My Sons Christmas Present

by Mystery 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mystery

    My 16 year old son received a book from his grandfather "Messy Spirituality". The back cover says "I guess I'm not a very good Christian" I don't pray enough. I don't read my Bible enough. I don't share my faith enough. I don't love God enough. I am not committed enough. I am not spiritual enough.

    I was so upset I almost threw it in the fireplace!

    I left Colin's father when he was 3 yrs. old. I have spoke to his grandfather two time in 10 years. His grandfather used to be a Baptist preacher. Colin has had to learn about God on his own. I would not take the boys to church. I would read Bible stories to them when they were young so that they would know who God is and about the Bible. I have taught them right and wrong. I have taught them the principals and gave them the choice as to believe or not believe in a greater being.

    Colin has gone to church on and off since he was around 9 yrs old. In the past year he has really become involved in a Baptist church that he likes. It is HIS choice to go to church. HIS chose how he will worship. He is doing this himself without pressure or pushing from any adult or me. He is a very fine young man and has a great belief in God. He has a big heart. He tries to explain to me how God feels to him. He knows he messes up sometimes; but he knows Gods forgiveness.

    Colin's face literally drained of color & his eyes teared up when he read the cover of the book. It broke my heart. I am so upset about this book that I know I will be writing a letter to his grandfather and telling him that he is not to question my sons spirituality. That he does not even call and talk to him. That he has sent him 3 Christmas presents in 10 years and he dares to question my sons spirituality. He doesn't even know him!

    I have started a letter to him, but everytime I try to keep typing I can't see the screen from the tears or the flames from being so pi**ed! He knows nothing about my family, only about what my ex tells him! I have to put up with the religious BS from my family and now from my ex's family as well?

    How do I write a letter full of love instead of telling him what a sorry a$$ Ba$tard I think he is.

  • greendawn

    That was a very rude thing to do to a child especially when you are not very familiar with his situation. How old is Colin now?

  • Bryan

    Wow, Mystery,

    I am sorry to hear this and what your son feels. I agree, I can't believe the grandfather did this when doesn't even keep contact to know how your son is doing. And of course the back of the book sounds like "You too can have low self esteme!"... Crazy! What kind of a grandparent would send this?! I'm glad you flung the gift to Gehena. It was probably demonaized anyway!

    You sound like a great mom!

    Take care and take your time writing your letter.

    my best,


  • Undecided

    I would write the preacher and ask why God doesn't do enough for his loving christains.

    Ken P.

  • Benjamin Belial
    Benjamin Belial

    My soon-to-be ex wife's family are all Baptists, and I can say with great authority they're some of the looniest of the whole bunch. None of them seemed to know anything about the Bible, though that's probably not limited to Baptists. But in general their whole attitude was so sickening and frustrating I can't describe it. Actually, my time spent around them inspired me to write an article called "How to be a Southern Baptist." Maybe I'll post it here later. Anyway, perhaps I'm misunderstanding the situation, but I'm not sure that giving someone a book about faith is "questioning their spirituality."

  • NewLight2

    Have you any reviews of the book's contents?

    Here is's review

  • NewLight2
  • Abaddon

    I can understand your protectiveness and annoyance.

    However, I'm glad you didn't but the book! Even the Roman Catholics tended to read books before they ordered them burnt! Review is from Amazon...

    If you're a perfect, upstanding, respectable, fully mature Christian, you may not identify with very much in this book. If you're like the other 99.9% of us, this book is a capital-G Godsend. It may be a revelation to some that a person can sincerely love Jesus and be a seeker of God yet continue to display weaknesses, areas of non-discipline, and, let's just say it, sins that would seem incongruous with "true" Christianity. There are many out there that feel like second-class Christians because they feel they don't pray enough, or may occasionally use salty language, or smoke cigarettes, or...fill in the blanks. This is a book not only for those people, but for those who are tempted to sit in judgment over those people.

    Mike Yaconelli is former editor of "The Door", probably the only Christian humor magazine around, and is presently a lay pastor of a small church. He sees below the surface mess of people's lives and invites the reader out of a world of self-condemnation and into a land of freedom. Some may be concerned that this book gives people a license to sin. Well, most people sin quite well without a license! When we are honest before God and give up pretending that our lives are neat and tidy, that's when God can take the messes of our lives and redeem them into something beautiful. This is a little book, but it packs a big punch. Highly recommended.

  • serendipity

    Hi Mystery,
    At first glance, the book looks questionable. However, after reading the reviews, it seems like the intent may have been misunderstood, because of the edgy or sarcastic approach the author took. It would have been nice if the grandfather had included a note or card to warn and explain. (After reading the reviews, I personally would read this book.)
    We don't know the boy's grandfather like you do, but is it possible the gift came from a good place - one of support and concern? The grandfather was a Baptist preacher and your son is going to a Baptist church, right? Has the grandfather voiced any objections or criticism of your son? I know it must be hard, but for your sake and your son's, could you give the grandfather the benefit of the doubt?

  • GentlyFeral


    My condolences on the trauma you experienced on opening that present.

    I websurfed the author, Mike Yaconelli, though. He seems to have written more on avoiding guilt trips, rather than inducing them.

    Check this out: The author of Messy Spirituality discusses God's "annoying love." (The article begins by noting that he was once editor of The Door, a Christian magazine that frequently calls the churches on their bullsh!t.)

    I hope the inside of the book is more soothing than the cover was. It sounds like you're in for some actual help rather than platitudes. Sixteen is a good age for "strong meat."

    Best of luck,

    gently feral

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