Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The death of the Conservative Lutheran Family

I'm blogging on all my duh moments of the summer. This duh moment was brought to my attention sort of gradually since I actually associate with families who do NOT homeschool their children! Horrors! I am not sure I can explain this duh moment clearly but here goes.

I was chatting with a family at a recent get together about what we love about our times together as a family. They do not homeschool their kids and they *only* have five kids. We shared a chuckle over how they have had some raised eyebrows over their number of children being too small (remember.....this is a private matter for THAT family and no one else should be evaluating their family size or thinking too hard about it). We were able to laugh together over the assumptions that are made about *conservative Lutheran families*. What makes a family conservative and Lutheran....?????

Assumptions made: Conservative Lutheran Families are made up of families who have bazillions of children.

Problem with assumption and where hurtful comments are made: What if the couple truly desires many children but are not able to have them??? Their quiver is still full. They are still a family. God is the giver and taker of life. They may have laughed until they cried when they actually conceived and bore a child or.....not.

Next assumption: Conservative Lutheran Families all nurse their children forever and use the latest earthy products and shop at Goodwill. Um.....same sort of answer and same sort of offense given if eyebrows are raised at child with bottle in his hand.

Next.....Conservative Lutheran Families all homeschool their children......not so. Same answer and same offense at raised eyebrows....

Only Conservative Lutheran families who homeschool talk to their children about books, the merits of purity, catechesis, the evils of getting sucked in by video games, dating or courtship (hate that word), and.... price compare beer prices in the grocery store and....????call that math or school???? or is that just what all parents do with their kids while out and about, walking along the way etc. (I seriously want to raise a campaign against this sort of homeschooling parental brag).

All conservative Lutheran Families are not all Pastors families......nope.....crazy Lutheran Engineer family here.....

It is all good but these assumptions are brought to my attention by other families who are not all of those things and were a bit taken aback and felt sort of out of the loop when people expressed surprise at their not fulfilling expectations. Love everyone y'all and don't be frightened. Non-homeschooling, non-pastor's families, non-huge families....are all still people Christ calls us to love and serve. Yes, don't be scared. Stop and look at them contemplatively and your mere curiosity of their lives will draw you together. I do think our Conservative Lutheran Family pride can really drive a wedge between us and the rest of the world.

I'll be done with these rants soon....just the summer summary of what I have observed in the highways and byways....and why I call it the death of the Conservative Lutheran Family is that we can very easily repel people with our pride in our doing things *right*. I personally (so proud of myself - round and round we go!) try to help my kids be aware of different sorts and varieties of people and realize that it is that families prerogative to do things the way they chose to and we are not called to worry or judge them. It is round and round as we all do the pride thing at one point or another or all the time, but homeschoolers and Conservative Lutheran Families DO make a lot of assumptions about these topics.

No doubt this will be offensive to someone but know that it is something I have chuckled with others about and also been sad about. Life on this side of heaven....this is just part of it.


  1. Being a pastor's wife who shops at Goodwill and homeschools six kids, I apparently meet the criteria. But you know what? I always get very uneasy when I find out that people have made assumptions about me based on those criteria. They think they know me because I have "the markers." But often, I am not who they think I am. So even when I'm part of the in-crowd according to stereotypes, it turns out I'm still part of the out-crowd according to reality. LOL.

  2. Did not mean offense on the Goodwill comment....was just fishing for assuming categories. The assuming is what smacked of hurt to me. This mama better hit the hay. I am a little certain I have ousted myself in my posts but.....compassion is where my head and heart have been lately. Not....assuming stereo types.....make sense?

  3. Karin, you didn't say anything wrong or offensive at all! You're right -- people make assumptions. Thing is, that Conservative-Lutheran-Family crowd you're talking about (the crowd that makes assumptions about thooooose people who don't homeschool, have "only" five children, etc) makes wrong assumptions about me (who looks outwardly to Fit The Bill) just as much as they make wrong assumptions about those non-pastor families who send their two kids to public school.

    I'm agreein' with ya, gal ... not complaining. Love ya, dear! See you soon.