Alright, I’ve been meaning to write my second dating requirement. It’s simply this: He must love others, and show it by word and deed. I’d told one of my friends last night that I hope to find someone who doesn’t just SAY he loves others, but who actually shows it through service and attitude.Service is half of the equation, and it’s pretty easy to tell if you spend much time with a person whether they are service oriented or not. Knowing their heart regarding other people is another thing, though, and that takes time.
Luckily Dan from Single Dad Laughing seems to have written most of this article for me! 🙂 Normally I don’t agree with him on everything, and in fact find his style somewhat emotionally manipulative from time to time, but this article is spot on: I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.
I consider myself Christian and I know a lot of my friends do, too. Regardless of whether another person is sinning or not, Christ was pretty clear that the greatest commandments are to love God and our neighbors. That we should love one another even as He loves us. We’re even supposed to love our enemies. This isn’t a matter of lip service and saying, “Well, because I love this person, I’m going to ostracize them, joke about their actions, or treat them as though they are somehow not worth as much as me. And, through these loving actions, show them that I love them for who they have the potential to become, but not as they are.” That isn’t how it works.
Some people will argue that we’re commanded to judge righteously. I’ve thought about that a lot, and it comes down to the relationship we have with our Father. Let’s say I give my kids a commandment of sorts. “Clean the living room before I finish making dinner,” or “Do not peel the paint off the bathroom wall.” I am a mortal momma, imperfectly human, and chances are I’m not always going to catch my kids disobeying. So let’s say one of them catches the other. It’s one thing to say, “Hey, mom said don’t peel the paint off the wall.” It’s quite another to hit them, belittle them, or hate them. Would I want my kids hating each other over something I asked them to do? Even if I didn’t actually see the offense take place?
If the Lord sees every last sin we commit, wouldn’t you suppose he’s more concerned with us policing ourselves than, say, trying to pull that mote out of our brother’s eye? Wasn’t Christ pretty clear about that whole, “Love one another” thing? Some would argue that one sin is bigger sin than, say, letting our judgement of others get in the way of our loving them. I’ve never seen any doctrinal support in the scriptures or through prophets that says anything of the sort.
Is it OK to hate people who smoke, or people who are poor, or crazy, or homeless, or fat, or ugly, or beautiful, or smart, or stupid, or anything else for that matter? Is it even okay to hate that guy who cut you off in traffic? Does Christ ask us to love unless we’ve somehow been provoked or offended?
C.S. Lewis alluded in Mere Christianity to the figurative rats in the basement of our souls. You can’t say they’re only there when you suddenly turn the light on, and that otherwise they don’t exist, because they’re able to stay hidden. Concealing your feelings isn’t going to cut it here. To fail to love others is a failure to keep the second greatest commandment. So I hope we can examine our hearts, our thoughts, our words, and especially our deeds. If you as a Christian find yourself lacking in the kind of love Christ has demonstrated for you, might I recommend asking the Lord to help you do better?
I’m not looking for someone perfect, because I am not perfect, either. But I am looking for someone who loves God and his neighbor enough to try, and enough to humbly seek the Lord’s help in becoming better.