Having parents who are strong and right gives children a sense of security in the world. So part of the reason Submitting Christians accept their parents’ religion is because it’s too frightening to think the parents were weak, or worse, wrong. Rebelling Christians, by contrast, find security in their rejection of their parents’ values. This makes them feel more superior, like their denial of Christ is more evolved. Well, in fact it is more evolved to deny the untruthful life-denying parts, but it is not more evolved to also deny the truths.
There is also a fear that develops that says, What if, by chance, my parents were actually right? In a kid’s mind, everything is always black and white. This way of thinking creates some big problems for us down the road. Being right is good. Being wrong is bad. There is indeed cause for concern here.
If this unconscious thinking remains buried, and a Rebelling Christian begins down the road of spiritual development where their total being—including sexual feelings and the urge for autonomy and self-expression—is waking up, and then this piece about Jesus Christ being in fact a good guy comes up, well Houston, we have a problem.
In a black-and-white world, if my parents were right about the Jesus thing, they were right about this other sex-is-sinful thing too. But I can’t be all-nice like their Jesus demands. And yet I was wrong for turning against them. And if I’m wrong, I’m bad. But I just can’t bear the guilt of being wrong on so many levels. So I must continue to turn away from Jesus.
And so negative reactions continue. Worse yet, both Submitting and Rebelling Christians fear that if they give in the towel, they’ll have to become like the other. Ew. The way out of this maze is, as always, to unearth mistaken beliefs that got buried on the way to being grown up. That is what it means to do the work.
Listen and learn more.
Read Holy Moly, Chapter 4: Submitting & Rebelling Christians