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Love Is… Sticking with It – When Starting over Seems Easiest

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[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:7 NIV

Is that the kind of love you desire? Sometimes instead of being “protected,” we get hurt by those we love. “Trust” is something that we value, but once that trust gets violated, it is hard to get it back. As long as there is “hope” it makes it bearable to work through rough spots in a relationship, but sometimes it feels hopeless. “Perseverance” may be the toughest of all. It is especially hard to persevere when we feel hurt, cautious, and hopeless.  One wonders if the type of love described in the verse is even possible in human relationships.

We desire deep relationships that can stand strong through the thick and thin. However, we don’t like to get hurt, and it’s just a matter of time before we feel hurt by those we love. To protect our hearts, we may distance ourselves from those who hurt us. We may even put shields up and keep people from getting close to us, in hopes that if we don’t let others close, it won’t hurt as much if they cause us emotional pain. Of course, not only doesn’t this work, but it also keeps us from experiencing the meaningful relationships we desire. A better way to protect ourselves is to mitigate the hurt by finding ways to work through conflict.

Commitment is key. We struggle to be committed because we are fearful of being stuck in difficult relationships. While this is understandable, we must grasp that without commitment, it is extremely hard to have the type of deep and meaningful relationships we desire and to stick in there while we work through conflict and find ways of reducing hurt through discussion, understanding, forgiveness, and healing.

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