PERSONAL & VULNERABLE POST AHEAD!
When my husband came out to me as gay a number of years ago, I was left to grapple with reconciling Church doctrine with his experience, while simultaneously trying to save our marriage relationship. In our specific situation, our marriage needed to end, but with lots of prayer and effort, our relationship has been able to remain intact. Let me explain why.
The Lord gave me very clear instruction early on that loving my husband was more important than getting answers, and that no doctrine should get in the way of someone feeling valued, loved, or understood. I felt impressed that it was (and is) okay that I can't reconcile any of our experience with the level of light and knowledge that we currently have. But someday we'll see the whole picture of God's truth and will be satisfied, and that I shouldn't—couldn't!—wait until that day of understanding to choose to love.
I've come to realize that I don't have to choose between loving others and loving God or His Gospel. I can choose and hold space for both.
I don't know how to do that perfectly, but it's something I work toward every day.
I'm gonna be honest, it isn't easy. It's complicated, especially while trying to help my children (who completely love and support their dad) not become bitter toward the restored gospel. They are learning at ages 12, 9, and 6 that much in life isn't clear-cut or black and white, but that we can use the Spirit to navigate the gray.
What I love about the painting in the image below is that the shape and style feel uncomfortable. That's often what our LGBTQIA+ brothers & sisters feel in the Church, & that's often how Church members feel about LGBTQIA+ issues.
But if you TAKE TIME TO LOOK PAST THE INITIAL DISCOMFORT in the artwork, you see Jesus Christ, whose arms of love extend to and surround all of God's children. The same is true in life.
God never wants any of His children to feel UNLOVED or UNLOVABLE. His love is *always there.* Love is more motivating and healing than any other expression or emotion. Charity is pure, undefiled, unfiltered love from Deity.
If we are willing, you and I can be the arms that enable others experience that love.
Image credit: J. Kirk Richards, "Jesus Said Love Everyone"