Same-sex marriage. ugh…talk about a bomb. I struggled all week over whether to bring it up. Since this is, in theory, a blog about relationships, it seems to fit under the umbrella. My main problem with blogging about it is that above all, I wish Christians would stay out of it…. And here I am. Getting involved. Publicly. Here are my main thoughts as of today:
1. I’m not the best person to ask. I am straight. My closest friends and family are straight. I’m also pretty politically ignorant at this time in my life. I worked on a political radio show just long enough to become disenchanted. I’d be lying through my teeth if I said I watched more CNN than STYLE Network. The one thing I bring to the table is my ability to (hopefully) think and care about people as best I can through a Christian perspective.
2. A friend had a status update of “If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married“. Bold. Can’t say I don’t like it. I don’t like the idea of legislating my religious Christian values on people who aren’t Christian. I wouldn’t want it done to me. Do I think homosexuality is a sin? I do. Do I sin? All time. It’s messy. Government isn’t the answer.
3. I hate the idea of putting anything in between someone who doesn’t know Jesus and Jesus. Like a street corner poster, unwelcoming spirit, or that weird shakey face thing women get when they are talking while angry/afraid. Who can see Jesus through all of that? If we believe He offers the best plan for life, let’s lovingly lead people to Him and let Him take care of the convicting and changing.
4. Same-sex marriage isn’t the biggest problem facing marriage and family. We are. We’ve done a terrible job with fidelity, fathering, and set unrealistic expectations for marriage all on our own. Can you imagine if Christians took all their passion, time, money and energy and channelled it into growing healthy singles, marriages, and parents that were centered on Christ? If we held out a way of life that people wanted in on then sin could be traded for life, bondage for freedom, fear for peace. RELEVANT Magazineposted a smart people debate about it. My main issue with the writer who is against same-sex unions is that he is worried about what it will do for the definition/meaning of marriage. To me, it’s entirely up to me to take care of the definition of my marriage and keep it Biblical. It’s up to me to make it meaningful, not culture.
Hopefully this came across as an invitation for discussion. What do you think? What have I missed? How or will you vote? Please leave your thoughts. Especially if they are different from mine. But also if they are like mine. Than I’ll feel better about myself. Just kidding. Kind of.
Gold chains, silver chains, white gold chains, platinum chains, large chains, and small chains should be ditched. Trust me, you aren’t pulling it off. Everything may be all good and in the right place, but as soon as that bling peaks through your collar; it throws you into a category there is no coming back from.
p.s. I actually sat behind a guy who wore a bluetooth during a wedding ceremony this weekend…. He got nowhere with the bridesmaids.
You know you’re in trouble when at 30, you resonate with a graduation speech. But whatever. It was good. I’m over it. My graduation speeches were all about taking on the world and getting what we want with a little hard work. Typical sky is the limit kind of crap. Maybe society has learned a thing or two or maybe it’s the unemployment rate, but I noticed all the speeches at Matt’s (youngest brother, best human ever) ceremony were about how hard life is. How there won’t be answers and signs for every decision you have to make. How trials should be expected. One speaker quoted Bonhoeffer ( I can’t tell you how much it bothers me to talk about him on here twice in one month. Does it help that I know it’s lame?). When we look at the road of life, “Where will it lead us? What decisions and partings will it demand? To answer this question we will have to go to Jesus, for only He knows the journey’s end. But we do know it will be a road of boundless mercy.”
I thought about that word, mercy, for the rest of the graduation and on into the weekend. Really, Jesus has boundless mercy on me and my future? Why the hell am I so merciless toward myself? Why do I heap so much pressure on to my career choices, relationships, bank account, body, and timeline? What would it look like to treat myself with mercy? The dictionary defines mercy as compassion and forbearance, which literally means to hold back, do without, and leave alone. Could I hold back on the self-berating while staring at the perfect looking girl sitting in the row in front of me? She is 22, half Asian and 5’9. You aren’t. Let it go. Could I have mercy on my career and the age for which I want everything to fall into place? Could I look out at my future and rest in the fact that Jesus is waiting with boundless mercy, not words like, “Get it together” “Work harder” and “Hot girls don’t eat bagels.” Although, I’m pretty sure that last one is true. Jesus is kind and patient towards me and what I do with my days. Mercy isn’t just reserved for sin. He uses it on us even when we are trying our best and feel we are coming up short.
I know I’m not the only one. Most of us are pretty hard on ourselves. What about you? Could you use mercy on when you meet a spouse, establish a career, or lose 10 lbs.? How about compassion on how you raise your kids, battle depression, or decorate your home? I’d love it if you’d think about finishing the sentence “I’d have mercy on my________” in a comment.
So, you know those people who actually live by the wisdom, “Dress well. You never know who you’ll run into!” I’m not one of those people. I’m lazy. Each day, I assess my plans and the people in them and decide the following:
Hair (meaning freshly washed and styled)
Shoes (tall or flat)
Pants (tight pants must be saved due to washing and stretching)
Dresses/Tops (favorites vs. forgettable)
Wearing the best in all four categories means it’s a night out where I am guaranteed to see a guy I like (or run into frenemy). Everyday goes down from there in all or one category.
