Love Is

October 25, 2008 at 6:38 am 13 comments

Recently there have been many posts and comments regarding gay rights and marriages. In these discussions love has often been one of the main themes questioned and argued for. I’ve wondered reading these posts if we are all using the same definition of love. It doesn’t sound that way. Right now, I’d personally like to define what love is, in my own opinion.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, is it not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NIV.

Let me ask a question. When you think of love, what is it you are thinking of? Maybe you’re like me and have never experience a romantic love in a traditional sense (boy girl relationship), but have experienced it in abundance with family, friends, and most importantly Jesus Christ. While I may not know worldly love, I have experienced and do experience every day a love that completely envelopes me. No matter where I go it’s always there. It branches and amazes me in ways I will never understand.

I believe the Bible to be completely true and the inspired word of God. And better yet, there is exact proof to show how authentic it actually is. So if I believe the Bible to be true, I believe everything in it to be true. I believe then, that God knew what he was doing when he made man and female and said “It is good.” Deny it, if you will, but there is a reason that a man and a man or a woman and a woman cannot reproduce. It is because of the way we were created. As a Christian, I believe that homosexuality is wrong. It goes against God’s perfect plan and love for us. And that love is huge. One of my favorite hymn’s quotes:

Here is love, vast as the ocean

Loving kindness, as the flood

When the Prince of life our ransom

Shed for us, his precious blood.

Who his love will not remember?

Who can cease to sing his praise?

He shall never be forgotten

Throughout Heaven’s eternal days.

My faith is essential to who I am. It is everything. I need the blessed assurance that can only come from being free from the world’s laws and living in Christ. Everything the world would have me be concerned with is already answered for me. And I can trust and know that what I believe is completely true because of my faith. For almost sixteen years now I’ve believed in God. The Bible is my foundation for everything that I believe. Any questions I have are answered there, and I’ve never not found answers. There is solid evidence to support the authenticity of the Bible (if you don’t believe me, comment and I will happily oblige with evidence).

In this love, I have true freedom:

“You, my brothers were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge in the sinful nature; rather, serve on another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Galatians 5:13, NIV

Love, love, love.

Love is what gave me the freedom to be myself, and really myself. Myself is someone who knows exactly what she believes. Some days she understands life a little better than others, and some days she’s a little bit depressed. Through it all though, I can rest at peace knowing exactly what I believe.

Isn’t is funny that the main argument, in fact the only argument presented in support of gay marriages is love?

And please, don’t say I am discriminating. That would be hypocritical. Seriously. Discrimination and tolerance are two very stupid words in my opinion. Tolerance is not the word for what you are asking me to do. A better way of phrasing that is that you want me to approve. I can’t do that! However, what I will gladly and whole heartedly do is love you. I can accept you as being an individual and a child of God. I can accept that you make your own decisions and are entitled to your own opinions but never ask me to approve of something that goes so completely against what I believe. I will never do that.

I want to learn. I want to learn about what other people believe and why they believe it. That is being open minded, not willing to change you beliefs on something based upon other people accusing you of being discriminating. It would be just as easy for me to argue that you are being discriminating if you say that I am discriminating.

Edge phrased it perfectly on Anilee’s blog: I may not agree with your opinion, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. If you have opinions on this topic I would love to hear them, but I would also ask that you remember that this is my personal opinion. The primary reason I wrote this is because it almost made me cry to read all of the comments on Laini Taylor’s blog that were so harsh and cruel towards hwalk for expressing what she believed. Anilee, I’d like to commend you for acting so respectfully as well. I love the way we can express our opinions respectfully towards each other.

Bed time… Night!

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Entry filed under: Culture, Thoughts.

I’m over here! I’m over here! Purple Platypus

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. anilee  |  October 25, 2008 at 8:42 am

    There are so many kinds of love. I’m speaking of…a love I haven’t yet felt, exccept in regards to Geric…but since he’s fictional, I don’t think that counts. 😉

    Sorry, did you want me to be serious? Not a problem.

    To me, being openminded is being willing to listen and to learn but also not being afraid to change. To go into things with the mindset, “I will learn but I will not change,” is not being openminded. To be openminded, you have to be able to change. If you can offer me solid evidence, evidence that speaks to me, as to why gay marriage is truly wrong, then I will change my views. Until then, I cannot accept that gay marriage is immoral.

    That is the way I am. Part of it is how I was raised, but it is also just the way I am.

    What’s your evidence for the veracity of the Bible?

    I am not discriminating against you. I respect your beliefs. I do not understand them and I strongly disagree with them, but I’m not discriminating against you. I am not going to stop reading your blog or I wouldn’t not hire you because of this or whatever. That is discrimination.

