Tag Archives: Living God’s Love

Setting New Norms

Ordinary Time
January 12, 2018

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, ‘The two shall be one flesh.’ But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body. –1  Corinthians 6:16-20

In my book, Houses Divided, I wrote that I thought it was time to revisit the norms of sexual behavior in our culture. Leviticus was written in a time when people viewed wombs as incubators in which the male deposited the seed for a new life. Children often did not live to adulthood and were an economic necessity to staff the work of an agrarian culture. Even in the last three hundred years, my ancestry lists families with twelve to eighteen children. Most families had two or more mothers, because many died in childbirth. My father’s family was a your’s, mine, and our’s family including eighteen children, one dying at birth when her mother was killed in an accident, one dying at age two, and one at nine both of communicable diseases. While such families exist today, they usually have fewer children and are most often the result of divorce. The advent of stable birth control in the mid-twentieth century changed the world as did the availability of immunizations, women becoming more economically self-sustaining, and divorce becoming less stigmatized. Some view these changes as bad and would like to overturn them while most of society accept them as reality.

How do people of faith define the Greek love called Eros (erotic love) and Philios (sibling love) today? How do they intersect with Agape (God’s) love? Paul gives us a great place to start in I Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

We need to be less concerned with how the world defines or advertises love and more concern about God’s love as it intersects with all our relationships.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for sending Jesus to model love for us. The world is too much with us in our relationships. Free us from its tangles and open our hearts and minds to learning to love in all aspects of love as Jesus loved. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.