Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG
April 16th, 2007
What Does Love Look Like?

Relationships are interesting. As wives and mothers and friends, we have more power than we imagine.  Geoff  and I have been going thru an interesting book together and it has been touching on the direct and indirect ways that we ‘punish’ people who are not doing what we think they ought.  When humans get angry, they have a tendency to lash out, say hurtful things, become rude, accuse people of wrong doing, lie about them (intentionally or not), gossip, etc.  

But they also have a powerful tool to ‘punish’ others indirectly.  They withhold affection, they withhold kindness and courtesy.  They treat them ‘cooly’ or with a weird ‘indifference’.  They send signals that the relationship is not at all important to them as long as the other person either ‘doesn’t figure out what they did wrong (because in their mind it should be obvious)’ or unless they repent and change immediately. 

This is something that I try very hard to avoid, especially with my children and my husband.  When we punish others indirectly and withhold affection or warmth to ‘get a point across’, we only cause them to hate us.  They will believe that the relationship actually matters very little to us and that our affection, kindness and love depend on their actions. As Christians, we know this is purely demonic. 

 Relationship is key it is the grace, humility, love and kindness that they see in us (towards them) that will make them want to change (assuming that they need to change).  Harsh, unkind or sarcastic words, or ‘pulling away from the relationship’ are never biblical examples for resolving conflict.

We are to operate as a body (within our families and within outside relationships).  By maintaining relationship, even when there may be a serious issue to work thru, we show the other person that we have true Christian love, compassion and concern.  It is unlikely that our husband or our children (or anybody in general) will want to have much of a relationship with us, if they know that mistakes (or perceived mistake) will cause them to suffer.  ZAP! “Ok, you blew it – I’m going to treat you with indifference and without any warmth until: A) I get a chance to sit down and work thru the issues with you or B) until you take full responsibility for your bad behaviour”

This is ugly, ungodly, inexcusable behaviour.  I, personally, have been guilty of it and I am endeavoring to never let this type of actions either define me or to characterize any of my relationships.

If we truly love people, they will know it and they will feel it.  Even if we have a situation where a real sin issue needs to be confronted and dealt with, it is inexcusable to ‘punish’ the person during the interim. As wives, we are especially good at doing this to our husbands, aren’t we?  But we are not allowed to do that.  We must be patient, just as our Lord has been so patient with us.  Luckily, he does not deal with us ‘justly as we deserve’. 

Love is kind.  It does not envy; it dos not boast, it is not proud.  Love is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered.  It keeps no record of wrong.  Love does not delight in evil but it rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, it always perseveres.

Love always perseveres.  If our lives are marked with a string of broken or divided relationships then perhaps we are guilty of not loving… and/or not persevering. The apostle Paul urges continually in his epistles for us to agree with one another in the faith and to have perfect unity thru the bond of love and foundation of Christ. Jesus said that if we are at odds with a brother or sister we are to leave our sacrifice at the altar and RUSH to make things right.  We are responsible to do everything in our power to fix things, and then to go back and keep trying! 

Think of the shepherd who would not give up on his lost sheep, or the woman who would not give up looking for her gold coin.  God does not give up on others, nor should we.

God knew that witholding affection as we wait for others to change, or putting an issue on the back burner, would cause the problem to grow and fester in an ungodly way.  And we are fully responsible for *how* we deal with people during a conflict, especially if we feel compelled to deal with sin (or perceived sin) in others lives.  

Relationships are important because GOD SAYS THEY ARE (even if we feel like life is easier without the one who has done wrong).  God has been revealing to me that I had been treating certain people (whom I was supposed to love) with indifference, rudeness, and no warmth (or just ignoring them altogether).  It did not cause these people to want to change, rather it made them want to steer clear of me all the more or simply view me as immature and unreasonable.  But God has been so patient with me and over the last several months He has completely healed two relationships that I had treated with disdain and did not pursue godly peace and godly restoration. 

May our lives, and our relationships, reflect HIM.  May we truly love others – not just with words, but with our actions. With humility, grace, blessing, longsuffering and kindness.


God bless you this week, I know that many people are struggling with these same issues in their marriages, in their parenting, with neighbors, extended family or other Christians in their church.  Thru Christ, and by obeying His word, *all* things are possible.

April 16th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

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  1. PatinTenn said,

    on April 16th, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Very good Post……

    I too sometimes give in to this "fleshly" sin and don't "feel" like loving others.

    We have to remember that those of us that truely are saved by the grace of God, our first and only thing that God commands of us is to "Love God ". I use to wonder why is that the only thing that we have to do? Then one day I found out why, if we are loving God, then we are able to fulfill all other things commaned of us. We won't want to hate our neighbor, steal from anyone, lie, have envey, we will want to honor our parents and on and on. It is only when we are loving God that we can truely love each other.

    Also, if we think we can be mad at someone and "block" that person out, we are wrong!! For when we "block out" others, we are "blocking out God" also. You can not say that you love God and be mad or hate someone else.

