The Story Behind Love Better
We are Scott and Emily Sutherland, founders of Love Better. When we met, we had no idea how much we had to learn about loving each other, or our fellow humans.
We didn't even know how to love our own selves. There was too much head trash sabotaging our ability to connect authentically with ourselves or others.
As part of a family in ministry, we have been grieved when we’ve seen scripture misinterpreted and weaponized while pride, hatred, racism, sexism, elitism, abuse of power and corruption ran rampant, completely unaddressed. We witnessed droves of good-hearted spiritual leaders dropping like flies. Then it happened to a close family member, who became isolated by double-standards, criticism, a constant diet of shame and unrealistic expectations.
That's when we hit RESET. We didn’t want to be identified with toxicity often associated with some evangelical churches.
We began to dismantle twisted versions of faith that didn't match up to the central message Jesus taught and modeled. We studied (and still study) the life and words of Jesus to gain a greater understanding of how to live...and we became painfully aware that following Him authentically meant learning to love better.
The more we learn about Jesus, the more we we are BLOWN AWAY at the revolutionary way He has shown us how to love. He was constantly upsetting societal and religious norms in order to show radical mercy, like when he saved an adulteress from capital punishment. And when he called out the hypocrisy of religious leaders, telling them to work on their own private sins instead of diverting negative attention to others.
Jesus also tackled racism in no uncertain terms. He empowered and respected women. He surrounded himself with very human individuals who were teachable and who probably seemed like a band of vagabonds to the self-righteous rulers of the day. He touched and healed people the rest of society deemed untouchable and unworthy. He ate with a crooked tax man, then invited him to be in his trusted inner circle. He even supplied high quality wine for a wedding party (which we were once told wasn't fermented, but it totally was).
Learning to follow His example by learning to love better wasn't a sudden, momentary transformation. It was a process.
We began to see value in ourselves and others because we were looking for it. After all, we’re all connected. We’re all deeply loved and valued equally by our Creator.
We found an immense amount of freedom as we began to acknowledge that most human attitudes and behaviors are driven by a complicated combination of DNA, experiences, traumas and influences that do not magically disappear when we step foot into a church. Even still, Jesus's love is wide enough and deep enough for every story.
Once you experience the kind of love that bathes your whole story in grace - love that knows you and accepts you as you are - nothing less will do. It's a radical love that is available TO. EVERY. HUMAN.
We aren't anti-church. In fact, Scott is on staff at a church. We don't blame people whose humanity drives them in the direction of legalism. We have been the people who got sidetracked from the things Jesus was about. We understand exactly how it happens. But we aren't going to sit by quietly and reinforce the assumption that everyone who follows Jesus also identifies with a subculture that bears no resemblance to the courageous, all-encompassing love that Jesus lived - and died - trying to show us.
THAT is why embarked on this Love Better adventure. We are connecting with a growing movement of people who prefer connection over control and who value relationships over rhetoric. We believe engaging in essential conversations about these ideas will help bring people together who want to live lives that build bridges instead of barriers.
We believe the quest of learning to love better transforms us from the inside out and creates more connected families and communities whose collective ripple effect is felt all over the world. If our story resounds with you, we would love to connect with you. Subscribe below and join the conversation about how we can build bridges that connect us and knock down walls that keep us divided. If you're willing to share your story with us, we would love to hear it. Feel free to email us here!
Scott & Emily