To Love to the End

Dear Daughter,

I am so sorry that you have to walk this path, and feel the pain of ending a relationship you thought would last a lifetime. I know you said you are fine and that you have been thinking about this a lot over the last few weeks.  While this may be true in the moment, there is a part of the healing process that takes time.  As the days go by and the hurt begins to surface, I want to encourage you to stay close to the Lord.  As you allow Him, the Lord Himself will begin to minister to you, speaking gently to your heart on ways you can glean from this hurt and pain the life lessons that are designed especially for you.  Life lessons designed to infuse your future with destiny and purpose.

In one of our recent conversations, one thing that came up was a hint towards a lack of partnership, or a lack of willingness on his part to work through some of the issues the two of you were facing. I heard you say “I’m done”, and I made a bad attempt at the time at trying to express my thoughts surrounding this, so was hoping to clarify a bit.

You know how I like Beth Moore! In a clip I watched of her recently she was saying as women, we often can express feelings towards one another like “Oh I just LOVE her” when what we really mean is we like what that person represents to us, but not necessarily that we truly value or care for them deeply enough, seeing that we don’t really know them well enough to treasure them.  In reality, there are very few people we truly deeply value and take the time to know well enough to treasure.  In that same clip she continues by saying “We will miss our most expensive treasure if we look past the hardship and pain”.  Remember that.

Those few relationships we value and take the time to truly treasure, like a spouse, are the ones we invest in. As a Christian, through the patience of the Holy Spirit who so continuously works within us, over time we pour into those we treasure a love, respect, and servant hood that we see reflected in Christ Himself; a tender preference that can only be found in Him.

For Christ, His treasured circle of relationships included the 12 men given to Him by the Father. Not only do we see in John 13:1 that He loved them unto the end, but also in the first portion of John 17, His love demonstrated to them in the High Priestly Prayer (and for us, too, later in that same chapter).  And though He lost Judas, we find that it was not Christ’s choice to walk away from Judas, it was the other way around.  There was no time at all that Christ ever walked away from Judas or made the decision on Judas’ behalf to end that relationship.

I know one day you will heal, and you will meet another who becomes the desire of your heart. The time will be right and he will be the one. So how is the love, respect, and servanthood that Christ demonstrated reflected in a marriage?  The marriage covenant one makes with another is by far deeper than just the partnership-like commitment one makes in a dating relationship.  It is you giving of yourself to another person 100% of the time, at all times, no matter what the circumstance.  It is not conditional and has nothing to do with a keeping of the scores as one would in a partnership.  Partnership implies that “here is where I draw the line and will go no further, because it is up to my partner to step up to that line on their side – and if they don’t, well then that is that”.

Covenant, on the other hand, implies “till death do us part”. Practically speaking that means even if my spouse makes the decision or finds himself in a position where he never gives, never respects, never prefers, never loves, never “steps up to the line”, because of the covenant I have made in Christ, I have no right to walk away.  I don’t keep score.  I have no expectations placed upon my spouse.  Regardless of what he does, my obligation is to love, respect, and have a servant’s heart towards him anyway, until death do us part. We can do this because all our expectations and hopes are not on our spouse to fulfill, but are rather on Christ Himself.

You may find yourself in the situation I describe by his choice, which is often a cause for divorce these days. Or you may also find yourself in this situation due to other circumstances, such as disease or a tragic accident. Not by his choice, not where he would want to be.  But you will always have the choice in whatever circumstance to love him as Christ loves you, even if he cannot return that love; even in times where he would not be able to provide for you the way the world dictates a man should; even in times when it appears no one else is having to go through those same experiences, and you find yourself weary in well-doing.  Remember, when we are weak, Christ is our strength.

I do not want you to think I am advocating placing oneself in harms-way, I am not. We do what is necessary to preserve the relationship and to also preserve and protect life, and hopefully we all make better decisions than to covenant with one who, of their own choice, does not wish to keep that same covenant. There is always that risk.  But, as we take the time to really treasure and get to know one another, we can trust God in the Holy Spirit to work within each other to blossom and grow the love in the relationship in ways we could never have imagined, especially in times of weakness.  And we too can join Christ in saying that we loved our treasured ones “to the end”.

So as you move forward from this experience, I hope you take my words with you. I hope you think about them within the relationships around you that God has given you, and are able to apply them to those treasured ones the way Christ does for us. Keeping the right perspective in any relationship is key to its survival.

 

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