Out of Wedlock

Many years ago, I attended a large church in Portland, Oregon.  I’d often bring others to church with me – both male and female.  For several months I took one young woman with me each Sunday morning.

After a few months, my “friend” began showing that she was pregnant.  Now, everyone in the church knew that I wasn’t married . . . but here I was with a pregnant woman to whom I wasn’t married.  Oh, you know there were whispers!  None of these good people ever confronted me or questioned me or even hinted at anything.  In fact, a long time passed without me knowing that people were talking about me and my pregnant girlfriend.

I was teaching a class at the church, and my students knew my girlfriend and liked her.  Someone from the class pulled me aside one day and asked if I was aware of the tongues that were wagging.  I was oblivious.  When my student told me what he’d been hearing, I almost died.

My near death wasn’t the result of impregnating my girlfriend out of wedlock.  My near death was caused by the fact that my “girlfriend” was my sister who was having a baby with her husband.

Someone once asked if I was much into exercise.  I’d laugh and say that my workout routine consisted of jumping to conclusions.  I was joking, but there are sure a lot of people who make that joke a reality.

It’s very easy to make assumptions and people and circumstances.  It’s very easy to accuse people and think the worst of them without knowing the story.  It’s very easy to judge and condemn others unfairly and think the worst about them.

Why is it so hard for us to mind our own business and treat others with the same grace and respect that we’d want?

Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.  Judge not, and you shall not be judged.  Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven  (Luke 6:36-37, NKJV).


One thought on “Out of Wedlock

  1. Hi Richard. I love this post. A couple years ago, I left the church in order to shred the scales (blatant Narnia reference) off my heart that had stuck due to the church influences I’d been a part of for 40 years (I kept me “some Jesus”). I’ve been thinking a lot about “walking the talk,” and even wrote a humorous story about communication which had been inspired by a seasoned church goer (a friend) who misinterpreted a couple of things I said and verbally and publically attacked me (“I Think I Heard You Say”). Thank you for speaking the truth in love. All the best.

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