Should We Love Those Who Don’t Believe as We Do?

By Trisha N.

My cousin and I are very close. Although he is quite a bit older than me, we have a lot in common. We both have a deep appreciation for music and share a love for creating it. Every time my family went to visit, I packed my violin so that we could play our musical instruments with each other while I was there. As we became closer through music, we discovered that we were both very fond of being outside and enjoyed the beauties of nature while mountain biking, four wheeling, and hiking together.

Within this past year my cousin just recently told his family that he is gay, and that he is no longer going to try to subdue those feelings. He felt his battle within himself was no longer worth fighting. I remember just sitting there on my mom’s bed and crying. Crying because I had no idea he had been going through all of that, and crying because he had decided to take that direction with his life. I honestly didn’t understand what that meant.

I was always taught that marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s how God created life. That’s how families are created. That’s how I was born. That’s everything that I believe in. I thought about some of my friends in school who were really rude towards homosexuals and often would talk really badly about them. I reflected on all the instances in my life where my opinion or view of homosexuals was formed and where it was now. I asked myself, “because someone is homosexual, should we feel any differently towards them”?  I know that my cousin’s decision is not what I believe, but should that change how I feel towards my cousin?

Sometimes I wish we lived in a world where everyone wore their trials and problems on the outside where all could see. What if everyone knew my trials and the things that I struggle with? What would people do? What would they think? Would people still judge one another if they could see that we all face different challenges in life? Just because my cousin’s trial is something I feel conflicted about, doesn’t mean that my love for him is any less than it was before. None of us are perfect; we shouldn’t judge. There is not one person living or who has ever lived on this earth who is perfect except for our Savior, Jesus Christ. The one person who actually has the right to judge us is the one who loves us the most despite our imperfections. If Christ has the ability to see beyond our weaknesses, why can’t we do the same for others?

There are so many people in the world and along with that come many different cultures, personalities, and beliefs. But when it comes down to it, we are all the same. We all experience joy. We all experience pain and we all make mistakes. We can truly love every person we meet. When we see people doing things that we believe are not correct, we can pull them closer into our lives. They need our love the most.

I love my cousin, and I have seen how much his family loves him. I know the Lord loves him more than I can even imagine, because I have felt His love for me. Christ’s love is unconditional. He loves us all no matter what. I hope that someday I can love as He does.

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