Love should be less of a feeling, an emotion dictated by the whims of the heart, than an action we are called to. The Bible tells us to Love our Enemies. Matthew 5:43-48 very clearly states,
…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matt 5:44)
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brother only, what is unusual about that? Do not pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matt 5:46-48)
This always gets me.
How do I love my enemy?
Right now, my greatest enemy is my ex-husband,
the one I counted on to protect my children,
the one on whose chest I rested my cheek thinking all was right in the world,
the one who now wishes to destroy me.
So how do I love this man, this monster?
It is not easy, but God doesn’t call us to do what’s easy. He calls us to do what is right, and what can be more right than to Love?
How to Love an Ex:
- Change our vocabulary. In K is for Kill I spoke of how speech can tear down another and how words often precede action. Even mentally using tear down words contradicts who this man was meant to be. He was not created to be a “monster;” however, by thinking of him as such, I may help push him toward that end.
- Second, stop judging. Ohhh… this is so hard! I struggle to make ends meet, to find time, and am so exhausted I can feel anger well up in me. I KNOW this is not God’s plan, but I also KNOW it is not for me to judge my ex or his girlfriend. Even more so, I know it is not for me to judge what material possessions God allows my ex or his girlfriend to have, and I am certainly not qualified to judge how the Lord treats them in the final days.
- Act in Love. I’m often tempted to send off that nasty text message or quip some cutting comment. Some days I just want to reach out and shake them, but that is the me controlled by my ex’s evil side (a side we all have). Fortunately, the Lord gives us power over those desires, and when we act, not through our own power but through His grace, we find an incredible ability to Love.
- When we fail to Love, we must not give up. I have never been sorry I didn’t send an angry text or delivered that cutting blow, but there have been plenty of times I’ve let that hatred tense my muscles, consume my mind, well up in my heart, threatening to consume my body, mind, and soul and then regretted it. When I fail to love, I have that momentary rush of adrenaline, that feeling of satisfaction from one upmanship, but, later, in a quiet moment of prayer or when facing my children, I realize what I’ve done and I shamefacedly have to turn to God for forgiveness – again.
And I am again thankful for the Lord’s Grace for me, and in that Grace He has for me, I find hope that He applies that Grace on my ex and his girlfriend as well.
And that is when I realize that I am called to Love as God would have me Love, not as I would have.
Please Share Your Thoughts:
Who do you find most difficult to Love? How do you go about loving someone you really don’t like, trust, or respect?