A few years ago Hubby had just arrived home from a men’s retreat weekend when he excitedly started sharing all he had gleaned from the weekend. I don’t recall whether he was coming from Colorado or Anadarko, but when he goes to either he comes home with new revelations from the Lord to share and I love it! This particular weekend, his main share was a story that he’d read in a book called Scandalous Freedom and today I want to share it with you because I sit in it regularly and I feel like you might want to as well.
The gist of my recall of the story is that a man arrives in heaven the day it’s his time and he sees God standing there waiting for him. As he gets closer to God, He lovingly put His arm around the man, looks into his eyes, and says to him, “Son, you got it all wrong, that wasn’t it. But, you loved My Son and that’s what matters so come on in!”.
Isn’t that a beautiful story? I’m so grateful that Hubby takes weekends and spends them with God and other men seeking God! I don’t know if I could ask for much more in a husband, but what I do know is this, I asked God for him. My dad threw fits when I was growing up, if things weren’t his way (and you never knew what his way was that day) he would get upset and take it out on someone. You never knew if it was your day, but you certainly did not want any of your domain out of order, it was scary! As a really broken young woman, I treated Hubby much like that and as our kids got older, them too. I think Hubby and our kids would say that much of my adult life I was just like my dad. My picture of how you treat your family was very different than Hubby’s so we’ve had some difficult patches. Gratefully Hubby stuck it out and I grew up. I know God had a plan when He put us together! The relationship we have today has been worth the loyalty and effort it takes to stick it out. I asked God to give me man just like Hubby and He blessed me with Matt Ford.
Now back to his story and what brought me to it today. As you know I am in Graduate school now and my first presentation was on the social injustices of the LGBT population. Several years ago, I would not have been able to present that point of view I don’t think. Today, God has renewed my mind to the place that I can see that we as humans are constantly judging one another’s sin and I may count myself the worst. I have a child that is questioning their sexual orientation and for a Christian parent, that is a tough thing to hear. I am sure I will share more on that at a later time but today I want to talk about love.
Love is interesting because we all think we are doing it well and justified, but is it love? I was listening to a lady today that has a website for Christians that have a loved one come out about their sexual orientation. Her video was a story about a pastor that had died and gone to heaven and was having a conversation with God. I found my Spirit becoming riled as I heard her tell the story of God lecturing a pastor because he turned gay people away from his church. She was speaking for God to this pastor at the pearly gates and God was shaming him for all he did wrong, nothing that he had done right. I can’t even fathom God doing that to one of us! If He isn’t doing it through His Spirit, why would He start when we get there? From what I can tell, her goal was to say to the pastors and leaders in churches, these are people and they need to be held even closer so that they can find Jesus. I get it, I do, I have a male friend that is married to a male and they love Jesus. They made good choices about purity prior to marriage and have been highly committed to the long term good of one another. Isn’t that want we want for our kids? For everyone? This friend went to his church to volunteer in the youth department, his thought was that he could help the kids that are questioning know that they are good and that Jesus loves them. The church, after they have attended for years and been a part of home groups, told him that he couldn’t serve. Is that love? Do church attendee kids not question sexuality?
After meditating on Hubby’s story this morning, the main thing I wanted to share with you today is this, Jesus loves you. He loves me. He loves a man married to a man. He loves a woman married to a woman. Jesus wouldn’t treat any of us differently, he doesn’t shame now or in heaven. Our goal is to learn to love like Jesus. Our problem is no one is studying the way Jesus treats us. If you love God, one day you will arrive in heaven and God will say, “You got it all wrong, but you love My Son, so come on in!”.
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it. But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13-14
When we truly love who God made us each to be, we won’t have to point out where we believe others are sinning. I am definitely not there, but it is the prize that I keep my eye on.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31 NIV
That is love.