People view the Bible and interpret it the way they think it was meant to be taken. Many think because God created Adam and Eve, only a man and a woman should become spouses. Others read parts of the Bible and believe the man should rule the home and the wife should obey his every order. When people interpret the Bible wrong, it grows hatred and abuse. Marriage is about the two souls whom God planned to come together finding each other and loving each other unconditionally. God places souls on Earth to find one another. He didn’t base it on gender or that one soul should be more powerful than the other. I believe people spend so much time trying to justify their hatred by using the Bible they miss out on so many opportunities to grow in faith and to live a fulfilled life of kindness, positivity, and love.
I am not by any means a diehard religious person. I’ve never read the entire Bible from front to back. I don’t spend every Sunday in a church pew. I believe you connect with God in many places, in many ways. I believe a relationship with God is a very personal one. My relationship with Him has involved doubting, questioning, crying, and screaming. God doesn’t love me any less because our conversations aren’t always calm and positive. He loves me harder on my weaker days, even when I haven’t wanted to believe He loves me at all. I’ve had many ups and downs with God, but he’s gotten me to where I’m to be and helped me to find my soulmate. I’ve never used the Bible as a reason to hate others that are different than me or to hurt others because our views don’t match up. I’ve just realized in finding myself, the me God always planned for me to be, how evil and corrupt people can be and how they can turn something like the Bible into a tool to spread their own agenda. I choose to use it to spread words of inspiration instead.
One of my favorite scriptures is 1 Corinthians 13:1-8. In this scripture, it says “If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing (NSRV, 1989).” The scripture doesn’t specify love from a man or love from a woman. It just states without love, I am nothing. I am nothing without my love. The scripture also states everything love is: patient, kind, it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things1. It never fails. I’ve gone through a lot with my soulmate. Through it all, we have had the patience and kindness and we have believed in each other. We have hoped for the best, endured what life threw at us. Our love never failed us. The scripture also tells us what love is not: it isn’t envious, boastful, arrogant, or rude. It doesn’t insist on its own way, it isn’t irritable, or resentful, love doesn’t rejoice in wrongdoing, but it does rejoice in the truth1. The scripture is quite clear that love has no room for abuse because it will never insist on its own way. Love it about two people, give and take, compromise, and building on one another. Without one, the other falls. It isn’t about relying on oneself, but about trusting in the other to hold strong in the tough times and to be someone to lean on. Love rejoices in the truth. My truth might not be the same as someone else’s truth. My truth is I am a woman who fell in love with a woman. God tells me to rejoice in my truth and my love will never end. I do every day. I am thankful for God deciding this person would be the one to make me feel whole. God also tells me that out of faith, hope, and love, love is the greatest. If He tells me all of this, why would anyone hate me or my marriage? Why would anyone think God would want anything less than love for all humans? There are many who choose to only hear the truth they create inside of their own minds instead of the truth God wants all humans to know: Love Never Fails. My love will never fail.
1. NSRV. (1989). 1 Corinthians 13 NSRV-The Gift of Love-If I speak in the -Bible Gateway. Retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1Corinthians November 19, 2020.
Life isn’t easy and starting over is rough. One morning you are going along with your life, having the same routines over and over again when something happens and you have to change what you’re use to. It’s a process. First, your mind has to wrap around it. “Okay, we are not doing this the way we did it yesterday.” It usually takes a few times for it to finally be wrapped around… “No, it’s changed. We do it this way now…” “Gosh, this is frustrating, but I’m going to get the hang of it….” “Patience is not my strong point…” “Oh, look at that. It’s getting easier. I’m doing it this way now.” “Look at me go!”
I’m sure many of you understand where I’m coming from. It could be a new job. It could be you’re going through a divorce. Or maybe someone in your life passed away. It all involves changing what you are use to. It usually doesn’t just involve those changes, but also a great deal of emotions. There’s uncertainty. There’s questioning. The biggest question is usually “how am I going to do this?” But day by day, you do it. You get through it. There might be a support system that helps you through while others are faced to handle the challenges alone.
New starts might start as feeling like a curse and turn into a blessing. The unknown, the uncertainty of what’s to come will be short-lived. I hope for every new start you face, you’ll find the blessing within.
I don’t know the Bible inside and out. If I’m honest I didn’t become a regular church-goer until I became the secretary of one. But nonetheless, I do have verses that stick in my head. Ones I’ve found during struggles or times I’ve looked for motivation or comfort. One of my favorites is 2 Corinthians 4:8-10, which states:
“8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
These verses give hope in my eyes. The world is beating us down, things keep going wrong, every where we turn there is a struggle. But keep going because we are not crushed, we are no in despair, we are not abandoned, and we are not destroyed. Jesus died for our sins. That’s pretty heavy. So whatever we go through, we can make it through. It isn’t easy to keep that mentality when things are really hard. It’s easier to say, “I give up,” “It’ll never get better,” “I don’t want to do this life anymore.” But there’s hope. There is. Even in the worst of times, there’s still hope, there’s still some good just floating around waiting for you to see it, to focus on it. Today might be hard, but I woke up. I might face battles, scary battles, but I have the strength to keep going. I may have days where I feel lonely, but I’m never alone. I might have financial trouble, I might be barely getting by and have no clue how I will make ends meet, but I will make ends meet.
We all have choices. We can decide to collapse and fold when the pressure gets to be too much, or we can try to see the silver lining that isn’t standing out too brightly and keep moving forward. We can be pessimistic or we can be optimistic. Glass half full, or half empty (of if you’re like me, you yell to the bartender to fill ‘er up!). When life is becoming too much, reach out. A friend, a family member, an animal, God, whatever. Whatever keeps you going. Maybe you’ll even find comfort in repeating the verse above until it really sticks. I can do it. You can do it. We all can do it. We are not destroyed. We are just getting started.
It isn’t a hard concept. It doesn’t take much to be kind. Smile. Lend a hand. Offer some good advice. Take a chance. Pick up litter. Donate your time or your skills. Here is a big one. You don’t like the way someone talks, walks, looks? Walk away. You don’t like their sexual orientation, their views, the color of their skin? Walk away. There is nothing stating you have to be mean or to put someone day. Does everyone have the right to feel how they want on certain topics? Yes. Do people have freedom of speech? Yes. But don’t we all have the basic right to live a life without fear of being hurt because someone doesn’t agree with what we do? People go around shooting people because they’re gay. What does that solve? People go and set churches on fire for not having the same views as them. What does that solve. The answer is nothing. People can decide to not agree with the things others do and do it in a non-hateful way. They can agree to disagree. If I don’t agree with someone, I’m not going to act out in violence. But that is what the world is coming to. What a sad concept. We’ve become a country that just keeps dividing more and more. I feel for the future generations. I get there has always been hatred, but it’s climbed to a whole other level with so many people that are considered “different” being focused on. Just remember, being kind is free. If you see someone who is struggling, being bullied, being violated, taking the few extra minutes to let them know that what is happening isn’t right and that they are supported can literally make a huge difference in their life. Be kind.