Oct 18, 2023Liked by Seumas Macdonald

Thanks for the reminder and challenge here Seumas. Life’s hardships are almost always better handled with the support from others, with vulnerability so often the hurdle that prevents us from receiving that support. Challenge accepted, and so I will be prodding a few mates to enter the vulnerable zone, as well as allow me into theirs . YBIC

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Oct 26, 2023·edited Oct 26, 2023

I keep returning to this post with new thoughts, so perhaps it's worth letting you know that this sort of thing is worth saying.

My husband and I are currently in the awkward situation of being the friends of a couple struggling against the slow slide to divorce. Both of them started marriage years ago with a lot of relational shortcomings, and their struggles have been compounding ever since. After a leadership scandal at their church they withdrew from "church as an institution" for several years. While they didn't abandon their faith, their current relationship shows the effects of isolation from "church as a community" (or let's be honest - any community). The husband has one friend to confide in (my husband).

There's no easy or comfortable way to sit your friends down and tell them hard things about themselves and their relationship. It's much more socially acceptable and less risky to say something like, "Oh that's too bad - we'll support you no matter what happens." Especially in a society where a) divorce is becoming more socially acceptable even for Christians, b) a lot of people in our broader circles are generally positive toward separation ("they don't deserve you!") and c) we have few friends, it's risky to be the friend who says no. If I'm afraid of losing the friendship, will I dare to even have those hard conversations, or will I also mutter platitudes? Will they drop me as a friend? Do I know them well enough to tell them to stay in hell? Will they listen?

It's really hard, but I think we have to try.

Anyway~ thanks as always for sharing your thoughts. This one in particular resonated.

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It's never easy. Nothing about it is. And there are no easy answers either. And different situations and different times require different medicines too.

Thanks for sharing here. I have just prayed for this situation and couple.

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