How Josh Harris and I Fell

silhouette of a man standing on a mountain
Photo by Orlando Vera on Pexels.com

Elevenish years ago I was ready to die on the mountain of the issue of women not working outside the home.

Today I read this tweet from Jared C. Wilson:

A few years back, I significantly reduced my exposure to Christian influences that prove more passionate about “issues” than Christ & I’ve been better off for it. If that voice you listen to isn’t regularly stirring your affections for Jesus, how loud should it be in your ears?

Reading that I remembered my proud stay-at-home-mom years and cringed with embarrassment and regret.

The recent public announcement of Josh Harris’ divorce and statement saying he no longer considers himself a Christian, has brought up an issue for me. The issue of making issues the big deal and not Jesus.

It makes my gut ball up in knots at the thought that Josh tasted the goodness of Lord and walked away. I pray it isn’t so. I pray like Jonah, he’ll find himself hearing Jesus in the belly of a stinking situation. But this whole story about Josh makes me think about my own humbling, and friends I’ve watched fall while we stood tall, holding the issues we were passionate about high- the banner of Jesus’ love forgotten under our feet.

When I had a 3 and 4 year old at home I honed in on these verses

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. ” Titus 2:3-5

Whole ministries are formed based on these verses. And in the conservative Christian circles where I learned of Jesus, these verses have been central to teachings in all kinds of women’s ministries. When my boys were young I clung to them. I clung to them so tightly that I remember standing outside my garage one day thinking that I’d be willing to loose my marriage so I could, “work at home” and not have to go get a job outside my house and leave my kids in daycare.

I moralized a woman staying home as righteous and working outside of the home as sinful. Makes me nauseated remembering those days. If you search my blog far back enough, you’ll probably find all kinds of posts about how Christian women shouldn’t work outside the home. Thank God he humbled me, showed me how wrong I was, and used those same verses to draw me to the heart of Jesus and true homemaking (which has nothing to do with having a paying job outside your home and everything to do with serving and loving the people under the same roof with you).

I don’t know Josh Harris. But the fact that at one time he stood tall and wrote a book on the mountain of the purity issue and now is not only walking away from his marriage but his proclaimed faith makes me think he and I share a similar humbling. Both of us, and many others, have fallen on the mountain of issues in Christian teachings. We didn’t take heed like Paul warned, and we fell. I pray like me, Josh will find Jesus in the place he’s fallen.

The only hill worth dying on is the one where Jesus laid down his life for hypocrites- blind, wretched and pathetic like me and Josh Harris. Jesus is the banner we should be raising high. Not issues. Lest the very place where we think we stand tall and right, we fall.

 

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