Marriage Accountability vs. Love: Reflections on Easter


As I write this, it is the day after Easter Sunday. 

For many, the weekend came with a lot more than a healthy reflection of Christ and what His life means for us. How was your weekend?

Was it filled with messages of how Christ loves and draws close those who did Him harm? Directly stated or not, were you also asked to love and keep close those who do you harm?

Easter reflections

This past weekend, I attended a church service where the key message was love, specifically how Jesus loved the disciple who betrayed Him and what that means for us.

If you are like me, sat in the pews, hoping, praying for a nuanced Easter message and none came..

Here are a few reminders for your heavy heart: 

1. When He walked on earth, Jesus was always clarifying who He was, who God was, in contrast to who people thought He was.

2. He was clear that those who said they followed God while their actions, way of life, and fruit told otherwise were not actually walking in the truth.

3. Christ demonstrated and modeled a love that invited people to higher, not lower, values. In other words, everyone is welcome *and also* belonging isn’t synonymous with zero values. Because of His love, we bear good fruit and good fruit includes not harming others.


Perhaps, you’ve come away from the Easter weekend needing new reflections in the form of clarity, affirmation, and support for the real problematic individual (s) in your life because these past days..well, they stacked more agitation, shame, and confusion than you know to do with.

Easter Reflections: Please Remember

  • To say that everyone is invited and has a seat at God’s table is accurate. To say everyone is accountable to the standard of belonging, which is love is also accurate. We don’t earn Love. And we don’t trounce love without correction. Or accountability.
  • We are all welcome to God’s table, but it doesn’t mean we disrupt (cause harm) and everything carries on like we just didn’t.

If your heart is slightly frayed, this is your midday reminder: someone gets it. Many someones, actually. Whole communities who don’t think you must accept unlove to be a real Christian.

Yes, Judas was loved, and we don’t have enough information to know if he would have been welcomed right back with open arms, like he wasn’t a part of something nefarious a couple of days prior. Or we may have an idea: the early believers struggled to welcome Paul into community because all they could remember was Saul. It took a minute, and a lot of inner work and outward change by Paul, and time.

So perhaps we do know Judas wouldn’t have waltzed right back to into community. It’s okay to have boundaries with “your Judas.” And love does not mean access: we can love deeply and have deep boundaries.

If you want to dive a little deeper into the story of safety, freedom, and healing and how you don’t have to choose between love and accountability check out Systems of Abuse:

Systems of Abuse: A Guide to Recognizing Toxic Behavior Patterns I Ebook

Abuse can be difficult to identify, especially if you have been conditioned to see it as normal. Systems of Abuse:  A Guide to Recognizing Toxic Behavior Patterns by abuse recovery coach Sarah McDugal outlines 13 categories of behavioral patterns, giving simple, tangible illustrations for each category  and assisting victims to remember and articulate their experiences. ACCESS NOW.

Being a real Christian isn’t synonymous with accepting harm. You never have to choose between loving others and holding others accountable. You can care for others and hold them a higher standard. Find out how. 

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