Loving the Unlovable…Seriously Unlovable

flashing heart

A few weeks ago I posted about being done.   These past several weeks have been a bit difficult with regard to my attitude about my ex-husband. 

I forgave him 3 years ago, but sometimes I still get annoyed with him.  Sometimes I just want him to be nice. And sometimes I want him to just go away already! 

I’ve been pondering the whole response to an ex that ain’t perfect.  And I’m acknowledging right here and now that neither am I.  Sometimes he just seems a lot less perfect than me…but then again, I know that isn’t exactly accurate either.  I have my own issues and only by the grace of God do I live.

And although at this time in my life I’m writing as it relates to my ex-husband, I believe that God is showing me this is the way I’m to live period…in an attitude of love, goodness, blessing and prayer.  My eyes focused not on my life, not on my circumstances, and not on the wrongs done to me, but rather focused with laser intensity on Jesus!

The verse that God is continually bringing me to is Luke 6:27-28

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 

It seems harsh to refer to my ex-husband as my enemy…although sometimes it feels that way.  I believe that he isn’t my enemy.  I think I feel like I’m in a battle with him, but maybe we are more like opponents in a tennis match…but there’s definitely no love in the score.

“Love your enemies” 

Awww Lord, really?

Love…do good…bless…pray…

Love him?  Love him.  Really?

What does that even look like?  ‘Cause I did that for a long time and it didn’t end so well.  So I’m praying as I write because I really don’t know what that looks like. 

Talking about love always reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.  Love is:

Patient, Kind, Does not envy or boast, Not arrogant or rude, Does not insist on its own way, Is not irritable or resentful, Does not rejoice in wrongdoing, Rejoices in the truth, BEARS ALL THINGS, BELIEVES ALL THINGS, HOPES ALL THINGS, ENDURES ALL THINGS

Ok, I’m seriously convicted. 

Am I patient with God’s dealing with my situation and my ex?  Am I kind in the face of my ex’s attitudes, accusations, and actions?  Am I rude when I could choose to be kind?  Do I insist that things go my way regardless of God’s plan?  Am I irritable and resentful?  (ugh…definitely)  I do not believe I rejoice in my ex’s wrongdoings but maybe I do a bit when it’s me trying to justify my angry response to him.  Do I rejoice in the truth?  Golly, I hope so. 

But in this circumstance do I bear, believe, hope and endure all things?  Nope, I wanna crawl in my closet and hide.  And when that doesn’t happen I want to yell and argue and fight with my ex.   

Who am I kidding…I can’t do those things?  Love like that?  That’s not logical.

But when has God called me to do something that He hasn’t enabled me to do?  Seriously never! 

Once again I’m gonna have to rely solely on Jesus.  After all He has given us “a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

And I’m totally going to need that spirit in my life because not only am I called to love that man, but do good, bless and pray for him.

Do good too? 

Bless Him?!?! 

Pray for him…okay I can do that. 

I checked out Matthew 5:43-48 in The Message.  (That Bible phone app rocks!) 

You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that.  I’m telling you to love your enemies.  Let them bring out the best in you, not the worse.  When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.  This is what God does.  He gives his best – the sun to warm and the rain to nourish – to everyone, regardless:  the good and bad, the nice and nasty.  If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus?  Anybody can do that… “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up.  You’re kingdom subjects.  Now live like it.  Live out your God-created identity.  Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

Well that kinda puts it all in perspective. Let them bring out the best in you…respond with the energies of prayer.

Respond with prayer to someone who is a pain. 

God keeps reminding me of that prayer thing.  It IS the only answer.  I believe maybe I need to be putting my energies into prayer rather than thinking about how angry I am or even figuring out how not to be angry. 

And praying will certainly help me be my best…my God-created best.  And that will definitely help me live generously and graciously toward my ex-husband. 

I believe I will pray for God to enable me to live the way God lives toward me!

Colorful Aspen Pines Against Deep Blue SkyStruggle

I think I use that word too much.  I think I should use a different word more often. Maybe…conquering.

 Don’t feel much like a conqueror.

 And yet, God tells me I am.

 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”  Romans 9:37

 More?  More than conquerors?  Mind-boggling. 

 Sometimes I feel like all I do is struggle.  Struggle with fear.  Struggle with worry.  Struggle with anger.  Struggle with frustration.  Struggle with weariness.  Struggle with being overwhelmed.  Struggle with feeling like a failure or that failure is imminent. Struggle with not being the godly woman I desperately want to be. 

Lately I’ve felt like I just have got to get this struggle thing under control.  I just have to…I keep struggling with the same blasted things over and over again.  My sins are so annoying.

Things I thought I’d dealt with…I’d determined to overcome…have snuck up on me again.   How is that possible?  I honestly don’t understand how I can be so convicted and seek forgiveness and restoration and then slide right back into them.  Really?  Am I serious??

Last night I prayed and wept to God again at my continual slipping and sliding in my relationship with Him.  I love Him so much.  I want my life to honor Him…I mean really honor Him.  Not just a little bit…not just when I sing at church or write an article full of Scriptural references, but when life is challenging and overwhelming and frightening and just not what I planned, I want it to glorify Him.

Today was a no school day. Also known as a “no-get-anything-done” day. 

So I got nothing done. 

Well, I mean nothing I planned on doing.  And on top of that, it was a lovely day, and did I take my kids outside to play?  Nope.  I fussed at them for making messes inside and spent the day cleaning up after them without offering a better alternative.  Poor planning.  Poor attitude.  Poor children.  Instead of facing an unplanned day with a smile and some spontaneity, I tried to do it all and pleased no one!  I wish I’d taken advantage of the day with my kids – done something together…something fun.  Ugh.  Fail.

Lest, I sound like I’m hopeless.  Let me share what God is showing me.  Let me show you the sweetness of my Savior.  O How He loves me!

It might be a familiar verse but how sweet it is to my ears and my heart:

Romans 8:1-4

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who did not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Its so easy for me to focus on my mistakes and failures…there are enough of them!  But God does not desire that I live in defeat.  He does not condemn me…I keep being drawn back to 1 John 3:1,16, 18-24

See what kind of love the Father has given us that we should be called children of God; and so we are…. By this we know love that he laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers…Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.  And this is his commandment that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.  Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him.  And by this we know that he abides in us, but the Spirit whom he has given us.

If God knows everything about me and yet does not condemn me, I don’t think I should do it either!

I believe my desire to live my life in a manner worthy of my calling (Ephesians 4:1) pleases God.  I believe that my sins are forgiven and thrown as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) – that’s pretty far away.  I believe that God calls me to live a life of victory – “But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57) I believe God is making me into the woman He designed me to be…despite me. 

May we rest in the knowledge that

God is a “God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Nehemiah 9:17b)

Jesus knows.

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14-16

Jesus helps.

 “…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

 Jesus does not leave us…ever.

 “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who drawn near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”  Hebrews 7:25

 Live by confident and courageous faith.

 “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.  For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”  But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”  Hebrews 10:35-39

There is hope and a future for us.

 “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.  But one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:12-15

 Thanking God that even the struggle reminds me of how loving and faithful my God is to me.

 GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!!!

ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD!!!