Love is a Decision

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
– ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬‬

Love is a decision.
Sometimes, it’s a really hard one.
Sometimes it is a gut-wrenching, sick-to-your-stomach kind of hurt.
Sometimes we feel betrayed and we just want to cry out.

We wonder how someone can make the choices they make and use the words that tear our hearts to pieces, when we are giving them everything we can give. When we are always there with love, support, direction… Why is it not enough???
But it’s true. Love is a decision. We have to keep loving through the pain sometimes. We have to keep standing strong even when they try to push us away.

When I am struggling in a relationship with a loved one, I will pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, help me choose love! I’m tired of hurting, but I’m trying to be patient. My loved one has had cruel words to say, but I want to be kind. Help me choose to respect them and to try to understand their point of view. Calm my temper so I don’t react in anger. And when I forgive, help me to truly let go of the issue, and not throw it in their face at a later date. I want to protect their heart fiercely – like a mama bear protecting her cub. Help me trust that they will receive my love, and learn to better demonstrate their love for me. I have hope that as we each grow closer to you and learn more about your grace and love, our relationship with each other will grow stronger, as well. Be close to us through this rough patch so that our relationship may heal. Thank you, Lord! Amen.

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Don’t Forget to Do Good

“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.”
– ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:16‬‬ NLT

Such a simple message. And it’s so easy to overlook the two most important words.
Don’t forget.
How often do we start our day with the best intentions in our heart and then allow our own feelings, circumstances, or motives to steer things in a whole different direction?
How often do we want to help others, but get too caught up in the aspects of our lives that make us constantly “too busy” to slow down and share our time and our resources with the people who need them?
God wants us to see past our own troubles so that we can be prepared to help others with theirs. He wants us to put the needs of others before our own wants and desires.

When I feel myself being sidetracked and find that I am too focused on myself, I will pray:

Dear Lord, please help me to remember Your love in every situation that I face today. Whether my circumstances are good or bad, I want Your love and kindness to flow through me to every person that I come in contact with. Amen