The Best/Better Matches?

Today’s question comes from Yvette.  She writes: “I yet have another question– or let me say something that was said to me that has been bothering me for 24 hours by someone I consider friends–not a good friend, but more than acquaintances.  Discussing our teenagers, dating, etc. now mind you I have two kids older then these parents’ kids, so I always keep quiet when I hear the “not my kid”– because face it, for the most part, kids are kids– they are yearning for independence — no matter how they are brought up– then, smack– out of the blue– one friend says, ” well I want him to date a Christian, because let’s face it, anyone else has no reason to do something wrong”. And then my other friend agreed.  I had to disengage, because excuse my feelings, but if that is the only reason for keeping a person to be a good human being– then I am a little scared— this really upset me, like I’ve said I’ve thought of it for 24 hours– I do kind of consider myself a Christian–I don’t know what I am– but is this how a lot Christians feel? I mean you have traveled and preached to many– and I understand that here are extremes in all organized religion– I just have to ask in my heart, how can these people think anything they said is Christ like?”

Let’s see if I can start a conversation on the matter.

I will begin by saying I do agree with the notion that Christians somehow get a free pass for doing things wrong.  While many Christians talk about the power of being forgiven for their sins/shortcomings, I don’t think the sense of forgiveness we claim means we have a license to act out.

In fact, I think it works just the opposite.  When we enter into a relationship with God, that relationship ought to be transformational.  I know that for myself, my faith actually raises – rather than lowers – the bar in terms of what I expect from myself.

When I bring up the matter of “the bar”, let me also say this.  (And in order to make this point, I want to use language most common in the Twelve Step movement.)

When it comes to matters of messing up, my faith tells me it is my job to take MY moral inventory, and not somebody else’s moral inventory.  I never know the fullness of the path other individuals have traveled, so it’s troublesome to try to draw absolute conclusions about who is – and who is NOT – good enough to be around myself and those I love.  Instead, I try to focus most of my energy on myself and the choices I make.

So with that said, I would have had a different take on things than those in the conversation.  I don’t think encouraging one’s child to date only other Christians because such kids would have a free pass is the healthiest measure to use.  Nor do I think it’s best to judge what kids are – or are not – the best match for one’s children by simply looking at the words they use to label themselves.  Instead, I think it’s most helpful to look at each individual’s heart.  As long as the person is a healthy individual who truly respects your child’s values and faith, then it is possible to enter into a healthy relationship.

So how about you?  What do you think?

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About capete67

I'm a 47 year old single, gay man who lives in Los Angeles, CA. My passion and vocation involve spirituality. I live with my two Italian Greyhounds and my passion for Houston sports. I'm looking to start wonderful conversations that spark spiritual growth in all of us!
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5 Responses to The Best/Better Matches?

  1. Beverly Marshall Saling says:

    As an atheist, I can tell you we get that kind of attitude from Christians all the time. I’ve had a Christian tell me to my face that it is impossible for atheists to be moral people. I’ve also heard all sorts of arguments about how atheist morality cannot possibly be objective and is therefore weak and untrustworthy. And polls show more than half of U.S. Christians say they would not vote for an atheist candidate because lack of faith indicates lack of morality.

    But I’ve heard atheists say the same thing about Christians—that they aren’t truly moral because they’re just blindly following someone else’s rules, or that they use their “free pass” to claim morality while doing evil, or that they are willing to justify literally any behavior on grounds that God told them to do it.

    So I think the real problem isn’t Christians or atheists or people of any particular spiritual belief. It’s more a problem of absolutist thinking—the belief that for me to be right about any issue of morality requires me to be right about ALL issues of morality, and therefore for you to be wrong about every issue on which we disagree. It’s hard to trust anyone different from you if you think that way!

    I prefer to believe that morality, like everything else in the universe, is too complicated for any one person or tradition to have all the answers. We do best when we approach issues of morality with humility, looking for things we can agree on and things we might learn from other people. That means that having your child date someone from a different belief tradition or philosophy could be a good thing, in that it would help your child forge friendly bonds with another community and expose your child and your family to new ideas that might give you useful insights about your own beliefs.

  2. Stevie says:

    Here’s what I know. As a mother of three very normal daughters who were not perfect, but were good kids, I know that It is very dangerous to make a blanket statement about what ANY kid will or will not do, especially based on religion. You will get bitten in the tail feathers every time. Someone very close to me, gotten bitten twice.

  3. Sharon says:

    Amen Craig. You said it well 😃👍

  4. ybabb001 says:

    Craig, thank you so much for your out take–I love your answer and wish or hope most Christians the like you. We, of course are surrounded by a majority of the judgemental — to me, a Christian who only is good for their religion/God; seems just as dangerous as a person that kills for his religion/or God. That’s just my opinion, of course— it just freaked me out that someone I know actually judges people by this– kind of like they know I do NoT attend their church, and they think so much less of me and my family—… Like you said, they “know not the shoes I’ve walked in.”

  5. ybabb001 says:

    Craig, thank you so much for your out take–I love your answer and wish or hope most Christians the like you. We, of course are surrounded by a majority of the judgemental — to me, a Christian who only is good for their religion/God; seems just as dangerous as a person that kills for his religion/or God. That’s just my opinion, of course— it just freaked me out that someone I know actually judges people by this– kind of like they know I do NoT attend their church, and they think so much less of me and my family—… Like you said, they “know not the shoes I’ve walked in.”

    Ps I love all of the comments

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