by Brenda McGraw
As I walked into the house, once again I was disappointed. I couldn’t understand why his habit was more important than protecting our family. Why couldn’t he do whatever it took to work on our marriage, like he did whatever it took to get drugs?
This is an example of the life of a co-dependent. They love their spouse or family member, but hate the stronghold that keeps that person bound to a life of sin. It may not be an addiction to drugs; it could be alcoholism, pornography, gambling or any number of things.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Wow. Really, God? Am I supposed to bear with someone who is making my life hard?
I want to believe in them. I want to help them. But what I really want God, is for them to change.
“Will you change him, God? After all, want it bring You glory, Lord?”
God heard my prayers and had perfect plans. One of those plans was to change me.
Do you recall the biblical story of Hosea, when God told him, “Go take to yourself an adulterous wife”? (Hosea 1:2) The prophet obeyed the Lord, even though I am sure he wondered, “Why would God want me to do this?” He married Gomer. He even had kids through the unfaithfulness of this woman.
Hosea pulled Gomer from a life of sinfulness and gave her a life of love and adoration. However, she had a stronghold. She left Hosea and once again went “after her lovers.” (Hosea 2:5)
God spoke to Hosea once again and told him, “Go show your love to your wife again . . . Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods . . .” (Hosea 3:1) The prophet had to spend his own money to get his wife out of the life she once again found herself in. He even gave her ultimatums.
Who is the “Gomer” in your life?
Who do you keep bailing out of their sinful actions over and over?
I have loved someone with an addiction. It was a stronghold not only he was battling, but it became a stronghold for me as well. I fought to help him overcome. I attempted to support him with love. I enabled him by hiding his problems and would continuously try to bail him out.
Is this the idea that God is commanding today? Is this what it means to “Bear with one another”?
God makes it clear that we are to love, forgive and bear with each other’s faults. He also makes it just as clear that we at times have to show “tough love.”
Here are three tough-love tips:
- Control: We can’t control the actions of others. We have to “let go” and “let God.” Just as God set consequences forth for Adam and Eve, He has consequences for everyone’s sin. We need to understand that He is in control.
- Courage: We have to be courageous and stop enabling the “Gomer” in our life. This means we may have to make them leave, get assistance, let them fall, quit giving them money and not hide their sins or make excuses for them. It takes courage.
- Cherish: Tough love is a cherishing love that says, “I care for you enough not to allow you to stay this way.” Your “Gomer” may not think they are causing anyone else trouble. Sometimes we have to show tough love to lead them in the direction of help. Cherish the person, not the sin.
Yes, we are supposed to bear with one another. We are also to love each other back to a healthy lifestyle when necessary, even if that means using “tough love.”
Stop, drop and pray for the “Gomer” in your life.
“In his pride the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” Psalm 10:4
Discover Joy Beyond the Clutter of Life, Find out how here.
Brenda McGraw is an author and speaker who reveals how to discover joy beyond the clutter of life. She draws from her own life experiences in the #1 Amazon Best seller, “Joy Beyond, 28 Days to Finding Joy Beyond the Clutter of Life”. She is the founder of Ask God Today Ministries where she has a team of writers sharing truth and hope with others.
Brenda currently lives in South Carolina with her husband, Jeff and three of their five children. She is a survivor of breast cancer and a heart attack.. Despite the challenges she has endured, Brenda found peace through her relationship with Jesus Christ.
You can connect with Brenda McGraw at:
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