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A man is walking away from several people complaining about how he's changed, that he's surrendered to Satan, that he's pursuing vain philosophy, that he needs to get back into the Word, that only a fool thinks in his heart there is no God, that if he leaves them he leaves God, etc.
Can you identify with this man?
Because I can.
I’ve heard all those things.
I’ve learned many things in my many years in a marriage. One is that relationships are like a conjoining of crucibles. I have my crucible and Lisa has hers. So, when I go into my crucible of change, Lisa is compelled to go into hers. And when Lisa changes, I have to adjust. I have to change. If I don’t, our relationship will break.
This is the beautiful and challenging dance of all relationships.
Including our relationship with the church.
Your job is to grow, to be transformed, to become your truest self.
But if your transformation causes strain in your relationship with any community (marriage, family, church) because it is unwilling to accept it and accept its own challenge to change itself because of your change, then separation will happen.
It has to happen because you need the freedom to grow even if it means losing the relationship.
And it has to happen because the community can’t contain you as a threat to its unwillingness to change.
Do you see this?
We always hope to find a partner, a friend, a community who accepts us as we are and as we will become. We always hope to be able to love others in the same way… to love them as they are and as they will become.
Refusal to accept change and be changed prevents authentic relationship.
But you know this.