Thursday, July 14, 2011

Time for a change

I really haven't figured out the purpose of blogging (even though I read somewhat regularly a few blogs).

So, I'm going to switch things up here. Rather than try to hammer out an idea every once in a while, I'd like to throw out some random observations (daily?) and see what happens.

Here goes: why does it seem to happen so often that when a romantic relationship sours the victim(s) appears to question his/her faith in God? "My girlfriend broke off the engagement, now I don't believe in God anymore." Over the years, I've seen this happen over and over again.

At the risk of sounding unsympathetic, why?


JDTapp said...

I think it's because people often confuse acceptance by others with being accepted by God via Christ's atonement. They confuse rejection by the person with rejection by God.

When I was college age, God used a rejection by a girl who I would have done ANYTHING to be accepted by and who I knew I DESERVED to be accepted by to remind me that while I was yet an undeserving sinner Christ died for me (Romans 5:8).

I later did Search for Significance and found I had not fully grasped what propitiation was and who I was in Christ.

(I also later heard the Garth Brooks song about thanking God for unanswered prayers, and that helped...)

Tom1st said...

I'd suggest it's because you work on a Christian college campus and 1) They're too immature to handle it, so they blame God, and 2) in the midst of their anger of all that happened, they feel they need to strike out in some 'sinful' way, so they get mad at God.

So, maybe it's partially an observation due to your context?

Anonymous said...

I remember single life as a chaotic time full of questions as to the sovereignty of God. I put romantic entanglements on the level of fate, and then when they fell apart, I questioned the very notion of meaning in the world. Such is the arrogance of the young, and the gratitude of married life. I thank the Lord I don't have to go back to that.

For me, as to helpful music, I remember the Caedmon's Call song Table for Two. That seemed to calm me down.

Rodney Reeves said...

Interesting . . .

JDTapp and Aaron attribute the fallout to bad theology. Tom1st to sociology.

I'm wondering about the sacredness of love. Do we make the mistake of "guilt by association" because love is supposed to be divine?

jr. forasteros said...

Because it's so easy to think that hormones are the Holy Spirit, and that this person is GOD'S WILL FOR MY LIFE. I AM SO SURE OF IT!

Then, when that falls apart, it rocks me to my foundation.

I agree with others... it's a maturity thing. Maybe a perspective thing.

Travis Weil said...

I think it is due to the church culture placing marriage higher than singleness. I remember during my time in college almost feeling pressured to find a wife instead of being taught to live as a single man. It has taken many years to even begin to accept that remaining unwed is an option and a good one at that.

Matt E said...

Perhaps we too often identify God's will as that which "works" in this life. Then, when something doesn't "work," we assume God is not in it, not real, or not present with us.

joseph said...

I've been thinking about a similar question (not particularly about romantic relationships):

When looking from a distance, it seems strange that we often base our belief in God upon the circumstances in our own lives. Certainly, we are in need of an immanent God who is concerned with our lives. Yet, I wonder if much of this is based upon a false orientation of our lives. When my "world" is oriented around myself rather than God it is easy to dismiss the presence of God when my "world" is in chaos. In this case, the events of my personal life become the stage where cosmic events play out rather than the realm of all creation.

Of course, the demise of a romantic relationship (or the loss of a loved one in other ways) has a tendency to cut us deeper than many other circumstances in our lives, so it is easy to see why it's effects are so pronounced.

Rodney Reeves said...

Thanks, JR, Travis, Matt, and Joseph. Interesting observations.

From what I gathered from yours and all the comments, it seems we approach this problem "from below" (to use a christological model), i.e., the humanity of our context gets in the way (?) of our desire for the divine.

BTW, Travis, I take up the issue of Christian singleness in my upcoming book on Paul's Spirituality. It's quite apparent we've ignored Paul's advice on the matter (or we think he's completely wrong!)

Herebutnotyet said...

I'm excited to read more blog entries. Keep em' coming! Don't worry about the length. Even if it is random and short, it can make for an excellent blog entry.

Darryl Schafer said...

Seems to happen with almost anything we lose or don't have. Love, money, status, power, comfort, presence, etc.

Maybe we, as consumers, feel entitled -- that God perhaps owes us these things? And we'll take him to task when they're absent.

Yes, there's a little bit of a confession wrapped up in there somewhere...

Tarquinius Superbus said...

After loving the Lord above all,
hasn't the current christian paradigm conditioned us to regard faithful and ultimately marital love as the highest love we are capable of? This love is followed closely by the love believers ought to have for one another.

These are great things, but (if we're honest) they do not match well with Jesus' answer to the Pharisees in Luke concerning love.

It seems a failure in a man or woman's life to attain this 'highest human good' would certainly be a body blow. I have often found my biggest failures have temporarily filled me with doubt because I wrongly thought God was supposed to save me from those failures.

If loving a woman is the highest possible human good for me (it's not) then loosing this woman is utter devastation. I mean, 'God is Love,' right?

Tarquinius Superbus said...
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