Elder, David “Doc” Kenser, gives us a daily reflection and devotion.
Close relatives of mine, years ago, adopted two small children from India where they lived in the extreme poverty of a lower caste and suffered the harsh parenting of a father, who was so twisted in spirit that he finally killed their mother and committed suicide in their presence.
My relatives, knowing all the history of these two young children, loved them just where they were, how they were, “warts and all” as my Dad would say. But, they didn’t leave them where they were, living under the same conditions, following the same traditions or even speaking the same language.
Instead, they brought them to the United States, raised them in a loving home, took them to Bible class, bought them all new clothes, taught them new standards of hygiene, fed them new kinds of food, sent them to school, raised them with new standards and impressed on them new ideals. While my relatives loved them just as they were, they also loved them out of that state of being.
Contrary to populace thought, to love and accept someone where he/she is does not mean to agree to leave them in that state. It may men quite the opposite. It may mean to love them enough to help them get to a new state of being.
God loves you just the way you are, “warts and all. He loved the whole world in its sinful, rebellious state of being. But he loved us too much to leave us there, where death and destruction would be our destiny: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).
God loves the same-sex couple but he calls them to the heterosexual lifestyle for which we are designed. He loves the drug addicted but calls them to dependence on the Spirit instead. He loves the murderers, thieves and liars, but calls them to productive, law-obeying lives. God does not, despite the claims of our permissive society, call us to be happy in whatever state we are in, rather he calls us to “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Pet 16).
Yes, God loves you just as you are, just where you are but he calls you to be where he is and become like him because that’s what adoption means. It means to choose someone outside your family, include them into it and raise them as your own, not let them go their own way. Jus’ Say’n.