PD Church Hopping

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Mary

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PD Church Hopping
« on: September 11, 2018, 05:25:24 AM »
I have a problem with uNPDh church hopping. He does it partly to punish me, and partly to punish people who he gets (a little) close to. Sometimes we stay a year, and sometimes a month.

He will get angry at people, and I find I would let myself get sucked in to looking at their "hypocrisy" too. It took me some time to recognize what was going on, and to back out of the bitterness against people. People are people, and sometimes they make mistakes. Not a good reason to cut them off and leave church.

I'm realizing that when we "hop", it is healthy for me to make the effort to hang on to the friends I have made along the way.

Another way I have dealt with this is to choose my own church to attend on Wednesday nights (guess how much he likes them??!!!) It's hard for me to figure out if this is a right decision though because I want to give him space to be the spiritual leader of the home, and worship as a family. Thoughts anyone?
Mary
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

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Julian R

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Re: PD Church Hopping
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2018, 11:43:03 AM »
Hello Mary

As a general rule I don't think church hopping is helpful.  It is far better to have a settled and stable church life where that is reasonably possible. I am sorry to hear that in your situation you have had to endure "hopping" due to the capricious behaviour of your husband.  I would only leave a church for a very good and serious reason (and there can be such reasons) never lightly - and especially not to "punish" a spouse or other person.

Without knowing all the details of your situation I believe it would be a good thing for you to have your own settled spiritual space and friends - it is sad that this needs to be the case but in your situation understandable and helpful. I respect that you wish your husband to take spiritual leadership but if that "leadership" is taking you down wild or harmful directions then I believe you are right to both question it and to take your own decisions for your own well-being, in of course as cooperatively a way as possible.

I think many PDs, my wife included, can view people in very black and white ways.  For my wife a person / christian is either really wonderful or really dreadful (angel or demon (metaphorically)).  Yes Christians (myself included) often don't meet up to ideals or expectations - and when they don't people with PDs, perhaps like your husband/my wife - will react strongly, harshly, very critically or want to walk away ... but as I am sure you are aware, the Bible teaches us to show mercy and understanding, bear with one another, forgive and walk with each other, warts and all, towards a deeper maturity in Christ.

I hope your decision to have your own Church space on a Wednesday does not bring you too much conflict and that you will find it to be a great source of support for you.

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Mary

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Re: PD Church Hopping
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2018, 01:03:25 AM »
Thanks Julian R.
We have since moved across the country, and I'm in a similar quandry in the new location. We stayed in a church I loved for a year, and then when I implemented Boundary #1, we hopped as a punishment on me. I am working hard to maintain those relationships on the side. But even mentioning going back for a special event can bring on a lot of conflict and silent treatment.

I think I'm doing the right thing, but I waffle between letting go of those friendships that take a lot of work to maintain (but are sustaining) versus setting a potentially explosive boundary on this. In other words, Is this a battle worth fighting? At this time?

The new churches are enjoyable (he chose 2 :unsure:), and I am starting to plug in a little. But it's only a matter of time...

I would appreciate prayers for wisdom on this.
Mary
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

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Julian R

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Re: PD Church Hopping
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2018, 07:04:54 AM »
Hi Mary
I sense your struggle and know myself what it's like to be anxious of how a PD can react to our choices, opinions & decisions. Please be assured of my prayers for wisdom and so much more in your situation.
In an ideal situation it's probably best to invest oneself in just one church but your situation is not ideal and I can see the value of maintaining long term settled relationships with people who can support you.
I am concerned that your husband made you change church to punish you. I am sorry you have to endure this. It is unacceptable behaviour and well, could be qualified as abuse. Likewise were he to seek to prevent you from maintaining friendships of your choice, that also is a form of abuse. Yes, sorry you are going through this.
I have and will pray. God bless

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Mary

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Re: PD Church Hopping
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2018, 01:30:53 AM »
I really appreciate the prayers. The answer that seems to be forming is keep the relationships, but back off on church events he's not supportive of. It's not exactly the answer I wanted...I would have much preferred to set a firmer boundary on this one! But if I steam roll ahead, I could be dismantling some good things (ie. He at least attends church, and is positive about it to the kids).

Spiritual growth can take many shapes and sizes. For me, having to visit so many churches has not been all bad, albeit completely out of my comfort zone. I've met a lot of good people along the way and have learned that a lot of denominational differences are really about differences of administration. I've had to examine my dogmatic views on some (OK alot of) things, and am hopefully better for it. However, I recognize that I need real fellowship, and that cannot happen by skimming along on surface relationships only.
Mary
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

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Julian R

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Re: PD Church Hopping
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2018, 08:24:26 AM »
Thank you for the update.  I am glad you are seeing a way forward and would tend to agree that having settled and beneficial supportive friendships is more important than attending events. 

I also agree, that whilst it is good to have a settled church life with one church, there are benefits, as you say, from seeing other churches and how Christians live out their faith in different contexts.  I have seen much the same benefits as yourself in my own life but more as the result of my ministry opportunities (including overseas) than being forced  to church hop.

