I Am A Christian, But I Support Others' Apparent ‘Sins’

I Am A Christian, But I Support Others' Apparent ‘Sins’

It's called equality, not sinning.

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I don't expect everyone to agree with my beliefs. And that's okay; in fact, it's good. If everyone agreed, we would have a much greater concern. But I think that, these days, people and their values are constantly being shamed and stereotyped by others. I want to express my opinion in hopes to break some of those stigmas, while extending support to those who may need it.

I am a Christian. I love being a Christian.

I am also liberal. I love being liberal.

And a large part of that is because I support many of the left-wing social ideologies. Not all Christians are the same; not all people are the same.

I was raised in a Christian household and I later chose to accept the faith. During my childhood, I attended church every Sunday. (Which was great, because we always went out to eat afterwards!) We prayed before every family meal. I attended a week-long overnight bible camp every summer for 10 years. I rode my bike three miles during the summer to attend, and later volunteer, at the VBS in my hometown. And I was a part of the food pantry at my church for over seven years. I was surrounded by those who dedicated their lives to the Lord, coming from all different backgrounds and stories.

After graduating and moving out of my parents' house, those habits slightly changed.

By traditional standards, I am by no means the "perfect Christian." I no longer attend a church service every Sunday morning, nor do I read the bible before going to bed or pray before every meal. But that does not degrade my faith. I wholeheartedly believe that there's a God. That has never been, nor will it ever be questioned. But, as I was taught, God is loving, God is caring and God is forgiving. And, if we are to follow His word, we should be too.

I am proud to believe in God; it is not something I hide. But it is not something I use as an excuse to judge others. In fact, it is quite the opposite; I support those whose decisions reflect the stereotypical and traditional definition of "sinning."

I support marrying whomever you love, regardless of gender. I support dressing in what makes you feel confident. I support expressing yourself, instead of hiding behind a mask. I support making mistakes, learning from them and then making that mistake again. I support being true to who you are. And, I support a lot more. As long as your happiness does not directly harm anyone else, then it should not be neglected. Because my God taught me to love others, and, to me, that means supporting others.

If someone is different than yourself, it does not make them wrong. Rather, it makes them human; it makes you human. Different beliefs, values, morals, races, ethnicities, abilities, genders, classes, etc.-- those are normal. And that endless mountain of differences, that is beauty.

As humans, we have no authority to judge or hurt those with whom we disagree. It is not your decision to regulate another's life, especially if it is not affecting yours. If someone's happiness is not harmful to another person's, then they should be free to live their life. It is called equality, not sinning.

Cover Image Credit:

Photo Courtesy of Allison Hunsley

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The Husband I'm Praying For

My future husband should be a mirror of the Lord.
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Growing up, we have all probably wondered about the man we will marry - what he looks like, what his voice sounds like, what color his eyes are etc. We have all watched Disney's fairy tale movies like "Cinderella," "The Little Mermaid" and "Sleeping Beauty." The love stories that Disney creates can be merely fiction. Knowing this leads many people to believe that kind of love does not exist. As a kid, I always wanted to be Ariel and find my Prince Eric. The older I got, I realized that that kind of man does not exist without God. The Disney love story only exists through God. God writes a love story that we can not imagine. That is why we should be confident in His will for our lives. We should be confident in the love story God is writing for us.

I woke up this morning thinking about relationships and how hard it is to be in one at the age of 20. I'm not looking for a husband or a significant other right now, but I am praying for that special someone that God has planned for my life. Whether God places this special man in my life next week or in 20 years, I am going to be praying for him. I pray for the man that seeks God and His guidance. I just can't imagine being with someone who doesn't love God as much as I do. Honestly, I've decided that from this point on, I am going to let God guide my footsteps. I refuse to worry about all that is wrong with me when I should just be praying for the man God has in store for me.

Girls my age have been blinded to what a good boyfriend is and what a potential husband really looks like. I pray for the man who prays before each meal and thanks God for his simple blessings. I don't want to end up settling for less-I know what I deserve and I know that God has a plan. The husband I pray for is the man I want my daughters looking up to and being proud to have as a father. I want my children to know that their father loves Jesus and is not ashamed of it. A man who is ashamed of Jesus or only loves Jesus on Sundays is not husband material. I want my husband to be the man people associate Jesus with.

I pray that my husband is humble. I pray that my husband makes strangers feel his loving presence and know that Jesus is present in his life. I pray that my husband wants the same things I do, like 15 children-- just kidding. But, I do pray that he has a sense of humor and that he understands my need for laughter and sunshine in my life. I pray that my husband seeks Jesus during hard times and understands when the answer to his prayers are no. I hope my husband understands that no matter what, God has a plan and an answer, even if it isn't what he wants. I want my husband to be understanding of my needs and what I want out of life. I want my husband to encourage me and my decisions. I want my husband to be the man that my children know is praying for them. I want my husband to be the man who cries the first time he sees me in my wedding dress walking down the aisle. I want my husband to be the man our kids can run to at 3:00 A.M because they had a bad dream and need him to hold them. I want my husband to have a loving and sincere heart. I pray that the man I am going to marry is praying for me, just like I'm praying for him.


Cover Image Credit: Alec Vanderboom

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10 Encouraging Bible Verses For Women In Doubt

Faith it 'till you make it.

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We all have days where we feel like we aren't good enough. We're constantly bombarded by the stress of the world and what it demands. This can leave us with a whirlwind of doubt. Everyday, as women, we face a multitude of challenges whether it be in our relationships or careers. Society continually attempts to define us through unrealistic standards for how we should look and act and sometimes it can be too much. However, these are lies; we were made to be so much more.

As women, it can be easy to forget our worth. But don't lose faith. We were set apart, not made to fit in – we were made in the image and likeness of God and he does not make mistakes. Scripture is one of the easiest ways for us to be reminded of God's love because it reveals Him to us. For all the times we are unsure, scared, anxious or upset there is comfort in God's word and His promises to us.

I have turned to verses in the Bible like these for many different types of encouragement when I have experienced tough times in my life, particularly in the last year. Let these ten handpicked bible verses remind us that we are not alone in times of doubt.

1. John 13:7

Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."

2. 2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

3. Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

4. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

5. Deuteronomy 14:2

You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.

6. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and laughs at the days to come.

7. Jeremiah 1:5

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

8. 1 John 3:1

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

9. Joshua 1:9

I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.

10. Lamentations 3:22

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end.

Next time you're in doubt, turn to verses like these and don't be afraid to explore others that might help you along the way. Verses like these have given me the motivation to keep faith and share it with others. We are not perfect and it is okay to fall from time to time. I have struggled throughout most of my life with doubt and self-worth and I've slowly discovered my real happiness came from the realization that I belong to Him.

However, I still have many times where I get angry at Him for making me the way I am, for the insecurities or the trials. It is most helpful in those moments to go through scripture because it's where He can speak to us clearly. It is His words in those pages. Despite any insecurities or anger, he wants to draw near to us. To listen and love us.

There are Bible verses to help find clarity in every situation and remind us we are never alone. God is love and will never abandon us - His word will always draw us closer to Him. There is no need to feel lost as God calls out to let Him carry us and shows the way through the dark. He calls us to bring our struggles and leave them at His feet so that He can heal our wounds. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are a woman of God and that is worth more than any treasure. Don't fight these battles alone, often times exploring scripture is the first step through that door.

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." - Exodus 14:14

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