Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
Love the One You're With
This lyric by Stephen Stills is the atrocious hook in an atrocious song, but taken out of context, it actually kinda works. In the context of romantic love, it is atrocious because exclusivity is at the heart of romance. That's why God ordained the marriage covenant -- to protect the sexual relationship with an official just-you-and-me seal. But in the context of agape love, we should always be willing to love the one we're with. In Stepping Heavenward, when Katy visits Mrs. Cabot and has chatted for a while, she asks, "But am I staying too long? Were you particularly busy?" Mrs. Cabot allays her fears, saying, "I am learning that the man who wants me is the man I want."
(In the edition on Google Books, part of that response is in quotes. Further Googling reveals The Wesleyan Methodist Association Magazine for 1856, May edition, in an item called "The Casket" from the pen of one Isaac Ambrose. If that's the source Mrs. Prentiss had in mind, she rendered her story anachronistic in using it, as the scene between Katy and Mrs. Cabot is set more than two decades before the magazine was published. But this paragraph is entirely beside the point.)
We should be ready to love, with Christ's love, all He sends for us to love...and that means whomever He places in our paths: family, friends, neighbors, strangers, enemies, parents, children, husbands, wives, masters (bosses), servants (employees and supervisees), church leaders, parishioners, kinsmen, Samaritans, those who love us, those who despitefully use us, the cheerful, the complaining, the rude, the competent, the stupid, the rich, the poor, the somebodies, the nobodies, and the everybodies-in-between. The love won't look the same in every relationship or in every circumstance; love is not one-size-fits-all, but it befits us to love all.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9:56 PM
On March 25, 2008 9:17 PMpentamomwrote... In a strange way (i.e. inside my mind) this circles back to earlier conversations about the local church. Something I've been thinking about lately is how sometimes we are tempted to prefer other believers we associate with to the local church and wind up making negative comparisons between "those Christians" and "our church." I suspect this is because "those Christians" are people we associate with because they're an affinity group, like fellow homeschoolers, fellow women-who-are-interested-in-serious-Bible-study, fellow parents of teens, or people who love to discuss theology, church life, personal spiritual matters, and life in general on the Internet, or what have you. If you are with a group of like-minded people who not only share your interests but share your desire to fulfill those interests in a godly way, they are going to look REALLY GOOD to you. Not like those people who are just, well, you know, kind of average, and aren't passionate about the all the same things you're passionate about, who show up at your church. And so we fall into, "If only our church were like these other people -- there must be something wrong with our church." The reality in many cases is probably that "these people" are also members of churches full of "average" Christians as well -- not to mention the fact that many of those "average Christians" are very likely above average (or at least beyond us) in areas that don't resonate as strongly with us.
So I guess the answer comes back to your post -- quit looking at the greener grass in all those imaginary churches full of above-average Christians, and start loving and serving the ones you're with.