There is an idea circulating in our conservative homeschooled communities that is being seen as romantic, larger than life, and courageous. The one who pulls this off has been quite successful, indeed, and has done something worthy of emulating.
This “something” is running away from the home of your youth and scorning everything that has ever been taught to you.
For the sake of the younger readers I have — I am warning you. Pleading with you through tears: don’t leave. Don’t leave you home, your parents, your siblings because someone declares their love for you. As you call yourself a “Christian” — literally a follower of Christ — don’t do it. “Workers of evil love darkness rather than light” and not one single person I know who has left their home has left in the broad daylight, declaring their intentions. They have all skulked about as thieves in the dark. And we are plainly told in Scripture that it is Satan, the worker of iniquity, who skulks about in the dark, seeking who he may devour. No Christian who has truly been converted will debase their Saviour with such doings. Does this seem harsh? Yes. Probably. But this action calls for harshness; not sugarcoating, and I’m absolutely going to tell it like it is.
It is not romantic. Your leaving creates havoc and heartbreak in every single person you knew. The rippling effects are far-reaching, and people you seldom even talk to are affected by your decision.
Guys, this is a terrible, ludicrous trend, and there are so many layers to dissect, I’m not quite sure where to begin.
If a guy ever comes to you and suggests that you run away with him and leave because your parents are “a million days from ever saying yes” to him, please don’t let your emotions get in the way of the decision you have to make. Think things through. Think logically, forget emotions for a minute. If a guy claims he loves you, and wants you to “run away together and get married in the first town you come to”, consider these things: — If he’s coming to you with this preposterous idea, it means one of two things. Either he’s already spoken to your parents and they’ve already told him no, or he’s not man enough to go to your parents. Either way, that in and of itself should throw up caution flags. — If he’s willing to take you away from your family, then he doesn’t view you as a priceless treasure to be protected. And that is as dangerous as it is scary. — If Romeo is willing to skulk around in the dark with you, an unmarried maiden, not caring about your families boundaries and rules, consider the fact that he would be willing to skulk around with another unmarried (or married!) woman, whether or not he’s married to you. Just because a man says “I do” at the alter doesn’t mean he immediately changes. Marriage vows are broken every day — consider how many divorces there are when a husband and wife pledge to love each other “all the days of our lives”. — If he is asking you keep information from your parents and asking you to hide things like notes, phones, social media accounts, and clandestine meetings, it means he has something to hide from your parents. The wise woman would immediately bring this information to her parents and bring these things into the light — for workers of iniquity love darkness rather than light. -If he can’t protect you from his own flesh, how on earth do you think he can protect you in any aspect of life? If he’s coming to you and not to your father, he’s a coward, and not able to protect you from danger. He has no self-control, which means he could quite possibly hurt you in a myriad of ways. – Consider this: we are told to fight against temptations several times in Scripture. However, we are exhorted and encouraged to flee youthful lust. Flee — as in run away, as fast as you can, and don’t look back.
God puts our parents in our lives to protect us from the debauched men who seek to conquer us and demoralize us, turning us away from our parents and families. Our job is not to run away from them because we don’t like their answer — our job is to honour them and obey them and trust they are seeking out our good. Our parents are there to help us think logically at a time when a girl’s emotions are running rampant, we are putting a pizza that needs to be cooked into the fridge or the washing machine (true story) instead of the oven. Our parents, and most especially our fathers, are given a charge by God to protect their daughters from men who would harm them. They are there to ensure the man they give their daughter to in marriage can protect them from evil, provide them a stable, environment independent from any outside help, and lead them to the throne room of God, washing them in the water of His word. Parents cannot do this if their daughters circumvent the protection God has put in place.
Guys, if a girl ever proposes such an idea to you, I’d tell you to run for the hills. I’d tell you to tell her parents, to tell your parents, and to go to her pastor, as there is a serious heart issue that needs to be dealt with. If you ever find yourself suggesting this to anyone, know that you are not worthy to be given a lady to care for and protect.
Girls, this is no laughing matter. I cannot stress enough that it is not in the least romantic in any way. Our culture would tell us differently. We are bombarded with books and movies and magazine articles and news articles and songs that are constantly telling us to follow our own hearts, to run away and escape into the night, that the world won’t wait, that we should run wild, love strong, and live free. These are all secular ideas and ideologies — things that no Christian should taint Christ’s testimony with. Consider instead that God is sovereign; He has had your life planned out from before you were conceived; and if it’s God’s will for you to marry a certain person, but your parents have said no, He can still bring your marriage to pass with no help from yourself. All He asks of you is to wait patiently for Him and His timing. And that is a much greater testimony of His greatness than two people who are skulking about in the dark, lying to everyone they know about what is going on. Satan himself is the father of lies, and how dare you, while calling yourself a Christian, make a pact with the devil.
Unfortunately, it is common to meet, hear, or talk about people who have left home because the “heart wants what it wants” and we must always “follow our own hearts” and “find ourselves”. God tells Noah in Genesis that the heart and imaginings of men are evil and wicked continuously, yet our society still exhorts people to seek after their own hearts. What should you do if you meet someone who has left their home?
The first thing I’ve realized in coming across these people is that we sensationalize what they have done, and immediately peg their parents as the “bad guys.” And I am guilty of this. Several years ago, an acquaintance of mine was upset and crying because her parents had “forced” her to do some things she wasn’t comfortable with — and I silently questioned what her parents were thinking. I soon found out much of what this young lady told me were lies, and she has since left home, married a guy her parents do not approve of, and it seems her very existence is one of purposely setting out to wreak havoc on other families. I could relate countless stories, but I won’t.
If you come across someone and you aren’t sure what to think, one surefire way is to talk to your parents. Get them to go to the other person’s parents, and find out the true story — often pertinent “little” details get left out. Resist making a big deal out of what happened, and making an idol out of the people who have abandoned their homes. If someone entices your heart and loyalty away from your parents, be it a friend, a sister, or an in-law, flee. Run to your parents, and let them know what happened.
If confronted by someone who’s left home, realize that no matter what kind of profession of faith they may have made, no Christian would ever leave under such pretenses. I don’t care who baptized them, which church they became a member of, or who witnessed it — it was a false profession. You may tell me not to judge, but I’ll tell you that we are to judge by the fruit. “By their fruit you shall know them” and nowhere at all in Scripture does it ever mention a fruit of Christianity as running away from your home to sit among scoffers and scorners. Treat them as an unbeliever — which simply means to share the gospel with them, with all urgency. And pray for them, that the Lord would have mercy on their souls, for forsaking their first love. Definitely don’t harbor them, spread rumors, or enable them — then you are as guilty as they are. Let them bear the consequences for their own sin, knowing that if the Lord will chasten those He loves the opposite also holds true — He will not chasten those whom He hates.
Consider this a call and a challenge, to a life free from deceit. A call for courage to live in a way that will confront the evil and wickedness around you. A call to holier life, blameless before God. A call to honour our parents and let them in on what’s going on in our lives and the lives of our friends.
Have any of you noticed this trend of running away from home? How do you deal with it as a Christian?
I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.