When most people hear the word love, they think of how they feel around someone they love dearly. Whether that person is a love interest, parent, child, other relative or friend, the person thinking of them will feel warm, affectionate, caring feelings. But, love isn’t always about those nice feelings.
Sometimes, love feels nothing like the nice feelings I described earlier. Sometimes love is not enabling behavior the other person enjoys but is unhealthy. Sometimes love is not allowing the other person to use you. Sometimes love involves arguments. Sometimes, love even involves ending relationships. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize these things, & think love is only about the good feelings, giving in, & even tolerating abuse.
The last few months of my father’s life, I learned that is exactly what my family thought. They clearly thought I hated him & my mother because I hadn’t spoken to them for several months at that time. They obviously believed that I was living my life with no thought of them whatsoever.
What my family didn’t know & never would believe anyway is no contact with my parents was incredibly hard on me. Reaching the decision to end those relationships was gut wrenching. I took a lot of time to consider it, & said a lot of prayers. I prayed daily for wisdom for probably a couple of years before going no contact with them, & after, I prayed daily for God to take care of them & to save them.
In John 15:17 in the Amplified translation, the Bible states, “This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another.” There is no mention in there about the warm, fuzzy feelings, because sometimes, there simply aren’t any. Consider what I just told you about my situation with my parents. There wasn’t a single warm fuzzy feeling for them for many years, & many less at the end of their lives. But, that didn’t mean I didn’t love them. The difference is I loved them God’s way, by doing what it says in John 15:17, seeking the best for them. It was incredibly hard severing ties with them, but I knew in my heart it was necessary for my mental health & for them. And, as it turns out, my father finally turned to God at the very end of his life because I wouldn’t go see him. I’m not sure if my mother’s motivations were the same or not, but she also turned to God at the very end of her life. When you love people as God wants, it’s not always easy but it is for the best.
If you have been told that you aren’t loving abusive people right because you have started to set boundaries or even gone no contact, or even if not but you feel like you’re being unloving for such things, this post is for you today. You need to know that there is nothing good or Godly about letting people use & abuse you. In fact, it goes against God’s wishes!
Remember, if you truly love someone, you may not feel all the warm, fuzzy feelings for them. Sometimes love is best done from a distance, & praying quietly behind the scenes. And sometimes those prayers include saying things like, “Father God, I’m sorry my heart isn’t in this. I’m only praying for her because I know You want me to!” If that is all you can manage to do, there is nothing wrong with that! God truly honors those prayers, the ones you’re only praying because you know He wants you to pray. He applauds your effort & obedience while also dealing with that other person in ways you may not know about.