Saturday, September 5, 2009


recently when i've been praying and journaling about suffering and love.

i hear too frequently people leaving relationships that become difficult, or that have the potential to hurt them. yes, there are times to leave relationships - if they're abusive, or leading you in to a bad lifestyle - but otherwise i don't believe it's right to leave.

the worldly view is "get out before i get hurt" but i don't think it's biblical to apply that in our relationships. if Jesus left relationships before they hurt Him i would not have a relationship with Him.

Jesus didn't avoid pain in relationships, he didn't protect himself or stay guarded. he withdrew to pray, but never held back or distanced himself.

we're called to love as Jesus loved. this means loving without protective barriers, loving not from a distance, but right there in close relationship, and enduring ungratefulness and rejection without complaining. you will be hurt, and you will hurt, that's part of being broken, and living in post-fall culture. Jesus did it all, let's stop making excuses, i do it all the time. i love the people i enjoy, and even when i'm helping with youth i love on the people i like to love.

i need to, and we need to love people that will inevitably hurt us with the full knowledge this will happen - Jesus did it (look at Him loving peter and judas) - this is part of our calling. it's vulnerable, it's crappy, it's hard, and goes against everything we feel inside.

right now it's trendy to say things like "love the hard to love" or "love the least of these", it even sounds romantic (romantic as in cool and classy not "let's date") to talk about loving through pain and hurt, but it's not fun, and it's not something easy to do. Jesus prayed that the same love the Father had for Him would be in us, and i think we'll need that if we're gonna get even close to living it out. i need to pray for that. i need that love to help me. i can't even love the like-able ones without God.

i'm rambling on now, but i think it was mother theresa that said "love until it hurts, then love some more." she was just echoing Jesus, but i think she makes a good point.

gonna leave it there. love.


Niko said...

This is an incredibly unhealthy view on relationships.

I will agree insofar as that most people are afraid to love completely in an effort to avoid hurt. This is normal, and while it can be a problematic barrier in a relationship that does work, it is a useful barrier in relationships that are created on unequal ground, or with a malicious partner. If your partner is out to hurt you, opening your heart to them will let them hurt you critically. You need to be distant before you can get close.

But the second you mention Jesus, all of your reasoning goes out the window. Suffering is NOT part of a healthy relationship. If you are experiencing pain of any sort in a relationship, the solution is NOT to wait until it gets better. The solution is to talk it out in an attempt to stop the suffering, and if that fails on a long term basis, you need to get out of the relationship, because it is harming you.

One of the vile weeds of religion is the false conception that an unhappy marriage is better than a divorce, or no marriage at all. I find it pitiful that some buy into this and burn their lives away, spending it idly with someone that they no longer have any emotional connection to.

Relationships are finite things and whoever is convinced otherwise is delusional or drunk with emotion.

mitchell said...

you're right, if you don't believe in Jesus my blog doesn't make sense.

Niko said...

If that's true, and what Jesus says goes against general knowledge, it begs the question how good an idea it is to follow him in the first place.