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When Loving Hurts

Man, don't you hate that sound of that! We think and hear all the time about love. What love is to feel like, look like, and be like. It is always in a positive, wonderful kind of way. The only exception to that image of love is when it comes to being a parent. We do understand that at times, because we love our children, we will have to do or not do something that hurts us, or is hard for us. (Children don’t like it either.) But you do it because it is the loving thing to do. Otherwise, we don’t want love to hurt. We don’t want to be in painful places in our relationships. 


I think what is really a struggle for us is when our key human relationship, which should be our husband if we are married, is a hard place. When loving your husband hurts. Not everyone will have this experience but I think many of us will. I will be candid and tell you that I have lived in that place. Now, I want to be clear that it honestly was not due to terrible, bad things my husband did. It was because I wanted him to be different. I wanted him to meet my needs when and how I wanted them met. I struggled with loving him, when I did not feel like I was getting back what I needed. I wanted it to be a fair and balanced proposition. I get my needs met, I feel loved and cherished. I then respond in a loving, kind way toward Johnny. 


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We want to love our spouse, in a way that draws their heart to God. As you do this, as you love even when it hurts, God holds you securely, God loves you and God may just use us to do that. 

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The problem with this proposition is that it is totally dependent on the action of the other person. I am waiting to see if he meets my needs, then, accordingly, I will respond. If I don’t get what I want from him, I withhold from him what he wants or needs. This see-saw relationship is not a fun ride. It is a painful way to try and have a marriage. 


One of the mysteries of marriage for believers is how God calls us to live in this relationship with our husband. God's design is to have our greatest needs met in Him. God gives us an eternal secure love and He gives us significance and worth. We are forever loved, cherished, secure, and we have worth because we are made in His image. He has chosen us to be His forever. Because of all of this, I have what I need. If I believe, embrace, and live in this truth then I am complete. I do not need someone else (including my husband) to make me feel loved, or worthy. I am those things, even if my husband does not affirm them. 

This allows me the freedom to love from a position of fullness. It does not mean that giving love to my husband and having it rejected or ignored will not be painful. It will hurt. It is not what God desires, but it does not have to change my security in Him. I can continue to love, continue to pray, and continue to trust God to meet my needs. 


God desires that part of the unique mystery of marriage is that we help our spouse feel, know, and experience God’s love and wonder by what we share with each other. But there may be times in our marriage when that is not happening. We continue to pray and ask God to awaken that in our marriage. We want to love our spouse, in a way that draws their heart to God. As you do this, as you love even when it hurts, God holds you securely, God loves you and God may just use us to do that. 


~ Carla 

 

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