A Bible Lesson

“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’”-1 Corinthians 15:33

I have been busy reading everything I can lately on this very subject. I found a great article at Bible.org, and really should copy and paste it because the author is spot on with this subject. But seeing as this is my blog and my walk, and my hope to help someone else in this situation, I will take on the task of writing it.

Last spring we got a frantic phone call from my fiance’s  20-year-old daughter that she had an argument with her sister and now had nowhere to live. I said come here until you get on your feet. Her father had just worked a 12 hour shift and I didn’t bother to wake him for his approval or opinion. A month later, my 14-year-old moved in with us full-time. The living arrangement with her father and his girlfriend proved to be abusive and more than she could handle, so she moved back home. By August, my mother also called me to come get her from my younger brothers house, where she had moved 4 months earlier, due to her and his wife having an argument and she decided to leave. In the blink of an eye, my fiance and my 2 bedroom home had turned into a home for every one finding their lives uprooted or at a crossroads. There were a lot of challenges with this new arrangement. A lot of struggles and fights and very bitter feelings on everyone’s behalf. And yet as my fiance and I began to spiral down the hole we had let others pull us into, it seemed there was no relief and no end in sight.

Eventually, and after much confrontation, his daughter moved out 9 months later. My mother also moved out 9 months later and by May of this year, we were finally back to a 3 person home. We Were making our own plans again and getting over the chaos of the past year when I got another phone call. It was my 23-year-old needing a place for her and my 2 and a half-year old grandson. She worked third shift and I told her I would keep him while she worked and while she slept. This arrangement also proved to be a bad decision. We also found ourselves at the brink of resentment and hateful words going back and forth.

I have been in bad health for the past year and have had one of three surgeries. The main reason I haven’t had the other two is really because our lives are so chaotic and crazy we can’t even begin to think of me not being here to cook, clean, and take care of someone elses needs. To say this has been a horrible year for us is to say the least negative thing I can about the whole situation. But I tell the background of this so I can begin with a solution.

“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’”-1 Corinthians 15:33.

By adding this scripture again, I am hopefully making a point. Even though my fiance and I are living in the same house, we have chosen to live for God. We have cancelled the wedding twice over our families and over just not being able to plan a wedding when you have so many people to take care of. Not to mention the surgeries. We have fallen off  going to church on Sundays and it is my 15-year-old who reminds me of this. Unfortunately when the family members moved in, we were not strong enough or diligent enough to keep their bad character or habits from affecting our lives. For this I am ashamed. As a Christian we should have held and kept the upper hand on our spirituality and our household to keep the drama and chaos from ever getting in here and disrupting our 3 lives.

Today I was faced with one of my children and her lack of respect for the rules in our household and for my fiance who now has the brunt of the finances and is the sole provider for our family. Until I have the surgery I am not able or allowed by a doctor to return to work for fear of permanent nerve damage.

By not standing up for me and by me not standing up for him, we have let each other down and done a great disservice to each other. We have left a trail of resentment and hurt feelings. It is and never will be right for the grown children of first marriages to come into a parents home and disrespect the partner they have chosen. And if this bad company the bible talks about turns out to be your children, or your parents, what do we do then? Who will take care of them when they hit hard times and life hands them lemons? Who will be there for them if their own parent wont?

First off, I want to say, I love my children more than life itself, but there has got to come a time when they are responsible for their own choices, whether good or bad, and they must live out the consequences of them. I can not fix their lives or their choices. And it isn’t fair to expect a fiance or even another spouse to fix those issues. Bad company should never be tolerated in any ones home. Bad company does more than just corrupt good character, it brings horrible things into the home.

It brings drama and strife and back-lashing and feuding and resentment. To me, these are mighty strong words, that all come with consequences. Chaos is never a good thing to live with. And sometimes we just need to end the chaos and drama and strife and nip it in the bud. But how do we do that in todays culture and society? Whether they were raised with silver spoons our not, no child should ever feel entitled to what the parents are working for. That is not how the world is set up and it is not acceptable behavior to expect someone else to make your way through life. It is not fair to foot the entire bill or to make your parents think they owe you something. If they raised you until eighteen, after that your are on your own. Don’t run home in your twenties when life gets hard and you’re living with your bad choices to blame your parents. It just doesn’t work that way.

Saying hateful things to inflict guilt and sadness is not how a grown up should act. And everyone at one time or another has yelled at their parents that they are grown and they will make their own decisions in spite of the advice of the parents. So live in your own home with your own choices. If any of this applies to any one facing going home with your parents, let me add this advice, if your being in your parents home again doesn’t ADD to their home, you are not doing it right. You should always expect to leave a place you have been a little better off when you leave. If you can’t say that about being with your parents under their roof, then you have a screwed up vision of your role in your family and on the planet.

Bad company corrupts good character. What kind of character will I have in the future? When faced with issues regarding my children and the man I have chosen to marry, how will I handle it? A whole lot different next time. If I had it all to do all over, everyone would get a house rules statement, they would read it, sign it and obey it or they would be given two weeks to vacate the property. Bad company disrupts good character. I have a minor child still at home. We are responsible for her life, her school, or well-being. Her room has been shared by four different people in one year. She has been put out of her room, her closet and her dresser. She has shared her things and lost her things. And none of this would have ever been an issue if we hadn’t opened our home to bad company. Now does this mean we will forever lock our doors to our family in times of need? Probably not. But it does mean things will never be handled this way again.

I find it so refreshing to find everything I need in the bible. It is such a relief to know that my Creator has given me instructions and life lessons to keep me out of trouble and harms way, if I just listen. Bad company corrupts good character, I never even knew this was in the bible. But as a Christian, it sets me free from guilt and worry over how my family will take my decisions on this matter should they ever arise again. Because deep in my heart, I know, if this is in the bible, God will make a way. The turmoil, anger and frustration will not stay. The resentment and hurt feeling will be mended. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. And even though it is not a sin that I didn’t follow His word on this subject, He knew our hearts were pure when we put out our hands to help those in need regardless of how it turned out.

I hope this has helped someone going through the same thing. In fact that is the purpose of this blog, to help others. To inspire and encourage others going through similar situations in life and finding themselves in hopeless situations. I felt so hopeless and lost when I sat down to write this. But if bad company disrupts good character, than think of what good company does! Now I can aspire to be good company. Not saying I want nor will go through another year like we just had here, but it will be easier next time to submit the rules and reach a mutual understanding of how things work around here for us and our little home. Maybe we were brought through all of this to test us, to make us stronger and to overcome.  Bad company corrupts good character. Don’t allow bad company into your lives or your homes. God Bless

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