Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Love not Hate

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. Proverbs 10:12 NRSV

I cannot begin to tell you how many women I have spoken with who love everyone except their ex spouse. And this isn't just a passing emotion, either, or something that is simply left over from a bad marriage. They hate their ex spouse because of the hateful and downright evil things the man has done to them because of issues around custody. I have come to believe that, when a woman's child is involved, there is no such thing as a simple emotion in matters of custody.

I am always amazed at what shenanigans I see men try to do to their ex wives through their treatment (or lack thereof) of their kids. The child becomes a weapon in the hands of the man - another way to "get back at" or punish the woman who has not let herself continue to be under the man's power. While the man uses issues of custody - time with the kids, lack of attention to the children, constant court battles, child support, demands for restitution, disagreement over education and religion - the mother usually is just trying to keep her head above water while attempting to raise the child/children in a loving environment. But how can you keep that environment loving while hating the father?

Provers 10:12 tells us that hatred causes problems while love provides soothing and comfort.  This may sound like great advice until you try to apply it in a case like that above. Can love really cover all offenses? This sounds very difficult.

And it is.

It is much easier to hate just as it is much easier to be angry (and act like it) than to let that anger pass. Love that covers all offenses is hard to keep going. Even though we can see that in the end love is the better option, how do you stick with it in the face of such injustice? Also, how can you love someone even though they hate you with every fiber of their being? Love in the face of hatred, injustice, and unfairness is tough. No, impossible. Right?

God, you ask us to love rather than hate. But when we find ourselves facing such injustice, unfairness and hatred, it feels as though we are being left hanging .... Maybe that is what Christ, and you, felt when he was hanging on a cross. Okay, Lord, you do ask us to love as Christ loves us. You ask us to do the impossible. With your help, God, nothing is impossible. We love you, Lord. Amen.

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

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