So the story goes, in the year 287 AD (or so), St. Valentine was beheaded by the government of Claudius the Cruel. Claudius had seen his armies struggling to keep soldiers and blamed it on their hearts. He felt that men stayed home with their wives and children, so he banned all marriages. Valentine continued performing these marriages in secret, and was then imprisoned and killed.
How we treat one another is probably the most discussed topic of scripture. Even individual holiness requirements often have social impact. It always boils down to love, right? “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8) However, if it were that simple, there would probably be a lot less Bible. Sometimes, we need examples, specifics, on what love feels like, looks like, sounds like. Thankfully, we have it in Jesus and in so much of God’s word, but it never hurts to be clear about expectations.
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada has ethical guidelines that lay out our expectations of one another. They include:
A. We will treat one another with courtesy and kindness. We will endeavor to maintain an attitude of Christian love in all our relationships.
B. We will welcome the expression of differing viewpoints and will seek to create an atmosphere of trust and confidence that will encourage free discussion.
C. We will seek to keep confidences and will refrain from gossip. We will seek in all we do and say to strengthen character and dignify personality.
D. We will remember that our personal conduct gives evidence of our sincerity and reflects upon the good name of the Church, the Body of Christ.
(You can read more here: https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/SC-EthicalGuidelines.pdf )
What might change if you wrote a code of conduct for your relationships or your household? How might the conversation help those relationships?
Rev. Jana Quisenberry is the minister at Brightwood Christian Church. She's an ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). A graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, KY and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN, She now resides in Mt. Lebanon with her husband, two children, and dog, Sookie. Pastor Jana loves the church, science fiction, and coffee.
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