Someone I know is going through a dating struggle. Sadly, its due to a disagreement over a ‘Christian’ viewpoint.
I put ‘Christian’ in quotes because, in looking from the outside, the behavior being displayed doesn’t seem to be coming from Love, but rather, its ringing a Condemnation Bell in my heart. To me the Foundation of being a Christian IS Love and if there is no love, I don’t think you can attach Christ to it.
Here’s the story:
She has a boyfriend (they met on a Christian dating site) and they have discovered they disagree on a certain tenet of faith. Upon expressing her view to him, hoping it would be received by a trusting heart open to her vulnerability and expression of what’s in her heart, she was met with an “I love you, BUT” statement. Basically he told her he loves her BUT if she doesn’t share his specific ‘Christian’ viewpoint to a T, he’s out.
I guess that makes me question….does he really Love her?
If you Love someone are they so easily tossed aside? In my humble opinion, I’d say no. When we meet up with any type of disagreement be it religious, political, social or heck even about where to shop or eat and we turn and say, “It’s my way or the highway”, THAT is evidence of a relationship lacking in love.
Unfortunately, I believe we’ve got LOTS of those types of relationships running around these days. In fact, everywhere we look we see hate on display. Hate and division lurk around every corner in our World. So much so that we’ve got to stay focused on choosing to see the good to avoid losing hope in the cesspool of hate.
Love Wins, Love Saves the Day and sharing and spreading that Love is what makes a difference. Love without Fear is the key, in fact, perfect love casts out fear. (Hmmm, I feel like I read that somewhere once…) 😉
We need people to walk along side us and be willing to grow with us, not people who need us to conform to their beliefs so they can finally ‘love us’. We need “I love you, AND” peeps in our lives. As in “I love you AND I’ll be here next to you Always, even if I don’t understand.”
‘Love’ that makes us turn others away and shrink back from them is not love at all, especially when we falsely label it ‘Christian’. ‘Love’ that divides and separates is a cheap counterfeit masquerading as love. In truth, it is often fear presenting itself as ‘self-protection’ or perhaps even ‘wisdom’. Jesus spoke against the religious leaders in His day because they separated themselves from the people. They set rules that were unattainable and Jesus called ’em on it. He told them they not only kept others from entering the Kingdom, but they also kept themselves out, WOW! That’s a gut punch, Jesus, and I say Way To Go!
Love, the kind that we are made of and have inside us, loves. It allows for freedom and trusts and holds our hands, even if we question something or disagree. It draws near to others even if we don’t see eye to eye. Love finds the good, it perseveres, it protects, it is patient and kind. Love gives its life up for Love.
That is Love. That is what Jesus modeled for us, Love AND, not Love BUT. (Insert <<Mic drop>> here) 😉
So, I ask IS it truly Love if its a “Love, But“?
Ooof – that stings a bit and hits home with me in a few places. How about you? Do you have people in your life living behind a “but” wall? Do you have folks that you would love “but” not until they conform or agree or folks that you would love “but” not until they ‘get it together’ so they are safe?
If that struck you, like it struck me, perhaps taking some time to sort out your “Buts” to see if you can turn them into “Ands” would be a worthy way to spend some quiet time. If you can change even one “But” to an “And” it would be completely and totally worth it because that is how the world changes…one “but to an and” at a time.
Join me and let’s jump into “Love-And” together and see if we can’t rock this world off center with a tidal wave of PURE LOVE! Here we go….!
PS. Can I admit I really had to suppress giggles after typing and reading but after but after but? Yes, childish, I know…but I’m a child of God and He loves me, right? 😉