This is a saying well known in the Akron, Ohio area, the former rubber capitol of the world, and one that is still used in everyday conversation. It came from an old TV commercial first used back in the 1960's by The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. It was a jingle that went like this:
"Where ever wheels are rolling,
no matter what the load,
the name that's known is Firestone,
where the rubber meets the road."
In everyday usage, the phrase "where the rubber meets the road" has come to describe the gravity of a situation or the fact that there is no getting around a circumstance. In other words, something like "this is reality".
That is how I'm feeling today about the extended family situation that has pained me. There is no getting around what is happening. I can't pretend this is all going to go away anytime soon.
I'm taking a leap of faith here that I will not be judged too harshly by my friends in the blogosphere because of my beliefs. I know many of you are like-minded sisters in Christ and will stand by me. But I'm opening up because I really do need your prayers.
The facts are these: I have a 29 year old niece who has been living a lesbian lifestyle. Both she and her girlfriend are really very nice people, and fun to be around. I don't dislike them at all. I just dislike what they are doing. It would pain me enough if they just kept their lifestyle to themselves, but they are intent on being very in-your-face about it all. They have taken it to levels that is, for me, quite beyond belief.
So, this Saturday they are planning to go to Mexico where they can "legally" be "married". They've been publishing this on Facebook for quite some time now, yet no one bothered to sit down with my almost 81 year old mother to talk to her personally about this. Instead she, like the rest of the family, has received a printed invitation to a reception to celebrate their "union". May I say this really appalls me?
There has been a "bridal" shower given to my niece by her friends at work. I saw something about a "bachelorette" party. She's posted about her "wedding" dress.
If that weren't enough, they have already been to a lawyer to start procedures that will legally combine their surnames, which in effect corrupts my family name. It is not a given that this will actually happen, being as gay "marriage" is still illegal in Ohio.
Then there is the talk about someday having "cute lezzie kids". I have no idea if this is serious talk or not. But it wouldn't surprise me. So will there be baby showers and the like? Where does this all lead?
Now, I'm not opposed to love, happiness, and all of that. And please no speeches about this kind of thing is happening more and more and is becoming more accepted.
And all of you who have an understanding of where I'm coming from on this already know WHY I believe the way I do. I am a Bible-believing Christian who understands that marriage is a holy union that was ordained by God to be between one man and one woman, for life. Have many of us failed to achieve this standard? You bet. Are we forgiven, restored? Absolutely, many of us are, when we have turned our hearts to the cross and received wholeness in Christ. When we finally give up our self-serving attitudes and realize we do not exist to live to ourselves but for the One who died to save us from our sins.
I'm not writing here to expound on all the reasons why I believe gay "marriage" is wrong. I believe it is self-evident. But I am writing because I need to be honest with myself about what is happening in my family.
My son, who is a pastor, has told me not to take a victim's attitude. In other words, I do not need to hang my head in shame over what someone close to me has chosen to do. The only attitude that is appropriate for me to have is one of a broken spirit, remembering my own sins, and trying to show Christ's love in my dealings with them.
These two young women are not open to hearing about how what they are doing is dangerously against God's law. I would be wasting my breath and creating further distance in our relationships to try to talk to them about that.
Some of my family members are already making preparations to attend the reception. My conscience will not allow me to attend. I cannot celebrate something that I totally do not believe in. I'm feeling somewhat like I'm standing alone on an issue that should be such a no-brainer to my family. This has me a little confused, and dismayed.
I pray that I will not compromise on my beliefs, yet I also pray that I will not compromise on what is required of me in spite of my obvious dismay over the situation. I am commanded to love. Please pray for me, that I can show love. That's really where the rubber meets the road.
"Be holy, because I am holy." I Peter 1:16
"...as I have loved you, you must love one another..." John 13:34