Hard to Love… Hard to Trust…

TrustDo you have people in your life that are pretty much impossible to love? You keep trying… and trying… and trying… You’ve given a second chance, third chance, fourth chance… so many chances that you forget how many times you actually gave them benefit of the doubt. And you have told yourself that you don’t need their negativity and the stress in your life, and you vow to write them off… except… they’re family and it makes it pretty darn impossible to cut them out of your life!

Yeah, I have few of those in my life. And I truly feel like I’ve done all that I could do to reconcile, to forgive, to apologize, to love… but relationships are two-way street, and it can’t just take effort on my part. I’m not 100% innocent… and I’ve told myself that I can let go of the past… but when I think about it, it comes down to this: TRUST! They’ve broken my trust so many times, that I no longer have faith in them. Every time I’ve given them another chance, I was willing to trust them even against my better judgment… but then, they screw up royally again… and that trust is broken again. Because I no longer have trust in anything they do or say, I find it extremely challenging to love.

I tell myself it’s because they really need love the most and they have a funny way to expressing themselves. I tell myself that Jesus loved a horrible sinner like me thus I need to forgive and love those that have sinned against me. I tell myself that I’m a hypocrite for loving strangers more readily but not my own family members. I tell myself that I’m no better than a murderer if I have such bitter feelings toward them. I tell myself that I need to deny myself and love them regardless. I tell myself that I cannot continue to be a doormat to those that take advantage of me. I tell myself that God must have placed them in my life to teach me patience, forgiveness, and depth of His love. I tell myself I’m a horrible person for not being able to love. I tell myself a lot of things…

And 25 years later, I’m back right where I started. Just when I think I got it figured out… another conversation or incident happens, and I just wanna crawl into a hole and wish them away. I know the right answers… but the right answers don’t change the way I feel. Why is it so hard to love certain people? And how do I learn to love them despite all the trust they’ve broken… despite all the hurts, pain, and tears they’ve caused… How do I learn to trust them again?

#1 reason for having consistent volunteers in kidmin

Ever have moments in your life that’s forever etched into your memory?  I have many of those… and for some reason, two of many memories have to do with this topic.

  • I happen to be walking by when a preschool boy stopped in his tracks, looked at his Sunday School teacher who was off-rotation, and said “but you didn’t come to class today!”  He actually had the saddest puppy face ever, and he just looked perplexed as to why his teacher wouldn’t come to class when she was clearly at church.
  • I was having dinner at a good friend’s house, and we were talking about my next ministry direction when their 5-year-old son said “Teacher Gloria, do you wanna move to my church?”  His mom proceeded to tell me that he doesn’t like that his teachers change all the time in his Sunday school class.  He really likes consistency at his preschool, but had difficulty at church due to the inconsistency at his new church.  Oh, I had taught his class for about a year before he went to his new church.

We often think that primary purpose of Sunday ministries is to teach Bible lessons… and that’s true!  However, for kids, who teaches those lessons matter just as much, if not more!  We would never put up with our schools changing teachers every week or even every month, right?  So why do we settle for inconsistent volunteers for our children in our ministries?  God’s truth that is imparted during Sunday school is that much more powerful when it comes from someone that the kids have relationships with.  That’s why it’s important to have consistent volunteers in our kidmin and emphasize relationship building with the children.  There are other reasons, but I believe this has to be the #1 reason… because we can be much more effective in our ministry to the kids when they see familiar faces they trust and love week after week!