Stuck in the Middle

You know that painful spot? The one between the rock and the hard place? That’s where I’m at right now.

If I had a nickel for every person who has contacted me since the SCOTUS ruling last week to inquire about how it might affect my business….

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so torn on an issue. An issue that is obviously a critical one for me as a Christian. But at the same time is an issue that has the potential to drastically effect my business…my livelihood.

I heard a great message on Sunday morning from my Pastor on this issue. A message that I agreed with 100% on every single point. I want to stand up for my Christian values and declare what I believe to be true and right – I have a right as an American to do that. I’m so thankful for that right to speak my peace. On that same note, I have the right as a business owner to decide how I want to operate my business. The unfortunate thing is that we have already begun to see this right challenged among wedding professionals – long before the official SCOTUS ruling.

I love weddings. I love seeing couples in love. I love being a part of a couples’ most beautiful day. I love marriage. Therefore, I love what I do. But, I have Christian values that pull me in a specific direction on this issue. But, what risk am I taking by making it an official policy of my business to not take same-sex clients? I don’t know. And the part of me that doesn’t want to find out sets on one shoulder while on the other shoulder rests my conscience.

It would be a heck of a lot easier to take a stance on this issue if I wasn’t in the wedding industry. But I am. I’m still trying to determine if this season of our culture coincides with me being in business out of pure coincidence or divine appointment. And if it’s divine appointment then what am I to do? Am I supposed to stand up, declare my Christian stance and refuse same-sex business and risk losing my business? Or am I supposed to welcome all, judge not and go on with business as usual and, potentially, see an increase in business?

Too many questions left unanswered at the moment. I just don’t know. So, I’m waiting on the Lord. I wish I had a more profound response to all of these questions. But, I just don’t right now.

Here’s what I do know….

My heart hurts! Not just for the predicament I’m in but for my country as a whole. I grieve this decision – not just the SCOTUS decision but, also, the decision I have to make in regards to my business. I grieve. Not because I hate homosexuals. I don’t. Not because I think all homosexuals go to hell. I don’t. I grieve for the heaviness of such a decision being left in the hands of 9 (NINE!!!!) people. 9 people who made a decision for the entire nation. A decision that, in turn, will have a direct effect on my business in the months and years to come. A decision that has backed me into a corner where I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Now, that’s not to say that I think little ol’ me in Oklahoma should carry the full weight of such a decision for the country. I’m just one person. But, I would have loved to have had a vote on the issue. I would have appreciated being able to voice my opinion on a ballot at my local polling place. However, I understand that’s just not how our system of government works in cases like this and I respect our judicial system.

So, for now, all I can do is pray and ask for His guidance.

I don’t know what kind of feedback, if any, I’ll get on this post. But if anybody wishes to speak against my stance on this I simply make a plea that you keep it polite. I have no desire to create division or lose friends over this. No such issue or debate should cause such an unfortunate event as ending friendships.

Until next time Mommas 🙂

~entrepreneurmomma

4 thoughts on “Stuck in the Middle

  1. Decisions like this effect my business also. My business is of the mind.

    I have had patients, so tormented by the stigma that it has brought on anxiety, mental disorders, depression.

    I have seen attempted suicides.

    When the stigma, hatred, judgment is removed, when respect is granted, I will have less patients. Decisions like this, help remove the stigma, the hatred.

    If your belief is strong that there will be a final judgment for these people, why do you need or feel the need to judge now?

    Unelss you are the supreme being doing the final judging? I am not trying to be insulting, please don’t take offence.

    If, in your case, you feel strongly about this, then to take money for services, would this not be hypocritical?

    You need to do what is in your heart. I would like to plant some seeds of thought though.

    What would you have we do with these people, that await this final judgment?

    We can not cure them, as it is not an illness, we can not change them that is immoral, illegal and impossible.

    We can live with them, smile not shun. We do not have to join them in their life style, they don’t want that.

    They just want respect and equality, to live life, to love.

    Marriage is a word that is not owned by religion. It is a joining.

    The world has enough conflict, to allow some freedom to love, without stigma, is noble.

    Don’t make your decision based on money though, make it based on what is in your heart.

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    1. Thank you for your well thought out and eloquent comment!! I appreciate your professionalism in your response!

      From a Christian point-of-view, Marriage is very much based in our faith….going all the way back to Adam & Eve. So, on that point, we will differ on our opinions. Although, the legality of a marriage as we know it today obviously didn’t take effect until there were pens, paper and such – this might be more along the lines of what you’re referring to when you say “marriage is not a word owned by religion”. But I hope you can acknowledge that to a Christian, marriage IS something we believe was ordained and created by the Creator…not man.

