Friends outside of the Coptic Church

edited December 1969 in Personal Issues
I've been having trouble with this issue for a long time but before I tell you what my problem is now, let me tell you how it all began:

My parents are very conservative Copts who value tradition highly. They taught me right from wrong and i will always be grateful to them for that but i never realized how sheltered I was until i went to school. All through elementary, i was picked and teased on for the way I dressed (not wearing shorts in the summer) or what I did (not playing girls chase boys or going to friends' houses)... these are all very trivial things to me know but at the time it hurt me so much when the other kids got to do things that seemed fun and when they picked on me for not joining in. I eventually got over it, but all throughout the years, all my friendships were fake and very short. I tend to be a friendly person but some people just don't tolerate differences well... even my friends from church left me for people outside of church! I guess what i'm trying to get across is the fact that i've had troubles with friends from a very young age. that's why now, i get so attached to people who do tolerate differences (and i don't mean that in a desperate manner). I just feel that the only way to strengthen friendships is to actually do things with your friends?? that's was my problem before and after 18 years, i'm still having the same problem.

My parents trust me but they won't let me, as a girl, go to any of my friends' houses (which i can sort of understand) but they also wont let me go to birthday parties at restaurants!! its my friends 20th birthday next weekend and she invited me to the restaurant where her party is. only trouble is she's lebanese and she's not christian... that automatically sets up red signals in my parents' minds (they say its from experience). Now, we're not really close friends so not going to her party doesn't bother me as much, but what really bothers me is that fact that my parents still treat me this way!!!

I would like to hear your opinions. I don't want you all to tell me that I'm right or any of that stuff... i want to hear ideas from the other perspective (logical please) and pray for me always.

your sister in Christ


  • I can understand where you parents are coming from, they are just scared for you and trying to protect you from hardships you may face(whether they are right or not) Parents(egyptian specifically) tend to be that way. Just keep praying(i know this is a generic answer but it works) and let God's will be done. You can sit down with them and let them know how you feel, just be nice about it and explain yourself without getting angry or upset. just tell them that you are old enough to know whats right and wrong due to there guidance and that you were raised right because of them and ask them for a leap of faith and give you some more room. See what they say and try to trust that what they do is out of love(i know this is very hard sometimes) but its true. Hope this helped a little

    God Bless and Pray for me and my weakness
  • I can understand your parents perspective because I see terrible sights when one is leaving the church on Sunday.  The youth (that are witnessed) are conducting themselves inappropriately in a manner that is shameful to the Church and their own beings as Christians.  Their attire is atrocious, the hygiene offensive, the multitude of piercings (that is boys and girls), the cellular phones going wild, the foul language, the loud arabic music off the car stereos, and the hangout at the deli to get coffee, smoking, etc.  I can go on and on with the list.  This is all during, and after the liturgy.

    Your parents are worried about you in a terrible environment in the United States and even within the precincts of the church.  I vomit when I see how some of the girls are dressed when coming to Church.

    You should thank God for the interest and care your parents have for you. 

    When I was a kid, my parents would tease us and say 'don't do that because you would be like one of the kids from the street'.  Unfortunately, seeing some of the youth at the parishes dressed like thugs and acting like thugs, puts into perspective that the children from the street are at a social level above a lot of the Coptic youth.  Putting into another thought their emulations have been of the most vile elements in Western Society.  I can put with a particular label for certain ethnicities, but I would be labeled as a racist or bigot.  I think everyone understands my point of view. 

    I think our representation should be as Coptic Orthodox Christians in all aspects of interactions and not the emulation of gangster rap and thugs.  Hey, your parents want you to be a Coptic Christian, and not spiritually diseased.

    For those that are going to argue about my observations, I guess one could post pictures to prove my point, but I guess that would be too nasty (or would it be informational and educational).
  • Over protectiveness is an issue amongst all my friends in all sorts of ways, again I will repeat myself like I said before "the most common solution is that people don't realize that others are suffering either the same problem or worse", I know you are in a difficult stage Rina, but you have to take it from this perspective, I'm guessing you don't live in Egypt anymore, that is the #1 reason I can think of, all the parents go, no no no no, "amrica mesh zey masr" and so on and so forth. I'll tell you something about one of my best friends, she is not allowed to work at the school store after school unless the teacher calls her dad, her dad will not let her drive yet, her dad doesn't let her stay after school for any reason unless the teacher makes communications about why she needs to stay after school so much, we all are missing something from our lives, whether it be the fact that we aren't little kids anymore and we don't need that leash that mama weh baba have on us, or that we need more freedom out of the house. Trust me, I know where you are coming from, and they aren't true friends if they don't understand that you have rules and regulations in your household that you need to abide by, but like jydeacon said, sit down and confront them nicely on a good day and explain to them the freedom of an 18 yr old!!

    Coptic Servent
  • thank you. i talked to them today and i think they sort of understood my perspective but still not 100%. they told me that if i was going out with friends from church, they wouldn't have a problem with it. Problem is, i don't really have close friends from church... their personalities are quite different from mine!

    Please keep me in your prayers.
  • Glad to hear that. Then try to find similarities, things you guys both enjoy, maybe you like applebees so you can go to applebees and eat out or something, maybe you want to go see the new movie thats coming out..!!