    And I am asking you to tolerate gay marriage. I am not asking you to approve it. I respect your rights to dislike it, to not approve of it. I do not, however, see how you, or anyone else, has the right to take away the right to marry from anyone else.

    And really, what other argument is there to support marriage other than love? Shouldn’t marriage be a representation of that love?

    (Because you haven’t really given an argument against gay marriage; God saying it’s wrong really isn’t a valid argument. It’s actually hearsay, in truth. You’re asking me to take your word that what someone else wrote down is actually what God said. To me, that is ridiculous. I could easily write a “bible” of my own and claim God spoke to me and I just wrote down what he said. You’d call me crazy, but as far as I can see it, believing in the Bible as the word of God is no different.)

    Said all in due respect,
    ♥anilee

  • 2. hwalk  |  October 25, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Go Danielle! I love this post!!!!

    A little Greek support:

    Love, in Ancient Greek:

    Eros: Sensual, passionate love. If your Plato, it’s loving beauty in other people.
    Philia: Friendship. Dispassionate, virtuous love. Brotherly love.
    Agapē: General good feeling to someone.
    Storge: Natural affection, like parents to offspring.
    Thelema: Desire to do something.

    Our language is insufficient for us to be on the same page when we talk about love. I think marriage and family should incorporate all those forms of love.

    And I am glad for the support of my friends–it lifted my spirits and made it worth it. Thank you 🙂

  • 3. Maribeth  |  October 25, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    This post makes me smile. I agree wholeheartedly with you, and I could definitely not say it better.

  • 4. Q  |  October 25, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Danielle, I wholeheartedly agree. You eloquently expressed pretty much every thought that’s roiling around in my head about this topic. Thank you.

  • 5. Danielle  |  October 25, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    I wish I could talk with each and every one of you personally. Having conversations like this are much easier to hold in person.

    I don’t go seeking controversy out, but it always seems to find me! Ah well, live on the edge.

    Hwalk, nice. That’s something my pastor is really big on, bringing it back to the original Greek. There’s something to be said for that, definitely. Support definitely has that ability. I am truly sorry for the way some people have been attacking you with their words. It basically stinks; but no one said it would be easy, quite the opposite in fact.

    Maribeth, 😀 Thanks! You make me smile too.

    Q, that makes me feel really satisfied. I spent a good hour or two forming this post to make it say exactly what I meant to say. I mean every bit of it.

    Anilee, hi 😀 Let me just say that Geric comment made me laugh. I appreciate the humor. I also appreciate what you have to say. If you look at it closely, you can see that many parts echo exactly what I said in my post. Mainly being I don’t expect us to agree, and I’m not going to force you to think my way. All I’ve done is assert what it is that I believe and why I believe it.

    I’d really rather not talk about the nitty-gritty points of, for example, is a child raised by two gay parents vs. two straight parents really going to be less loved? But I will because you have directly asked me. The answer to that question is so obviously no. That child will be loved. I know quite a few gay couples that have adopted children and I think the love they have to offer that child (parental) is just as valuable and important as the love that my parents have to offer me. I’m not arguing that, nor do I need to. I am arguing what people mean by love. That kind of love is, as hwalk put it, Storge love. That can exist amongst people who aren’t parents as well. Parental love doesn’t depend on whether or not you’re gay or not. It depends on a child needing love. I don’t believe it’s a valid argument.

    I’m a little curious why you put quotations around something that I didn’t actually say. You quote, “I will learn but I will not change.” What I actually said was that I’m willing to learn what others believe and why they believe it. Isn’t that being open minded? Willing to learn and understand? If not, than what’s your definition? I’d be curious to know…

    I know you’re not discriminating. Actually, like I’ve said before, I really respect the way you conduct yourself when you disagree. Like you’ve said many times, it’s not hard to be the voice of reason. What it is hard to do is be respectful at the same time and I really appreciate that you support individuals rights to opinions because that is exactly what they are. Individuals. And we have opinions that are all different, but at the same time we are still people. We still have feelings and emotions that get hurt.

    I appreciate what you have to say because you’ve obviously put a lot of thought into it. I don’t expect you to agree with what I’m saying. I know that you respect my right to have my own opinion, which I can express as you often say, on my blog.

    As far as the authenticity of the Bible goes, that’s my next post. It’s too long for a comment (even this is pretty long!)

    I hope this explains a little bit more where I stand on these issues. Totally welcoming more (respectful) comments though.

  • 6. Rebecca Joy  |  October 26, 2008 at 9:54 am

    I’m curious to read your next post, Danielle…because I don’t know why/how the Bible really is authentic and valid.

    I just posted about it on my blog (talking about my “religion”). I’m clueless.

