Probably the most important lesson I learned this year is that people do not have to accept your love and yet you can still keep loving them. When people demand you love them on their terms it can feel like a door being slammed in your face. I have learned that there is only one way to love people honestly and that is on Christ's terms. He was hated so by most of His contemporaries yet he loved them all despite of it. As I have learned this past year, that is not an easy thing to do in any stretch of the imagination. Perhaps one of the most prominant examples from this past year has been the all the furor around the recent comments of Phil Robertson. First of all, he said nothing hateful towards anyone. I may have found the way he expressed himself to be crude, at least according to my tastes, but he did not "spew" hateful words about any person gay or straight as it was reported in most of the press. Those of us that believe in the truth he expressed, that all people are sinners and that despite our sins we must still love one another, realize first and foremost that we ourselves do things everyday that are displeasing to God. When I disagree with the premise of gay marriage it does not mean I do not love those who agree with that idea. I know people who drink and drive, people that have cheated on spouses, people who have stolen funds that they are not entitled to... I still love them. Disagreeing with social and political views is not a sin... it is not acting in hate towards a person it is expressing ideas and beliefs... it is the way a representative government works. Ideas are put out in public and argued, discussed, tried and either accepted or rejected. An example of this that has been playing out for decades now is abortion. There has been a groundswell in support for protecting human beings in the womb. More people are pro-life today than they were just 10 years ago...especially among young people...why? the legitimacy of abortion was based on untruth...as technology and people's understanding and experience has grown their sense of injustice about this issue has evolved. Those laws will eventually be changed... if for no other reason than attrition... those who hold to abortion and its culture are dying out and being replaced.... Just as abortion was more than an ideological lie and was revealed by technology, experience and commonsense so it is with gay marriage as well. Abortion was argued that it was a private decision that had no effect on anyone other than the woman. Experience has proven otherwise... societies need offspring to survive... look at Europe which is collapsing economically and socially due to false ideals in "freeing" women and controlling population.
This applies to gay marriage as well. Gay families are not the same as straight families. It is physically impossible. While I have no doubt, what so ever, that gays and lesbians can be loving and concerned parents they cannot give their children what other children have (BTW, same for single parents who decide to have kids without a spouse). Some people want to believe that moms and dads are interchangable, that gender is insignificant in the raising of children, and that only love is needed.... that is already being proven as a lie. As a society we have plenty of evidence of the effect of fatherlessness and motherlessness on the development of children. Adoption is a beautiful thing and it saves many, many children but those children struggle with issues related to adoption... not because their adoptive parents do not love them but because in a way they have lived a falsehood... if this were not true why is finding birth families a HUGE industry today? My biggest issue with gay marriage has nothing to do with the rights of two homosexual people to live together in a relationship... it is in the normalizing of those relationships as equal in value to the raising of children and thus in the stability of society. I am against easy divorce as well for the same reason, it is why I think heterosexuals that have children outside of marriage, especially those who have serial live ins should not have the same benefits as married people... anything that does not promote marraige between one man and one woman as the societal ideal is damaging particularly to children and because of this to society as well. Now I have plenty of friends and family who fall into these catagories... Heck... in fact I am divorced... I do not hate anyone because of their life choices... but that does not mean I cannot speak what is true for the benefit of us all.
There is freedom in knowing that if people hate me because of what I believe is true I can still love them...even if that means from behind a door slammed in my face... they cannot control who I love... that power is mine... a gift from a loving God...and I will love!