What do you do when it’s hard to love someone?
This question has been stirring in my heart for a couple weeks. I really wanted to walk away… to give up on this one person. But talking to a friend, I realized that all relationships are worth fighting for.
People come into our life for a reason – and sometimes just for a season. But in this season, I’m learning to love people, even from a distance… because they are not ready to love back.
On today’s episode, I share my thought process of how I worked through “not feeling” into loving deeply, regardless of the other person’s response or lack thereof. I pray you are blessed and encouraged to keep fighting for that one person in your life that is hard to love.
Following are the five lessons I’m learning and practicing about loving those that are hard to love. Because it’s not about them – what they do or don’t do – but all about the condition of my heart.
1. When you don’t understand ~ seek to understand.
Talk to the person. Inquire about the confusion. Listen with an open heart.
- A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. ~ Proverbs 18:2 (ESV)
2. When you’re hurt ~ seek healing.
Healing is found when we learn to love others as Christ loved us.
- Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. ~ James 5:16 (ESV)
3. When you feel you can’t love ~ love anyway.
Keep at it. Keep boundaries, but keep loving. Love through the lens of Jesus. See the person as He would – not with your filter, which is tainted.
- A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. ~ John 13:34-35 (ESV)
4. When you want to give up on them or yourself ~ give up your own strength, plans, and expectations.
And let Jesus give you new direction and fuel.
- And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ~ Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
5. Seek peace ~ We are called to be peacemakers.
This means that when others are “unloveable,” we show up and love them anyway.
- If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. ~ Romans 12:18 (ESV)
Reflect and Respond:
It’s great to learn new content, but growth is experienced through engagement. At the end of each episode I ask a question in the hopes that we start a conversation. Here’s today’s question:
- What thoughts do you have on loving those you don’t “feel” like loving?
Share your wisdom below.
Remember, you’ve got a fire within. Fan the flame, shine bright and live fearlessly. For God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7