Today kicks off the traditional “Love” month. Although this particular love is celebrated in our relationships with our spouses or significant others, love is meant to be flowing in all our healthy relationships.
Our family ties… Our friend ships … Our church bonds… Our work connections…
It is expected that some of these relationships will be closer and more invested than others. But there can and should be some form of love exhibited within them that keeps them thriving.
After all, love never gives up(ref. 1 Cor. 13:7). You know those not so pleasant moments? The times when buttons are pushed, toes are stepped on and that last nerve is worked.
Let’s just be honest. We all could use a love card for when we just feel like being not so nice and choose to act out those emotions. Having someone to show us love helps us to develop more into a better person and it helps to maintain our relationships.
Sounds great, right?
Well, the downside is when this love is lacking. And unfortunately, in too many relationships there is a lack of love instead of an overflow.
Well, the list could go on and on. But one of the root causes of people not showing more love in relationships is because of strife.
Strife is “anger or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues; conflict” (Merriam-Webster).
It is the thing that causes discord and hinders unity.
It is the thing that festers over time that causes one to believe they are rightfully conducting themselves because what has been done to them.
It is the thing that closes one’s heart to receive forgiveness and cling to anger.
We have all probably been guilty of strife at some point or will be. The underlining breakthrough is when we receive the revelation we should quickly move to correct it. This is what decides if unhealthy relationships will turn into or be restored back to healthy relationships.
The Bible speaks about strife over seventy times. In the book of Proverbs it speaks that “Avoiding strife brings a man honor, but every fool is quarrelsome” ( 20:3).
And you know what else? Having strife or hostility toward someone is not good for our mental or physical health. Free your mind so that it can be healthy. Think on better and positive things. Think of ways to exercise more love in your life, in your relationships.
Love is a fruit produced by the Holy Spirit (ref. Gal.5:22). Allow the Spirit to control your strife today so that your relationships can be better during this love month!
Will you take the challenge?