It will get better before you get married….

This was my dad’s mantra growing up.  Actually there were two…

Don’t do that…
And
It will get better before you get married…

If you went to him with an injury and said something like, “Dad it hurts when I bend my arm.”  He would respond with, “Don’t do that then.”
Or if you went to him with a bruise, cut, or some other minor injury he would respond, “It will get better before you get married.”
Or if your friend got mad at you…he would just simply say, “It will get better before you get married.”  Sigh…
(He did take care of serious things…these were minor)

I have no idea where he got this saying.  Knowing him he made it up because he didn’t have a solution.  His answer could be annoying at times, but at the same time it seemed to be a sufficient answer for my sister and I.  Since neither of my kids at this time want to get married, I can’t use this “cure-all” for them.  For those minor ailments or problems I’m left with something lame like, “I don’t know what to tell you.” (smile)

It will get better before you get married…

What if the fact that you are getting married is what causes the problem?  What if those closest to you aren’t happy with who you love?  What if they refuse to attend the wedding?  Even worse…what if they cut you out of their lives because of it?

Some say that gay people getting married is ruining marriage and family values.  One thing I know for sure…the legalization of same-sex marriage three years ago has not impacted my marriage at all.  In fact, in about four weeks Mike and I will be celebrating our 30th anniversary.  What I have seen is families torn apart by not accepting who their child or family member loves and intends to marry.

The thing most often said in these situations is…
“I love you, but I can not accept this lifestyle that you are choosing.  I can not go to your wedding because that would mean that I’m ok with it.”  People will defend their stand saying that they can love someone and not be ok with everything that they do.  Well I think it’s pretty safe to say that just about everyone that we love does something that we may not agree with at one time or another.  The difference here is how differently the person who is LGBTQ is treated.

Once again, I would like to point out that people do not choose this.  It is not a lifestyle.  It is who they are and when you don’t accept all of who they are…when you don’t accept who they love…it doesn’t feel like love at all.  Your words are hollow and meaningless.  You can argue your love to the cows come home.  It won’t matter.  You just don’t understand the depths of pain you cause them.

And it saddens me because so many don’t try to understand.  If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “I just want to follow the truth of the Bible,” I would be a very rich woman.  As if those who support the LGBTQ community have just completely thrown the Bible out of the window.

I can give you examples of thousands of parents and LGBTQ individuals who have scoured the Bible on this topic.  We are accused of listening to what our “itching ears want to hear”.  We don’t research the Bible trying to figure out how to be “ok” with having a gay child or being LGBTQ.  I would say for many of us we start out trying to figure out how to “fix” our loved ones or ourselves.  What we learn is that it isn’t something that needs to be fixed.  You don’t have to agree with that, but knowing that may help you to understand why your love isn’t felt.

So many people I know join Bible studies.  People (some famously known) who have studied certain topics or passages and develop classes, DVD’s,  or books with study guides to explain what they’ve discovered.  People flock to these things.  I’ve been part of some of them.  Learning the original language and historical context of a passage is exciting.  Sometimes you learn that looking at a particular verse in the historical context looks completely different from how you were applying it today.

Sadly many of these same people won’t touch a book that delves into the scriptures used to condemn the LGBTQ community.  We refer to them as the clobber passages.  These books also look at original language and historical context.  These books, however, are seen as un-biblical.  Did you know that reading a book like that shows love to an LGBTQ individual?  The fact that you are willing to even look at them?  You can read them and still not agree with them.  You might be surprised, however, at what God will show you.

I’ve seen too many families broken.  I’ve seen too many children take their lives.  Too many kids kicked out of their homes (two just in this last week).  There have been too many empty chairs at weddings.

God loves these children…are you better than God?

There’s hope…If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have support, there is an ever-growing group of mama bears that are willing to step in and offer that support.  Just send me an email via my contact page.

It will get better when we all learn how to love better…

LOVE MATTERS

 

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I’m just a bill…

I think my feet must have magnets in them.  I can’t tell you how many times my family have stepped on the back of my feet…usually when I’m in flip-flops.  My husband and both of my kids are guilty.  It is extremely jarring when you are walking along and someone steps on your shoe and you keep going, but your foot doesn’t.  And when it comes to my toes…my dog Lucy is famous for stepping on them.  She may be little, but owie does it hurt!  Well today I’m going to do a different kind of toe stepping.

stepping-on-toes

image_b1cc3b4bI love this little guy.  I really do.  He brings up such fun memories from my childhood.  Good ole’ School House Rock (SHR).  Saturday morning cartoon time (yes that was the only time cartoons were on back in the day) was not complete without the songs from SHR.  I passed many a test while singing those informative songs in my head.