      I’ve always known this move in our culture was going to happen. It was just a matter of when. We have been moving in this direction as a country for a long time coming.

      As far as my predicament between heart and business, it’s incredibly hard. Saying no to same-sex marriages in regards to my business practice would not be an act of judgment…but rather just a proclamation of my Faith which I feel a heavy heart and conscience to honor. The Bible is VERY clear, “judge not, lest ye be judged”. So ANY Christian casting judgment is not a proper representative of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – they are misguided. I look at Jesus and see a man who dined with sinners…He invited them to the table. He befriended them. He loved them. He chased after them. He went out looking for them because he loved them so much. But, He also shed light into dark places by standing firm on difficult subjects. He spoke in love on difficult subjects but, even through his love, he spoke firmly and without regard to who He might offend because saving the world required ruffling some feathers. Jesus came with a message the Pharisees had never even comprehended. Getting through to them required tough speak. Speak that made them uncomfortable but was necessary for Jesus to accomplish what he came to accomplish. I look at that example…of Jesus…and I try to translate that into today to determine how I might be called to reflect such love yet stand firmly in truth – I have yet to determine how that might look in today’s culture and society and in regards to my business. THIS is where I so desperately am seeking His guidance.

      Now, to somebody who’s not a Christian, all that talk I just gave about Jesus’ example will be completely useless. They don’t believe in Jesus as the Savior of the world so that example won’t convince to see it from a Christian perspective. Even still, I will be portrayed as judgmental and full of hate. This is the dangerous place our society is in right now – people of faith not able to speak out without being persecuted…all because we believe differently. All because we are just wanting to remain true and faithful to the One who has saved us. And I get that there are plenty of Christians who have been spewing hatred and judgment toward the homosexual community for a long time…and that is equally as disheartening because it is NOT how Jesus would behave – again…those Christians are misguided!!

      I agree 100% that me taking money for such services when I disagree in my heart would be hypocritical! I certainly don’t want that. But I’m wondering…IF I seek His guidance and I feel as though I’m supposed to put my personal beliefs aside and use my business as an act of love towards somebody who thinks differently than me…would it be hypocritical then? If Jesus befriended the adulterous woman (and the tax collector and the murderer and so on), should I not use the gifts and talents He has given me to serve His creation and simply spread His love anywhere and everywhere I have the opportunity to do so even when doing so would mean taking part in an act God clearly says is not the right way? I just don’t know. Hopefully you can tell I’m just thinking out loud…make my inner debate public for the whole world to read LOL

      Regardless, my decision will most definitely be based on the leadings of my heart and not money. It’s just that my heart is currently torn as well. I will be doing a lot of praying and seeking in the weeks to come in hopes of finding an answer.

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  2. Each persons faith is important to them, their beliefs, learnings, it is part of who you are. We are all entitled to this. With different faiths come different beliefs, different books record the wisdom and words of their creator, but differently. There are a lot of variances. Recorded history of books that take sixteen hundred years to write allows for a lot of interpretation. Mankind adapts, we make changes as we advance, learn. Holding to beliefs is important, it is a guide for our advancement. It would be wonderful to say, this book is right, factual, each word was perfectly remembered, recorded, each idea is how it was spoken. But we have many books, different ideas, different faiths guiding us.

    Perhaps only a guide though? Maybe not so rigid?

    I love your answer to my comment by the way, it shows a lot of depth and thought. From your teachings, showing compassion and love is a part of this, not judging, for this is not for you to do. You do not have to save the world, but perhaps humanity? Saving humanity is within your grasp, perhaps one person at a time. Or two.

    Let me ask you a very hard question, I peeked at some of your posts, you have a son, he is beautiful by the way, what would be your thoughts, feelings, answers, if in sixteen years he had something difficult to talk to you about?

    Those moments are eye opening.

    The inner debate is often tossed out the window, but sadly for some it is the family relationship that is tossed out the window, or a friendship, or a fellow parishioner.

    So this debate is not about how it will relate to business, not how business can increase or how a stand taken could cause business to be reduced, but more how it relates to your moral ethics. Your teachings are pulling you in two directions, you feel it is a sin, but you are taught to forgive sinners, that this judgment is not yours to make.

    A Christian marriage, for some forms of Christianity, may involve only a man and a woman. There are some forms of Christianity however, that allow for same sex marriage. Humanity adapts.

