recently when i've been praying and journaling about suffering and love.
i hear too frequently people leaving relationships that become difficult, or that have the potential to hurt them. yes, there are times to leave relationships - if they're abusive, or leading you in to a bad lifestyle - but otherwise i don't believe it's right to leave.
the worldly view is "get out before i get hurt" but i don't think it's biblical to apply that in our relationships. if Jesus left relationships before they hurt Him i would not have a relationship with Him.
Jesus didn't avoid pain in relationships, he didn't protect himself or stay guarded. he withdrew to pray, but never held back or distanced himself.
we're called to love as Jesus loved. this means loving without protective barriers, loving not from a distance, but right there in close relationship, and enduring ungratefulness and rejection without complaining. you will be hurt, and you will hurt, that's part of being broken, and living in post-fall culture. Jesus did it all, let's stop making excuses, i do it all the time. i love the people i enjoy, and even when i'm helping with youth i love on the people i like to love.
i need to, and we need to love people that will inevitably hurt us with the full knowledge this will happen - Jesus did it (look at Him loving peter and judas) - this is part of our calling. it's vulnerable, it's crappy, it's hard, and goes against everything we feel inside.
right now it's trendy to say things like "love the hard to love" or "love the least of these", it even sounds romantic (romantic as in cool and classy not "let's date") to talk about loving through pain and hurt, but it's not fun, and it's not something easy to do. Jesus prayed that the same love the Father had for Him would be in us, and i think we'll need that if we're gonna get even close to living it out. i need to pray for that. i need that love to help me. i can't even love the like-able ones without God.
i'm rambling on now, but i think it was mother theresa that said "love until it hurts, then love some more." she was just echoing Jesus, but i think she makes a good point.
gonna leave it there. love.