I'll love you IF...
I’ll love you if...
I’ve always been afraid of offending people. I have sacrificed wants, personal needs and goals in order to make someone else happy. I’ve worried about being PC and I’ve worried about not coming off authentic enough.
Sometimes I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I worry way to much. It’s one of my struggles in life and I consistently have to check myself.
Recently, I’ve had some serious “come to Jesus” conversations with myself and one of the biggest ones is that that people don’t care. Not in a mean way but everyone has too many of their own problems to be thinking what you are thinking that they are thinking (wow, you got that?! Lol). At the end of the day, even if I’m sacrificing something internally people will mostly just do what’s better for them anyways.
So, this is a disclaimer to this blog post. I don’t care if I offend people, I don’t care what you think because this is what I have learned is true.
I’m going to call this one “I’ll love you IF...”
When Frankie and I started marriage counseling, one of the first things we were told is that in a relationship if you have their back and they have yours - you never have to worry about yourself. You can’t have a successful but flakey marriage. You have to be all in.
You can’t have a successful marriage based on the thing that person DOES to make you happy. Yes, it helps but I don’t keep a list somewhere of the things he does for me that makes me love him more or less or base anything on “I’ll love you if you wash dishes”, or “I’ll love you if you take out the trash”. Love is not just an emotion it is a level of dedication. It’s a choice.
I base this same philosophy on our relationship with Christ. It isn’t based on “I’ll love you if...”. He loves us no matter what. He loves us if we mess up, he loves us if we reject him, he loves us if our faith is low. He’s never been a God of “if’s”.
Galatians 5:14 says “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Period. No if ands or buts.
John 15:17 says “This is my command. Love each other”. Period.
I’ve always believed that is not my place to judge. Whether you are gay, an atheist, rich or poor. We shouldn’t choose to love based on if someone’s life is in our mind “perfect” then they deserve our love. Truth is, no one can ever be perfect. Even those people that we idolize, they slip up. Why should it be any other way? They are human too.
I love everyone. No matter your background, way of life, sexuality or beliefs. That’s my job. To love. Not to judge, not to say “I’ll love you today because you look the part”, or “I’ll love you because you are walking the right path”.
The church has been criticizing, creating “ifs” and judging instead of opening our arms wide and welcoming in someone who may not think the same way we do. It’s not our job to do anything but love on people and be a good neighbor. God does the rest.
When I was growing up, my parents owned an Italian restaurant. I remember us hiring this new pizza guy, Matt, who I immediately vibed with. He was full of tattoos, a musician and super chill. One day at work we got into the conversation about church. I remember him telling me so vividly that he stepped in a church and was basically pushed right out the doors. He was asked almost immediately when he walked in, “are you sure you are in the right place?” and then was stared down until he went to find a seat. Once he sat down, one of the congregation members immediately moved to a different row. He said he had never felt more rejected or humiliated. That was literally the first and last he knew of Jesus. He never went back and he said there was nothing that could convince him to.
I was speechless. I had no idea what to say! Have we truly just shunned someone from knowing more about Jesus because of tattoos?! Granted, I know every church body is not like this but that experience - wherever it was - caused this one human not to learn how amazing and wonderful our God is.
From that moment, I choose not to live my life on a “if...” mentality. I may not be best friends with you or have you in my inner circle but that doesn’t mean that I will snub you, judge you or not give you one of my big hugs. I choose my inner circle because they are people of similar mindset, who I can have hours of conversations with and we can build each other up.
I just wanted to open up my heart and share this with you. If you are living in an “I’ll love you if...” mentality - check yourself. It may not even be something you do intentionally but it's almost a habit. I’m not perfect - for me it’s an every day system check.
Anyway... here’s to walking in love and ruffling some feathers and causing some waves. Living a life out of love and no “ifs”. ️