Why I don’t really go to church anymore

Today is Sunday, Father’s Day. I attended Grandmama’s church service, and the start of it made me want to cry. I literally teared up.

There was a story about a dad pretending and laughing and playing with his daughter with a castle. It was about how fathers playing with their daughters are some magical thing, yet I only wanted to cry over it and hate myself because I’d never have that for myself. Sure, I can have kids, but I can never have that during my childhood for myself.

I watch my dad with Ruby and Ezra, and then I get sad that I’ll never be able to say, “Yeah, I had that growing up!” It’s not out of jealousy; I feel sadness for not having been able to grow up with that. I saw my dad sometimes, but when I was younger I didn’t actually get to spend a lot of time playing pretend with him — not like that dream childhood I have where I grow up in a loving household.

I’ll never get that, and it saddens me. I can never get that time of my life back, and I have to deal with it.

The pastor (or preacher?) went on to explain that children who grow up with their biological parents/a mother and a father tend to have a 12 percent better outcome than other children whose parents never married, are divorced, etc. who end up in juvenile hall, prison and/or repeating a grade. Really, what’s so bad about repeating a grade?

I don’t think that it matters about who you grow up with but how. I think one’s upbringing depends solely on their environment, whatever environment that may be. Environments are always changing, and they’ll never stop changing, and a lot of people don’t seem to realize that everywhere is its own environment.

I grew up being bounced around from relative to relative whilst my mom went out nightly to hang out with her husband, or friends before she remarried. I grew up babysitting my siblings from dusk to dawn and all hours in between. I grew up around a stepfather who took the truths he hated and referred to them as mere lies. I grew up in a household where it was frowned upon if I wanted to see my dad/his side of the family or even live with him.

And then, he made a comment about how God making “male and female” will be a topic discussed later, hinting that it had to do with living and parenting. A tiny voice in my head told me that was about same-sex marriage soon after a woman replied, “Oh, yes.”

I didn’t grow up surrounded by love. A lot of my family members tell me I did, but I don’t feel it. Deep down, I don’t really know how to love. I don’t. I have been close to falling in love, some ex-boyfriends have told me they love me, and I can somewhat write about it. However, I’m handicapped in that department the majority of the time. I’m too terrified to allow myself to do it, because I’ve seen how easily love can turn into evil if the right actions are dealt and played.

Also mentioned was something about how one has to have a fatherly figure before he can love God. My cousin grew up with his mom and loved God every day, and he still does.

Church frustrates me. I’ve not been going as much this year, because I’ve realized how closed-minded a lot of people are.

Sermons, defined by me, are simply interpretations of the Bible via the experience, wisdom, knowledge and point of view through the eyes of whomever preaches it. Those who agree are simply agreeing because 1) they genuinely agree and/or 2a) it’s a new way to look at something they did before but differently or 2b) it made sense and, because the preacher/pastor/etc. said it, it’s the “right” way.

I think that too many people treat preachers/pastors/etc. like they’re typically right with their views rather than remembering that they’re human. They’re just human; we shouldn’t have to treat them like they’re kings and always right.

I dislike going to church now. I dislike it, because I don’t want to feel obligated to clap for the person standing on the stage teaching a lesson when I could really be praising God instead — I don’t want to be told how to live according to someone else’s point of view, I want to actually live according to my point of view in the way that I believe Jesus/God would like for me to live.

I’d rather live a life full of love and forgiveness than one of ignorance and intolerance; I’d rather live life as a person who doesn’t spend time judging others in a way that I determine myself whether they will go to Heaven or Hell than live one that spends energy telling people they’re going to go to Hell because of whatever their actions and/or lifestyle. I’d rather try to love the way I imagine it’s supposed to be and hope for a husband who can provide that for me. That’s how I believe life should be lived.

Thus far, I’ve spent a lot less energy feeling upset and angered and frustrated over preachers’ sermons.

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Comments on this post

Stephanie’s gravatar

A big e-hug to you!

If you honestly disapprove of what the pastors are saying and promoting, then you are free to not go because church is optional (though I don’t know how your family works). Personally, I think that what is best for a child is a stable loving and supportive family, no matter who the family is made of. It’s harder for a single mother to give all the support her children need. As for unmarried couples, it’s probably harder to give all the support when you’re not that committed to each other. There are also couples who just don’t believe in marriage, but function exactly like a super-committed married couple otherwise. (Think Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie…)

My Christian friends say that being a Christian is about loving everyone and having compassion for everyone. I went to one of their church services with them once and the pastor was talking about believing in Jesus’s love and how his love extended to everyone. To me, that makes a lot more sense than the judgmental religion that I hear about on the news and on your blog.

I know that one day, you will learn how to love. It’ll take time, but you’ll get there.

cantaloupe’s gravatar

It’s totally dependent on the church though. Some sermons are free of bias and open-minded and beautiful. Don’t hate the game, hate the player.

Danielle’s gravatar

You really post amazing stuff. :*

I really can’t elaborate anymore on what you said. But after reading this, I realized that not everything the pastor says is the “right” thing. Not everything they say is applicable for everyone; others have harder struggles, etc.

I think the dropping thing was directed toward parents, because sometimes dropping means the parents have to go through the additional struggle of paying for their child’s fees. But again, what the pastor says is not always applicable to everyone, so I understand your side.

I think we should be more cautious the next time we go to church. That is, if you ever go again. It’s totally fine to not go to church, because it’s not the only place to express your faith. ^^;

Melissa’s gravatar

I think that some religions don’t know how to deal with some parts of modern life. In generally we will never know everything, but we can learn from everyone. Though in the part of love, I think that you’ll find it for yourself one day, it might only need to take time and trust

big hug!


Bubblez’s gravatar

I totally agree with your blog post and how your church frustrates you. I’ve been going to my own church almost my own life and I am so close in giving up and searching for a brand new church. I totally agree with you about your definition of sermons. I tend to like sermons where it is more applicable to daily life instead of theory-based sermons.

Kirsten’s gravatar

I never grew up religious. My parents both were forced to go to church (one Catholic and one Protestant) and decided before they even had me that they would not push it on their kids. That being said I am a very spiritual person. I believe in God and Jesus. I just don’t believe that I should be told how to worship them. I think personally that if they do exist that they would not care how we do, as long as we are basically a good person (everyone makes mistakes) and try our best and love as much as we can, that they would be fine with that.

I think that it is impossible for something that is preached to be “right” for everyone. No two people are alike, no two people make the same decisions, walk the same paths in life, have the same hardships, and the same trials. And even if they are extremely close something sets one apart from the other. Therefore how could something be “right” for everyone? I guess that would be my only problem with going to church, but honestly just take what you need from it and file the rest away somewhere in case it applies to your life at some point.

Aaron’s gravatar

I share your experience. My family was never close knit and preferred the sons to the daughter (me). I do feel things very deeply but not in the way most people describe. I am always saddened by stories and such about father-daughter relationships because I have never had that and never will. I do, however, have a wonderful husband who will fight for me and protect me life my father should have.

Don’t give up on love. Discard “church” and others that make you feel inferior because of what your family failed to provide. These people will never have your strength and the experiences that make you weak will also make you a better person. In my opinion, probably better than many of the judgemental people will ever consider being.

The feelings may never go away (mine have not) but I will NEVER make someone feel bad because they came from a broken home or bad situation. From your post I can tell you are the same way.

Hugs and strength (and that strange kind of love that can only come from the the broken) to you. Life is what you make of it… I hope yours is as beautiful as mine.

Liz’s gravatar

@Aaron, Thank you for your thoughts. 🙂