God bless

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bgirl12

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Re: PD Church Hopping
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2018, 01:12:24 AM »
I am sorry you have had to move around a lot with your churches. You seem to make friends easily and really know how to plug in. I wonder if you can confide in a prayer partner or bring an unspoken prayer request up when your are involved in your groups. It's your choice how much to share. God knows. I am grateful you are in the lives of so many people. I pray you get the support you need, the healing you pray for, and the grace to cover it all. God can use anyone to accomplish his plans. You are a blessing to your church- whichever one you are at. Hugs.

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SonofThunder

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Re: PD Church Hopping
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2018, 11:30:46 AM »
Hello Mary,

So sorry you are experience this with your uNPDh and I will pray for you in your difficult struggles.  I fully understand, from a Biblical perspective, you wanting to allow him room to be the spiritual leader of the home, and you being obedient to Christ is this way, but frankly, having grown up with a uNPDf, I can look back and in hindsight, see where the NPD guided everything related to my fatherís Ďspiritual leadershipí and participation in the local church community. 

In hindsight, I can see that it was more about the church members opinions of my father, and his status/trophies at the church than him leading us. When church members were in disagreement with him on certain church decisions related to committees he was a part of, he would assert control in areas of his capability and if he was overruled, he would quit the committee or boycott the church for a period of time, leaving my mother to go alone.  Again, all about his retaining control and if the church wonít praise him, he will praise himself by quitting or boycotting.  For my uNPDf, it was more about retaining control, than punishing.  The church members never felt punished, but rather relieved that he was staying home...lol.  My poor non-Pd mom must have really suffered with this, as her best friends are in her local church and so I feel for you and will pray for you. 

Fast forward to my uPDw. She would get involved in church functions until she was either disagreed with or not recognized enough for her contributions and then quit the function.  She isnít a church hopper, but rather a church participant hopper/boycotter.  Itís not about what good she can bring to the church community, but ultimately rather about what she gets from participating, and if itís not satisfactory to her, she too will sour on attendance and/or participation and communication with church members.

For me, it was all way to on/off dealing with these PDís in my life and my faith is now more focused on a personal relationship with Christ, rather than attendance in a local congregation, as that just always goes awry with PDís.  Not sure, but you may have young children and that can be a big factor in your decision, but frankly, by my experiences I am of the opinion that PDís will never be able to lead well, because their focus is always (overtly and/or covertly) on themselves and self-focused people are just not good leaders. 

Because of the on/off nature of my uPDw, I decided it was best for me to simply focus on my personal relationship with Christ and also train up my kids in their personal relationship with Christ, rather than our family participation in a local church community.  In hindsight, I personally believe that decision was the right one for me and my kids, as my uPDw could not control that aspect because it has nothing to do with her participation in anything.

Like I said, I will pray for you as you are trying to be obedient to Christ, a member of a local congregation, and grow in your relationship with Christ in this way, but struggling with the lack of leadership in your uNPDh and his overall effects on you and the family. 

SoT.


« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 11:36:39 AM by SonofThunder »
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Mary

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Re: PD Church Hopping
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2018, 12:24:49 PM »
Thanks bgirl12 and SoT--I can definitely feel the prayers. I've decided which church we attend when is NOT a battle I should choose right now. Rather, I tell God what would make me happy, and do my best to bloom where I'm planted.

I made it clear to uNPDh that I'm not dependent on that particular church group, and have done my best to hide my feelings about it. I let him win. And lo and behold, he took me there the last 2 Sundays.

I hear you on how PD approaches church. Some church people just do not know how to take it. They assume that because h is rejecting them, I also feel that way. I finally had lunch with the pastor's wife to give her a sense that I still wished to maintain relationships with the people. In sharing just a few fringe details from my life, she sniffed out what I was saying and started a Bible study/play date with kids around my schedule. I was shocked to find out that she had very similar experiences growing up and therefore understood more than I realized. God is good.



For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

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Thru the Rain

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Re: PD Church Hopping
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2018, 03:17:40 PM »
In hindsight, I can see that it was more about the church members opinions of my father, and his status/trophies at the church than him leading us. When church members were in disagreement with him on certain church decisions related to committees he was a part of, he would assert control in areas of his capability and if he was overruled, he would quit the committee or boycott the church for a period of time, leaving my mother to go alone.  Again, all about his retaining control and if the church wonít praise him, he will praise himself by quitting or boycotting.  For my uNPDf, it was more about retaining control, than punishing.  The church members never felt punished, but rather relieved that he was staying home...lol.  My poor non-Pd mom must have really suffered with this, as her best friends are in her local church and so I feel for you and will pray for you. 


I don't want to hijack this thread, but I wanted to say this perfectly describes my own childhood church experiences with my Dad.  I don't know if he is PD or just has fleas from a terrible childhood of his own, but being recognized as an "authority" in his church has been a driving force in his life.