Love is more than an emotion. Love is an action. With divorce rates over 30 to 40 percent at present, it is clear that many people misunderstand the way in which we as persons learn to love. Jesus stated that we are to love our enemies. It is easy for someone to love those that love us. But what do we do when we are faced with persons who choose at times to not love us, when people in our lives downright break their promises to us?
First, we need to understand something about our minds. Our minds hold emotions and memories in the hippocampus and the amygdala. When we are older, unresolved material, that which is connected to pain and suffering gets triggered by current events. These current events are interpreted through our old beliefs and feelings. So as Jesus stated, first we must see our planks before we can clearly understand the other person’s specks.
Those, it seems, who are the closest to us, such as husbands, wives, family members, children, trigger these old feelings more than a mere acquaintance would. That is the way it is with our old unresolved issues. This is true usually because our old unresolved issues are often created while we are children and most of our old wounds are received at the hands of family and close friends. Of course, there are many exceptions. However, even with the child who is molested by a neighbor, the way the parent responded or did not respond usually caused the greatest pain and wound.
When we feel pain from these unresolved wounds, our minds experience them in much the same way and depth as when we originally experienced them as children. With this said, Jesus gave us a very clear pattern of how to deal with our pain. First, we are to remove and have our planks (experiences, perceptions) removed before we can see clearly the motivations of another’s heart. We are not to judge others simply because our perceptions are always determined by our past experiences.
Love believes all things. You see, we are commanded to always give mercy, even as we are granted mercy. Forgive as we are forgiven. So how do we treat a spouse, or friend, or person who has hurt us? First, we choose to forgive. Secondly, we ask God to show us what the real source of our pain is. We must go beyond blaming the present situation. We must look for the root cause of the pain. The unresolved wound that our now current situation is triggering and connecting itself to.
This is the way of the cross. My book “Restoring Gods Image” shows you how to accomplish this in your life. It is time to stop leaving our marriages and start allowing God to teach us how to love unconditionally. This can be accomplished.