Finding Your Voice

Photo Credit: Marin at freedigitalphotos.net
Photo Credit: Marin at freedigitalphotos.net

As children, most of us believed what our parents taught us to believe. If your parents went to church, you probably did, too. If your parents held a certain political view, you probably told your friends on the playground that the candidate your parents were going to vote for was the right man for the job.

Some people continue to hold to their parents ideas and worldviews for the rest of their life, and there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that. Others will end up thinking almost exactly opposite as their parents. But for most of us, I think it is fair to say that we take some of what we learned from our upbringing and hold onto it, while tossing aside a few things here and there and maybe adding a few new items along the way.

As I’ve grown and started to look at the world through a set of eyes that are separate from my parents, there have been quite a few things that are different than my parents’ way of thinking. Most of these changes started out small, like how I like to spend my time and and what kind of career I think is best for me.

The more and more I take in the world around me, however, there have been a few key topics that I’ve started to seriously question and reconsider that aren’t as simple as a career choice. One of the biggest of these is what I think about the issue on gay marriage. I am a Christian, and many members of the church have openly spoken out against efforts to legalize same-sex marriage.

I’ve been spending a lot of time praying and thinking about this issue for a long time now, and even though I have not fully hammered out how I really believe and feel, there is one very important thing that I do know. I tried to explain this in my own words, but was unable to properly articulate my thoughts until I read this:

Pastor: Now, according to a few passages in the bible, homosexuality is a sin.
Couple of older males in the audience: Amen!
Pastor: Now, wait, I’m not finished. You know what else the bible defines as a sin? Divorce.
-uncomfortable silence-
Pastor: There are countless passages that talk about how divorce is wrong, and that there are consequences to getting a divorce, such as the wife should be stoned. Yet, I witnessed a divorce just this morning. And I gotta tell you, it was heartbreaking, but I definitely didn’t attempt to throw rocks at the wife, even though she was the one who filed for divorce.
We choose to overlook the consequences of divorce because time has proven that they’re inhumane and cruel. The bible doesn’t say anything about the consequences of a homosexual lifestyle. Yet, we seem to be spearheading a campaign to ruin the lives of people we don’t even know.
-the pastor shifts a few notes around-
Pastor: The bible states to love thy neighbor. That’s it. There are no other rules or restrictions to that passage.

(http://coreyvidal.tumblr.com/)

The Bible lists a lot of things as sins that plenty of people, inside and outside of the church, practice all the time without so much as a word. I am by no means perfect, and I will never claim to be so. I also know that it is not my place to place judgment upon others. That’s not my job. My job is to love God and to love others, not tell them that God hates them.

For a long time I had a really hard time explaining why I felt this way to my friends and family because many of them get all hot and bothered the very second they think I’m not on their side. I love every single one of them, even though we may not see eye to eye on this. A few have listened to me and agreed to disagree, which is all I’m really asking for at this point.

It’s not easy disagreeing with the people in your life that helped  mold and make you who you are. But I don’t think it’s okay to hold everything in, either. Trying to find a balance in all of this has been the biggest struggle for me so far.

I’m only 20 years old, so I’m sure there will be plenty more that I don’t see exactly as my parents see, but that’s okay. As scary and hard as it can be sometimes, there’s something really cool that comes out of it: I’m starting to find my own voice. Starting to get an idea of who I am. And even though with this process comes a few growing pains, I know that in the end it will be more than worth it.

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