Love Should Hurt…Sometimes
I know some of you clicked on this post simply because you wanted to determine for yourself if I had lost my mind after you read the title. It’s okay. I’m glad you are here and no I haven’t. This post is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while and felt that Valentine’s Day was the perfect day to air my thoughts. I have been having a lot of relationship and love discussions lately with some girlfriends. Whether it’s prompted by episodes of Being Mary Jane or random Facebook posts or even personal stories, there is a common underlying thought woven through each one and that is love shouldn’t ever hurt. We live in a society that believes that everything that is for our good should also feel good. And when it does not, we are totally entitled to just throw in the towel and take the first exit ramp. This is played out in relationships on a daily basis on-screen and off. Did you catch Episode three of Being Mary Jane when Mary Jane told Lee to get out of her condo after an argument and they broke up (or so she thought)? The next day he returns to her apartment as usual and she looks surprised to which he asked her “Did you really think we broke up?” After she responds affirmatively, he comes back with “Well, congratulations. You’re about to celebrate your 40th, and it looks like you’re about to be in a real relationship.”
This segment was so true to life because we see this day in and day out. People walk away from love for the smallest infraction. Break ups because we got into an argument. Divorces because we haven’t been seeing “eye to eye” lately. Break ups because he hurt my feelings. Even divorces because “I’m just not happy”. Now I am not saying that we should stay in relationships that are abusive. That’s a whole nother topic. But I am not so convinced that it shouldn’t hurt at all. Here’s three reasons why I believe if you are in love, it should hurt.
1 Corinthians 13 gives us a thorough definition of love…
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Cor 13:4-9
Let’s dig into the bolded portion…
1. Love Never Gives Up
Have you ever started back working out after a long hiatus? It is the most painful experience I can reference outside of childbirth. Not a day goes by at first that you don’t think about quitting but you know that after you get over the initial shock to your muscles, there is better health and fitness awaiting you on the other side. Likewise with love. Coming together in a mature relationship and meshing together lives and lifestyles is full of challenges. Can you truly never give up on love and not experience tremendous pain and heartache in the process?
2. Love Never Loses Faith and is Aways Hopeful
A true sign of maturity is being able to separate the person from the behavior. We all interpret behaviors differently. What is endearing to one is offensive to another. That’s why communication is so vital to any healthy relationship. While I agree that love is a verb and not a noun, we must make sure that we are discerning actions properly. We must look at what our partners do through the lens of faith and hope and when they fall short, fill the gap with trust.
3. Love Endures through Every Circumstance
“Every circumstance” is a biggie!! If we really thought through this verse I don’t think we’d enter into relationships and marriages lightly. The bible never said marriage is solely about “your happiness” but it does tell us that the two are better than one because of the benefits of having another’s support, protection and provision in your life. We also produce more power together! You don’t get a “get out of the marriage free” pass because he hurt you. You don’t get to walk away when it doesn’t serve your ego or emotions any longer. True love endures through leaning into God and allowing Him to repair the breaches. (Disclaimer: I am referencing marriage in this point. Relationships are like interviews to me. We are both evaluating each other’s compatibility for a permanent position and may decide after a period of time, it’s not a good fit.)
We can see the “enduring power” of love in Jesus’ journey to the cross. He had numerous opportunities to drop that cross and walk away. In our modern-day society, he would’ve been justified to do so because he didn’t do anything wrong and was in pain for someone who wasn’t worth it. But 1 Corinthians love is about refusing to allow your flesh to control the outcome and being led by the Spirit of God… even if you are hurt in the process. If you are more inclined to run, you must ask yourself if you truly understand the sacrifice and selflessness of love. And if so, are you really in love with your guy?
Jesus is the example that true love doesn’t sway with fleeting emotions but it is strong and rooted and able to withstand. Jesus didn’t run because he loved you and understood that love should hurt…sometimes.