judging · relationships

Why Relationships Don’t Work With A Judgmental Attitude (Part 2)

Now I am fully prepared for the Christian response to this message. “How can you say we can’t judge? Don’t you believe in right or wrong? You must not be a true believer. This is relativism.”
My brothers and sisters, I do believe in right and wrong. I do believe in absolutes. Relationships work well with a belief in absolutes. They do not work well when you believe you know everything and that it is your job to force feed your idea of what is absolute down your loved one’s throat. Does it not seem a bit arrogant to live as if everything you know is absolute?
“But we do know what absolutes are!” You might well object, “We have the Bible. It is God’s Word. It is perfect!” Very well, I will give you that point. God, as an omnipotent being, can make absolutes an know what they are. And it seems reasonable that if He wrote a book He could tell us what they are right?
But let’s consider: first do any two people ever have the exact same interpretation of the Bible? Remember most matters that we judge other in relationships have to do with opinions. For example, Paul wrote about obtaining from sexual immorality. But by who’s definition? For one this may mean not going to the beach (bikinis!). For another it may mean not being alone with the opposite sex. For another it might mean no more than kissing and cuddling before marriage. For still another it might mean sex is only for procreation (extreme but exists).
You see we all interpret that differently. What about wives submit to your husbands and women be quiet in the church? Some would say that obviously it means just that. Other would conclude that it must mean men are leaders, but of course women can talk and shouldn’t be considered subservient to the man. Still others would say, well that is cultural, today that is not acceptable in our culture.
But still there are absolutes right? Yes. But the approach of judging your brother, condemning your friend, nagging your lover, these do not seem the most constructive toward building healthy relationships.  If your heart is truly to see your boyfriend change in areas which you feel are absolutely wrong, isn’t it more loving to approach him in a way that will actually make him want to change rather than calling him out in such a way that he gets defensive and doesn’t want to listen at all?
This is a hard pill to swallow, I feel, for those who have this mindset that the world is black and white and they are always right. I fear that they destine themselves for significant and perhaps unnecessary conflict throughout life.
But it just makes sense, that if you feel someone is doing something harmful to themselves, you would find that best way to make them stop. By demonstrating the right way to live. By loving them despite their mistakes. By seeking to understand their perspective. By reexamining your own. By checking where you may be a hypocrite. By earning their respect.  . . .
 . . . I still have a few things to say in part III so stay tuned . . .
. . . meanwhile if you haven’t yet read these . . .
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