– Who Are Your Tough To Love People?
Do you know anyone who is a bit tough to love? I know I’ve got a handfull of people who are just downright – tough. to. love. – in my life just like everyone else. I will usually find myself having to say so many breath prayers even just on the way to spend time with some of them.
I will usually pray things along the lines of :
- God, just be with me right now.
- God, please bless me with patience and grace.
- God, help me to say the kinder thing.
- God, please help me be slow to anger today.
These prayers, although short, give me an immediate sense of “I’m not alone” if you know what I mean. If you ask for God’s help, He will be there for you. Just believe He is there for you. Ask, believe it is already yours and you shall receive it.
Loving someone who is unkind to you or who has a tendency to leave you hanging isn’t a walk in the park, that’s for sure. A lot of people in the world would likely tell you to just move on and write them off. Been there, done that. Tried, tried again, now just give up. “They’ll never change” some other people in your life may say.
Thing is, we aren’t called to change them. I know, mind blown, right!?
What we are called to do, is love them.
Here’s some good news for ya, God will give you whatever you may need to handle those “tough to love” people. I know He covers me in the moments where it’s easy for the ungraceful acts to take precedence over the graceful ones. I certainly wouldn’t be the one trying to love people who are tough to love without help from God. I can’t, with my own strength, love people when they cut their eyes at me, talk down to me, ignore me, talk about me behind my back, or laugh in my face – at me, not with me. But, with God, anything is possible. Including showing love for these people in some way, shape or form. Maybe you invite them to tea, bake them something, or just be nice with your words. More often than not, they’ll be caught off guard and honestly, that can be pretty funny to watch sometimes. But laugh on the inside my friends, ok?
If I’m being 100% real with you guys, it’s this. It is increasingly difficult for me to maintain a loving, calm, and nuturing spirit when dealing with my toddler as of late. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids more than I love myself, but the truth of the matter is… he drives me up a dang wall more than once a day. And it’s silly, it is honestly dare I say – stupid – I seriously don’t like that word, but it’s true. I tell him to stay on the play mat and wouldn’t you know it, he comes off the mat before I’m back to the kitchen or the table! Over and over again. If I look at him like I mean business, he giggles as he proceeds to take two or three steps off the play mat, while looking at me, and boy does my blood boil when he does that. If I walk towards him, he jumps back to the play mat. I get so angry, like a volcano bubbling up inside me.
But WHY. Why does he have to stay on the play mat? Who is it hurting if he steps off. I get it, I said he has to stay on the mat, so he just should right? I’m the Mama, I’m the boss…hmmm
> Okay, but is it worth my getting upset over? My hurting my throat with a yell/growl that he won’t listen to anyway? I often find myself having to force away the smile that wants to breakout across my face every time his “I know I’m doing wrong” grin crosses his face, but, is that really helping?
If we smile back at our toddlers in the heat of them disobeying and just push aside the anger welling up inside of us, are we teaching them that they can get away with disobeying by shooting us a sly grin?
Is he going to continue to just walk all over me as he gets older?
Is he going to hate me for not sticking to boundaries?
Is he going to hate me if I enforce boundaries too strictly?
Will I learn to stick to boundaries and rules with bigger issues as he grows older?
Will he disrespect and disobey me like he does now, forever?
Will I let him?
How do I stop him when he won’t listen to a single thing I say (or yell)?
Am I going to completely and utterly fail at being the kind of mom I always hoped I’d be?
Will he grow up and want nothing to do with me?
Will he be a decent member of society & have a heart chasing after God?
God, Please don’t let him become a hooligan wearing his pants around his knees.
Do I worry too much for my toddler who will be just turning TWO in a weeks time?
I tell you this, I haven’t done as stellar a job as I always thought I would. Being short fused, high tempered, and embarrassingly impatient make it almost impossible to be the calm, loving, life breathing Mama I strive to be.
Not impossible, but almost.
It’s probably the most confusing, heart wrenching, difficult to the core thing I’ve ever done. EVER. But it’s not impossible. Pushing aside the anger and trying literally anything else to get him to listen to me. I’ve broken down and ugly cried about once a week for the past 6 months. It’s. Hard.
I always try to wake up early in the morning and get a really good Bible study in before the kiddos wake up. Without this, without filling my mind and heart with the Word, I am so lost the rest of the day. So short tempered, often regretting my actions moments after. I’ve even found myself, while I’m upset, asking myself “Why am I doing this?” or telling myself, “You could just stop now.” Like there are two people in my mind playing tug of war with how I should react in any given situation, especially when dealing with my toddler.
The point is that when I fill my mind and spirit with the Word first thing in the morning, I find that struggle to happen a little less.
Who are the “tough to love” people in your life? Maybe your sister, co-worker, neighbor, parent, it could honestly be anyone.
Learn to ask for God’s grace. Fill your mind with the Word of God. Be patient with yourself as it is a learning process.
Till next time,