One of the things I'm super passionate about correcting is the way most churches respond to single mothers. In God's eyes, a sin is a sin. Each one separates us from God. Each one causes a rift in our relationship with Him. And each one is forgiven with the same grace and by the same act as the others. So when a young woman steps forward, admits she made a mistake, and then has the courage to stand up to the consequences and not discreetly get rid of it, then the church should rise up and support her. It should wrap their arms around her and tell her how much they love her, that they forgive her, and that they are going to help her as much as they can. They should be proud of her bravery and sympathetic with how much of a struggle she's going to go through.
Sunday morning my church was tested, as well as my love for my church. I love my church very much. I brag on what an amazing church family we have. I invite people. I try to get people from Texas to include Sunday mornings in their trip here so that they will have the time to visit our church. Our best friends are there. It is also the only place I'm guaranteed that Kairi will not have any major freak outs. So needless to say, when when this test came up I was terrified.
To protect her privacy, I'm not going to describe in detail the young lady or the family that went forward. But a young woman stepped forward. She had a note written to the congregation stating that she was sorry because she had sinned. She had hurt herself, her relationship with God, and the church. She admitted she was pregnant and asked for forgiveness. Then we prayed over her. One of the elders prayed over her. But before that elder prayed over her, he did something that I will always remember -- he took the story of casting stones, reminded us of it, and then promised her that we were not casting stones. He told her that we love her, that we forgive her, and that we will help her. He reminded her that God can do great things with our mistakes as long as we allow him to. Then he prayed for her, for her child, and for our church.
After the service she was FLOODED with people loving on her. They accepted her. They loved on her. And they held her close. I'm sure that there were a few that raised their eye brows. I'm sure that there are a few that won't treat her the same again. But in the end, the people that are leaders in our church, and most of the rest, stood up and loved her regardless of her mistakes. I know that she will be loved on and helped out and protected and taken care of by my church.
And THAT my friends, is what a church SHOULD look like. I praise God for the way it was handled.