Stop Judging Me

Many of us profess Christ but sometimes our past actions follow us. We are all known by our fruit even when we don’t want to be. Not just the fruit of what we are bearing now but even the fruit we bore in the past for although we are forgiven in heaven there are still consequences on earth. Forgiveness and restoration are two separate things.

Sometimes sin has a lifetime of consequence. When we see the justification or the staunch stance of a person who screams that we ought not judge them, it causes us to take a pause and question the resentment they feel in the process of restoration.  Are they truly repentant or just sorry they got caught? Justification for poor behavior often negates our part of the story. Sometimes it takes a long time to be restored and sometimes it never happens. We must be fine with the consequence while admitting that we have hurt people along the way knowing that we are forgiven by God if we have repented. The woman who cheated on her first husband may be living differently now than she was back in the day, but she is still a gamble to marry. Forgiven? Yes and there still may be a consequence.

A felon in the United States of America is not allowed to own a gun and there are jobs that they cannot obtain not just for a season but for life. While they may never go forth and commit another crime and they may live an exemplary life moving forward some things never go away. A child molester may repent and come to Jesus, get therapy for their action, but there will always be parents who don’t want to leave their children in their care. That’s the consequence of the action regardless of the current behavior.

We as believers are called to judge right and wrong of fellow believers. There are too many scriptures about seeing your brother in a fault and attempting course correction and bearing his burdens to negate that responsibility. Here’s a quick tip I learned from a teaching of John Bevere’s on judging. We as believers in Jesus Christ are called to judge other believers in Jesus Christ on issues of sin. What we are not allowed to judge is motive. In other words, I can say, “Sara, your affair with Tom is not right. It’s not right for your marriage, it’s not right for your well being, and it’s not right as a Christian woman.” What I can’t judge is motive, “I totally get why you’re having an affair Sara. You’ve got major stresses at work and you married a jerk of a guy, and your mom cheated on your dad….” I don’t get to judge Sara’s motive or heart of why she’s acting immorally. I am to warn her that her sin is unlawful in our faith and then I have an obligation to pray that she is able to move on with her life. Unfortunately,  her choice may cause her pain for the rest of her life.

Too Poor To Date

Paying-the-bill
Couple Receiving Their Check

Here’s an excerpt from Heather Jensen’s article on Relationship Deal Breakers that for some reason popped up in my newsfeed:

If you can’t afford a cell phone bill, rent or even a dinner out, you really shouldn’t be in a relationship. Guys, this goes for you too – if you can’t take your lady out, that can definitely be a relationship deal breaker! You don’t have to be rich, you just have to have enough money for savings and not to be completely broke all of the time. 

“Of course!” I thought, “Except college students who are generally poor while studying but yes, anyone over 30 shouldn’t be dating if they have to spend every dime they have to do so. This should be a Dave Ramsey blog.” Then I did a search on too poor to date and article after article talked about how we shouldn’t be dating if we can’t pay the bills. One man said that because he had student loans, and a car debt, he considered himself undatable because financially he couldn’t offer much yet. One woman said, she had an IRS debt and until that was paid she would not be dating. No surprise there but what was surprising were the comments.

Generally speaking most women said they agreed with the concept of not dating until you can afford to do so. I wasn’t surprised by that response because a woman’s number one need to is to feel secure in a relationship. What did surprise me were the men. Generally speaking the men disagreed. They felt that a woman should pay her portion of a date and that it was archaic to expect to ask a woman out on a date and then be expected to pay for her portion of the date. In fact, a survey concluded that 51% of men want to split the bill on a first date.

Here are a couple of comments I read:

“I can afford going out to grab drinks and eat a reasonably priced restaurant but only if she foots her own half of the bill.”

“I’ve never once taken the full bill for a restaurant. Coffee or something yeah, but not full meals. Is that something that’s still expected?”

So I went to my resident expert my Southern Bred Husband.

“Baby, I’m reading about being too poor to date and most men feel that since women fought for equality that we should be paying for our half of the bill when a man ask us out on dates. What do you think about this?”

“Well, you did fight for equality.”

“So you think we ought to pay for our portion of a date?”

“Darlin’ I’m a Southern Gentleman. I would never think to go out to eat where I couldn’t pay the bill and I would never allow a woman to pay for a date.”

Which is true because even when we go out to eat and it’s the same debit card coming out of the same joint account, he always grabs the bill and doesn’t let me pay, except a couple of times when he apologized profusely because he left his wallet in his briefcase when I picked him up for lunch and that’s after being married over a decade.

So what do you think? If a man asks a woman out on a date does she need to bring her own money? Is there such a thing as too poor to date?