Dare to love the most difficult person in your life this Valentine’s month. We all have them–a person in our lives that we struggle to love. Maybe, it is only a season with a difficult toddler, teen, spouse or co-worker. In Al-Anon we say that living with an addict/alcoholic is too much for most of us, alone.
However, we label the “ism” or malady inside the person who is “using”, there resides a deep hurt that causes barriers to love. Dare to love with us today!
Why is Following Your Heart Not Enough
It is super easy to love someone who is kind, gentle, giving and happy, but what about the rest of us. If we followed our heart, we would only love those that loved us. Jesus calls us to more than that. He calls us to love the difficult, the unlovely and those in need both physically and emotionally.
Because He wanted his disciples to learn from His actions, a few days before his death in an act of humbleness, Jesus washed their feet saying:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jesus did not tell the disciples to wait until they found the right people to love, or the best people to love, or even nice people to love. He commanded them to love.
Leading Your Heart
Inspirational business coaches, Hollywood movies and maybe even your friends may entreat you to “follow your heart”. The Bible sagely says this:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
The Bible also entreats us to guard, purify, and strengthen our hearts. (Proverbs. 4:23, James 4:8, 5:8). Biblically, our heart is the seat of all our emotions, choices and which molds us into the people we become. Your heart is what gets invested when you love someone. Continuing to invest in a difficult person or relationship is an act of leading your heart.
How to Love When it is Not Easy
Know Your Heart
Leading your heart does not mean lying to yourself. Be honest with your heart. Loving a difficult person takes time and energy. You may need to rest more often and seek out God’s love to fill you up to love again.
Keep track of where your heart is. The quickest way is to look at how you spent your time and money. Were you building the relationship with your biggest assets or running from it? Were you serving or hiding?
Guard Your Heart
Here is where the world hits us hard. Follow your heart, be free, take the easy road, if it feels good do it, there is no need to struggle. Really? All of us at some point practice the world’s advice. What happened?
Guard your heart to seek the kingdom of God first.
Set Your Heart
The prophet Jeremiah tells us our deceitful hearts will wander away from even the best love. Daring to love a difficult person means you set your heart on that and don’t waiver. If you set your heart on the past, you are stuck. Moving forward you have a choice to feed your feelings and your heart with an investment in good, noble, and true things instead of following a passing whim or ugly thought.
Invest Your Heart
Feelings change daily, hourly, and minutely. Trusting our feelings alone is like chasing a leaf in a field on a windy day. Leading your heart means investing in the direction you want your heart to go even when it is hard. Even when you are rejected.
Pouring your heart into a difficult marriage, child-parent relationship, work situation, or friend relationship takes faith and courage. Don’t go it alone! Persistence in the face of resistance is easier with God.
Step up and take the Love Dare! Three ways to do this:
Daring to Love Your Spouse you can pick up a copy of Love Dare for 40 days of actions to take to show unconditional love to your spouse.
Daring to Love Your Child (Teen) a new version geared toward children to turn the hearts of the parents to the children and the hearts of the children to the parents.
Or try our 14 day Love Dare for difficult people!