Dear Future Extended Family,
When we were planning our wedding a few months ago and making up the guest list, I asked Erin if she wanted to invite you. She said, “They probably won’t come.”
But I said, “It’d still be polite.” So she agreed but with reservations.
Today, we got your response. It was exactly what we expected. You checked “Declines with Regrets” and marked a zero for number attending, but it was a pretty obvious lie.
You didn’t decline with regrets. You declined with all the self-righteous smugness you could muster. What didn’t you just scratch off the “with regrets” part and leave it at that?
There was no reason… none… for you to “explain away” your decline with the letter you also inserted into the envelope. We know why you weren’t coming. We invited you because it was the right thing to do not because we thought you’d actually show up. We weren’t surprised by your decline, we weren’t really surprised with your reasoning. We were surprised with the fact that you felt it necessary to tell us why you weren’t coming.
You sent us this little gem:
I love you and I care about you. I’ve tried to show it by helping you and giving you support over the years. So it grieves me now to tell you that I am not able to give my support to this Union.
This doesn’t change the fact that I love and care about you. I hope that my honesty does not cause you to sever our relationship – there are many things about you that i enjoy and respect. (I also liked Kel.)
Please understand that if you ever want to speak further with me about this, heart to heart and respectfully, I would welcome that.
Sincerely yours, ***************
While I agree that this note could have been worse, I’m still disappointed.
I’m disappointed because someone who professes to love another but can’t bring themselves to fully support them in an endeavor that is neither hurting them, their family, or anyone else obviously doesn’t love them as they so profess.
My relationship as a gay woman does not hurt me or hurt Erin. It doesn’t hurt you, it doesn’t hurt your family, or your marriage. It doesn’t hurt her mother or my mother. Erin isn’t on drugs. She’s not suffering from some woman-addiction. She’s not doing anything dangerous. She’s not do anything that isn’t worthy of your love and support.
If she were hurting herself or others, then sure, I could see the use of the words of “can’t support” as being a legitimate option, to some extent. Even then, I don’t think that “can’t support” and “love” go together.
I’m disappointed because you can’t support this “union” because of… let’s not beat around the bush, okay…. because of God.
And this is where things get really hazy for me: God’s love is unconditional. God loves all of His children. He created them, and even though they do immature things sometimes, He never stops loving them. The word “sin” means to “miss the mark.” How is sin defined in the Bible, really? What is or isn’t a sin?
We can point to Leviticus for all the sins, but then I can point to the Hebrews where Jesus is said to be appointing a new covenant because the old one is obsolete.
Jesus himself never once spoke about same sex relationships because homosexuality wasn’t even a big deal back then. Paul doesn’t particularly like same-sex relations, but he never mentions committed same-sex relationships. Every time same-sex relations are mentioned in the new testament (which, by the way, is only three times), Paul is talking about lustful relationships, usually between married men and women who are having affairs with young boys or slaves, as was the practice of the time.
If we look to what is actually a sin in the Bible, Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” So what now? I’m a sinner and so are you. Why must you cast stones on others sins when you aren’t even able to act in a Christ-like way towards other sinners? We are all saved through the grace of God alone, in your words.
Do you know what grace means? It’s the the free and unmerited favor of God. Google it. Just because someone is saved doesn’t mean that they don’t continue to sin, which includes you, and it doesn’t mean that God is going to turn away from them.
Your letter assumes quite a bit. For one, it assumes that I don’t have a relationship with God since you feel that our union isn’t something you can support, obviously for religious reasons since you love Erin and apparently like me alright. What else is there, really? How dare you act so presumptuously.
While I feel sexually attracted to Erin and I would go as far as to call that a lustful feeling, I’m willing to bet that you feel the same way towards your husband. If not, I feel sorry for your marriage, as it is apparently devoid of all raw emotion. My relationship with Erin goes beyond just lust into a loving and committed relationship where we not only support each other but we raise each other up when our own families, who are supposed to support us no matter what, fall short of that calling and responsibility.
Our marriage is blessed by God. And you know how I know that? Because it’s based in love and commitment, which is what God is. God is love. And if God is all-loving, there is no room for anything else. Anything less than 100% unconditional love falls short of the glory of God.
Jesus hung out with prostitutes. He hung out with the sick and the dying. He turned no one away. The only ones he rebuked where the religious leaders who said that he was doing wrong. Eventually, those in charge got so fed up with his message of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE that they killed him, and he begged for God to forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing.
By rejecting our “union,” our marriage, you are rejecting an unconditional love.
Ephesians 4 says, “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift (4-7).”
There is one body and one Spirit. One God. Who is in all. God is in me just as in you, so when you rebuke another’s unconditional loving relationship, you are rebuking a part of God’s love.
Ephesians 4: 13-16 continues, “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
To mature manhood. That we may no longer be children. Speaking the truth in love. We are to grow up … into him… into Christ… so that [the body] builds itself up in love.
We are to act like Christ. We are to love others unconditionally, as he did. Jesus didn’t say anything about homosexuality or same-sex marriage, so why are you?
Dear future extended family,
I love you and care about. I’ve tried to show it by being friendly at family gatherings where we’ve spent more than a few minutes together in the same room. So it grieves me now to tell you that I am not able to support you in religious affiliations.
This doesn’t change the fact that I love and care about you. I hope that my honesty does not cause you to sever our relationship – there are many things about that I enjoy and respect. (I also liked your family.)
Please understand that if you ever want to speak further with me about this, heart-to-heart and respectfully, I would welcome that.