breaking the hearts of our loved ones: a fine Christian tradition

"Breaking Hearts" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“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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3 Replies to “breaking the hearts of our loved ones: a fine Christian tradition”

  1. Agreed. I would also say that the principal of the theological college I went to would agree too describing Christian community and worship as unattractive to outsiders and even repulsive. He likens the spiritual climate to that of Israel in exile in Babylon.

    I agree it’s costly to challenge the status quo, one could well call it heartbreaking and as I type my thoughts go to Jesus in compassion weeping over Jerusalem for her apostasy. And yes certainly Mary’s heart breaking at Jesus challenging authority that claimed he was casting demons out by the power of Belzebub saying anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

    So yes great points made excellently and hit the nail on the head.

    I suppose when going against the status quo at the same time the challenge exist for one to do so in truth and love, for the right reasons lest one should slip into conduct that is no better than the unhealthy authorised norms one is up against?

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