What I Want to Hear Pastors and Other Christian Writers Say About Relationships
Hello everyone! I have been thinking about relationships for awhile now, particularly our most intimate ones such as marriage. I have read a few books from various pastors and Christian authors on the subject of relationships as well. Although these books are quite well written and offer sound advice and counsel on many things, they miss the mark on others. With the exception of books like John Townsend and Henry Cloud's Boundaries series among their other books, these other relationship books miss the mark on something very important where relationships are concerned - when to walk away. They play with the idea but they never get to it. As I have stated before, I do not know why. I eluded to this idea in a past blogs but now I wish to lay out what I would like to hear to balance out the "move toward connection" mantra we keep hearing. Why you may ask? Because there are simply people you can't move toward without getting badly damaged.
With that said, here are a few things I would like to see other Christian authors (besides myself) and pastors say about relationships:
1) Not all things can be fixed. Where there is dishonesty, irresponsibility and no ability to want to respond to love, you can't do anything with that person but turn them over to God. You have to do what you need to do to help yourself emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally. You need to walk away.
2) Not all connections can be salvaged. Some people do not want to salvage them, they simply want you around to suck the life out of you or abuse you. They have never learned to bond or respond to anything that remotely looks like love so how do we expect that to work? This is something only God can deal with. You need to walk away.
3) We are not responsibile for other people or their choices. If they choose to move away from us, that is not our fault. If their actions say, "I don't love you, I am moving away" how long do you keep pursing someone who is consciously making that decision? The hard truth is you can't pursue someone who does not want to be pursued. Both Jesus and Paul knew when to walk to away. We need to follow their example. You need to walk away.
4) And lastly, people who chose to walk away because they keep getting mixed signals or who simply can't get through to a person or who are being hurt or damaged continually by another person are not "bad people" who did not "try hard enough" or "did not love God enough" or are "less Christian" or "didn't have enough faith" Those are lies, all fo them! This idea of saving marriage at "all costs" did not come from God. It came from people's want to not be perceived as "failing" and to not be perceived as broken people in need of help. This idea cares more about what people think than it cares for the individuals in the relationship. God cares more about people than a piece of paper or your opinion of yourself or someone else. This idea is law-based and has its basis in being fake so you can look "super spiritual." None of us are super spiritual, let me just put that out there. There is not a one of us who at some point in time have not been broken beyond our own abilities. If you think you haven't, you are fooling yourself. The last thing I want to say about saving marriage "at all costs" is this: you can't save something at all costs if you don't have the power to do so in the first place. Saving a marriage requires humility before each other and God, commitment and allowing God to work on the dark, ugly places. If these things aren't in place, you can't save anything. If these things aren't in place in both people, that marriage will not be saved, period.
I do not write these things to discourage anyone; pastor, writer, or reader. I write them to encourage us to see what is truth, speak truth and walk in that truth and leave behind the lies. I write it so we won't be afraid to deal with the ugly, dark places. I write it so we won't put on a fake face. Why should we be afraid of the ugly and the dark? Jesus has already overcome! And He can overcome in our relationships. He can take care of the ugly, dark places if we let him. And if we must walk away, He has much grace for that too - believe me He understands more than we give Him credit for.
What will you choose today? What do you need to choose today?
Until next time,