I was meeting old friend and roommate for a quick lunch at the Irvine Spectrum (outdoor mall). Which means, 0 for 4. Katy loves me no matter what I look like and it’s the mall. Who cares.
Well, I should have b/c we spotted my ex (whom I haven’t seen in over a year). Awesome. Oh, it gets better. In the very second (I’m not joking) that I asked her if I should talk to him as he passed by a bird crapped on me. Crapped on me.
actual photo of actual bird poop
I’m going to go ahead and say it doesn’t matter what you are wearing if feces is part of the deal. Needless to say, his face didn’t convey a desire to relight the match.
However, a few hours later I spotted him waiting for his car at the valet. At the mall. In the middle of a weekday. What a douche
Bride-to- Be: I’m sorry you all have to travel to the wedding but I’m so glad you are coming! Did you book your hotel?
Friend with boyfriend:Yeah, we did. It’s going to be fun to get away! Do you think your parents will care Jason (b.f.) and I are sharing a room?
Enter long conversation about how friend with b.f. doesn’t have sex with boyfriend but finds booking two hotel rooms expensive and annoying.
Bride-to-Be: First time Luke and I went on a vacation we booked two rooms fully knowing we’d share one and not have sex. We wasted money just for appearance sake. It seems stupid.
Growing up, I was led to believe that people who went to bed together had sex. Bottom line. If you were a couple waiting for marriage, you didn’t share a bed. Turns out, it’s not only possible to sleep together without having sex- lots of couples do. Be it a late night at your apartment or weekend traveling, it’s just easier to sleep together. Money is tight and vacation is awesome!
Still, my friends and I never really talk openly about it. Unless it was camping. Apparently nylon sleeping bags helps people feel better about the situation. Oh, and having the TV on is a pass, too.
Which begs the questions- what’s the point of the rule? What exactly are those against couples sharing a bed against? Since God knows what goes on, what does He think? And my real question- is there a hidden cost for this type of intimacy? I tried to research (aka google) studies on bonding while sleeping. All that came up was help for bonding with pets and children. Literally, bonding with a hedgehog came up third but nothing about a romantic partner.
Right now I’m in a book club with some interns and staff at my church. We are two chapters into Dietirch Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. Here he gives his “ideas” for what christian community should look like. I use the word “ideas” lightly b/c Bonhoeffer writes them more as mandates; which part of me appreciates and part of me is bothered by. He has a strict outline for what scriptures to read, what time of day to read them, and who in the group should read them. Same goes for prayer, meal times, and even singing. As I read and discussed this, everything inside of me was looking for a loophole. It’s too rigid- what about freedom, God created personality types, or just the context in which he is writing (look into Bonhoeffer’s life if you haven’t, it’s incredible)? I offer these ideas to the group hoping they are all impressed. And then… as it seems to go in book clubs, one guy say something, actually brilliant, “The only real reason I don’t want to do the things he’s saying is because I’m selfish and I want to do things my own way and fit God in as I please.”
Well, crap…thanks, Nate..now I feel like a jerk. Not only was he right but he exposed my selfishness. His comment has stayed with me all week. I’ve noticed tons of areas where I fit God into my life as I please. My instinct is to rationalize my way while still applying God’s name to it. My brilliant college roommate, Stine, used to say, “Rationalize your way to hell, little one” to me all the time. Turns out, I’m still learning this.
Any time a guy tries to have a conversation with you while wearing a bluetooth, (outside of the car) ignore him. Who is that important that they need to be reachable at every moment? Answer: no one. Which means he thinks he is, and that is a far greater problem.
Oh, Valentine’s Day… I’m assuming you are expecting me to bash today or have some melt down about being alone amidst chocolate hearts just after losing Christmas weight. We’ll you are wrong. I don’t hate the holiday. I’m fine with it. In fact, I reflected happily just this afternoon over 3rd grade.
I was set. I had the perfect NKOTB valentines and my class list in hand. Sprawled out on my bedroom floor, I categorized the “BFF Happy Valentines Day!” for my favorite friends; “Let’s Hit the Street for some Valentine Fun!” for anyone I didn’t care about; and carefully removed the “You’ve Got the Cute Stuff” cards to avoid sending the wrong message to any boys I didn’t like in favor of the safer “You Rock Valentine Friend!”. Crucial to my successful navigation of the classroom exchange was also giving the boy I did like the same “friend” card.
Which led me to the epiphany that not much has changed. Why do I continue to play the friend card with guys I like, now? Why the need to throw them off the trail or play hard to get? … I don’t have the answer yet but I’m fairly certain I’m on to something.
Anyway, I’m off to have Valentine’s Dinner, with my parents Susan Boyle style. (Further proof that I have learned very little since 3rd grade) And before you feel too bad for me, you should know my parents are awesome and I’m topping the night off with wine and some fabulous friends.
PS I had a first date last Thursday and I ate more than him…. end.of.story.