when we leave someone or decide that a relationship with a loved one has to end, why do we take this decision or why do we feel the need to take this step?
I believe it is normally because we don’t feel loved enough.
In some area.
To some degree.
Maybe this person, a friend even, but I am mainly going to focus on romantic relationships, because that’s the topic in my life at the moment, the #1 issues I am “dealing with”, praying about, wondering, pondering, sifting, blissing and suffering through at the moment…so maybe this person doesn’t express their appreciation towards us enough, doesn’t devote enough time to be with us, doesn’t do or say what we want them to do or say or what we even feel we need them to do or say…
Or worse, they may even not only lack doing something we want them to do, they may even do something, one thing or many things which hurt us, make us feel unloved, inadequate, unsettled…?
Perhaps they lie to us, betray us, cheat on us…?
The more the other person does that which displeases, hurts, dissappoints us, the more we most likely think about leaving.
And if we don’t, we may even consider ourselves to be “not confident enough” or we believe there is something wrong with us if we allow another person not to treat us the way we are supposed to be treated.
But what are the standards?
The ones we have for loving another person and the ones for how or how much we want to be loved by them?
Are they even the same?
Do we truly do unto others as we would have them do unto us when it comes to love?
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
And where do our “standards” come from?
I think we can easily agree that they are nothing like and nowhere close to how we are loved by OUR FATHER, how JESUS loved us and how HE loved everyone.
When I look at HIM and at the accounts we have in the bible of HIS love for everyone and especially of HIS love towards mankind, I am humbled, I am even ashamed and embarrassed of myself, of what I call “love”.
I don’t know if you have ended a relationship before – I am actually assuming you have… because most of us do that.
A friendship, most likely also a love relationship.
Perhaps you have left a partner before or maybe even got a divorce, like me?
And my marriage wasn’t the only relationship I have left before.
In fact, I have found and still find leaving easier than staying!
Staying and staying “in love”, not staying and staying “in blame”, “in war”, “in unacceptance”, “in unforgiveness”, “in hurt”, “in conflict”, “in fear”…
There is always a good reason to LEAVE!
At least that’s what I found – and many times, I held on to this good reason – and I left.
Normally, it doesn’t take long until this reason is showing up… and it doesn’t even matter if it is a real reason or if our mind is playing tricks on us or if it is just some old wounds speaking mistrust and suspicion and anxiety into our relationship – and we believe them.
Even if the person is not cheating on us, we may believe they are or they could be – that already allowed the seed of mistrust to grow roots and to bud…
There are countless stories about love in the bible.
Not just the ones where we learn how JESUS loved, how HE ate with sinners and tax collectors and prostitutes, how HE saved them, accepted them, hung out with them, even preferred them over the “righteous (or self-righteous)”…
Also THE FATHER – in parables, or represented by fathers in the Old Testament – who loved the prodigal son, who loved his physical sons, like Isaac or like Joseph or like Absalom… the love of THE FATHER is beyond and above what the sons do or say or even where they are.
So what I have come to see is that we are not capable of loving like that – or let me not speak about “us”, because perhaps you, my friend, have learned to love like that, whereas I had to discover that me myself, I am far from being able to do that – me, I am unable to love unconditionally!
Me, I have conditions.
Many of them.
In fact, I may even have more expectations towards someone – probably more than I am willing to fulfill theirs?
Yes, there are good reasons for my expectations and rules and standards and most of them are even biblical!
But did JESUS actually reject the people who did the wrong things?
Or did HE rather love them anyway?
Of course HE did.
And when I take a look at my life – not only currently and I must admit I may currently also not be able to love like JESUS loved – for many reasons – but I must admit looking back that in many if not in all cases, me myself, I have left because I wasn’t able to “love someone through” when they had wronged me, dissappointed me, dissatisfied me, neglected me, lied to me, hurt me…
whereas me, I have done all these things as well…
Not only to people, but also to MY FATHER.
And yet, HE loves me anyway.
So have people, to be honest – and some do at this very moment…
Regardless of what I do or say.
I am not as good at loving as HE is.
Far from it to be precise.
In my profession, where I work with prisoners and love them and respect them as much and as good as I can every day, I am probably doing a much better “job” there than I do in my personal life, where I am quite judgemental and very cautious – for good reasons, yes, but it may still not be the right thing…?
Like I said, I am humbled and ashamed when I think about the love we see in the bible and then compare it to what I am capable and willing to give and with what I may have called “love” – before I had compared it to what JESUS calls love…
HIS love is kind.
HIS love is giving.
HE loves through…
Now that’s the love we are called to give and that’s most definitely the love we have received and are receiving every day…
Me, I can’t even imagine being without this love ever again.
What’s the conclusion?
Will I be able to love more when I look at HIS love – maybe.
Will I always be able to love as good as HE does – probably not.
Perhaps a little better and more than I could before I had HIM in my life and in my heart, perhaps a bit more “through” misunderstandings, shortcomings, dissappointments, rejections, neglections… perhaps still leaving sometimes, perhaps even still leaving most of the times, but something has changed:
I now have an ideal, a standard, a role model, something to look up to, something to compare myself with – and I can already say that what I am doing is never “enough love”.
Because HE never, ever gave up on anyone, on no one, not on one.
Me, I have given up on many, many people – even given up on myself many times.
HE has never given up on me, neither has HE given up on anyone else, nor will HE ever give up on me or on anyone.
Now that’s love.
That’s enough love.
Enough for every person, for every circumstance, for every behaviour.
No exclusions, no exceptions, no excuses.
Me, I can’t even comprehend a love like that, let alone give anything near to it.
But I can consider it, appreciate it, be grateful for it – and then, I can probably give more than I could give without the awareness of what I have received.
Because that’s what HE asked us to do.
Not only to love our neighbour like ourselves – and wouldn’t we want to be loved in spite of our shortcomings? In spite of not being attractive enough, sexy enough, funny enough, young enough, available enough, smart enough, successful enough, gentle or tough enough, honest enough, punctual enough, rich enough?
Yes, we would actually love more if we loved like we ourselves want to be loved, wouldn’t we? I would!
I am also going to remember what we are called to do – to GIVE.
Matthew 10: 8
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Most definitely before I got saved, “love”, aka romance, sex even, was mainly about receiving. I wanted to receive attention, appreciation, wanted to be cherished, admired, cared for, courted, seduced, pampered, held, kissed…
And I didn’t even know that.
Didn’t even consider myself a “taker” – which I may not have been compared to other people or compared to the partners I chose – but I still was mainly focussed on receiving.
At least I have now discovered the joy of giving.
That’s new – and since I have not had a relationship with a man since I got saved, it is very interesting to discover the difference – the “old man”, the old me in relationships and the new woman I am today – and of course, GOD has given me the perfect “match” to grow and to be greatly challenged and has given me eyes to see and compare myself to who I was before and the best thing is, HE is with me, loving me through the process.
And I am grateful.
At this point, I am not sure I will make it “through” – many times, I am about to run and to give up – which would be what I would have done in the past, my “regular pattern”.
GOD willing, I may do something else this time.
Only HE knows.
Because HE knows the end from the beginning…
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Dear friends, I am wondering if you have discovered a change in your perception or definition or even expressions of your love since you have discovered OUR FATHER’S love for you?
I hope and pray that this will inspire, heal and bless you. And that THE LORD will bless you richly in all areas of your life, that HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you and bring you peace. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.