I’m just a bill.
Yes, I’m only a bill.
And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it’s a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It’s a long, long wait
While I’m sitting in committee…

Well if you have been paying attention to the news lately, you know that there was a bill that was passed in North Carolina that didn’t have a long, long journey.  It was passed in 12 hours.  The media have been referring to it as the “religious freedom” bill and often call it the “anti-LGBT” bill.  Yes it does have some things in there that discriminate against the LGBT community…especially transgender individuals and bathrooms, but did you know it also has these items:

Section 143-422.3 eliminates wrongful termination on the basis of an employee’s skin color. Section 143-422.2 eliminates the existing law remedy that now protects – but will no longer – a Christian who has been terminated on the basis of religion. It also eliminates any state law claim for discrimination in the workplace on the basis of national origin or ethnicity.

I think people hear “religious freedom” and they jump on the bandwagon not even knowing what’s in the bill.  Especially since it is really talked about as an anti-LGBT bill.

Mississippi also recently passed a bill with a lot of the same language.  This new law states that it protects “sincerely held beliefs or moral convictions.”  This bill, however, has something in it that people may not realize it has until they go out to dinner.

Mississippi is one of the states that has a high rate of obesity so they added something to this bill to try to take care of the problem.  I guess you could say it’s the anti-gluttony bill.  Restaurants have the right to deny people service who are overweight. There are some restaurants that have gone as far as hiring extra hostesses (bouncers) that stop people from even entering the restaurant.  And if you happen to be on the cusp of what someone thinks is overweight, you are allowed in the restaurant, but you can order only from a special menu that they feel will help you with your weight loss.  Some restaurants have even gone as far as putting “no fat people allowed” in their windows.  And if you are overweight because of medical condition, be prepared to have medical records to prove it to be allowed into the restaurant.

Pastors who have supported this bill have been asked how they can be behind such a blatantly discriminatory bill.  They have answered with statements like, “Well we aren’t asking people to put a knife to their throat.  The Bible clearly states in Proverbs 23:2 that is what should be done when given to gluttony.”  And, “Gluttony is making your stomach a god as stated in Philippians 3:19  and that can be considered idolatry.  Your body is a holy temple and should be treated as such.” So far 40% of the restaurants in Mississippi have embraced this new bill and the governor is hoping for 100% by the end of the year.  When a Christian restaurant owner was asked why he supported the bill, he commented that he wanted to follow the truth of scripture and serving food to these people would be helping them give in to their evil desires.  “Clearly you can’t know what is in the Bible and be overweight AND Christian.”

So, who wants to take a trip to Mississippi with me?  How’s your blood pressure doing?  Are you thinking, “What the heck is wrong with people??”

Luckily this part of the Mississippi bill is not true.  I made it up.  It does discriminate against the LGBT community, but not overweight people.  Look at it as a parable if you will.  You might be thinking that this is comparing apples to oranges.  I respectfully disagree.  This is discrimination.  Period.  It doesn’t feel good and it’s ugly.

My son can be denied a job, housing, services, etc. because he is gay.
There are signs in stores across the country in store window fronts that say, “no gays allowed.”
I know of a boy whose pediatrician refused to continue seeing him when he told him he was gay.
I also know of someone who was beaten to the point of seizures in a bar and the police refused to file a police report.  The person was told to leave or they would be arrested.
I know of a transgender woman whose ID was checked by a police officer when coming out of a rest room in North Carolina.
And many times people have said to me that it’s impossible to be gay AND Christian.

I’ve heard people say, “Why can’t gay people just get over it already?”  If you lived in the conditions stated above, would you be able to just “get over it?”  People’s rights are being stripped away and it is wrong.  I just wonder how you would respond if you faced the same discrimination.  And by the way, these bills discriminate against just about everyone so the scenario in Mississippi isn’t too far fetched.

I felt really mean writing this post.  I don’t want anyone to think that I am judging them.  I think maybe God placed it on my heart in this way because He is just tired of His babies jumping off of overpasses into oncoming traffic, stepping in front of tractor trailers, shooting themselves in the head, overdosing on drugs…because society doesn’t understand what they are doing to them.  And quite frankly I’m sick of it too.

Was Jesus all about religious freedom?  Were his disciples?

I know one thing…Jesus was all about love…because love matters.