    Well, that is my thoughts on your post today. I hope that you do not mind. This is also something on my heart and mind daily.


  2. servingtheKingofkings said,

    on April 16th, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Wonderful post!

    This reminds me of the song, "They'll Know We Are Christians." …And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love. It is true that we sometimes treat our loved ones worse than we do to others outside the family because we feel too comfortable with them and know that they still love us no matter what. BUT…that's no excuse for not honoring God in our attitudes, words, and actions. Your post is a great reminder for us to keep loving people even when they are not so lovable :). Let us love one another unconditionally with the love of the Lord!

  3. jess4him said,

    on April 16th, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Hey Jen

    I appreciate your post… a lot. I have to admit, I think I DEFINITELY fall in the "blows-it-all-the-time" category rather than so much in the other. I HATE being at odds with people- ESPECIALLY my family (you know as well as I do we don't have a whole lot left). I think being one who screws up more than most makes me appreciate hugely the love and kindness I'm shown by those who matter most to me (family) when I do "blow it again". It's amazing and wonderful when I know I've done something royally dumb and I'm STILL forgiven rather than "punished" by the silent treatment (which is devastating and confusing). When those around me are instead understanding that I'm still just a stupid girl learning and growing in the Lord (I can relate big time to Timothy), it demonstrates amazing godliness and faithfulness by the one who is extending grace rather than bitterness or (what seems like) hate.

    I love you (duh) and am thankful to your living out loud that which you preach. You're a dynamic woman and I respect and have learned so much from you (especially lately). You have incredible wisdom and it's been *amazing* to be one that's SEEN you and the growth that's taken place (even through the young eyes of an elementary kid) since you were even just a teenager… haha. I haven't forgotten many of those years! 🙂 Remember when we used to fight over the music on long road trips with mom? I wanted to listen to my salty praise and you had your own "interesting" choices.. I remember mom alternating to keep us both happy. wow.. that was a loooong time ago.

    your sis,

    peanut butter

  4. tn3jcarter said,

    on April 16th, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Lots to think about here…

    I'm going to have to take a look at that book and see if it's something Tony & I might want to work through. We both come from families where people just "cut each other off" and I tell you it's scary.

    There are big gaping holes in our family tree where people refuse to even acknowledge others and have just totally lost touch. It's sad and I don't want to pass that to my children. It's just really tricky to navigate though because our actions affect so many others.

    Through it all I am just so thankful that God will never leave me or forsake me. That He will never turn his back on me. Maybe I need another book – what to do when you pursue relationships and get doors slammed in your face….


  5. anyachristine said,

    on April 16th, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Thank you for posting this, Jen. Thank. you.

  6. Jocelyndixon said,

    on April 16th, 2007 at 4:49 pm


    That was a very long, well-thought post. You certainly have a nac for writing. *Grins*

    I hope you had a wonderful time, mrs. ig, for your birthday. I meant to send you a b-day but I was too bummed out after hearing that your sissy wasn't coming…

    They are though… they'll be here in 4hrs!



  7. JacqueDixonSoulRestES said,

    on April 17th, 2007 at 2:05 am


    What about….

    And, it's not me…


    So, why exactly did you have to post this post?

    And, why exactly did you have to post it now?

    Could it be God?

    Could it have something to do with the fact that my brother and sis-in-law moved closer to her fam over a year ago and have decided not to speak to us…

    and, *just this week*…tonite, in fact, my Mom came up for a visit… and I KNOW this is going to come up…

    been thinking about what's going to happen in this situation for a week now.

    Thanks, Jen, I know how *I* am going to behave during this situation.

    And, I know my girls are going to read this. And Matt has been reading some blogs too… I may ask him if he'd like to read it too…

    So, thanks for telling it like it is… according to the Lord.

    'ppreciate it!



    p.s…. Hope you had a wonderful time on your bd…

    Belated blessings, my friend!

  8. UndertheSky said,

    on April 17th, 2007 at 3:14 am


    This is a beautiful important post, Jen. Thanks for sharing this. :+)

    Love you!


  9. Pattycake said,

    on April 17th, 2007 at 7:09 am

    Untitled Comment

    This was very good, and I believe I've reaped fruit in my life — bad and good — depending on my love (agape or conditional).

    More recently, in the past year plus, I've been reaping the good fruit of unconditional love for my children, husband, and others. I'm no poker face, so when I'm frustrated and fed up, it shows and everyone knows it. I don't have the option of putting on a different face, my face reveals all. I mean, I can try, but something reads through — it must come from my heart. Which means going before Him a lot and allowing Him to supply His Wisdom in every situation and His Love for the person — and to remember grace — that I don't deserve forgiveness either. Once my heart is in tune with His, my face will reveal what is in my heart, and I don't have to worry about "putting on a loving face/attitude." Because I have allowed Him to change my heart.