  • 7. anilee  |  October 26, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Ah…the classic “it’s because we agree that we disagree.” lol. It shows the fault of logic, doesn’t it? How two can agree on the basics but logically reach two opposite conclusions. Love it! (Not really, but you know what I mean, right?)

    But what doesn’t make sense, Danielle, is that if you believe in all kinds of love…like do you believe that a homosexual love is less than a heterosexual love? And is it just because a book says so? If you admit to there being all kinds of love? That’s what’s confusing me.

    When I put quotes around it…it wasn’t because I was quoting you; it was because I was grouping the words together; I could have also put hyphens between the words. Does that make sense?

    And yes, that is part of being openminded, but openminded is more than just being willing to learn. You have to be willing to take away more than just an education. Your own beliefs may not change, but you have to give them the chance to, to be really openminded. When people say, “Let’s be openminded about this,” they’re not just saying, “Listen to everything.” They’re saying, “Listen to everything, and maybe bend or compromise or see something in a different way. Maybe not, but don’t be closeminded without your openmindedness.” If you won’t even question your own beliefs, even while you learn about others, that still makes you closeminded to some degree. Does that make sense?

    (And don’t worry; I’m closeminded about some things. My younger brother says we most be the most intolerant liberals there are. I just have trouble stomaching some stuff that to me is so obvious it’s wrong. Like this issue of gay marriage. But then, I guess you probably have trouble stomaching some of my beliefs because they’re so obviously wrong to you.)

    If one is the voice of reason, one needs to stay respectful. I don’t always succeed, but it’s more when I feel like people aren’t giving me the respect I deserve back. If I don’t feel like you’re listening to what I’m saying and if you seem like you’re losing your temper, then I will still read carefully to your response and reply to the best of my abilities, but I will lose my temper as well. Because I can’t stand when it seems like people aren’t or won’t listen to me but insist on debating anyway. I’m in such a situation now. Sigh.

    Anyway.

    : I really appreciate that you support individuals rights to opinions because that is exactly what they are. Individuals. And we have opinions that are all different, but at the same time we are still people. We still have feelings and emotions that get hurt.:

    Which is why I support gay marriage and don’t understand why you don’t. Again, no one is saying that you can’t believe that gay marriage is wrong, but it’s like…idk…I know if I wanted to get married to the female love of my life (which I don’t; I want to get married to Geric, thank you very much. I just have to find one in this world…)…well, that you wouldn’t support that, that would hurt my feelings. I wouldn’t be asking you to like it, but I’d be asking you to be happy for me to the best of your abilities.

    I respect your right to believe as you see fit and to teach your children your beliefs, but I hope that if you have a gay child, that you treat him or her with the same love and respect you’d show your other children. If you have to try to change that about your child, that’s your right, but if it doesn’t work, don’t stop loving, and I’d hope you’d support him or her as you’d support all your children.

    Does that make sense?

    Teaching tolerance of one another, even if it means we must tolerate something that we don’t like or strongly disagree with, isn’t going to destroy society and families. It’s only going to strengthen them.

  • 8. Edge  |  October 26, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Wow! I feel flattered that someone has quoted me, kind of :p I toyed with the idea of posting about Prop 8, but after reading your post, I see no need to, because you and anilee have summed up both sides pretty darn well, and in a disagreeing but respectful manner.

  • 9. Delaney  |  October 27, 2008 at 7:33 am

    On the openmindedness topic, I agree with Anilee when she says that openmindedness is not “I will listen but I will not change.” But I also think that since many people believe that what they believe is right (Me included – everyone, hopefully. How depressing to believe something you think might be or is probably wrong) that one has to go in not with an “I WILL change” attitude but an “I will think deeply about this” attitude. Not just brushing it aside and saying, “Well, I already know I’m right.” But I think it’s fine to feel solid in what you believe, otherwise how can you really believe in it?

    The way I see it is that marriage is not just about love, it’s about union. Marriage was created to unify a man and a woman, and the product of their union is children. That’s how we all came to be here. 😛 Homosexual marriage does not do that. It may unify according to the law, but not according to nature, because a gay marriage cannot create.

    Great post, Danielle. 🙂

  • 10. anilee  |  October 27, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Being unafraid to change, more like. I believe what I believe to be true, and some things, I can’t see how it could be any other way, but I don’t believe that I have the monoply–or that anyone does–on the truth. I believe that what I believe is right for me to believe, and that’s that.

    I have to disagree, Delaney, with your statement that marriage was meant to create.

    All animal species reproduce, but they don’t have *marriage*. Some do mate for life, but I don’t think all do. Marriage is either a creation of morality or a creation of love, or a combination. The idea of uniting your life with another’s is definitely a creation of love, but it could also have been an idea of “Oh, it’s wrong to have children with someone you’re not married to,” although really, I do think that marriage developed out of love is more likely. It would have been a logical result of deciding to spend the rest of your life with another person; the idea of making vows isn’t surprising.

