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Its called a breakup because it’s broken.

Breakups can be extremely devastating, months or even years spent trying to “make it work”; toiling towards a thriving connection.  It ends when it can no longer merely survive.

And then there’s the aftermath, where we feel absolutely entitled to indulge when dealing with the pain: food, wine, fitness, laziness, shopping, “dating”…feeding our feelings with whatever brings pleasure, whatever will numb the pain. After a bender of “extremes” we begin to get a grip on life again, regain perspective and address the state of our self-esteem.  Eventually we realize our worth, deal with our issues and consider raising our standards in regards to who we choose to “do life” with.

Because, really, he was just not that into you.

About a year ago I went through one of the most crushing break-ups my poor little soul has ever experienced. {cue violins}

I broke up with my church.

I could go on and on about the unhealthy and manipulative experiences my husband and I had, but that would only be a futile attempt to get you to dislike them and feel sorry for us.  We have no desire for that. Similarly, I could also tell you all the stories about my oldest daughters biological dad and his less-than-tolerable “fathering”,  the common ground here is this: they were both broken relationships.

Why we choose to view one relationship standard differently than the other is beyond me, but we do. The reality is that people will get hurt and offended within community, but relationship is relationship and authentic love will listen and seek to understand; authentic love will also feel safe enough to speak and share. Unhealthy relationships will take, take, take or give, give, give without reciprocation, leaving one person unfulfilled or even feeling abused.

worthy

God is the only one who fulfills us and people are not going to ever make us happy nor should we hold them to such grande expectations, however, out of love my husband desires to know when he is doing things that are hurting or causing turmoil in our marriage. He wants to know if he is meeting my needs or if there are areas he needs to improve upon. That’s love.  And out of love, I ask the same in return.  We regularly engage in communicating the needs in our relationship, growing it stronger and deeper.  Because neither of us are broken people operating out of love deficiencies, our marriage is thriving.

What helped me move on from this tragic division was recognizing that my church was just not that into me.

“Don’t spend your time on and give your heart to any guy who makes you wonder about anything
related to his feelings for you”
― Greg Behrendt, He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys

This simple book ridiculously changed my dating life before I met Mike. I read it as if Greg was the older brother I never had, telling me how beautiful, smart and capable I was and how I should not settle for anyone or anything less. He reminded me that dishonesty, unfaithfulness, manipulation or intimidation are not expressions of love. Duh.  And so, I raised my standards in seeking relationships and guess what, I found that a healthy, loving, honest, dependable and faithful man exists. {and he put a ring on it}

   “That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” – John 17:21

Unity blooms within communities of healthy relationships. Relationships thrive when all hearts desire love and respect;  listening out of love and speaking in love are the ebbs and flows of a flourishing community.

Our pastor had suggested that we were perhaps searching for a “perfect” church.  That’s funny, I’ve heard that before..oh yeah, from an old boyfriend with major issues, who was justifying his harmful conduct.

I understand messy, don’t get me wrong, but careless and sloppy are red flags when it comes to evaluating the health in a relationship.  Conflict is inevitable, but after seven years serving within a church, one would only hope that these “friends” would express interest in laboring towards unity; definitely an unhealthy relationship and potentially harmful culture.

Here are a few more succulent quotes from the book He’s Just Not That Into You that I claim in reference to any unhealthy relationship or community:

“I believe in love the verb, not the noun.”

“..he may love you, he may miss you, but ultimately he’s just not that into you.”

“The quickest way to rectify that mistake (choosing the wrong person) is by learning from that, moving on, and choosing much more wisely in the future.”

“And above all, if the guy you’re dating doesn’t seem to be completely into you, or you feel the need to start “figuring him out,” please consider the glorious thought that he might just not be that into you. And then free yourself to go find the one that is.”

I am so thankful for this past year of solitude and quiet stillness with the Lord; allowing him to heal our heart and speak affirming words over us.  We have tenderly began looking for a new home church after purging our disgust and moving past bitterness.  We are more conscious, yet less hesitant;  forgiving, yet less intimidated; loving, yet less tolerant.

Are you in an unhealthy relationship or community?  I encourage you to continue the labor for peace and unity until you find it is not being reciprocated.  Then, my friend, that may be your cue to leave. You are worthy of unconditional love.  You are worthy of honesty and accountability.  You. Are. Worthy.

There is hope for community after deep wounds, there is hope for love after a devastating disjunction and there is most definitely hope for healthy relationships amidst it all – because …

“As for me, I will always have hope.” – Psalm 71:14

XOXOXO

M

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4 thoughts on “When your church is “just not that into you”

  1. Pingback: When your church is “just not that into you” | Equipped Woman

  2. Hi Melinda, I’m here for the Sheloves link-up, but then I realized I also “know” you from Story Sisters! How nice to get a little bit more about your story — and I like the connections you make here 🙂

  3. Hi Amy and Melinda – I’m another Story Sisters girl who stopped by from the SheLoves link up. It was interesting how you connected relationships to not be exclusive to romantic. There are definitely truths to be shown in any kind of relationship. Hope you find the church, with all its imperfections, that is that into you!

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