Ever feel stuck in a relationship where it gets increasingly difficult to feel anything positive? You cannot conjure up warmth for someone with whom you share no positive emotional connection. Each of us has been created to be responders. If others love us, we are able to love back. If others are generous with us emotionally in an atmosphere of trust, we love freely in return. If we are spurned, we instinctively draw back. If they are stingy with affirmation, we grow shy. If they are stoic, we are careful. If they are cruel, we fight the urge to snarl.
In an ideal world, children are connected to parents who love them. Siblings share an affinity over shared memories. Over a lifetime, there are tears of joy at reunions and tears of sadness at farewells. But when a bad foundation has been laid, love for certain family members is inaccessible. There are children who dread seeing parents. There are wives who feel nothing for their husbands. There are siblings who haven’t spoken for years.
Lack of positive emotions proves that something is wrong with the relationship. It could be that little was given – therefore little is felt in return. That is why God models agape love; the kind of love that is not based on feelings. His love has always been proactive. Even though we rejected Him, He provided His son to die for us. Who better to show us how to love those who don’t return it.
God understands the severity of our wounds today. He enters into our pain but then He offers us the grace to love in spite of it. If we become embittered, wither, and remain stingy with the great love with which Christ has loved us, then we live in defiance of the cross. We perpetuate dysfunction. How do we find the strength to initiate acts that don’t match what is in our heart? God’s Spirit, alive in us, enables us to extend one difficult act of love after another.
You don’t judge me for not having feelings of love. You understand why I don’t. I can love with my actions though. Please love through me. In Jesus name, Amen