We Can’t Be in a Relationship with Everybody We Love

Love is not enough.

Some people don’t love you back. Some people are too toxic.

This hurts you. This causes you to go through all of the stages of grief. Do grieve because this is a loss that matters.

Because this is a loss that matters it doesn’t mean you should hang to hope to have this person back. Or you should contort yourself to get this person back. We can’t be in a relationship with everybody we love.

It is heartbreaking to want to be in a relationship with someone you love while also realizing you can’t due to this person’s unacceptable behavior. You know this behavior is unacceptable in your soul–as your soul is breaking. Love is not enough. Pay attention to this emotion of pain. God is leading you somewhere.

This may apply to your love relationship. This may also apply to that unhealthy family member. Or that unhealthy friendship. Love is not enough for a relationship based on feelings, DNA, or titles. There is more to love than this.

When love and relationship are put into a proper and healthy perspective, we understand what Jesus meant when He said, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” He points to the disciples and says, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother (Matthew 12:46-50). In other words, Jesus was saying, relationship love is a verb, it produces fruit, it’s based on actions and behavior that the word validates (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) — not simply feelings and titles. –Patrick Weaver

Relationship love is a verb, it produces fruit. What is the fruit in your life from this person whom you love so much? Make this truthful list. Ask your team to help you make this list. What are they seeing as the fruit of your life? Is this good fruit or bad fruit?

We talk about boundaries here a lot. Let’s put that question this way. How many of your boundaries are being trampled?

  • Are you excusing behavior that is disrespectful?
  • Are you giving in to things that are not in accord with your values?
  • Are you settling for the crumbs of this relationship?
  • Are you staying in a relationship that you know has passed its deadline? Have your gift of people told you this too?
  • Have you gone back into a relationship that you know should be over or have stronger boundaries? (It’s hard to end a DNA relationship but you are in charge of those stronger boundaries.)

This doesn’t just apply to that person you are dating. This is also that friend who continues to mistreat you. Or that family member.

Up until now you’ve been hoping that your love would be enough to help this person you love so much become aware of the unacceptable behavior. You know you can’t change him/her but you have hoped to love this person enough so he/she can figure out these behaviors are unacceptable and do need to change. If not you, who else? You must stay. You must love. You must love unconditionally—and lie to yourself about how your soul is breaking.

Love is supposed to heal you and not damage you.

Your body is keeping score. Your viscera (stomach and intestines) have nerve cells (neurons) that send data via a lightning-fast neural pathway called lamina I in your spinal cord up to your brain. When your gut speaks, it is telling the brain what is going on. This information is raw, primary and unfiltered.

Your soul and your body knows that something is wrong. You can lead your brain. You can learn that ending or putting up boundaries in that relationship is the best thing for you. It is bringing joy, peace, and happiness back into your life again. Aren’t those supposed to be a part of love too? Don’t you want to be free from that gut-clenching—a true physical reaction?

Love pries open your chest and pulls open the door of your heart so someone can walk right in and make this mess that remakes you into something more beautiful.

–Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way, p. 131

You are becoming more beautiful. I’m not sure you believe me at this very moment but you are. Pain is your beginning and there will be a beautiful ending. Worthy you is worthy of more beauty.

Love doesn’t require relationship, relationship requires behavior that agrees with your Savior. 

–Patrick Weaver

Ponder and twist this quote around in your mind for a while?

Read also: Run Away From the One Who Wants to Fix You

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