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The Truth About Grace

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Sonia Cleverly, Boy Scouts of America, Gay, Family matters, Grace Based Parenting, Dr. Tim Kimmel


When I was a young teenager I was attracted to boys in bands with just a little bit of an edge. But the summer before I turned 17 I fell immediately and permanently in love with an Eagle Scout.

Go figure.

So, 27 years later I am the wife of an Eagle Scout whose father, brothers, and nephews are Eagle Scouts, and I am the mom to two budding Eagle Scouts – one who is so close I can hardly look at him without tearing up because I’m so amazed by his journey.  I only married into this tradition, but I am fully on board!  Scouting has been an opportunity for our family values to be celebrated and edified.  The Scout Law states that “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”  These are qualities that as followers of Christ we aspire to reflect as well.  Scouting requires a commitment to service and to leadership.  It is simply a program that dovetails perfectly with the character that we want to develop in our children.

(Not to mention the fact that the boys get regular opportunities to play in the dirt!)

Our troop, however, like every other one across the nation, is responding to the recent decision by the Boy Scouts of America to accept openly gay Scouts into its ranks.  This decision came on the heels of vicious and public battles over morality, principles of faith, and the rights of private organizations to establish policies without government interference.  Oh, the flurry of emails and editorials that ensued.  In the end, the threat of withdrawn financial support from big corporations was the deal clincher, and so here we are.  Where, then, does that leave a Boy Scout family like ours – lovers and followers of the truth with a capital “T”?  We gathered our children, we went to the Lord, and we sought His wisdom instead of our own.  And, this is what we discovered.  The Bible is clear on the subject of homosexuality.  It is Truth.  But, isn’t it oh-so-easy to forget the grace with a capital “G” that always accompanies its partner in Scripture:


For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:7 NIV


Never has a conjunction been more pivotal. So, while we will never deny the Truth, we are committed to love all the boys in our troop with the Grace that is continually showered upon us as His children.  We are letting Grace take the lead so that Truth might one day be discovered.  They won’t get a merit badge for it, but my future Eagles will get to experience far greater rewards than any earthly achievement could ever offer.

Oh, and there is always that play in the dirt thing.


Sonia Cleverly

Sonia Cleverly, M.Ed., is a wife, mother, lover of language, and passionate advocate for families. She equally adores Shakespeare and Seinfeld, and she tiptoed back into the work world a few years ago after spending more than a decade blissfully immersed in the greatest job known to womankind – the stay at home mom. She currently works in Family Ministry at Scottsdale Bible Church where she supports parents in “getting” grace. She and her husband, Scott, have been married for almost 27 years, and he is ever so happy she has a new audience for the 20,000+ words she feels the need to use each day.



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