Lynn made the following comment recently in response to our post on “Love Conquering All” and the great harm this falsehood causes. I wanted everyone to be sure and see what she said, so here is her comment:
‘Love’ conquering all in relationships is a Disney fantasy projected into the minds of children so that when they become adults they long to have that kind of ‘love’ in their romantic relationships. Except it’s not real love, and it opens the door to all kinds of abuse.
Run far away from relationships that mimic any of the Disney princesses. Do not long to be Cinderella – flee from both the matriarchal abuse presented in the story and the idea that you can know someone well enough after one night to commit to a life of marriage – even if he is a ‘prince’. Titles and a lovely waltz don’t save you from abusive people. They may open the door to even more abuse. or Snow White – whose kind, trusting, naive nature endangered her life because she wasn’t wise to the nature of evil. Do not seek to be like Belle in Beauty and the Beast and try to tame the beast because you think deep down there is a heart of gold underneath that beastly exterior. 99.999999% of the time, the beast is just a beast. Remaining in a relationship only sacrifices you and will not change him.
The love we see in the Bible demonstrated by Jesus isn’t the same “love conquers all” love we see in the movies and TV. Yes it is powerful enough to redeem us from our sins. Yes it saves us and regenerates us bring us from darkness to light. But it will not save everyone. It will not save the unrepentant sinner. It will not save those who blatantly pursue a life of wickedness. It will not save the covert abuser from his or her coming judgement.
Being saved by God doesn’t mean that all will be made right for you in this life. It doesn’t guarantee your body or your mind will be immediately healed from whatever ailments you wrestle with as a result of living in a broken, evil world. It won’t magically fix your issues with your boss, your finances or your toxic relationships. Healing comes slowly with time, with study of the scripture, prayer and in being in relationship with other real Christians. It comes with finding the right tools, techniques and resources to break through the negative behavioral patterns in your life. It comes with letting go of all desire to enact vengeance on those who harm you and entrusting God to get you perfect justice. It comes with choosing to embrace healthy boundaries with yourself and others. It is a lifelong journey we pursue and never quite arrive at, but the investment is worth the effort.
Choosing to follow Christ may result in life getting worse for you because what you used to tolerate and participate changes, causing the people you’re in relationships with to notice, and not always in a good way. I don’t say that as a means of discouragement, but as one who wants to speak the truth to you in love. Following Christ will cost you something. It may cost you everything. And it is worth the cost. Eternal bliss with Christ, free from sin, pain, abusive people and death is worth everything.
Those who’ve been accustomed to your old way of life, especially if they’ve had control and influence in your life, most likely will not appreciate you choosing to stop doing things their way and choosing to get free of the toxic and ungodly relationships in your life.
We are told in scripture that if we love, father, mother, sister brother more than Christ we can’t be his disciples. Christ has to be preeminent in our relationships. Any relationship that is abusive we are commanded to leave. Remaining in its toxicity is not loving to yourself or the abuser. It doesn’t honor God, and only adds to your pain.
God doesn’t require you to remain in abusive relationships with family, friends, spouses, or ‘professing Christians’. He commands you to not eat with such a one and to not be unequally yoked with them. Remaining yoked with abusive people only brings misery. The good works you are called to do cannot take place when you are unequally yoked with an abuser. They will force all of their burden on you and then shame you for not being able to carry it.
Cast off that old heavy yoke of bondage and embrace the yoke of Christ. His burden is easy, his yoke is light, and in him you can find rest for your souls.