It seems a long time back now that I learned one of the most valuable lessons I think I’ll ever learn: the value of nurturing our love for others/for our spouse/our children etc—even (especially even) those who reject us. It’s something I learned off the back of a Chuck Swindoll sermon. I applied it and it worked. But, until now, I hadn’t really taken the time to reflect upon “why.”
Rejection begets rejection. This is a plain fact of life. The point of nurturing our love is that despite the fact of rejection we choose to love back! And for this is not weakness—on the unadorned contrary... it is strength and bucket loads of it, that we can say (via our actions) to anyone we choose to love, that there’ll never be any fear in them losing our love. It can only promote likewise feelings.
We’re in a marriage, we’re parents, and we’re co-workers in an employment situation. We’re even intrinsically linked in community—an inescapable fact. The principle remains the same. All our relationships are based in love and acceptance or rejection and fear and never the twain shall meet.
From the marriage context, it is said that whoever God puts together let no (hu)man separate. It is the eternal plan that people work through their relationships in a sense of abiding commitment toward each other—that each partner would love back despite the other’s occasioned flippancy. And in this order we have 60 and 70 year marriages. ‘Til death do us part, indeed.
What about our ‘best friends for life’—likewise, we have to nurture our love. We have to remain committed. To our children, likewise also. Accept them we do. We cannot condemn them. For all our relationships; we put on unconditional acceptance.
Perhaps the hardest test here is when we’ve been flatly rejected—and this does happen, more than we think. The test of anyone here is the ability to ignore the feelings of hurt within (absorbing them) and go on instead, beyond ourselves, and choose to love the other person back. It sounds very bizarre doesn’t it? And it’s probably impossible without a ‘higher power’ helping us.
But, in our open acceptance of the person we are rejected by we instigate by our actions a symphony of possibility that otherwise would lay dormant. A whole other world of destiny beckons.
We think that nurturing our love, going against the flow, might be a waste—there is perhaps nothing further from the truth.
Enter the world of miracles! Faith will see to it.
Once we’re there, we’ll never return, for we’ve discovered at last one of the secrets of life, to the utter crushing of overwhelming relational fear.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.