“We never win. Never will. That’s not why we fight. We do it because there’s things worth fighting for.” — From the Joss Whedon TV show ‘Angel’
Loving people is hard. Loving people who don’t fit our usual mold is very hard. Loving people who are broken and don’t follow the ‘rules’ and don’t know how to love us back? Surely that’s downright impossible.
I’ve learned (and relearned) that loving broken people is the hardest thing. Yes, we’re all broken but some are more broken than others.
We love expecting something in return. Love. Gratitude. Accolades. I’ll be there for you, you’ll be there for me. Sounds perfectly valid. Balanced. And yes, at least in your major life relationship it’s something worth seeking.
But some people are not going to fit that criteria. Some people are going to be addicts, mentally ill, damaged. Maybe they were never loved in the good and balanced way. Maybe they were never taught respect and boundaries and honesty and empathy.
It feels as though if they keep disappointing you, you are entitled to move on from them. If you help them out of a mess they got themselves into and then they land back in a similar one? Self-inflicted? Surely you are allowed to wash your hands of them without feeling guilty. You did what you could after all, what more could be expected of you?
That’s the question isn’t it? What more is expected of you?
The thing is, if you are a Christian, more is expected of you.
Love is expected of us. Requested by God.
Love in all its long-suffering, no record of wrongs, kind, patient, hopeful glory; without jealousy, arrogance or boasting.
The quote above reminded me of this truth. That winning isn’t the point of fighting. That making progress is not the point of loving them. Love is the point.
They are worth fighting for.
As Christians we have the extraordinary benefit of knowing that in the end we will win. That no matter what happens here, our side wins in the end. Which means that all that matters is what we do here.
Fight for them. Love them. Through the disappointments and pain and how very exhausting it can be.
Love them with His love. Cos I promise you it’s the only way you will be able to.
It is worth doing!