Recently, our pastor made a significant and wise statement during his sermon. I want you to think about this statement in depth of forgiving and fear.
The sermon statement is “RELATIONSHIP IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE INJURY.”
The relationship must be more important that the hurts and or emotional injuries to begin the healing process of forgiveness and to up-root and removed completely the fears of being hurt again. The relationship must be important enough for both parties and not just one. Both parties must want the relationship to heal that growth may continue regardless if the relationship is platonic or more physically intimate.
Personally, being a woman, it is more difficult to heal when the relationship, past or present, is or has been a physical intimate one. The reason is that a woman and man have become one, and not just physically but, emotionally and spiritually, and especially, when the woman cared and loved that man deeply. If he has not made any attempt to show that same care or unconditional love, she will become more fearful of him although she would pretend that all is well, but it is not. She will always have her guards-up and continue to feel insecure that he will hurt her again.
A woman needs to feel secure – safe from the man that she loves and deeply cares for. She must know that he is a true friend to her. The things that they share between the two of them are solely between the two of them. She must feel that she can depend upon him during a life crisis, death of a love one or friend, or during sickness. She must feel that he will love and care for her unconditionally and to be honest with her, so she will grow holistically in depth. Once a man does that, he will have a true long life friend and lover.
I will take me for an example; if he has not shown any interest or that he does not care about me and our past or present relationship, I will keep my distance to keep myself from feeling further hurt. His non-communicated actions have shown me that he does not care about me, and that he no longer desires for the relationship. The fears have remained because of his failure to communicate.
There must be communication and a clear understanding between individuals in the relationship, and it cannot come from just one person. Both people in the past or present relationship must communicate and seek positive closure in order to restore the relationship.
This is when the question must be “how deep is your love.”
The love that God has for us is the same we should have toward each other. This form of love is Agape love. The other loves are Eros, Philia, and Storge. Agape love is an unselfish and unconditional love. Eros love is erotic, romantic and sexual – this type of love is between married folks (biblically speaking). Storge love is familiar love for relatives, friends, colleagues, or pets. However, Storge love can start off as platonic friends but grows into an intimate physical relationship. Philia love is “brotherly love.” Philia love is speaking for friendship and for our neighbor.
All four types of love should be operating in an intimate physical relationship. Otherwise, the relationship between him and her is of lust and will not last long. This type of relationship is to just meet the physical needs and cannot meet the spiritual, emotional, and mental needs of both individuals. When the relationship grows to have all four loves operating, then the relationship is of significant value to both parties and is worth restoring either it is platonic nature and or physically intimate nature. Again, the relationship must be more important than the injury or hurt.
We must all remember that our relationship with each other is extremely important to our relationship with God – Our Heavenly Father. In fact, God will bring back relationships that He has ordain that have been “broken” in order that those relationships be restore. There is a divine purpose for those relationships. With divine relationships, there are anointed strengths when the individuals come together for a particular purpose that God reveals as the relationship matures. Each individual cannot mature without the other for that specific divine purpose. Satan’s job is to discourage the divine relationships from growing, thus hindering God’s divine purpose on the earth through those relationships.
The only way to save a relationship that has been “broken” from past or presents hurts is that he or she must be honest about their feelings towards him or her. He or she must see the relationship’s value. A few positive examples as follow:
How did he or she help you to grow mentally, emotionally, or spiritually?
Was he or she encouraging to you?
Did he or she communicate well with you – did he or she take the time to listen?
Did he or she encourage your past friendships and or family relationships?
Did he or she motivate and supported you to do more positive and productive things or interests?
How did he or she express his or hers love toward you?
Was he or she supportive when you were going through a crisis, death, or sickness?
Overall, did the good things about the person outweigh the bad things that occurred?
Taking the same positive examples and changing them to negative examples:
Was he or she condescending towards you and constantly reminded you of your failures and negative traits?
Did he or she communicate by cursing, making assumptions, lying, yelling, nor listen to your concerns?
Did he or she discourage you most of the time except when he or she wanted sex, money, or something done by you?
Did he or she keep you from exploring new positive and productive things or interests?
Did he or she stop you from seeing your old friendships and or discourage your family relationships?
Did he or she express their love only when wanting sex, money, or something done by you through manipulation or other or how often did he or she express his or hers love toward you?
Did he or she support you during a sickness, crisis, or death of a love one or friend?
If the negative examples outweigh the positive examples for the relationship, then it was not a healthy relationship from the start. One can only forgive the individual and move on.