  • 11. Katie  |  October 28, 2008 at 12:59 am

    hey anilee, I don’t even know you, but I thought I’d join in this discussion :). If marriage developed out of love, then why don’t platonic friends get married too? I respect friendship and love wherever I find it, and this includes gay couples. However, this doesn’t mean that I believe in gay marriage. there MUST be a definition of marriage besides “marry who you love”.
    do you agree that a father should not be marrying his daughter? that polygamy isn’t right? that marriage to an animal should be out of the question? that a six-year-old should not be marrying a sixty-year-old? I think most of us would agree that these sorts of relationships are perverted and should not be allowed. This begs the question, where do we draw the line? If we say marriage (and sexual relations) are merely a question of who you love, than should we wipe away statutory rape laws in the case of minors, allow marriage to animals, multiple partners at once, and allow fathers to sleep with their underage daughters?
    The difference between our definitions of marriage is not that I believe marriage should be restricted and you don’t, it is that we have differing opinions on where the line should be drawn.
    Or, if I misunderstand you and you do believe that marriage should be to whomever you love, then are you also fighting work for the kinds of marriage I mentioned previously? Where do you decide the line should be drawn?

  • 12. Danielle  |  October 28, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Nicely said, Katie. Thanks for the contribution.

    You know, polygamy was brought up on Laini’s blog as well. I was planning on addressing this in my post on the authenticity of the Bible, but I might just mention a quick detail here.

    I quoted the verse from Galatians as a reference to what true freedom is. This applies to the presented “laws” of the old testament that were in place before Christ died for us. See, the laws were there to show us exactly how much we needed a Savior, because no matter how much we try we are never going to be perfect. This is why there were so many sacrifices in the old testament. The whole reason Jesus died was to be the ultimate sacrifice; and with that sacrifice we were freed from the law and no longer needed to heed the old laws such as “Don’t wear mixed fabric shirts.” etc.

    Oh, and I’d also like to point out that the passages referenced by a commenter on Laini’s blog were from stories; they were passages regarding men who followed God, and it showed that they were just ordinary men and they weren’t any higher or mightier just because they loved God. They still failed and weren’t perfect. But what it does show is how God loves them and forgives them.

    Anyways, yeah that was random but I just wanted to say something that kind of explained the whole “The Bible supports Polygamy” thing. It doesn’t.

  • 13. anilee  |  October 28, 2008 at 11:48 am

    As hwalk pointed out, there are many types of love. Some are the types of love that you lead to marriage; others are not. I do think that a man can feel that kind of love for another man. And you know what? That’s fine. Is it natural? I don’t know, and I don’t care, but since when were people punished for being different in a way that wasn’t harmful to society? And no one has yet giving a good reason as to why it’s harmful for society. Just saying it will destroy families does not make it so; that is a paranoid statement.

    Honestly, I don’t really have a problem with polygamy, if the participants are willing. And in many cultures, polygamy was tradition. And I’m fine with that. Do I think it’s right to have sixty wives? No. But do I believe it’s my business to tell someone else that he can’t have sixty wives if those sixty wives are willing? No. I don’t.

    Do I think that a father should marry his daughter? That would just be weird, and I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I do not see what incest has to do with same-sex marriages, to be honest. To me, incest is creepy; homosexuality isn’t. (I find it creepy to think of desiring someone you watched grow up, and more than that, is part you.) But you know, in Ancient Egypt, it was common enough to marry brothers to sisters to keep power in the same family. And though that’s weird, I’m okay with that. People are strange sometimes, and I can’t stop it. Just because something feels wrong to me doesn’t make it wrong for someone else, and doesn’t make it wrong for the world.

    If you want to get married to an animal, then I think you have some sort of problem, and I’d definitely advise against it, but that’s as far as I would take it. Although, I’d have to wonder if the animal was for the marriage, because again, I feel that the the participants should both be willing, and somehow, I don’t see the animal as being willing because I don’t think the animal would have a clue, and being clueless is not saying yes.

    I do believe there should be an age of consent. Six-year-olds’ minds are not fully developed. If, however, twelve years pass and that eighteen-year-old wants to marry that seventy-two-year-old, I’d definitely be creeped out and again, I’d advise against it (“Are you sure you want to be widowed before you twenty-five?”) but again, I don’t really care what you choose to do with your life.

    A lot of that probably sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But that’s how I think.

    As it is, what I really think is that marriage should be between consenting adults. If there are three involved, that’s fine. If there’s a fifty-year age gap involved, that’s fine. (Again, remember historical circumstances; there could be very large gaps in age as well, and this was accepted.)

    (In case you can’t tell, I am very liberal.)

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