions. (I suppose leaders have a little bit of accountability if they lead those in their stewardship astray, but I think most of the accountability lies with the individual based on what they’ve been taught. I’m glad it will be Jesus Christ who judges all of us and not me!)
Example two, I was at lunch with a group of friends celebrating one of their birthdays. They started talking about a popular book and whether or not they should let their kids read it. They said it had the F word in it about 300 times and it had a pretty descriptive virtual sex scene. One mom suggested, oh you should let them read it and make the decision for themselves if it is too much for them. I suggested they should first warn their child of the inappropriate things in it and encourage them not to read it. One or two of them had read the book and even with all those things didn’t feel like it was a problem. I am not saying I am right and they are wrong, I was not judging them, I don’t know what they’ve been taught, I just felt like I didn’t fit in and like I was such a prude or something.
Yesterday I was feeling a little down about not fitting in so much lately. I started to feel like there was something wrong with me and that people probably make fun of me behind my back all the time. Then thankfully Heavenly Father directed my thoughts to a better place. I realized how blessed I am that Chad and I both have the same standards about entertainment choices and how the live the Sabbath day and how to be obedient to other gospel principals and that I always fit in at home with Chad and with our children! I realized that it is ok to be different and to stand out. Heavenly Father can use my friends as an instrument to reach people and he can use me as an instrument to reach maybe a different group of people. I also had the scripture Matthew 5:10 come to my mind when I was worried that people were making fun of me. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for rightousness’ sake: for there is the kingdom of heaven.”