As a so called 'UBM (unbelieving mate)' of a Jehovah's Witness, I must say that I would hate it very much if my children started thinking bad of me because of what my wife's religion taught her.
Growing-up Witness was Wonderful ...Until My Bubble Broke
Thank you for your story Green Jade. There are a lot of things in there that are familiar to almost any of us here.
Even though my family wasn't the target racism per-se, I understand what it's like to be discriminated against simply because of being "different". My mother is a European with a heavy accent and she is still in denial about discrimination in the JW org and how it has affected her and her children. The lovelessness within various congregations sickened me and made me depressed as well.
I am happy you have such a loving and supportive mate to share your life with. Please, hold tightly on to that. Most of all, don't let any JW guilt you into taking your kids to the meetings as it is almost a sure way of making them mentally ill and "damaged". It's just better to drop the meetings altogether for the sake of your family...
I posted this on my previous thread today (Confused) I did not realized anyone posted anything on this thread. I think my computer did not refresh. Unfortunately, I am sleepy so I will have to read everyones comments tomorrow. Here was my comment to MMXIV. Thank you again for allowing me to stay and work through issue for a solution. And its nice to have intellectually stimulating conversations. LOL
Some of what you say do have merit.
First I am definately not a celebrity.
Second, it is not unusual for social groups including religions, College Alumni, Neighborhoods, Professions, and Society Men and Women that stay within their social groups. Infact some social groups target children and start as young as 2yrs old (jack and Jill). Most find it comfortable, stable, connected, support systems. Infact this group has its own social group. I believe many people attack religion or other different religions because of past wounds or ideology. And thank goodness that we live in a time and place that allows a certain amount of freedoms including thoughts and beliefs (of course I'm not sure about privacy). Of course, there are some social groups that are derisive and promote illegal things. These groups control the standard and expel any unwanted influences that go against their agenda. The desire to group with like minded people is in all of us, but it is up to us to define what kind of like minded people we want to be connected to.
My exposure to other groups is limited due to how I was raised, but I have a good worldly friend who is Mormon. We laugh at how we grew up, and both were weirdly similar. Both of us have married unbelieving mates. I think I got the better deal. My husband fell in love with me (he sees ME) and I fell head over heel in love with him ...even before he met me. He believes in God, and he willing to go to the meetings but not actively participate. He sees it as like going to the movies. He loves my family, and they love him. My parents warned my future husband that I was spoiled and it might be a hard road ahead. But I also support him and his needs. I attend lunch or dinner with his family's Bday, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Christmas and Thanks giving. I don't have any presents, but I am there enjoying the conversations. And he likes having his family with him.
Every where I see good and bad people in the Truth and out of the Truth. All those bad things I experienced at the Kindom Hall, I have experienced it in the world. Hatred, Bigotry, Malice, Gossip, Liars, thieves, covertness.
Even after saying all this. I can not say what I will do. I have not made up my mind. I tried to have my husband assist but he smiled...kissed me and said I need to decide since it is my personal choice. I love him. i am trying to read all the advise I have been given but it may take me awhile. I want to try to make one decision or choice each day and hopefully my path will follow. I'm starting to get sleepy and I hope this makes sense. I think this post I just did belongs under family.
Whether you agree with what I have said or shaking your head (as you can't believe it), I want to thank everyone for your input. All your experiences is making it easier to make one choice at a time. I guess I really am in the right place. This is the only thing I am really working through and I appeciate any support given. When I first started to post, I was fragile and afraid but after posting a couple of days. I don't feel scared anymore. No one is cursing at me and wishing me to the deepest reaches of space. So Far So Good. Thank you. And that includes you Apostate and others.
Hi Green Jade
Please be aware This site has a lot of ex-witnesses on it, who would rather encourage you never be a Witness again and can be very blunt in their dislike of witnesses.
I agree that human nature being what it is, you will find human failings inside of Jehovah's People (or indeed any group) but it is sad if that is the reason that stumbles us from being practicing Witnesses. The reason we are told to encourage each other is because we can fight the pervasive dangers of imperfection together, encouraging one another.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
If a congregation is failing in this regard I have seen a certain ones really try and fight it and be extra kind in the face of others giving into less-nice traits, shaming them into repentence by offering forgiveness, love and understanding.
For you to actually bring your kids up as Jehovah's witnesses wanting them to have that personal relation with Jehovah and his son Jesus. It is a long road which is easier if you take it one step a a time. I'll be honest it would involve your own return to witnesses if you are truly determined? Reading the bible and praying to Jehovah for help is a good starting point with knowing what you really want to do.
Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.
Understanding that being Jehovah's witnesses is literally about our faith in Jehovah as our God and his promises fulfilled through his son Jesus and being united as a people and flock gathered together.
