The December issue of Gscene is the annual ‘daddies’ issue, and the theme given for contributors was ‘Older men and their admirers’. So Since I’m considered by some as a ‘Daddy’, and i definitely qualify as an ‘older man’.there’s a few things I’d like to share with you and the G-Scene readers!
Relationships come in all shapes and sizes. As I’ve gotten older and become a ‘daddy’ I’ve realised that healthy relationships are defined by the way people treat one another and not by whatever differences or similarities might be present. I know couples where there is an age gap, where ethnicity or backgrounds are different, and even some where gender and/or sexuality are fluid. What I’ve learned is that none of these things cause bad relationships. They may make a relationship challenging, but then every relationship has obstacles to overcome. A healthy relationship includes acceptance and truth, boundaries and care, vulnerability and strength. With ourselves and with others. These are things that are not contingent upon age, sexuality, or gender.
Over the years as a pastor I’ve also learned that God doesn’t care if you’re gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, trans, or other. God doesn’t care if your preference is for another consenting adult who is older or younger than yourself. God doesn’t care if you have lots of sex or live like a nun. Sex is something humans get hung up on – not God.
However, I’ve found that God does care how we treat each other. God cares whether or not we are in a healthy relationships. God wants the way we live our lives to be fulfilling for us. God cares whether or not you know who you are, and if you are able to live abundantly in that. God cares whether you’re secure enough in your identity to live with integrity.
Whether you believe in God, or not, relationships are not always easy. They require honesty and balance. All of us can be idiots at times. We can all be judgemental. We all make mistakes. My own life is as messy as can be, and there’s an attic full of dusty family baggage that I’ve never got around to unpacking – and maybe never will. I suspect that it’s much the same for most of us. Understanding that I occasionally need a little help from those around me helps me to be patient when it’s needed by someone else.
But I would hope that those who know me would also let me know when I’m way out of line, on a course that might end up with me damaging myself or others, without being judgemental about the choices I make. It’s what friends are for. And as corny as it sounds that’s the kind of friend I have in Jesus. Someone who knows who I am and supports me unconditionally. Someone who helps me live in balance. Someone who never judges me but stands by me as together we examine my decisions!
Now I know that there’s folks that will point at the bible, scream loudly about hell and damnation, and talk about some kind of judgement day. But in my experience they’re usually the same people who think that relationships are about control and fear. Control to make sure they get it all ‘right’, and fear that they never will. The fear and judgement they’re ladling out is grounded in an unhealthy relationship with themselves, which is mirrored in their relationship with others, and with God.
Be proud of who you are! There’s truth to the old saying ‘God didn’t make no junk’! Treat others with love and respect – regardless of whether they’re a long term relationship or an online hookup. Live out and proud. And allow others to do the same. You’ll be happier in the long run. Honest.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed new year.
See you in church for our special Christmas service on Sunday!
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION SERVICE
Come along to our Christmas celebration service! Sunday 23rd December, 6pm. There’s music, Christmas prose, and most of all our celebration of Christmas!
IT WOULD BE LOVELY IF YOU BROUGHT FOOD TO SHARE!
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