Sooner or later, you are going to feel unloved. Here’s what to do if you ever do.
Everyone has a favorite subject and it’s not English! It’s themselves. Most people you meet are tuned into W.I.F.M FM otherwise known as ‘what’s in it for me?’
I recently talked with someone who had someone do them a ‘favor’. My friend needed a custom made detail for his new home. One of his friends volunteered to supply the lumber and do the work as long as my friend assisted him. Before the first board was even selected, his friend reminded him how much the lumber would cost to buy and even stated up front that he was expecting some kind of return in the future!
While it’s easy to laugh at this kind of story, we’re all guilty from time to time. While we may not verbalize our thoughts to the people we help, the insinuation is as clear as day.
Now to take this full circle and bring it back to feeling unloved. If you are unloving to others, don’t expect to be loved in return. Unfortunately, that’s the way it works in this world.
I promise, if you haven’t already, you’ll have a season where you expect every one to come knocking on your door. Call it a pity party or whatever else you want. But it will happen. Remember, it’s human nature. But you don’t have to be unprepared when that day comes.
Imagine if you went to work this week and did nothing but sit and wait for pay day. It might work for George Costanza on Seinfeld, but the truth is you’d probably be fired before the week is over. Why? Because you have entered a spoken or unspoken contract with your employer. You will produce a product, and in return you will receive a paycheck.
It’s not a lack of love on your employer’s part, right? It’s because of the contract. You’ve both made an agreement.
The danger of feeling unloved and expecting love is that you stop loving until your needs are met. You see it all the time.
A spouse will go out of their way to meet the needs of their spouse because their needs are being unmet.
An employee stops going the extra mile for their boss because they haven’t received a raise in two years.
Your child stops obeying because their closet door hasn’t shut properly for two years but she watches you keep up on all of your projects.
A friend never calls anymore because they haven’t heard from you in 6 months.
When relationships go South it’s usually because someone’s needs are not being met.
So how do you keep your loved ones from feeling unloved? The truth is sometimes it is very difficult. However, one way is to find out what their needs are and meet them.
Meanwhile, while loving others is a constant job and you’re not always guaranteed success, you can take control of how loved you feel.
The way you do that is to love others, especially the unloveable.
Now that doesn’t mean you should neglect your own needs. That’s not healthy and it’s a good way to destroy your mind, will and emotions.
Jesus said it this way, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” Matthew 22:37-40.
Notice the command is simply to love without any kind of payback.
But there’s more. Earlier on, Jesus says, “Give your gifts in private, and your Father who sees everything, will reward you” Matthew 6:4. Does Jesus mean to suggest that if we do something publicly, we’ll lose out on our reward?
Jesus is revealing a simple yet profound truth. We don’t need to hang onto our rights and expect payment if God is our heavenly Father. That’s the way most people respond, especially children, but we don’t need to.
The day we realize just how loved we are, we stop expecting love and simply begin to love more. God pays particular attention to people who depend on him for their own needs and go around looking to meet unmet needs.
However, don’t go out and meet the needs of everyone and their brother if you’re not meeting the needs of those in your closest inner circles.
The people closest to you are in your life for a reason and there is never a good reason to overlook their needs, especially if they appear to be unloveable.
Imagine if everyone was a good neighbor, not just to the people next door, but to the people in the same house!
My grandmother used to always tell us kids that we’d be sorry someday for mistreating our siblings and other family members. How did she know? From her own experience.
While you’re at it, remember that the type of love talked about in the bible is not an emotion. It’s an action. Warm, fuzzy feelings sell a lot of Hallmark cards, but people can’t see how you feel about them until you show them.
So what if instead of trying to be a best friend to everyone in the world, you focused on your family?
It may be in the form of a phone call to let them know you are thinking of them the next time you are working.
It might mean finishing one of the jobs you started on the ‘honey do’ list. Or it may mean starting a job that’s been waiting.
You could start a college fund for your daughter. Don’t wait until you’ve got a lot saved, if you do, you may never start.
Bring home some flowers.
Volunteer to help your son with his homework.
The truth is we all can get so busy trying to save the world that we have no energy for the most important people in our lives. In the meantime, if every one would take care of their own, it’d be a lot nicer world. And if you’re wondering about the people in the world who have no family or friends, always remember God cares a lot more about them than you or I ever will. Should we make it a priority to help them? Absolutely, but not at the expense of those who God has entrusted to our immediate care.
“But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers” 1 Timothy 5:8