  10. ShayC said,

    on April 17th, 2007 at 8:42 am

    Untitled Comment

    Wow…I'm really kind of speachless after reading your post. Just wanted to let you know how much it meant to me for you to share this!!!! My husband and I have dubbed this trait in me "THE WALL". However, for the past year I have REALLY been working hard at not even laying the first brick!!!! This most certainly is ONLY possible with the help of my Father God in Heaven. How BLESSED INDEED we are that He doesn't put up a WALL against us!!!!!!! (maybe I wasn't speechless after all ha-ha)

    Growing In Christ,


  11. rjdjohn316 said,

    on April 17th, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Mrs. Ig…

    A true statement!

    "Love is kind. It does not envy; it dos not boast, it is not proud. Love is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but it rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, it always perseveres.

    Love always perseveres. If our lives are marked with a string of broken or divided relationships then perhaps we are guilty of not loving… and/or not persevering. The apostle Paul urges continually in his epistles for us to agree with one another in the faith and to have perfect unity thru the bond of love and foundation of Christ. Jesus said that if we are at odds with a brother or sister we are to leave our sacrifice at the altar and RUSH to make things right. We are responsible to do everything in our power to fix things, and then to go back and keep trying!

    Think of the shepherd who would not give up on his lost sheep, or the woman who would not give up looking for her gold coin. God does not give up on others, nor should we."

    I believe every word of this, Mrs. Ig…It's true, we want to get our point across and so we think actions of meaness and we want to 'punish' people for things they did not realize they do to us. I want to be the woman God created me to be and this is a very good post! I was at Sylvia's blog (totustuus) and I left her a comment about your post!

    I hope to act on what God has written in his Word. Relationships are important to him, mostly the one with himself! That should be our first priority in the realm of relationships. The next comes the one between a man and his wife, then her children and so forth. He wants to have these things to be happy and to live by the way he wants us to live.

    I posted about our Auntie's, um I mean, Mrs. S.'s visit with us. Come by and read it!



    Ps. I want to say thanks for the swet comment on my blog! I didn't really think you would comment back to me! I'm glad you did though!

  12. nsremom said,

    on April 18th, 2007 at 1:12 am

    Untitled Comment

    good post. I cringed a bit when you talked about relationships in general. I got the great marriage part done….check. I also have the close relationship with my kidlets….check. But my parents? There's some distance and hurt that has never healed completely. Or at least there's a scar there. But, I guess that as long as I'm trying my best and at the same time protect myself from pain….then I'm doing the right thing.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post. Not your usual guffaw inducing post, but I liked it a lot.

  13. Anonymous said,

    on April 18th, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Hello Jenig! Hey, as if you don't have enough to do, consider yourself tagged with the thinking blogger award. To see the directions, go here

    Happy thinking!

  14. DreweLlyn said,

    on April 19th, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    I just wanted to say…

    …happy belated birthday back at you! 🙂

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend:-(.

  15. OreoSouza said,

    on April 21st, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Untitled Comment

    Wow! This is an excellent post! Thoughtful and thought provoking. Thank you. Wonderful writing…clear and engaging.

  16. booknhome said,

    on April 26th, 2007 at 7:46 am

    Untitled Comment

    Thanks for your encouraging comment.I am blushing over a possible misunderstanding over my post about this post.Please visit again? I really appreciate how God used your post in my life when some friends had a long avoided conflict explode.

  17. DianeDay said,

    on April 27th, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    kids version

    My kids and I went through the kids version of this book, the Young Peacemaker. It was AWESOME. Come to think of it, we probably need to go through it again now that we're a little older.

  18. HeartnSoul said,

    on May 8th, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Untitled Comment

    That is a very true post.. BUT I think there are times when it is healthy for one to pull away.

    2 weeks ago I showed an article to our small group leader stating some revealing research I had accidentally come across about the "Purpose Driven" foundation, in which our church is one of them. He proceeded to tear apart the author's writing, puffed himself up to balloon size to intimidate me, was yelling "you can't touch God's anointed!" and accused me of causing dissension, when I only was seeking if there was any TRUTH in the research. I had never seen anything like it before.

    I also see the fruit of his leadership in the small group (and his training) when compared to a truly Biblical study we are doing right now instead of following along more with the sermons each week. They don't believe Scripture applies to modern day America – we have to do something different here, (God's Word is not enough did God lie about that?) and the model of evangelism Christ gave us in Matthew (he said repent, and expect persecution and hatred) they have replaced with entertainment for unbelievers so they like us and will come to church.

    2 Thess. 3:14 says: "And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." Which I am following.

    I don't think I can trust his leadership, or his intentions as I witnessed him covering up the truth, but I am not being unloving in manner, I'm still in touch email-wise, but for sure I am being wise and innocent so I don't get bitten (or whipped) again. They told my husband to tell me last week they think I am "one of those arrogant homeschoolers". What?? I haven't even said one thing about anything. It reminds me of politics where they name call and twist meanings… Righteousness becomes arrogance, etc…. what do you think in that circumstance?

    Denise T

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