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When Loving Hurts: Another View



This week at No Regretz Ministries, the focus has been on the hard side of love. What do you do when your spouse doesn’t love you back? What do you do when they don’t follow through on the vows they made to you? Or, how do you survive the day-by-day struggles of caring for a chronically ill spouse? You give and give in caring for them and meeting their every need knowing they can’t give you anything back. These are some of the hard sides of love. These are the times that loving hurts.


Carla and I have had hard years in our marriage. I was usually the one causing the hurt to Carla.  I’m not talking physical pain, but I was emotionally wounding her.  I was so self-focused on me and my wants that I did not love her the way she needed to be loved. Thankfully, God has moved us past those years. He opened my eyes to the fact I was not cherishing and loving his daughter well.


I do know the pain that loving someone can bring though. Our firstborn son, Zach, had a severe congenital heart defect that limited much of what he could do in his eighteen years. Watching him struggle to catch his breath after doing a simple physical task was painful. Seeing him left out of activities with his peers was worse. I’d never want anyone to know the anger and hurt I felt when he was rejected by his peers. The worst pain was to come when God took him home after heart surgery at age eighteen. It was a physical and emotional anguish that I never want to feel again. I fear facing that kind of hurt again.


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God knows that love can hurt.

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There were so many times during Zach’s life and after his death that I cried out to God, “Why!? If you love Zach, if you love us, why did you allow this to happen?” As I sought refuge in God, as I leaned into Jesus, as I listened to songs of praise and worship, God’s spirit spoke to me. He did not answer my question of why, but he reminded that God understands the pain that comes from loving others. It was his love for us that kept Jesus on the cross.  Hebrews 12:2, ESV extols us, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” God knows that love can hurt.



So, when you find yourself in that place where loving someone well brings you hurt, lean into Jesus. Know that you are not alone. Know that we serve a God who intimately and experientially knows that loving someone can hurt. We can also rejoice that the pain and suffering in this life is preparing us for eternal life. As Paul tells the Philippians, “But we are citizens of heaven, exiles on earth waiting eagerly for a Liberator, our Lord Jesus the Anointed, to come.” (Phil. 3:20, VOICE).


Even so, come Lord Jesus,

Johnny

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