The other day I had my first mental argument with my partner’s ex-wife.
Dan and I have been together for almost 16 months. At first I just wholly avoided any talk about his ex-wife or what was happening with his daughter, The Magnificent Fairy Princess. It was not my right to do so. Now that we are further down the pike, I have become The Magnificent FP’s Fairy Godmother and love her so much. That said, I still tread very lightly. 99% of the time I keep quiet and only seek to support Dan as he processes what is happening with his ex and in raising The Magnificent FP.
That “I’m over here if you need me” approach was challenged when I learned that his ex-wife had two visiting “ex-lesbian” speakers at her church pray for The Magnificent FP after children’s church last Sunday.
I learned of this at work. It was driving home where I had my internal argument with Dan’s ex. But then I thought, why does this anger me so much? No doubt his ex, very conservative/legalistic Christian that stigmatizes LGBT+ people has prayed for Autumn regularly about us. I have no doubt others in that community have prayed for her along similar lines. I realized my anger came from the fact that she pulled in two women who have bought into the ex-gay/conversion ministry ideology, theology, and mythology. Words have power, and the analytical protector in me wanted to know exactly what was said so I could counter it. I was mid-way through my 14 point counter arguments when it hit me…
Wait up. Nope. Wrong response.
The Magnificent FP doesn’t need her Fairy Godmother’s past issues and assumptions transferred into the situation. What might be helpful is to stop, pray for wisdom and glean from what the Spirit brings to me and from my past experience. From there, there might be tidbits that may help Dan.
Personally, this is what keeps tumbling through my head about The Magnificent FP situation:
- Keep it simple. Let her know if she has questions to never hesitate to ask and never be made to feel she is being put in the middle of a fight between adults.
- That we do not directly contradict her mother to her. Just offer her the truth as we see it. We love each other, we love her, and we all love Jesus.
- Empower The Magnificent FP (as appropriate to her age and maturity) to decide for herself what to believe about the experience (and of course, the various issues represented). We can trust God, and our own witness to speak the truth of our reality to her. We can believe her, a very bright, loving and intelligent young girl to make up her mind. We will love her unconditionally regardless of her journey and beliefs.
- Extend grace to Dan’s ex by not engaging in hurtful dialog or assuming the worst. Forgive and release her for the hurtful and hateful things she says about him and our relationship. Honor the forever truth that she loved and was with Dan for over two decades. They have a lot of powerful and important shared history.
On a different take, I have also seen prayer used for good and bad. I have been guilty of the bad so what is shared below is definitely learned from tumultuous experience.
Prayer as a catalyst for blessing – God wants us to pray for His will “on earth as it is in heaven.” So when we purely seek his guidance, influence, and intervention in our lives. God is love, peace, and a Good Shepherd…trusting that His will transcends our own and may not look like what we expect is crucial; He is His own Person with His own Will. Being open to seeing His Will not being dependent on our assumptions, or even strong beliefs…that’s genuinely praying for His blessings (not our assumptions or expectations) to come to us and others.
Prayer being used for indoctrination – sometimes prayer veers from honestly seeking God’s will outside of our own and is used as an eyes-closed verbal soapbox to repeat culturally conditioned talking points. It’s used to get someone on the same ideological page and not actually fulfilling the purpose of prayer; it becomes talking to oneself and others instead of talking to God.
Ironically, it was Leanne Payne’s book “Listening Prayer” that taught me this lesson (Leanne Payne was an ex-gay icon at one point in her life.) She explained how sneaky “neo-gnostic” prayer can be Neo-gnostic prayer is what she called listening to one’s own inner voice and mistaking it as God’s Spirit. In effect, it imposes personal will while masquerading as seeking God will. All the while watering the fields of delusion and steering the ones being prayed for toward a predetermined and assumed “answer to prayer.” It’s indoctrination disguised as an intimate spiritual conversation.
Curses disguised as prayers – If a conservative Christian is praying that Dan and my eyes would be opened to the selfishness and darkness of our relationship, that person is not praying for God’s love and will for us. They are assuming very nasty things based on cultural and religious stigma and not reality. That’s just one example. Another would be if someone is praying that The Magnificent FP is not “deluded” by us, they are not accepting the fact that God formed our family, that we are actually healthy and positive influences on her. They are in effect “cursing” us and our relationship with her and creating a sense of alienation. Instead of praying for the best, they are using their spiritual influence to bear false witness and undermine/alienate our family.
Again, Dan and I believe in Christ as our Lord and Savior. We are just as “saved” as any other Christian. We are also “light in the darkness.” To call us anything other is to dishonor God’s image in us and His sovereignty in forming our family. To say we are spiritually blind, unhealthy, broken, selfish (or anything along those lines) are lies (curses) and untrue.
To conclude this post 😉
This whole Fairy Godmothering thing is … a trip! I am so grateful God has allowed me to be in our little family and to go through life with each other. Even though this situation was a bit unnerving, there is no other place I would rather be than in Dan’s loving embrace, enjoy watching The Magnificent FP’s Grand Adventure and living out God’s abundant blessings.
On that note, my conservative Christian siblings… if you are praying for us… thanks for the blessing of seeking (not assuming) God’s will for our family and us.
Being Free is Good,