It has been two years since my separation. How life has changed. Gone from stay-at-home mom and wife of 13 years to single-mom and full time student. Being divorced was something I would have never believed would happen!
In fact, my school days were filled with watching Anne of Green Gables, believing that the man I married would be the one and only. We would grow old together, and celebrating our 50th Anniversary was something to look forward too.
If you were to ask me..."Well, what happened?" I would politely say that it is not mine to give details and that it would not matter if details were given or not. Except the fact that you would be able to judge whether the decision to divorce is justified. I know there will be One to whom I'll answer to in my final days, and with this, I have peace.
I will share something that I have gained from this experience. Something that has changed the way I see love and may encourage you as well. During this time of healing, I am living my life without bitterness, resentment or anger. Sure there are times I ask God, "Why did this happen to me?" I admit I was not perfect, but I know that my heart was open to what needed to change. Questioning why I wasn't good enough to "fight for", or if I just" gave more" maybe things would have changed. This is where God showed me the foundation of every relationship. Whether a friendship or a marriage, every relationship should be based on unconditional love.
Now, I don't know about you, but I'm not sure if we truly understand or believe it's possible to love unconditionally. Lets look at the ultimate example...Jesus Christ. We all have heard the story of Him coming to earth to die for you on the cross. He thought of you and I even before we were born. Wanting to create a way for you to have an intimate relationship with HIM. He died without holding any expectations over your head. He died with only one HOPE! The hope that you would understand this love and...love HIM (and others) in return!
Have you ever found yourself hearing these words..."Look at what I've given you. What have you given me?" Is this love? You may love someone with expectations attached. Sometimes it's not realized until that expectation isn't met, and you feel hurt and rejected. These are all flags to show us that we are still learning to love unconditionally. The only way to really begin to understand and walk in this kind of love is to seek after the One who loved us first. His love covers all and binds all things!
Remember, a relationship is to be reciprocal. When it is not reciprocal, then our love could be enabling bad behaviour and/or you are acting in a codependent behaviour. If either of these two are present, then it is unhealthy for both and will end up destroyig you...spirit, sould and body. I have heard a "spouse" say that if they only loved them more then maybe things would have not become so bad. Since when is bad behavior, at any moment, excusable? This brings me to the point of my article, that TRUE LOVE should rule our hearts! TRUE LOVE gives no excuse for BAD behavior! When excuses are made for this kind of behaviour, there is a denial to treat others wrongfully. There is a point when love does get "tough", and excuses can no longer be made. Understand that there is a difference between unconditional love and abuse. Only you can judge at what point that is. A question to ask would be..."Is my love for his person destroying me?" Codependency and Enableing are two destructive habits for relationships. I will write more on these two topics in a future article.
I've spoken of the importance of having a wise mentor/pastor and it is for very moments such as these.
Let me leave you with this...
LOVE is PATIENT and KIND; LOVE is NOT jealous or boastful; it is NOT arrogant or rude. LOVE does NOT insist on its own way; it is NOT irritable or resentful; it does NOT rejoice at wrong, but REJOICES in the RIGHT. LOVE BEARS all things, BELIEVES all things, HOPES all things, ENDURES all thing.
Let's open our hearts and minds to living a full life! Daily learning how to love each other UNCONDITIONALLY!