breaking the hearts of our loved ones: a fine Christian tradition
"Breaking Hearts" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
Breaking hearts is a fine Christian tradition. In fact, I think the core message, that finds its roots firmly in the Old Testament and sprawling into the New, is the necessity to challenge the status quo
and press into what's true, no matter the consequences for our relationships.
Some might argue that if someone's heart breaks, it's that person's own responsibility, not the heart-breaker's. But I would challenge that. I think it is a symbiotic occurrence. This is what happens when people change. It stretches the relationship, sometimes to the extreme, and forces those around the person determined to be true to change. All relationships are like a crucible into which all parties enter and from which no party remains unscathed or unchanged. To understand this important dynamic better, read the important book, Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships
But... what if a party refuses to change? This is when a divorce in the relationship happens.
Unfortunately, I think a lot of Christianity today nourishes the status quo
and tends¬†to excommunicate those who refuse to cooperate. The story of Jesus is a case in point. Whether you believe the story is factual or not, the story itself demonstrates the risks and costs of challenging authorized norms.
Undergoing personal transformation, challenging the status quo
, and paying dearly for it, is a richly cultivated theme of the Jesus story.
It's in Christianity's blood!
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