So how does one move on? One could have a bunch of excuses such as, one does not care nor love that individual anymore, but it will not be the truth, or the person is married with children, and then one can easily dismissed the past relationship’s value. Yeah! One could pretend, but it would be a lie too. Therefore, one must honestly evaluate the past or present relationship and decide if the past relationship is worth its value to restore it to a present platonic relationship then allow the relationship to heal and grow.
Unconditional love (Agape) is extremely important to restoring the relationship. Please keep in mind that healing and or restoring the relationship is based upon Forgiveness, Caring, Compassion, Understanding, Encouragement and Support, Trust and Honesty.
Forgiving is the first step to restore all relationships.
Many of my past hurts and fears have come from those whom have hurt me and NEVER apologized. They simply just moved-on in time. Therefore, I just buried the hurt and over time try to forget it only to have the pain resurface when confronted with the source of the buried pain. Then the fears launch the “guarded-walls.” Therefore, I cannot be myself around the individuals due to fears of those hurting me again, so I do not feel safe. For me, it does not mean that I do not care or love the persons; it just means that I do not want to be hurt again.
Recently, I had to admit to having fears about someone that I love very much only to spiritually learn and understand that I did not forgive him as I thought. I thought it would be easy to forget because he is now married and moved-on with his life, so I needed to do the same. However, just because we may have buried the pain and moved-on does not necessarily mean that we have forgiven the person whom had hurt us. Once God revealed this to me, I made him aware of it and ask for forgiveness. The relationship was left with no closure or clear understandings as to why. Years later, I am now confronted. Although, I did bring this to his attention, he has made no attempt to resolve the matter and or restore the relationship. Thus, I have kept my distance. We are held accountable for one another rather we want to be or not. God will hold us accountable when we do not restore our relationships in agape love with one another as I stated earlier and as follows:
St. Matthew 18:15: “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.”
St. Matthews: 5:23-24: “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Otherwise, God does not recognize our gifts to Him until we reconcile with those we have offended past or present.
The only way a relationship is to be restored, the offense must be forgiven first so that reconciliation is formed and this is done through communications and by agape love, caring, compassion, and understanding which clears the way for trust to be restored in the relationship. One cannot simply just move-on and think that time will heal all wounds. Time does not heal all wounds only forgiveness and reconciliation heals all wounds.
It is very important to take the time to care if the relationship past or present is important to you. Caring about each other and meeting the needs of each other is very important. This may be as simple as just taking the time to making a phone call and arrange a meeting date so that each of you can have eye to eye contact while being open and honest about each of your feelings and concerns with the spirit of forgiveness and agape love. Encouraging and supporting each other is important too. Having compassion helps restores relationships because compassion is an unselfish act that brings about understanding thus breaking the fears between the both of you – tearing down the “guarded” walls of emotions.
Trusting is the foundation of each relationship. Once the trust has been broken in a relationship, it is very hard to restore the trust in the relationship, but it is not impossible. It will take work and patience between the individuals in the relationship. Trust is restored over time. IT WILL TAKE TIME AND PATIENCE TO RESTORE TRUST. Trust starts with being committed to meeting the needs of each other. Again, it can be as simple as having regular phone conversations with clear, honest, and open discussions. Avoid sharing your conversations with others unless one is in counseling. Again, the person must know that he or she can trust you again. Remember the person wants to feel “safe” with you.
Do not seek relationships that do not help you to grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Seek relationships that will encourage you to be the best that you can be holistically. Remember that a relationship’s foundation should ALWAYS have agape love, honesty, and trust.
Communication is vital too. Many relationships are destroyed because of the lack of honest communication and terrible assumptions. Assumptions are based upon the individual’s actions and or behavior toward the other individual. To break assumptions, both parties must be willing to have open and honest communication to explain the behaviors.
Manipulation should never be in any relationship. Manipulation is a spirit of witchcraft meaning to deceitfully take over the will of someone else for a selfish motive. If one feels that he or she must manipulate and lie in order to get what he or she needs and or desires from him or her, then one is not operating in agape love. Agape love does not operate in deceit.
To restore any relationship, past or present, the relationship must be more important to you than the act of hurt that one has caused past or present while keeping in mind that God always want us to reconcile and restore any of our relationships that have been broken before we can sincerely love Him. Our love for God is in direct position to our love for one another rather it is platonic or not. Therefore, if you have any relationship(s) that have been “broken” due to hurt or “emotional injury” then the relationship is to be restored. So, I ask you again:
How Deep Is Your Love?