Honest Christianity – stress the one you’re with

stress

Well, not quite the song line, but close enough to make a point. Sally and I were have having one of our irregular animated discussions (that’s an argument to you). Her comment towards the end of this constructive debate!!, to me was, that I stress her more than anyone one else.

I was devastated, for Sally to feel that I make life harder for her. She has tried to persuade me that this was ok. Ok? How could it be? I will let her explain…

I (Sally) wouldn’t be even vaguely devastated if Paul said this to me. We have quite a few differences in personality and we spend more time with each other than anyone else and we are closer to each other than to anyone else. How could Paul then not stress me more than anyone else! Perhaps stress is sometimes the wrong word, frustrate may sometimes be better! We have creative differences, even after twenty seven years of marriage and I imagine we always will have but they are part of life. I’m not sure that Paul is completely reassured by my explanation but it really wasn’t an insult and I struggled to understand why he took it as one!

What’s all this got to do with honest Christianity – we sometimes feel that Christian leaders are expected to have these perfect relationships and we want to be real and say that even after as long as we have been together there are still clashes and surprises but that we are committed to working them out! We both love and stress the one we’re with!

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5 thoughts on “Honest Christianity – stress the one you’re with

  1. I love your openess and honesty. It is so refreshing to hear in a world where so often we can be led to believe we have to say a certain thing just to keep someone happy. Where I was last working, it was the unchurched young people I found by far the easiest to engage with. People thought I was mad (they probably weren’t wrong there!). How could I find young people who took drugs, regularly engaged in underage sex, smoked, had criminal records….easier to work with than young people who had grown up in Christian homes? The answer was easy (and I appologise for being sterotypical because I know this is not the case of everyone), the young people at church knew the answer they thought you wanted to hear. They felt ashamed to admit anything they were struggling with or anything that they felt went against what the Bible taught. The unchurched young people however, told life how it was (sometimes in too much detail!), they were so much easier to engage with because you knew where you stood, you knew what you were dealing with and could be there to support them even if the fall was sometimes big. I found this in community work too. That God was so powerfully at work in the lifes of people who had never entered a church building; that it was their mouths that often spokethe most honest Christianity. None of us are perfect and I love the way you make yourself so vulnerable in what you share, because it almost gives ‘permission’ for others to do the same. I hope you have recovered from your constructive debate Paul! I have to admidt that I think that I would have seen things how you first described them but I’m sure Sally has a very valid point!! I just wonder how much we stress God out sometimes, especially when we aren’t open and honest about it in the way you have been. Thank you both for being the people you are and allowing God to speak through both your strengths and weaknesses
    Lucy xx

    • Thanks Lucy – one of the things we are trying to do through blogging is be real – and Paul and I are so different personality wise that it is inevitable that we will have our differences but it doesn’t mean that we don’t love each other a lot!

      • Your love for each other is very obvious as is your love for God. When I was little, before I knew much about Jesus, I couldn’t work out why some people were “different”…there was something about them that I didn’t get but liked, and something that drew me to them. It was for that reason that I carried on going to Girls Brigade even though the friend who had introduced me to it left shortly after I went along with her. The leaders went on to play a key role in my journey of faith. If we were to go back in time 25+ yrs and it was ‘little’ Lucy talking to you, I would say the same thing…that there is something different about you…something that draws people to you. I now know that to be Jesus. It is great to see him so powerfully at work, shining through you, talking through everyday items and situations. Being real is so important, yet something that I think as Christians we often fail at. It is so refreshing to experience your openess and honesty through this blog and is a real encouragement to me at a time my life was lacking vital spiritual direction/support. Thank you.

  2. There are other aspects to it we have found… first that the frustration can be borne of an expectation as to how our significant other could or should act in any given context and that we are surprised when that reaction is not realised. It is perhaps initially unnerving but on reflection evidences that a relationship still contains surprises even after long years together. (Our 28th anniversary in 3 weeks) Secondly these moments are an honouring of the honesty and strength of the relationship as our other sees the honest me in reaction without the social guards that we maintain with others. For a few years now we have had a German teenager stay with us for 3/4 weeks each summer. She was a little perturbed at one point last week when Tracy and I bickered over something trivial. Once we had explained that this was a common mode of communication between us she was OK and was honoured that we had accepted her presence sufficiently to be ourselves with her.

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