By Elaine James –
Did you wake up tired? You look around the house and perhaps there are clothes on the floor from your loved ones. Maybe something is lying around that you asked someone to put away. Maybe dishes and wrappers are lying out on the counter, because someone did not put them away. Frustrating, huh? If relationships with those in your home are strained already this kind of stuff adds fuel to the fire.
You may be thinking, I’ll tell her or him this or that. You’re ready to fight. Your argument is rolling around in your head.
This person is driving me crazy. How can I love them the way the Father loves?
Remember it is a command to love one another. It is not a choice. I have heard some say “I don’t feel like being in the relationship any longer.” Or this one: “I don’t want to be nice to him or her because they were not nice to me.”
Here is what God tells me. Love is not always a loving feeling. So take some time to speak to God about the lack of love in your house. If relationships are strained the last thing we should be doing is ordering people around and be controlling.
Maybe the advice to “fake it to you feel it” has some merit, since feelings can be so fickle. Combat the lack of feelings with prayer. Prayer is the way to stay. Wait on God.
What happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard. Things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Make a list and pray the positive things about that person who is difficult to love. I had a relationship that was strained. Things weren’t changing until I changed.
So if you have an ugly relationship put aside: “Well, if they put their stuff away and do as I say, then I will love them.” Say instead, “I will serve and love this relationship (with God’s help) back to life.” The power is in our actions and tongue.
Keep the peace. Stop looking for that loving feeling. Look instead to the Father and ask for help.
PRAYER: Dear Father, I don’t feel like loving _________ today. I have been struggling with their lack of love and help. I just can’t go on this way God. Help me! Give me the love to love them. Help me to see them the way You do. Give me the feelings to love them. I want to honor and obey You Father, but sometimes I just struggle. Forgive me Father if I have hurt this other person in any way. Help us to get back to joy and our commitment toward each other.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV).
Today’s devotional is by Elaine James, author of the tract JOURNEY, certified personality trainer and graduate of Christian Leaders Authors and Speakers Seminars. She is a prayer ministry counselor, accomplished actress, and certified Christian storyteller. Her dramatic performances have made many aware of their problem with Major Mind Overload, and their need to take every thought captive in obedience to Christ. Elaine is a recycler—nothing God teaches her is wasted. www.elainejames.com