Loving in the Tough Times

It usually happens when your life seems to be moving along seamlessly - you’ve perfected your morning routine, planned adequately for afternoon activities, and this week’s dinner menu is working out fabulously. Your husband and kids are playing along and all in all, you feel like you finally have the upper hand on this crazy balancing act we call life.

Then, something happens - you suddenly lose a loved one, get laid off from work, are diagnosed with a serious illness, or experience an unwanted life-changing event - all of which brings your seamless balancing act to an abrupt halt. And, you find yourself curled up in bed, no longer caring about routines or activities and the last thing on your mind is dinnerDuring these tough times, it’s easy to isolate yourself by pushing your loved ones away, lashing out at your kids, and completely disconnecting from your husband. And, in return, your marriage suffers and your kids feel confused and somewhat abandoned.

It’s hard, but we must remember not only to accept love during the tough times, but to also give love. Again, it’s hard, but sometimes all it takes is getting out of bed and asking for a group hug. Because, you see, as Christians, we are called to encourage one another, to lift each other up and to trust that God is in control of every situation. So, take a deep breath and ask God to fill your heart with His love as you face the difficult days ahead, remember to accept love and encouragement from your friends and family, and don’t forget to love them in return.

What can we learn about love in the Bible? How can we stop pushing people away when we are going through difficult timesHere are a few Scriptures on love and encouragement to focus on as you work to mend your struggling relationships and learn to love others even on your darkest days. And, always remember, we have an Almighty God who can move the mountains - trust in Him, for He has plans to give you a “future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12 ESV

Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 NIV

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2 NIV

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV

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