Loving Imperfectly

Who doesn’t want love? We all want someone we can connect and grow with. Why not have someone who you can confide in physically.  Being single, I thought I craved sex, but lately, I figured out that it was intimacy that I yearn for the most. I would love to have someone who would pray with me, connect with me, loyal to me, and depend on God as much as I do. I would like for my future spouse to be reliable, but not dependable.

 I have to admit that I am recovering perfectionist, where I am learning not to have expectations. Instead of having expectations, I have established boundaries and standards that I hold myself too. So I can gain a healthy and loving relationship that I desire. Recovering from being perfectionist, I thought love meant that everything needed to be perfect in order for the relationship to work including my spouse. In fact, I am still learning how to look at love from a different perspective; then the toxic one I grew up wanting. 

          Social media is a drug when you are recovering perfectionist especially when it comes to relationships. You see all the wonderful and beautiful pictures, where you begin to question your role in your relationship or the relationship overall. Wondering if you all are doing something right or wrong? You know what you want the outcome of your relationship to be, but it hard to grasp the strategic steps to make it happen and last. I know what I desire in my future relationship. Being honest, I have not accomplished loving others perfectly. I am currently recognizing and learning from past relationships about how I loved others imperfectly, and how I allowed overs to love me imperfectly also.

I thought love was what a person could do for me, and what he could offer me in the relationship. I did not know that I had to give my all. Wasn’t half of me enough?  I mean, until I gained a relationship with God. I thought love meant control because I was used to being told what to do and how to do it. I thought love was flawless, which meant those who committed terrible things were not meant to be loved correctly. I thought love involved me choosing who was worthy of my love.

My love before was filled with selfishness and arrogance, I was not willing to extend myself more to anyone than I needed too. The reason being was, I was terrified of putting my all and the rest was not returned. I was also afraid of pouring all my love into someone and it did not last. Basically, I thought love needed to be guaranteed with a warranty involved. I know it may sound funny, but I am telling the honest God truth. I was shallow.  I always say that God has an interesting way of humbling us, and his way of humbling me was making me attracted to those who I said I would never be attracted too.  Here are four lessons I learned about loving imperfectly:  

1.John 3:16 CEV, “God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.”

No one can stop God’s love for humanity when you actually think about it. God sent his son to die for our inequalities. When you truly focus on the concept and the reality of it all. No one wants to give up anything that is theirs in this generation. We are so afraid of losing because we have lost so much. We want everything we love near because we cannot stand losing. In America, we have grown to be a very consuming culture, where we want to control and possess anything we consider to be valuable, flashy, or cultivating.  We are such a consumer culture that we would rather judge and laugh at others because they do not have the privilege that others near us have. Instead of extending a helping hand, we would rather guard what’s ours without sharing with others.

      I am talking about this concept because I grew up thinking this concept was correct to live by. Love involves sacrifice and it involves us to share. Nothing here on earth is ours, but everything belongs to the Lord ( Hebrew 2:10-18). Sacrificing means giving up something important for the sake of consideration of others. Consideration is another quality that many tend to lack, which is why there are so many conflicts going around. There are too many boundaries being crossed and no one is willing to speak up about it. Many are only concerned about self because they have lost the love for self as well as humanity. Loving imperfectly in my past relationships allowed me to understand that I am emotionally selfish.

This is an area that I have been wounded in the most. In order to receive what I desire, I must be willing to love wholeheartedly including emotionally. I had a bad habit of reminding my ex what he did wrong and punishing him emotionally for it. I must be willing to put my emotions to the side to attend to my future mate when he is hurting or when he does not something wrong. This involves being considerate to my mate’s needs instead of worrying about fulfilling my own. #sacrifice God sacrifices his love for us every day and gives us free will to love him or not. 

2.Luke 6:32 CEV, “If you love only someone who loves you, will God praise you for that? Even sinners love people who love them.”

The average perfectionist believes that only a good person is worthy of love and God’s love at that. The reason being was because I thought I needed to be perfect for God to love me. I mean he is the all-powerful God and his love is perfected. It would make sense that a positive plus positive would produce a positive. What many do not know that positive plus a negative can still equal out to be a positive match made in heaven. This blew my mind in math when I was younger when it came to integers. How can a positive plus negative equal a positive? 

