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Can you love someone if you don’t give full-throated approval to their lifestyle?

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We talked a little on The Great Shalom in general about how it IS possible to disagree and still love someone. This seems so very normal and so obvious, that one might wonder why the question would come up. Do husbands and wives have different favorite activities? How about children and their parents. Of course. And mature people can even love one another across divides such as denominational doctrine or politics. That is why we all go see one another at Thanksgiving, right? Haha. Of course.

Now the question gets put more seriously. “You don’t love me if you are judging me.”  Who knows what the definition of “judging me” is?  Worse, how about this one: Unless you agree with me totally, then you don’t love me.  In our world of really outlandish claims and apparently very new behaviors around sexuality, here is a new claim. Made forcefully, by someone we love, it is very intimidating. Does it make sense?

What about Biblically? Does the Bible have some something to say about this? Ironically, we were on that very passage, or I was, when the question came up. Here is a fulsome account and opening of the Scriptures.  Compare Ephesians 5: 7 and 5:11.

The short answer is of course, what about Jesus and the woman caught in the act of adultery.  Surprisingly the young women I was trying to teach already had noticed or heard that adultery takes two people.  So, yes, Jesus said, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”  He also said, “Go and sin no more.”  So Jesus loved the woman, presumably without any wrong judging, but did not approve of the lifestyle.

We take the position that yes, you can love someone, and yet disagree with them over lifestyle. Further, it is not up to us what sin is. This is not our judgment.  Indeed, it is hard to find any human who is not a sinner. Of course, we can love people.

We might want to spend some time on learning how to love and how to feel loved.  How about that? Wouldn’t Jesus be a good role model for being loving? And help to feel loved?

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