I can see the truth in the statement “ignorance is bliss” because being responsible is hard work.
When I didn’t know how fast the train to financial ruin was going it was nice; I paid the bills, save a little for vacations and bought want I wanted to and we lived happily. Now I scrutinize every expenditure, weighing out the Needs vs Wants saga. I look at our expenses and try to analyze where we can save or cut back. Suddenly it’s no longer “just $20.00 a month” it’s “$240.00 a year.”
When I didn’t understand the importance of eating quality, traditional foods from trusted sources and an egg was just an egg and grocery shopping was easier. Not to mention the food budget; I could spend $200.00 on a month’s worth of groceries and I thought I was succeeding. Now I am pushing $400.00 month (couple the better quality food with an 11 month old who eats more than I thought he would.). My food mindset as gone from “well, its FDA approved so it must be ok” to “if the government says it’s good for you then it probably isn’t.”
Before I had my son I didn’t worry about what was on TV or what the people around us said. Now I watch very little TV at all (even when my son isn’t around) and I cringe when I hear certain things out of the mouths of adults. Not just “bad words” but things spoken over (about) my son or negative, disparaging comments about people/places/things all seem to stick out more now that I know he will eventually repeat what he hears. I want his childlike faith to last forever.
I believe we are accountable for the truth we know. Certainly as stewards, parents, caregivers and spouses we should aim to learn as much as we can and once we know then we must act accordingly. I believe there is grace for the areas and times when we do not know. When we are truly ignorant to the facts and truth God is merciful but once we know if we choose to turn our backs then we are accountable and responsible for our actions (or lack thereof).
This is what makes ignorance blissful. When we don’t know we simply go along like we always have and things look good. Then, all of a sudden, or sometimes slowly over time, we see things through a different lens and we can no longer ignore what we once did not know. Now our decisions and our actions are measured to a different standard. It is much harder when we have to think about things or when we see things in a new perspective.
Then we must contend with family and friends who do not see the truth. (Some take longer to see it, some will see and won’t care and sadly, some will never see.) This adds mounting pressure because you know what the right decision is about a given situation but you also know those around you, will not understand. You’ve prayed about it, feel you have direction yet to “them” you seem off base, misguided or just plain stupid. Maybe they will second guess you. Maybe they will criticize you or point out all the times you didn’t do it that way. I think the worst is when it seems like they wait for a time when you have a moment of weakness or you knowing make a compromise (after you’ve weighed the options) and then they jump you for being a hypocrite. I’m not talking about moral compromise here. I’m talking about a commitment to drink decaf but the only thing your Aunt Gretel has is caffeinated coffee. Or committing to not buying Starbuck’s but you and your mom go shopping and you feel to treat your mom to a latte.
The fact is that whether it’s food or finances, marriage or parenting we, as individuals or husbands & wives, must make decisions and compromises every day based on the truth we know. We are not held accountable for what others think of us. We are accountable for taking action based on what the Lord has revealed to us.