    Divorce was considered a sin, in some forms of Christianity, may still be considered to be so, but sadly most marriages end this way now. We adapt.

    It was written that Woman was created as a helper to man, to be subservient, but we adapt, but with some religions we have not, woman is still treated as a subservient being. Belief is still strong that this is still so, that they are inferior, there has been no adaptation.

    Is this right?

    When two people are in love, to deny them the right to become intertwined, to marry because the teachings we may have received tell us this is wrong, perhaps is wrong. Their marriage is not going to effect us, we are not joining them in marriage. Trees marry, if you fold your hands together, intertwine your fingers, they become married. ‘Tis a word describing a joining.

    This dilemma though, is for you to ponder, and you will not have a clear answer for some time. I think, because you have a dilemma, a pondering, that is pulling your heart in two directions, is a good thing.

    You are thinking, wondering. Possibly adapting. I can not tell you the answer, and would not if I could. I will not push one way or the other your decision. This is yours not to make but to feel.

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    1. One of the biggest misconceptions about the Bible is that it is a rigid “do this, don’t do that” book of rules and regulations. The truth is, it’s not. It’s a beautiful story of love and redemption. And one of the very unique traits of the Bible that no other religious book can claim is it’s accuracy. The books of the bible were written well within the lifetime of the author. Not hundreds or thousands of years later like many other texts. When a book was written within the lifetime of the author it bears a much heavier burden of being true than something written hundreds of years later. Why? Because, if it was written within the lifetime of the author then there were certainly other people alive who could verify or deny the author’s claims. In fact, scripture is filled with seemingly unnecessary references to other people outside of the direct story being told. Such as…”xyz happened and so and so said this. Person A of X town was also there.” Obviously I did a very vague roundabout example because I don’t have a bible within reach at the moment to pull up an exact scripture. But the point is, Person A would not have been mentioned if it wasn’t for the purpose of the author saying “go to Person A and ask him to verify what I am saying”. So, all of that being said, for a Christian the bible is not just a guide…it is truth. We simply cannot believe otherwise.

      Interpretation is where Christianity and denominations get divided. This, I believe, is a natural result of our imperfect, human nature running its course. The Bible was not intended to be interpreted differently WITHIN the Christian church. Unfortunately, man has stepped in and allowed that to happen. There are certain beliefs that are universal within the Christian church but others that aren’t. It’s frustrating, as a Christian, that this is the case. This shouldn’t be the case. We should all be united. But, only He can unite us and as long as man keeps getting in the way then we will never unite. Sad, but true. The Christian Church, if it wishes to be effective in this world, should be united on ALL issues pertaining to His word. But, as long as we are divided by our different interpretations, the result of our efforts will be minimal.

      I certainly do not feel the burden to save the world because I believe Jesus already did that. Part of the Christian belief is that He has already accomplished full salvation of every human being that’s ever existed. The only step we have to take as humans is to believe and acknowledge his sacrifice…that He died for us and that we are now forgiven of all past, present and future sin.

      The burden I do feel is to love everyone YET STILL stand firm in my faith. On this issue in particular, how can I do both? I can certainly take a particular action in support of my faith and claim that I do still love everyone. But if the world doesn’t perceive that my actions hold any love in them then is it love? That’s the struggle. Jesus was able to do it…to love AND stand firm in truth. But He was God. He was perfect. He lived a blameless life. I am not! Praise God that I have Him to guide me and I can rest in His grace when I’m unsure and torn and, perhaps, make the wrong choice.

      Regardless of whatever direction I go in, I most definitely want to stand firm in my faith…that is a non-negotiable. This decision will definitely take some time to resolve itself.

      I appreciate the professional conversation back and forth. It’s been interesting!

      Oh, I forgot to respond to one of your questions above. If my son ever came to me, as you suggest, my reaction would be simple. I love my son no matter what. But, that would not change my opinions on the issue in general. Christians who do not support same-sex marriage do not support the idea that someone is born this way. We have a firm belief that God designed the human life to function in a very specific and beautifully orchestrated way in regards to sexual attraction – one man and one woman. So, if my son ever came to me, I would love him but deep down my heart would hurt. But, at that point, I could only hope and pray that He had a relationship with the Lord and that he would continue to build on that relationship with Him. And, my prayer, at that time would be for God to move in his life, use me if necessary, but, more than anything speak to my son and let my son hear Him. And whatever the result of that might be, I would make complete peace with. My son could never do or say anything to me that would erase the love I have for him.

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