    Coptic Servent
  • You should find many things in common with people at church, such as religion, culture, PARENTS! LOL.. Try to get closer to people at church, not just because of your parents, but also because its important to have Christian friends that you can talk to about stuff like this.. They'll understand more. Try to take it slow with your parents, may be if you invited some of your friends over and told them to be on their 'best bahviour', your parents would be more accepting?

    Just pray. Pray that God lets His will be done because maybe he's doing this for your best interest...
  • Thank you!!! and also i agree with what you said Hizz_Child about bringing my friends over... my parents even suggested it but the thing is in university its hard for everyone to be free on the same day. so when i have exams/midterms/ assignments, they dont and vice versa. It's Easter break now so I'll try to get some of them to come over. In response to Coptic Servant, I thank you so much for trying to help but even though i've tried that already, i still feel that most of the youth at church are "Fake". they pretend to like you but their actions prove otherwise so its hard to get close to them.

    your sister in Christ,
  • [quote author=Rina484 link=topic=6365.msg84071#msg84071 date=1205968081]
    In response to Coptic Servant, I thank you so much for trying to help but even though i've tried that already, i still feel that most of the youth at church are "Fake". they pretend to like you but their actions prove otherwise so its hard to get close to them.

    your sister in Christ,

    I 100% agree Rina, people may seem they are fake, then is its possible make friends with not only the girls but the boys, I'm not saying a relationship, I mean be friends with other people besides your own gender, guys tend not to be fake, from my opinion anyways!!

    Coptic Servent
  • I agree with you ... its just that sometimes its hard to be friends with guys from church because of the way people talk if they see a girl and a guy even just standing together. a girl has to be careful with her actions to protect her reputation all the time, but I see your point!
  • As long as you aren't doing anything bad, than you shouldn't worry about your rep, it's the way you are respectful, God knows your actions and what your intentions are, follow what's inside the heart and not what you hear!!

    Coptic Servent
  • between the youth, it's about respect but with the older people, they think that guys and girls should stay as far away from each other as possible (obviously i'm exaggerating a bit here but it is true to an extent). in so many cases, they start spreading rumors that the guy and girl are dating or even engaged just by seeing them talk together, or if the girl is seen talking to more than 1 guy, they can say that she's a 'floater' (desperate to get any guy). I don't know if guys think like this or not, but if girls don't they'll have the whole church talking! it's a very difficult situation...
  • Again, people especially egyptian, I'm sorry but this is kind of true in most cases, like to exaggerate and twist things around thataway it'll make it a big huge fairytale, most people believe, others won't, again God knows your actions and intentions and if they are clean cut Rina, you are fine, so don't listen to what people say. I agree most people twist things around to an extent and believe every word they hear, at my church girls talk with girls, guys talk with guys, both talk together, no girl has never talked to a guy, and no guy has never talked to a girl, we all just get along!! It's not for the fact that they are desperate it's just people like talking to certain people, and certain people have respect for others!!

    Coptic Servent
  • Why dont you get a group of girls together and you and the boys talk together that way you can be protecting your reputation and nobody can say anything. There is this story Once there was a boy and girl walking together everyday at church they are together and chilling.People thought they went out and talked bad about them.At the end they ended up to be brother and sister.
  • sorry but i have to mention this... PLEASE LEAVE THE THE OTHER YOUTH OUT OF THIS CONVERSATION... who are you to judge, if you don't like them, don't talk to them... they smoke... you don't like it... don't do it!!! hell don't even mention it!!!

    and for you rina, everything is through time and steps... your parents are not going to let you do all you want overnight, win their trust! if you wanna talk about it you can pm me... believe me i've dealt with this a bit too much before! inshallah all will be great!
  • May God bless for your obedience, what you are doing now is something i wish i could do.  It is really great virtue that can help you in many ways, and i am sure you will be put in a situation where you will require it.  As for whether what you parents are doing is wrong or right i cannot really say, but it seems to me that what they are doing in your life has its purpose.  I believe you should continue to pray about it as mentioned before, and talk with your father of confesssion and continue to work with him.  Again God bless you for you obedience 
  • hey...

    thanks to everyone that contributed...  I was so happy to read all your comments.

    I had a talk with Abouna about this and he said that he was concerned about this too. He told me that the best thing to do was to keep this friendship limited to within university and that outside, I should have nothing to do with them. now i understand why he may be concerned but i don't exactly understand why. if its from the religious perspective, then i'm not concerned about myself, but if it's something else i want to understand what it is. any ideas?

    Your sis in Christ,
  • really. I might be wrong but if they dont understand when you talk to them, then talk to abouna.
  • Its possibly because they will have a bad influence on you(whether you realize this or not, its most likely true) Sometimes we think that if we are the good ones our friends will learn from us, but it can go both ways aswell, if you give them some good traits you might pick up some bad ones without you realizing
  • i guess you're right... i just absolutely hate turning people down when they ask me to go to their birthday party, especially when their invitation is so sincere! have you ever had to do that?
  • Yes i have, i've never been able to really hang out with friends from school, and i'm actually glad now, cause the stuff they do at parties is not the best,(drinking smoking etc) so yes i completely understand how you feel
Sign In or Register to comment.