Purity in Love: Learning to Love the Soldiers, the Rapists and the Unlovable

3/13/2011 12:06:00 AM sendtheroths 0 Comments

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Efe Ekwotafia 

This is what Agence France-Presse (AFP) has to say about what is going on in the DR Congo.

“One of 11 members of the Democratic Republic of Congo military, currently on trial for raping three dozen women, is a minor who will be sent to a juvenile court, judicial officials said Wednesday.”

The armed forces said the youth was 16 while doctors who examined him said he was between 14 and 17 years old according to an AFP interview with Colonel Freddy Mukendi of the Bukavu military court in Sud-Kivu province.

On the other hand, look at what God said.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3: 12-15

Justice, that’s what we want to see. After all, the boy did systematically rape over 30 innocent women. We do know that there should be justice in this situation-- what the teenage boy did was wrong. But isn’t judgment ultimately left to God? Declaring justice is easy. Declaring love is hard.

God still loves this boy. The Bible makes it clear that above all else, believers are supposed to abide in love. This is regardless of who the person is or what has been done. We are to love them in complete purity.

This week has been an intense journey for me in understanding the purity of love. God has given us His pure love. God desires that believers love ‘the least of these’ just as purely. This includes the completely unlovable people in the DR Congo. I’m not talking about the refugees, I’m not talking about the cute little orphans or the humble widows (although they are GREAT part of it.)

I’m talking about loving the people who commit crimes against humanity.

In a nation like DR Congo, where life is in disarray, people are killing and being killed daily-- God’s heart is moved towards these people, regardless of what side of the coin they are on.

There is something looming over their eyes as a nation, blinders are set upon them. The Church is called to love “those people” in the midst of their blindness. 

We must love purely-- that may mean something different for various people. To one person it might mean taking a trip with Andrew and Amethyst Roth for the summer to the DR Congo and giving the Congolese a gift that will last and flourish—your pure undivided love. 

Ways to contribute to the ministry in Congo come in different varieties but make sure that your gifts bear fruit. Give in the purity of God’s love, not expecting anything back and not casting judgment.

The teenage boy that did these dreadful things has obviously not known any direction in life. He did it in ignorance, because the Church failed to love him before he did this. God is still calling us to love him now. 

Sounds very harsh-- because how can we love such a person? My response to that would be: How can God love you? He loves us purely. We are a sinful people in need of the Father's love. His love is pure and unending, for He has loved us first. There wasn’t selfishness or fleshly desires in His love, instead a longing to be with those He loves: unlovable people. As God longs for the hearts of people, let us also love those He longs for.

The challenge? Enter into true purity in love.