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EP 99: Lead & Love Beyond Differences: The Work of Building Bridges with Jonathan Merritt

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Manage episode 403956741 series 2670603
Content provided by Rebecca Ching, LMFT, Rebecca Ching, and LMFT. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Rebecca Ching, LMFT, Rebecca Ching, and LMFT or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://player.fm/legal.

Have you ended a relationship to get relief from tension and conflict?

Do you struggle with developing a clear sense of boundaries around what’s your responsibility and what’s not, especially when feeling responsible for how others think and feel?

When relationships are toxic, abusive, and oppressive and the other person does not have the interest or capacity to work on the relationship, ending the relationship can bring grief but also relief, emotional healing, and health.

But when you regularly use emotional cutoffs to protect yourself from hurt and discomfort, you create a world that feels dangerous and small when the slightest sense of conflict or overwhelm arises.

But if two people can come together with clear boundaries, shared values, compassion, curiosity, humility, and support to work through conflict and disagreement, an emotional cut-off may become unnecessary.

My guest today returns to the podcast to share his experience of an incident that could have ended his relationship with his father, and how they both committed to working through the conflict to maintain their connection, even through their differences.

Jonathan Merritt is a prolific and trusted writer on faith, culture, and politics whose articles have appeared regularly in outlets such as The Atlantic, The New York Times, USA Today, Christianity Today, and The Washington Post. He is the author of numerous critically acclaimed books, including Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words are Vanishing and How We Can Revive Them, which was named Book of the Year by Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of the forthcoming children’s book, My Guncle and Me, releasing in May 2024.

Jonathan has become a popular speaker at conferences, colleges, and churches and guest commentary on CNN, Fox News, CNN, NPR, PBS, and ABC World News. He holds graduate degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Emory University's Candler School of Theology.

Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • How being publicly outed forced Jonathan into a reckoning with his faith, his identity, and his family and community
  • The role that dreams and expectations play in the way both parents and children respond to fundamental differences between them
  • Why an expectation of change cannot be a prerequisite for a relationship
  • Why Jonathan says he and his father fight with each other in private and for each other in public
  • Why finding healthy surrogates or outlets for processing is vital for healing when we truly can’t continue the relationship
  • Navigating past avoidance and confrontation to renegotiating the relationship with necessary boundaries and guardrails
  • How “flash-card faith” stifles the questioning and openness to possibilities that underpin trust and faith and breeds binary divisiveness

Learn more about Jonathan Merritt:

Learn more about Rebecca:

Resources:

  continue reading

109 episodes

Artwork
iconShare
 
Manage episode 403956741 series 2670603
Content provided by Rebecca Ching, LMFT, Rebecca Ching, and LMFT. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Rebecca Ching, LMFT, Rebecca Ching, and LMFT or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://player.fm/legal.

Have you ended a relationship to get relief from tension and conflict?

Do you struggle with developing a clear sense of boundaries around what’s your responsibility and what’s not, especially when feeling responsible for how others think and feel?

When relationships are toxic, abusive, and oppressive and the other person does not have the interest or capacity to work on the relationship, ending the relationship can bring grief but also relief, emotional healing, and health.

But when you regularly use emotional cutoffs to protect yourself from hurt and discomfort, you create a world that feels dangerous and small when the slightest sense of conflict or overwhelm arises.

But if two people can come together with clear boundaries, shared values, compassion, curiosity, humility, and support to work through conflict and disagreement, an emotional cut-off may become unnecessary.

My guest today returns to the podcast to share his experience of an incident that could have ended his relationship with his father, and how they both committed to working through the conflict to maintain their connection, even through their differences.

Jonathan Merritt is a prolific and trusted writer on faith, culture, and politics whose articles have appeared regularly in outlets such as The Atlantic, The New York Times, USA Today, Christianity Today, and The Washington Post. He is the author of numerous critically acclaimed books, including Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words are Vanishing and How We Can Revive Them, which was named Book of the Year by Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of the forthcoming children’s book, My Guncle and Me, releasing in May 2024.

Jonathan has become a popular speaker at conferences, colleges, and churches and guest commentary on CNN, Fox News, CNN, NPR, PBS, and ABC World News. He holds graduate degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Emory University's Candler School of Theology.

Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • How being publicly outed forced Jonathan into a reckoning with his faith, his identity, and his family and community
  • The role that dreams and expectations play in the way both parents and children respond to fundamental differences between them
  • Why an expectation of change cannot be a prerequisite for a relationship
  • Why Jonathan says he and his father fight with each other in private and for each other in public
  • Why finding healthy surrogates or outlets for processing is vital for healing when we truly can’t continue the relationship
  • Navigating past avoidance and confrontation to renegotiating the relationship with necessary boundaries and guardrails
  • How “flash-card faith” stifles the questioning and openness to possibilities that underpin trust and faith and breeds binary divisiveness

Learn more about Jonathan Merritt:

Learn more about Rebecca:

Resources:

  continue reading

109 episodes

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