Wednesday, September 09, 2009

When Love is Difficult...

I am working my way through a devotional on John, 90 Days with the Beloved Disciple (by Beth Moore). I am on Day 57. I started it December 4, 2008. :)

I have been struggling with trying to teach my son (and myself) how to love, even when someone might not be acting very “lovable” or when there are no feelings of love there. Our natural love falls so short and I find it so hard to remember to fake it, let alone have my son grasp that concept. And faking it seems so.....well fake!

A question in today's devotion lesson was: What have you done with tough relationships? I realize with some tough relationships, I now totally avoid the person. With some others, I distance myself from and disengage from the emotional connection, so their behavior does not impact me. With those I care about and don't want to disconnect, I struggle, pray for them, pray for me and try so hard to be loving and act that way, even when I do not feel it. (fake it?)
With some people, it is not that I find them unlovable, but that they act unlovable at times.

Beth shares to “forget faking it!” Ah-oh. Then what do I do? She goes on to say that we are called to the real thing: While loving others God places in our paths will never cease to be challenging, the key is learning to draw from the resource of God’s own agapao (love) rather than our own small and selfish supply of natural phileo or fondness.” (p. 275)

I wrote in the margin: how?
She goes on to say that agapao begins with the will. To make a “willful decision to agree with God about that person and choose to love
I can understand making the decision to agree with God about that person. Regardless of the person’s behavior or personality that might not sit well with me, God thinks this person is precious. So I can agree with that and choose to WANT to love them, but how do I actually love them, in that gnarly moment, without faking it???

Beth goes on to talk about how agapao has an element of sacrifice and it is will over emotion…..but not until the final paragraph did it all come together in a way that made sense to me. A way to get a handle on it, without faking it.

God’s chief goal is to deepen each of our relationships with Him. And He knows that if we don’t see our need for Him, we will never understand how sufficient and wonderful He is. Therefore, He continually challenges us to live beyond our natural abilities. He knows that challenges like loving someone we find difficult will place the obedient in the position to come to Him constantly for a fresh supply of His love. We have to pour out our own toxic and preferential affections so our hearts can be filled with His affections. As we ask for our cups to overflow with agapao, the liquid, living love of God will not only surge through our own hearts; it will splash on anyone nearby. “ (p. 275).

With a house full of kids, that I may have natural affection for, but with little personalities that can rub each other and momma the wrong way at times, and too often all rubbing at very exact, same second, tromping all over the top of each other, I need God’s constant in-pouring of love. (You have not because you ask not?) In the middle of the moment, be a God-whisperer. Breath up: love in, love in, pour the love in, breath out: gentleness, love and wisdom. I see I need to, in the moment, be cognizant of the need for me to run to the source, that second, rather than run on my own fleshy response. I think that is part of the whole abiding in Him, abiding in the vine... having that heavenly flow constantly pouring in. Oh, I want it. I want to stay more connected more of the time every day.
That is probably WHY I have a house full of little ones! (and am always desiring more.) I thought it was to help them. But learning to love on them is helping me.

“Dear friends let us love on another for love comes from God. “ I John 4:7

2 Things Others Said:

crispy said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful post. Such a challenging but gentle reminder.

I am blessed when I stop by for a bloggy visit.

Anonymous said...

Just what I needed to hear today!!Found this blog through your other blog. My two grandsons are in the same orphange with your Mame so I have been reading your blogs for some time. Your writing is honest, helpful, and encouraging. For me it is truly hard to keep loving someone when they are being totally unlovable. Thanks for this post. Praying that Mame along with my grandsons will be home soon. Penny