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Dick is a very ordinary guy: pudgy, a little immature, hates his well-paying job.  Jane has run-of-the mill looks, a too-girly and over-used laugh, and wears black too often.  They are an equal fit, a symmetrical match, if you will: When Average met Common in church would be the title of their pedestrian love story.  That love story recently turned ugly – last week, Dick broke-up with Jane.


Now, I know that break-ups happen all the time in the church community.  Although break-ups can be painful and deeply damaging, they are also a necessary part of the Christian single’s life.  Break-ups are not necessarily evil in and of themselves, and sometimes they might even be “the right thing to do.”  Done right, breaking-up can even be a godly and holy act, just as much as courtship can be godly and holy. 


So I am not against breaking-up.  But what Dick did to Jane was despicable and an outright contradiction to everything this guy professes to believe.  No, he did not cheat on her.  Nor did he physically beat or emotionally abuse her.  What he did was date a girl when she was 23 years old, then continue to date her for the next … seven years. 


And then, he unceremoniously dumped her like a sack of old potatoes.


Of course, he justified his actions with a profusion of churchese: he didn’t sense it was God’s will, he had no peace in his heart, blah blah, blah blah.  But let’s cut to the chase, shall we?  This is a guy who had strung Jane along for seven years, seven crucial years in a young lady’s life, and once she was past her prime, dumped her.  She is not attractive, she does not have a six-figure job, she is pedestrian, ordinary at best.  Except now she is an older/old ordinary, and her chances of meeting a future husband have now been dramatically reduced (because – in this regard – church men are like unchurched men: we prefer to marry women still in the prime of 20s’ youth).  In one fell swoop, Dick has likely swiped away Jane’s dreams of having children, a family to raise and to treasure.  And he must have known this.  (He also knows something else: that a suddenly-available guy in his 30s with a good steady income is now on the radar screen of every single girl in church.  He’ll have the pick of the litter).


For seven long years, he strung Jane along.  What did he know about her, about their relationship, at the end of seven years, that he did not know after six years? Five years? Four years? Three years?  Rather than man-up and cut her loose while she still had her youth, he equivocated in his muddy ambivalence for years … at her expense.  He played with her life while he dilly-dallied with indecision.  Let’s call a spade a spade.  What he did was pure cowardice, as selfish an act as you could imagine, and wholly unloving. 


This past Sunday, for the first time in seven years, they did not sit together at church.  When he got up to lead worship, I saw Jane – sitting near the back – begin to wilt a little.  She could not sing for the silent tears choking her up.  I could not sing for the anger I felt at the hypocrite on stage.


Jesus once said that you will know a tree by its fruit.  Dick, do us all a favor.  Instead of scrunching your face up in spiritual ecstasy as you lead worship songs for all to see, just sit down and stop advertising yourself.  Because you’ve been exposed as a pretender; deep down, we see you for who you really are, Dick.



* not their real names


One Comment

  1. wow. cutting and maybe even true. i actually laughed out loud just now. thank you for the read.

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