The temptation was great to stay vague on this point of love, that it endures (1 Corinthians 13:7). But, that’s not even our way at The Queen Life. So, here goes.
Endure – remain, tarry behind, persevere under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ, to bear bravely and calmly — (synonyms: abide, take patiently)
Endurance is developed and the standards are different for different relationships. As yet, I am unmarried. I concern myself “with the Lord’s affairs, with how to please the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:32-33 CJB). The Scriptures warn me about friendship with the world and fellowship with influences that can sway my heart from the Lord and His affairs. I, and single ladies in waiting like me, have the freedom to walk away from toxic relationships and sinful, foolish missteps…when we want to please the Lord more.
What can get in the way thought is that love endures. Love can take “it”. Love can press through “it”. Love can be calm and brave and cry silently while the focus of our love continues on their way. Today I want to address those of us who deeply love people who refuse to remove their masks.
We all have a mechanism of defense — eating, shopping, TV, movies, books, gossip, “get-them-before-they-get-me” and other self-defeating games, laughter, silence, emotional walls…the list goes on. I know what mine is; and I hope you know yours. Our “masky” loved ones keep the defense up all the time, and honestly, it’s exhausting at times because we can wonder which part of them are we really dealing with. Then we come to a resolve: we assume that we are always dealing with the mask unless the real person peeks out in a refreshing burst of genuine expression, however they express it.
Some of us, in love, desire the inner truth (Psalm 51:6) from these. And in times convenient and inconvenient, we challenge the mask. These are the same loved ones who applaud our accountability as acts of love and will accept the challenge on a good day, but at other times it’s too much. To the point where the friction brings isolation (again!) and the relationship takes another blow. What now?
My eyes opened this morning and I finally accepted (after months and months of slowly acknowledging) that my loved ones with masks will not enter into the liberating place of authentic relationship with me until they are ready. So, in the “breaks” that my accountability causes, I check my heart…and choose to endure.
The reality is that while we “endure” someone is enduring us. Ha, it’s the comical irony of the Christian walk. While we point that one finger at another, three fingers still point back at us. So here’s my exhortation —
If it won’t cause you to sin, compromise or influence you to depart from the faith, then pray about enduring in God’s love. If your life is not in any present or foreseeable danger, then see if the Lord is calling you to endure. That’s what love does. And trust, one day, our “masky” friends/family/loved ones will submit to love…and we will get the reward of true life-giving relationship because we endured.
Selah, and love to all.