Rule follower…

I am a rule follower. Always have been. I’m pretty sure my parents never worried about taking me places with them because they knew I would behave. My dad reads most of my posts so dad feel free to call me out if that’s not true (smile). I’m not saying that I was perfect, but I truly did care about following the rules.

I get very uncomfortable if people talk about bending the rules or breaking a rule. A couple of years ago, I went to the movies with some friends. It was in the middle of the day and it was at one of those fancy movie theaters with the really nice seats that recline. You knew where to sit by the number on your ticket stub (they were assigned unlike other theaters where you can sit wherever you like). When we got into the theater, it was completely empty. So…my friends decided to sit wherever they wanted. I was reluctant because, after all, I was given a ticket that told me where I was supposed to sit. They held up their arms and said, “Who is going to care?” I reluctantly gave in and sat with them…in our non-assigned seats. The movie was about to start when one more person came into the theater. ONE. And guess who they walked up to and said, “You’re in my seat.” ME! I was mortified. See…THIS is why I follow the rules!

We have laws (really serious rules) that we all have to follow as citizens. Things like paying our share of taxes, taking care of our environment by not littering, waiting until we are of age to drink, etc. A lot of these laws are in place to protect us. Things like wearing our seatbelts when driving and following the speed limit. There are laws that we follow to protect our fellow citizens like not stealing from them or harming them in any way (this of course also protects us if they follow the law as well).

Part of growing up is learning the rules. There are rules in school, rules in your family, and rules in sports that you play. Just watch a referee make a bad call and see how important the rules are to fans (Super Bowl anyone). When you start making friends, you learn that their families have their own rules as well. I remember being in middle school and having dinner at my best friend’s house for the first time. In their family, her father was served first. Everyone waited until her dad had his plate before they dished out food onto theirs. This was totally foreign to me as we did not do that in my house. When we had dinner, you were allowed to fix your plate any time. I had many dinners at that friend’s house and I respectfully waited until her dad had his food because that was their rule.

I’m still seeing a lot of “chatter” online about a bill that was passed back on December 8th of 2022. There are people that are very upset. The bill is called the Respect for Marriage Act. What does that mean? It’s a law (rule) that will ensure that interracial and same-sex marriages are legally protected even if decisions like Love and Obergefell are ultimately overturned. Why would people be upset about that? Well…it goes against their beliefs (rules). When we have beliefs about what our behaviors should be, you could say that they are our set of rules that we follow. But here’s the thing…you are absolutely entitled to your beliefs. What you aren’t entitled to is insisting that other people follow your beliefs.

The comments that I am seeing are about how this bill will destroy families. I really don’t understand that argument. I saw the same comments back in 2015 when the supreme court made same sex marriage legal. I’ve yet to see a family destroyed by it. In fact, a lot of the straight kids that I knew in 2015 have grown up and gotten married to opposite sex partners. Some of them have even started their own families. I don’t know anyone who has gotten divorced because same sex marriages were made legal. There is a lot of fearmongering around this issue.

I’m not trying to be flippant. I know that this is really important to a lot of people because they think God is being removed from our culture by allowing things like same sex marriages. What they fail to realize is that many of these gay couples getting married also believe in God. I’m not sure you will ever understand the turmoil a gay Christian goes through searching God for answers until you sit down and listen to their story. When the gay person says that they believe God is ok with them, many people say they are only hearing what they want to hear, but sit down and listen to their story and you will soon see that is not the case at all. At least not with the precious people I have met along this journey. Maybe it’s easier for me to believe their stories of God’s whisperings because I have experienced those myself as a parent of a gay child.

I have listened to way too many stories of despair from people trying to mold themselves into what others believe they should be. I’ve seen too many people hurt by the demands that Christians have placed on them. Demands that they should ignore the voice of God that they have personally heard, but instead to listen to the voice of that person’s personal beliefs (rules). I’ve seen the pain of being kept a secret to avoid the anger and in some cases abuse from families that don’t accept you.

There are a lot of bills out there waiting to be voted on against the LGBTQ+ community. Laws that could take away their rights. Imagine that happening to you. We need laws in place to have order and so people know what is expected of them. Imagine someone’s belief that you didn’t agree with becoming a law that you had to follow.

What if I had come home from my friend’s house and insisted that our family have the same dinner rule? I don’t think my parents would have gone for that. It’s not that it was a bad rule…our family dynamic was just different. Both of my parents worked full time and they pretty much divided up the household chores. It wasn’t unusual for my dad to cook dinner or do his own laundry. Each family is different.

Gay people marrying is not hurting anyone. It is two people who love each other and want to make a commitment to each other.

And their love matters…


4 thoughts on “Rule follower…

  1. Lesa, thank you for this blog. My daughter says she is a Christian and feels God is okay with her changing her gender to male, also she is married to a wonderful young lady I call my daughter-in-love. I have been having a hard time reconciling this belief she has, I appreciate you speaking about it and sharing from your heart. Thank You!

    • Hi Patty…thank you for your kind words. I was one of the leaders of a PFLAG group for a couple of years and we had lots of parents who were in your same situation. It takes time to process for sure. The fact that you are searching and trying to learn will speak volumes to your daughter. Your doing good mama! Sending hugs ❤

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