Updated: Jan 9
Allowing out of love.
It’s easier said than done. Sometimes in order for me to truly allow someone I love to remain where they are means being with them in that place. That can be a really painful proposition. And yet isn’t the pain from that more attached to my ego and my agenda and my desires? Almost like the brokenness in me demanding the brokenness in someone else to be less broken so that I can be ok with it. When I’m able to set aside all that and take up love, it turns out I can allow almost anyone (including myself) to be where they really are and authentically be with them in that place without fear or judgement. Love is the greatest catalyst for change. When I genuinely love others as they are, where they are, I give them permission to change, or to not change. My agenda is to love them, not to change them or their situation.
The term "tough love" gets tossed around a lot. It usually refers to allowing someone to be where they are, but it is more in the vein of that old expression, "You’ve made your bed; now lie in it". Truly allowing someone to be where they are, the way they are, means loving them in that place. Many times it means being present with them, without judgement or condemnation and without fear that they'll never change and their situation will never change. In truth it may not ever change, and they may never change. What if this is actually the gift of God to me because by being present with them in love, I am most certainly changed into a better version of myself whether they change at all or not. Even if they don't change, I almost certainly will.
The truth is it’s really not about me putting my stamp of approval on their behavior or situation; it’s more about putting my seal of love on who they are at the deepest level. Allowing them to be where they are, the way they are, means truly loving them for who they are. It’s the one thing I have in God that I often long for from others. When I have the opportunity to be that for someone else, I get a clear picture of where I really am in love. Loving them doesn’t mean that I approve of their decisions or behavior or any of that. It just means that by comparison, who they are in my love is of much greater consequence than any of those other things.
Scripture to consider - 1 Corinthians 13:5-7 - Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. (TPT)
As you walk this journey today, who are you struggling with the most right now in this challenge of allowing, a spouse, sister, brother, or parent? How might allowing those around you to be where they are and really accepting them in that place be a gift to them and to you?
How can you allow yourself to be for others what God has been for you in this place of allowing?
How will you invite God to guide you in this endeavor of allowing?
“It is my humble intention to compassionately allow everyone and everything, especially my self, to be exactly as we are...”
― Maximus Freeman
“Life Works in a Very Simple Way. Resist it less and allow it unfold the way it wants. Use your power of allowing.”
― Raphael Zernoff
"Allowing myself to love God completely has obviously shed light on my self-love because he loves me more than I could ever love myself."
― Angie Stone
"I had a ninth grade teacher who told me I was much smarter and much better than I was allowing myself to be."
“The journey from teaching about love to allowing myself to be loved proved much longer than I realized.
― Henri Nouwen
A simple prayer for Expecting:
Father, I thank you for the ridiculous love you have in your heart for me. Thanks that you aren't disappointed in my failures or put off by my bad behavior. You rejoice in who I am even in my darkest moments, and you have nothing but joy when you see me. Cause me to naturally become a vessel of this same love that you have given to me so that regardless of where someone is, when they encounter me, they would encounter your love.