I couldn’t wrap my mind around it because I had not matured enough to understand that concept. God always made sure that I was attracted to men, who I said I would have nothing in common with. Those men had felonies, older men, and no degree. Even though, I was wounded in those relationships. What I learned was that those men needed as much love as I did. Even though I had degrees, no criminal record, and young; I was trying to prove to others that I was worthy of love by being perfect in society’s eye. The men I dated were trying to prove that they were loveable despite the mistakes they made.

God also showed me that I should still show acts of love towards others even when others tarnished my name or reputation. What I learned working with children as a social worker was that the worst misbehaved children needed the most attention and love. In fact, those were my favorite because I had the opportunity to love them the right way. I did not have an issue showing children unconditional love, but for some reason, I had a hard time showing men the love they needed.

Yeah, the men needed to make some changes, but as a woman of God, I needed to show love just like I love the misbehaving children. Wrongful acts is a silent cry out for love and help. The interesting thing is that there are so many crying out and not many of us are listening. We are consumed with self and material possessions instead of others. The reason being is that many of us are still recovering from wounds of our childhood and past. You do not have to carry those burdens anymore. 

3.1 John 4:8 CEV, “God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known him.”

There are some people who were taught what love is and there is still a large number of people who do not know what love is. God is love and love is God. There were many of us who grew up on surviving.  At the end of the day, no one’s family is perfect but there are many out there who do not know what love is or what it feels like.

It is our job as women of the kingdom of God to show people who God is and the love he has for us through us. Some commit to God for protection and many commit to God because they want to live for God. Do you see the sacrifice and the act of love in the relationship dynamic? Have you ever meet someone who grew up on survival. You will know based on the way they approach the situation that demonstrates acts of love. When you have grown up surviving, you believe that people only do a nice thing for you when they want something in return. You also believe that you are not worthy of love or that taking from others is better than giving. 

I had a guy tell me one day that there are two types of people. Those people are givers or takers. Those who know God and understand his love are givers. Those who do not know God and don’t understand his love are takers. Is this always the case no, but most of the time yes. Takers always feel that they are on the winning side of this world, but the reality is that they are losing end because they gain nothing in return. Givers will always win even when it looks like they are losing because they understand the true essence of life involves sharing and sharing with all that God has given to you. So, the question I have for you is are you giver or taker? You will know the answer within all you have to do is sit still and truthful with self. 

4.John 4:7 CEV, “My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows we have been given new life. We are now God’s children, and we know him.”

As much as we would like to stick to our old and toxic habits because it is comfortable. Comfortability does not mean progress. In fact, it means stagnation. Being uncomfortable usually means you are making the most progress whether it be emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically, or financially. Loving the correct way also involves us to be uncomfortable because we are extending ourselves in areas and to people, we told ourselves we would never do.

Life is about growing and experiencing people. This involves the good, bad, and the ugly. I have a soft spot for women and children, but God is healing me. So I can have that soft spot for men again too. I pray he does the same for you Queen. There are a lot of wounded men who are in need of our nurturing, soft, gentle, and loving spirit. The men of our generation need more safe havens more than anything else. They do not need us to be hard on them because the world is hard on them enough. 

Men wake up worrying if they will die today, while we wake up wondering who we will slay today. It is two different worlds for men, especially colored men. We must do our part as women of God to be the Proverbs 31 women to our spouses, but we should be the Queen that God describes in Titus 2 to the men around us. I may not like the actions that men have committed, but I do appreciate their essences. I must do my part by showing the men around me especially my soon to be spouse I appreciate his essences as well.

I must also extend my love to those who do not like or who wish to hurt me. I will extend my love out to them by praying that God heals their broken heart. When you think about it, it is important to pray especially for those who wronged you because you maybe only one praying for them. God never gave up on you, so why should you give up on them either. How do I know because you are breathing, which means God still has a purpose for your life. 

A woman of God, I am meant to be a safe haven and sanctuary for those who are in need. God does tell us to guard our hearts in Proverbs 4:23 because everything we do flows from it. When your heart is pure and healed. You are able to give love freely. When you are heart has hardened. You will be relentless and mischievous towards yourself and others. A hardened heart may seem like protection from the world, but honestly, a softened heart is. A softened heart reveals courage because it so hard to achieve and so hard to maintain. My act of love to you is self-affirmation: “ I am loved and I am worthy of giving the love I desire within.”  Love yourself and love your life. Be a blessing Queen. 

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