My husband and I are in shock. We got a call from his grown and father of four son last week. They had some news for us.... It's hard to even explain this... They have decided that they have a calling from god. They are going to walk away from their mortgage, just stop paying it, and quit work and live in an RV and travel around the country spreading gods word.
Seriously. This is like a bad nightmare.
They have been Calvary Chapel born-again since before they were married, but had recently been carrying on a semi-normal life, although it included home-school indoctrination of the oldest girls, age 5 and 6.
They have already talked to the bank about how long it would be before they got kicked out if they stop paying their mortgage. It's possible they are in more debt than we knew. Credit cards, I guess. They seem to think they can just walk away from that too.
Other than financial ruin, giving up a great, well-paying job, living in ridiculous conditions with four small children, who will now be getting no education to speak of....who knows what they will do for insurance... They think they can stay at campgrounds free in exchange for work... They think the god will provide.
And we sound like the curmudgeonly old grandparents.
My husband is devastated. Those kids are the most important thing in his life.
We are meeting them in person Saturday to discuss or at least hear more. I am trying to be rational and unemotional, and not use terms like throwing away your life, but this is so far fetched I don't know where to start. Any thoughts?
Just read this to my husband (his mother is the controlling party that converted her husband and 3 of the 4 kids to Born Again-ism). His immediate reply was, "They probably went into debt giving all their money to the church." UGH I certainly hope that's not the case.
Can you offer to watch the kids for the first month or so of their adventure, just to ensure that they work out the kinks first w/o traumatizing them? Can you find any other similar stories online of people who attempted this, and failed?
Can you, if nothing else, convince them to come up with their own religious-based scam that'll make them rich like so many other church scams?? Actually, that might be a roundabout way of letting them know what churches are usually REALLY like.....
A good approach might be reverse psychology, come to think of it! Pretend you're on board, give them a survival kit that teaches them how to repair an engine, how to eat out of dumpsters, good begging methods (get the kids in on the act!), how to forage salad ingredients from roadside weeds, how to take a "wh0re bath" in a McDonald's sink.......I'm terrible.
Seriously, though: Take deep breaths, ask them what the plan is, who they expect to preach to, and how long it'll be before they come back to your place. I suspect you'll have to catch them when they fall, so you might want to lay down some expectations for that. And stick to your guns- don't let them think they've got a big, cushy pillow to fall back on.
Oh, yeah. I would not be surprised to know they'd given the church a bunch of money! My husband and I both work full time (and more) so taking the kids is not an option for us. And the youngest is only two months old!
I think they might already be onto the "support our mission" scam of collecting from other churches that they visit. LOL on the survival skills, though!
Thanks again to you and the others for your thoughtful responses. It feels so good to be "among" rational people!