Relationships have a way of packing on the hurts. They add up with each offense, snub, direct or indirect injury, and pretty soon we find ourselves hiding in retreat.
Walls go up and we keep a safe distance. Then as time passes the enemy comes around to taunt with memories and regrets.
Pulling further away is the reaction the Devil is going for. He wants to keep us isolated for obvious reasons.
I’ve been so guilty of letting hurt feelings dictate my waning desire for friends. I’ve declared at times that I don’t need friends … but the truth of the matter is … God wants us to have friends.
Over time the guilt builds that I could have done more or I should have done this or that. But in truth … I know there have been times I have loved well.
It’s a vicious cycle that the enemy wants us to wrestle with. He wants us to walk away and give up.
He uses our imperfections to overwhelm us but kicks our victories to the curb.
These emotions can prick the heart and bleed for days.
At some point we have a choice to make. We can pull away even further or we can dig our heels in and refuse to lose any more ground in this relationship merry go round.
The Devil wants us to hop off at every turn, every slight, every instance someone withholds good from us … but the Lord wants us to hold on for love’s sake … even when the turning is infuriating, exhausting or disappointing.
The beauty of real love is endurance … an endurance that exudes a beautiful fragrance of acceptance no matter what happens.
We’re not always going to be treated right … we’re not always going to be loved … we’re not always going to give love with excellence … but the important thing is … we can’t stop loving.
The sum of our hurts should be viewed as a beautiful tapestry that gets more colorful and rich with every stitch.
It’s not a perfect tapestry that would win awards or bring a great price … but it’s one that will warm the soul … and bring a smile that proves it worth.
Relationships are a big barrel of emotions. Sometimes the good ones rise to the top and sometimes they don’t … but we decide which emotions fill the brim.
And we must never forget … nobody is perfect, nobody has it all together, and nobody can be everything to everyone.
We are flawed beyond flaws.
The Amish people are beautiful artisans. Every exquisite piece of art they carefully make is always given one simple and often unnoticeable flaw … they do this on purpose. It’s to be a reminder that no matter how beautiful a piece can turn out … there is only one who is perfect … and that is our heavenly Father.
Love forgets the imperfections … even when it hurts.
So look for the places of redemption in the relationships that make you ache.
Love without expecting love in return … and leave the rest up to the Lord.
If we will simply love … He will take the sum of all our hurts … and cover them with His perfect love … and He never disappoints because He is the ultimate friend.
Father, help us discern the emotions that can harm our relationships …and teach us to love with endurance.