Loving the Unlovable…Seriously Unlovable

flashing heart

A few weeks ago I posted about being done.   These past several weeks have been a bit difficult with regard to my attitude about my ex-husband. 

I forgave him 3 years ago, but sometimes I still get annoyed with him.  Sometimes I just want him to be nice. And sometimes I want him to just go away already! 

I’ve been pondering the whole response to an ex that ain’t perfect.  And I’m acknowledging right here and now that neither am I.  Sometimes he just seems a lot less perfect than me…but then again, I know that isn’t exactly accurate either.  I have my own issues and only by the grace of God do I live.

And although at this time in my life I’m writing as it relates to my ex-husband, I believe that God is showing me this is the way I’m to live period…in an attitude of love, goodness, blessing and prayer.  My eyes focused not on my life, not on my circumstances, and not on the wrongs done to me, but rather focused with laser intensity on Jesus!

The verse that God is continually bringing me to is Luke 6:27-28

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. 

It seems harsh to refer to my ex-husband as my enemy…although sometimes it feels that way.  I believe that he isn’t my enemy.  I think I feel like I’m in a battle with him, but maybe we are more like opponents in a tennis match…but there’s definitely no love in the score.

“Love your enemies” 

Awww Lord, really?

Love…do good…bless…pray…

Love him?  Love him.  Really?

What does that even look like?  ‘Cause I did that for a long time and it didn’t end so well.  So I’m praying as I write because I really don’t know what that looks like. 

Talking about love always reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.  Love is:

Patient, Kind, Does not envy or boast, Not arrogant or rude, Does not insist on its own way, Is not irritable or resentful, Does not rejoice in wrongdoing, Rejoices in the truth, BEARS ALL THINGS, BELIEVES ALL THINGS, HOPES ALL THINGS, ENDURES ALL THINGS

Ok, I’m seriously convicted. 

Am I patient with God’s dealing with my situation and my ex?  Am I kind in the face of my ex’s attitudes, accusations, and actions?  Am I rude when I could choose to be kind?  Do I insist that things go my way regardless of God’s plan?  Am I irritable and resentful?  (ugh…definitely)  I do not believe I rejoice in my ex’s wrongdoings but maybe I do a bit when it’s me trying to justify my angry response to him.  Do I rejoice in the truth?  Golly, I hope so. 

But in this circumstance do I bear, believe, hope and endure all things?  Nope, I wanna crawl in my closet and hide.  And when that doesn’t happen I want to yell and argue and fight with my ex.   

Who am I kidding…I can’t do those things?  Love like that?  That’s not logical.

But when has God called me to do something that He hasn’t enabled me to do?  Seriously never! 

Once again I’m gonna have to rely solely on Jesus.  After all He has given us “a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

And I’m totally going to need that spirit in my life because not only am I called to love that man, but do good, bless and pray for him.

Do good too? 

Bless Him?!?! 

Pray for him…okay I can do that. 

I checked out Matthew 5:43-48 in The Message.  (That Bible phone app rocks!) 

You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that.  I’m telling you to love your enemies.  Let them bring out the best in you, not the worse.  When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.  This is what God does.  He gives his best – the sun to warm and the rain to nourish – to everyone, regardless:  the good and bad, the nice and nasty.  If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus?  Anybody can do that… “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up.  You’re kingdom subjects.  Now live like it.  Live out your God-created identity.  Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

Well that kinda puts it all in perspective. Let them bring out the best in you…respond with the energies of prayer.

Respond with prayer to someone who is a pain. 

God keeps reminding me of that prayer thing.  It IS the only answer.  I believe maybe I need to be putting my energies into prayer rather than thinking about how angry I am or even figuring out how not to be angry. 

And praying will certainly help me be my best…my God-created best.  And that will definitely help me live generously and graciously toward my ex-husband. 

I believe I will pray for God to enable me to live the way God lives toward me!

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7 Comments

  1. I am blown away by how much of your story is my story. And just last week I was told I was full of unforgiveness, this was prompting me to wonder and leading me exactly where you went in this blog. Thank you so much for sharing and letting God show me through your words where I need to head. Praying for you and all of us traveling this path.

  2. What a fine example of both writing, and of letting God examine you. (I can’t find the reference, but someone once said that examining scripture is important, but even more important was letting scripture examine you! — You did that well.) Keep going girl! Seriously, this is a trying, painful, I think of 2 Cor 4:6-10. I have felt crushed so many times along the way. I have been afraid of being destroyed many times.

    And the good news is that I need to be destroyed – Matt 16:25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his [fn]life for My sake will find it.” I am going through that deeper right now. I have been a single dad for 14 years, with my son ready to go off on his own. I am starting on the path toward remarriage again, but as I think about it, and as I have talked about it, the Lord seems to be exposing dreams that I have not surrendered yet. Even there, the Lord seems to be saying, this is just sanctification, don’t freak. And He reminds me that I need to repent and rest (Is 30:15).

    Also recently, the Lord has helped me with a promise that I could not have recognized or related to before: Is 30:20 “Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but ***your eyes will behold your Teacher ***”

  3. About “Loving the Unlovable” – This is how I am living every day IN my marriage…working on the same things you are.

    I got so sick of arguing, that I became open to what God had been trying to get thru to me all along ! What you shared here is the alternative to arguing. It’s even the alternative to divorce.

    I will never stop learning to do better at this…till Heaven.
    I stink at it right now.
    Just argued again yesterday.
    But we’re hearing each other a tiny bit more now.
    (’bout time – been married over 40 years !)

    Whatever situation you are in, the things you wrote are the answer.
    Ask God for the grace / power to do it.
    Humble yourself more and more…and more and more and more.
    God gives grace / His power to the humble.

    No matter what your X has done or does (presently or in the future), you can do this, by God’s grace.

    It’s the calling of the Christian to live like this with everyone. “Love your neighbor…”, and as you said, your enemies.

    For many years I’ve said, “Well, Lord, help me to love even my enemies, even my husband and my kids,” because it sure feels like we’re enemies.
    Now I am learning this stuff enough that they are sometimes my friends !

    – not because they are changing, but because God is making me more loving, and as you said, I’m seeing more of my own faults !!!

    We disagree on many things, but I’m learning not to bring those things up, unless it’s the right thing at the right time…a God thing.

    If you keep this up (and if neither you nor your X are remarried), you could have the opportunity for a rebuilt marriage.

    It may not be the easy way, but it’s God’s way.
    He actually says in the Word, “I hate divorce.”

    Jesus confirms this when he repeats the Old Testament verse, Whatsoever God has joined together let no man put asunder. (Hrmm – you know that means woman, too.)
    He also says that divorces are because of hardness of heart.

    In the last days, the Word teaches us – “…because lawlessness is increased, the love of many will wax cold.” Let’s not let that happen to us.

    Look, you have my email address.
    If you need encouragement in this area, so do I !!!!!
    Email me and we can journey together awhile, with this everyday battle.

    Love ya in Christ.

    • Thank you so much for sharing! I’m so glad that God gives us grace to live! I’m praying that God will continue to give you the ability to love, forgive and hold your tongue…ugh…all things I need prayer for ALL THE TIME! And for your marriage to be blessed in the most beautiful and unexpected ways! God is so very good!
      In Him,
      Sue

  4. Sue, this is extremely helpful. My story is similar to yours except that my ex-wife was driven by an addiction towards adultery. I now raise kids as a single dad, and it’s hard. I find myself slipping into a sense of arrogance, condescension, and pride over my role compared with my ex’s. It’s a terrible sin on my part, and thanks for indirectly calling me back to a life of GRACE, such as I’ve received. Blessings to you.

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