Wednesday in the Word
Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Wednesdays always feel so long. They're too far from the beginning of the week for renewed motivation, and too far from the end of the week for the excitement to kick in. They're literally just a blah day. I guess that's why they call it "hump day"!
Today's Wednesday in the Word is a little different, because this is an actual response to a subscriber, who wishes to remain anonymous. *Please note that unless I am online at the exact same time that you are, I can only reply directly to your chat if you input your e-mail address and a name. I do not see the e-mail address, and you can put an anonymous name. My response will be emailed to you, and we can chat back and forth!* S/he asks:
"How do u deal with loving someone who doesn't love u back?"
There wasn't really too much context to go off of, so I am guessing that this person is asking about a romantic relationship. With that being said, I am no relationship expert. I have (obviously) failed at many of them, and I am still learning more each day about how to maintain a relationship. I am a firm believer that while romantic relationships are different in the intensity of emotions and logistics, the same principles of general relationships apply:
1. People are not always going to like you, much less love you.
However, that does not give you an excuse to be unloving. If you love someone as your family, a friend, or even a romantic partner, but they do not reciprocate, then tough luck. It really sucks, I know. Unrequited love is painful, but do not let this become an excuse to be bitter.
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back." - Luke 6:27-28
Love on them, and be honest with them. Let them know when they hurt you, and if they don't care, then they don't care. True love is not affected by the lack of receiving love. This is true, regardless of whether or not this is in a romantic situation. You can't choose whether or not you love someone, but you can choose how you love on someone. Show love in all situations, whether it is saying "Happy birthday" when they do not return the blessing, or just standing from afar and praying for them.
2. Do not force them to love you.
Be honest, and let them know you love them. Let them know you do not expect reciprocation, even if it would be much appreciated. Whatever they choose to do with that information is on them, but at the very least, you have nothing to be regretful of. You have said your piece and done your due diligence. S/he does not have to love you, but knowing that you love them is a step in the right direction.
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." - Romans 12:9
Only love that is freely returned without obligation or guilt is truly love. We see that again and again, even in popular culture: Tom Riddle was the offspring of a loveless match forced by a love potion, and what good did that do for anyone? If you need to force, or trap, someone into loving you, then you're honestly better off without it. Just love, and let him/her love you in their own timing.
3. Be patient.
I'm not saying that patience will make that person come around and love/fall in love with you, but patience goes a long way. I'm not telling you to pause your life and wait. There are so many things you can accomplish, and will accomplish while s/he is learning to love you. Whether this is about a romantic relationship or a general relationship, patience does not mean stopping your life for the sake of waiting for someone to "come around". You can't pray for God to just make this person "wake up" and realize you are the only one for him/her. The truth is, they might not ever come around. But instead of being bitter and counting the seconds where you wasted your life away, you should be taking advantage of every precious moment to better yourself. Make it so that if and when they think of you, there is no sliver of doubt that not loving you was a lapse in judgement. Who knows? Maybe as you are bettering yourself and waiting for God to turn his/her eyes to you, He opens your eyes to someone else who already has their eyes on you.
"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." - Psalms 37:4
4. Love yourself.
Anonymous, I know that not feeling loved by someone you love is a horrible feeling. I've been there. It's easy to blame ourselves for not being good enough at XYZ, or not having enough XYZ to get their attention, etc. Honestly, it might be true. We might not be beautiful enough, strong enough, cute enough, handsome enough, buff enough, cool enough, or rich enough. While we should always be looking for ways to improve ourselves, we need to draw the line between self-improvement and self-abuse. For example: I know I am very short, and I like to wear heels because it makes me feel taller. HOWEVER, because I love myself, I refuse to wear 5 inch heels that make me want to chop off my feet at the end of the day. Be wise about whom you are called to be, and what improvements are improvements that are respectful to yourself. For example if someone doesn't like me because I don't have big enough boobs... well, that shows where their intentions are, right? Even if I underwent plastic surgery to get bigger boobs, would I be satisfied with that kind of relationship? On the other hand, if someone felt like I was just not knowledgeable enough about current events, then turning on the news every now and then is an improvement that I should probably consider doing. You are worthy of love, and if you aren't receiving it from someone you want to receive it from, then love yourself.
"And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." -Matthew 23:39
Don't let your love for the other person overcome your love for yourself. You are both human, and the love for him/her should be equal to your love for yourself. Love comes from God, and He doesn't play favourites, so don't play favourites between yourself and the other person. :)