It is not about being in a social group but about being one of Jehovah's people.
11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Your husband is right to say it is your decision and yours alone at the moment although I think you will have to reach a mutual agreement on certain things when the kids are involved. He sounds like a nice understanding person which is a good.
I hope things work out for you.
Truly knowing Jehovah our God as his people is a real blessing.
This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'Jehovah is our God.' "
Thanks Green Jade - what you have said about social groups getting children involved when they're young is really interesting. I've seen it done at football (soccer) clubs which actually has a similar membership requirement - hate all other teams, never leave to support another team. That's probably where the similarity stops as there are no rules outside the stadium about spending time with people from other teams especially if they are family. The rivalry is what makes being part of teams so special (Liverpool & Everton would be an example some might relate to).
Well you sound very together. My only thoughts about your children are what benefits will they get from growing up as JW's (spending time in like activities with their family, getting their approval, being part of that social group etc) and what potential risks might there be (looked down on at the KH for making their own choices about education, getting council for attending celebrations, risk of being shunned as adults).
I think you're right to consider what is important for your children ahead of what may suit you. Going back to meetings would clearly be tough for you but if you think it's the best thing for your kids then the fact you're willing to consider doing that is good. Personally I chose to leave primarily because I didn't want to bring up children in the truth - not that I even had children at the time. There isn't a day goes by that I've regretted it despite knowing if I returned I know I'd be welcomed back with open arms. When I left it was a breath of fresh air that remains till today because I know I'm not going back.
I hope you find the right social group for your children that they can choose to be a part of for however long they like.
You'll always get a range of opinions to any questions you have so feel free
To all the authors...thank you.
MMXIV: Thank you again for your insightful comments. Your right my decision is not about me but for my children. I wish my children can enjoy the special connect with other Witnesses. I wish my children will find others with strength and honesty to listen to council and avoid worldly pit falls (my husband dislike the term "wordly"). The kids I grew up with did not have issues with drinking, dating, smoking, drugs, not to say that there were not kids that had that issue. But I personally did not have any in the Congregation I grew up in - that I know of.
Perhaps as I get to know this site and the people in, I will be able to talk about more private issue.
I spoke with my mother and asked her about this website. She was not thrilled about my posting. She thought I should talk with the elders about my questions. While my mother understands about why I don't attend meetings, I think she feels that it is a private issue. I think other Witnesses posting on this site would agree that Witnesses keep Witness issue private and out of the public eye. For me I think this is unreasonable. I don't attend any regular meetings. I don't have a Congregation that I attend, and I don't have any Elders that I can confide in.
Hi Green Jade
Please be aware This site has a lot of ex-witnesses on it, who would rather encourage
you never be a Witness again and can be very blunt in their dislike of witnesses.....debator/Reniaa
Then theres Debator/ Reniaa..Who publicly admits she does not follow the WBT$..
But..Advices everyone else to..
Take my advise.....I`m not using it..
what is WBT?
Watchtower Bible And Tract Society..WBT$.....I use a dollar sign "$" for the "S"..
Of the Greed within the Watchtower..
The WBT$ is a Multi-Billion dollar organization that does nothing for anyone..
You will never see a WBT$ Soup Kitchen,or any other form of WBT$ Charity for the Community..
The WBT$ is a Money Sucking Cancer on Society..
"The truth of the matter is that in time you will understand that your children can enjoy their childhood without having to grow "in the buble" and there is nothing stoping you to teach them about god and the bible, and to encourage them to use their mental capacities when it comes to issues of faith.
Above all else, teach your children to "live life aboundantly", afford them all that is in your strength to enjoy every moment "alive" in every sence of the word (free of guilt or control)... it is the least you owe them." I wanted to address a little further and get your insight.
There is nothing stopping me from making any decision I want for my children. But there are many considerations that I must ponder. If some thing works then why would I discount it? Don't get offended: but you have to have been a Witness to understand the complexity of growing up as a Witness. You mentioned my childhood as "fond memories", but it was more than that. It made me who I am now. I am not "brain-washed" nor believe was ever in a "cult". I didn't drink any coolaid(sp?). I know that I have always been "open-minded". It was my parents that taught me to give people the benefit of the doubt and understand the motives that influences peoples decisions.
My parents always drilled into me the need for education and higher learning. Yes there were those that did "look down" on it. I did drop out of college, but I was making almost 6 figures. I am finish my degree.
I think no matter what religion or belief system you have, it is the influences of your parents that help to create your values. And those values were mostly based on being a JW. You mentioned filling a void and teaching my children about god and the bible. Yes, I can influence my children, but they need to be able to see other people and peers putting those teachings into practice.