Less than ideal…

i said yesterday there were some ideals that didn’t need improving.

i still believe that.

i always will.  there are some truths that i hold on to…that i stake my life on…that i am unashamed to proclaim…and that i believe everyone,  and i mean everyone,  should submit to.

but we don’t live in a perfect world.   and some people…maybe even most people…live with less than the ideal.

for years,  i have seen innocent kids be abused, neglected or even blamed in the bitterness of their parent’s divorce…only to rise above it all and become healthy,  loving,  forgiving servant-leaders.   amazing.

i have a friend who grew up in a family with two lesbian parents…and in spite of all the fears and predictions,  he grew up to be a loving husband and father,  with a passionate heart for god and others.

i have performed the wedding ceremonies of many couples who have lived together…and who’s understanding of the joy and genius of a marriage covenant came along well after they had consummated the act.   and they’re okay.

i have walked through the painful divorces and remarriages of friends who, despite deep feelings of failure and even deeper convictions of falling short of god’s ideal,  are currently experiencing the reality of god’s grace and forgiveness as they move forward with their new lives.   go figure.

i have witnessed the marriages of people whom i believed had no business getting married…who were unequally yoked  in varieties of ways…who had little support of friends or family…who were too young…who had no money…who were already pregnant…who had little,  or even no faith in god…whose motives were questionable…who knew nothing of sacrificial love…who got married under far less than ideal circumstances…yet they remain lovingly and faithfully married to each other.

i guess i’m just saying that before you climb up on your moral and theological high horse,  don’t forget that all of us are reclamation projects… doing the best we can with what we know…in an imperfect and fallen world.

i will hold to the ideal…

…while i hold the hands of those who fall short.

and i hope others would do the same for me.

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4 thoughts on “Less than ideal…

  1. How many more people could we lead to Christ if THIS was the message we conveyed with our actions and words? Inclusive. Loving. Forgiving. Non-judgmental.

    You have written some really good stuff in the time I’ve hijacked your blog but I don’t know that you’ve written much that I agree with more than I do this post.

    Thanks for writing and summing up in one post why North Point is the building I choose to worship Christ in with a great group of people who aren’t “ideal”.

  2. I couldn’t agree with Luke more. I spent a good chunk of my young adulthood allowing my bitterness and frustration toward the hypocrisy I saw in the way self-described Christians judged, mocked, and condemned those they perceived to be “less perfect” than they. (Pimping religion in the political theater really brought about a new sharp tongue I wasn’t aware I possessed until about the year 2000.) I can still turn into a cynical, immature child if I focus too narrowly on others’ (and by others I mean those very candid and vocal proponents of touting their moral superiority) shortcomings while ignoring my own. I naively thought I was acting as a champion for the underdog, while actually I had also become judgmental and hypocritical. I thank Christ everyday for helping me develop the wisdom to differentiate between his commands of how to treat others and man’s made-up morality (yes, some of what we find highly moral or lacking of morality I believe is hyper-inflated nonsense – even to the point of becoming what it once “preached” against, if that makes any sense…it’s 5 am). Anyway, excellent writing Mike. You have a gift for making your point very clear, while at the same time excluding superfluous verbiage. See you tonight! (yep, I said “pimping religion”)

  3. I want a ‘like’ button please.
    Curious about what the “fears and preditctions” were for the young man raised by lesbian parents.

    1. The “fears and predictions” I spoke of were not necessarily specific to my friend. Rather, I was making a general reference to the perceived “fears and predictions” most people who have come out of the conservative and/or evangelical Right (most likely a large part of my reading audience) have been taught: that children growing up without a father or with two “mothers”, are growing up missing something significant in their developmental process…and those children will possibly manifest anti-social or unhealthy characteristics or behaviors as a result.

      Even though that appears to be statistically true, especially in (but not limited to) african-american and hispanic families living in low income areas, I don’t believe there is an absolute corollary. And I was trying to challenge people…mostly my church family here in the great state…to be really careful with their perceptions and judgments.

      (On top of that, the majority of my tribe have been lead to believe that a boy growing up in a home with lesbian parents…and without a father…would grow up with less “traditionally” masculine characteristics, or a lack of interest in women, or without an orthodox christian faith. I was simply pointing out that outcomes like that, tho possible, are not always the case.)

      No kid is ever destined to walk a path because of who his or her parents are. Period. Every kid, no matter what cards they are dealt, is free to walk their own path and be fully responsible for the life they choose.

      That’s all I was saying. And I really appreciate the question.

      The “like” button is at the top of the page…but you don’t need to click it. I’ll take your word that you still like me…

      And tell David I think I’ve officially given up on the Padres this season…before the All-star break. I don’t think they can even win the season series with Doggers this year! How bad is that?

      Hope all is well. Farra

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