Agape love gives freely, even when rejected. In his book, The Bait of Satan (page 14), John Bevere tells us: ‘Without God we can only love with a selfish love, one that cannot be given if it is not received and returned. However, agape loves regardless of the response.’
By loving others, I am in the act of loving God. By not loving others, I am keeping my love from God. My love for Him filters through the people I love; it makes its way to Him through them. (Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40 KJV)
“But I’m not gaining their love – or even their affection.”
“They don’t see or appreciate my love, they’re using me.”
“It was easier to love them when I held hope that love would be returned or that their heart could be softened.”
“I don’t want to love them anymore. I’m tired.”
It doesn’t matter – keep loving them. Never give up on love. Love is more powerful than we can imagine, even when we don’t see its impact. A lot goes on in life that we never see with our eyes.
Luke 10:3 “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” We don’t expect wolves to love lambs (except perhaps how they taste).
There’s a fine line between loving and becoming a doormat. When we have to say ‘no’ to someone it doesn’t mean we stop loving them, sometimes it shows a greater love. Enabling someone to continue in their sin isn’t love. But loving them, regardless of their sin, is loving the way God loves.
True love is unconditional. When those we love most offend us, the hurt is beyond measure. When we allow that offense to stifle our love and snuff it out, we lose.
Pray. Repent. Start over, falling in love with God all over again through the freedom gained by laying it all out before God’s throne. He understands. He promises He’ll forgive us, again, freeing us to love His way.