I didn’t grow up in church. The only time I went to church as a young kid was VBS for a week every summer. In fifth grade, I had a friend who invited me to go to church with her and after a couple years, we stopped being friends and I honestly learned nothing. I went for social reasons. A few years later my boyfriend, at the time, asked me to go to church with him. After a year going with him and breaking up and still going to church, I realized something. I realized I was a sinner who needed a savior. In November of 2012, I accepted Christ as my savior and the past few years have been nothing but a learning experience. I have learned a few things about myself and the world from being the only one in my immediate family that attends church and want to share it with you whether you have been in church your whole life, or in a situation similar to mine.
Before I jump into this, I think it is important to state a few things to make sure my intentions do not come off wrong (it is easy to do through the internet). I love my family. I accept the fact that they don’t have the same beliefs as me. It is completely their decision and no matter what, I am going to love them. I do not think I am better than them because I go to church. We have different opinions, beliefs, and thoughts on certain things, but I would never trade my family for anything. I love them.
Whew! Now that that is over with….
1. Your Home Does Not Define You
My minor is psychology and the past few years in school I have learned a lot about how the environment of a person can impact their lives. However, I do not believe that is always the case. I certainly think that an environment and home of a person can be a strong influence on how the person thinks and behaves, but it does not have to define you. My family does not go to church and I am not 100% sure on all of their beliefs. God had a plan for me. He created a relationship my junior year of high school to bring me to church, which resulted in an everlasting relationship with the Creator. Can your family and environment impact your life? Absolutely. Do have to be defined by it? No.
2. It is Okay to be Different
I’ve heard someone call themselves the “good black sheep” of the family because he was the only sibling in his family who goes to church and lives out a Christian life. I don’t think I have ever related to a statement more this. Sometimes I feel like I am not related to my family. I don’t cuss. I act differently. I have pretty much always been known as the “goodie good” in the family. Although I have been given the name “Jesus Freak” and others , I am okay with being different.
3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Christians
Okay, this should be a no brainer for everyone, but I think this probably happens often for people who did not grow up in church. I can’t count how many times I have compared my “biblical knowledge” to people who have been in church their entire life. Every person has had their own path to God. Every one has different experiences that led them to where they are. Just because you have to look at the index at the beginning of your Bible to find a certain book, does not mean you are any “less” of a Christian as the person in your Sunday school class that can list them in order without having to think about it.
4. Different Perceptions
I think growing up in a non-Christian home has definitely allowed me to gain different perceptions on life and non-believers. I think there are some – not all – Christians who look at non-believers as terrible people, which should not be the case. I think that because I have the experience with my family, I am able to understand non-believers and maybe even be able to see their view “easier.” I think that it is possible for Christians to understand other points of view, but I definitely have a different perception because of the environment I grew up in.
These are just a few things that I feel I have experienced being a Christian in a non-Christian home. Again, I love my family and am thankful for them. They may not think the same way as me on certain topics, but they are still my family and love me just as I love them. If you are a Christian, but didn’t grow up in church, do you agree with these? What are some other things you have experienced or learned?
Image retrieved from here.