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December 27, 2009

For Christian Gardeners, romantic love can point one toward God’s intention for their lives. The great spiritual skill Gardeners work to learn is not discipline to resist desires, but to discern between God-called desires and selfish desires. And Gardeners work to steer themselves in the best of directions or, as Meister Eckhart once wrote, to “put your passions on a bridle of love.”

To use the metaphor of a swimming pool, in matters of love, sexuality and relationships, Knights work to fence off the pool; Gardeners try to teach people to swim. For Gardeners, sexuality is perceived as part of God’s ongoing creation process, and to be celebrated when pointed toward one’s great love and mate. After all, many Gardeners conclude, all of creation has been making love and singing about it since the first moment of Creation. Sin in sexuality is only as old as—and completely limited to—the human creature. Rather than seeking holy chaperones, Gardeners believe God points those whose love is true toward each other.

Gardeners are no libertines—they merely recognize love and sexuality as blessings and opportunities to grow a good relationship rather than spiritual minefields.


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