“Tough Love” For Whom?
We all could probably guess at how “tough love” got its name, right? Nobody likes to receive “tough love” I mean I sure don’t like it when it is being delivered to me, how about you? So many times the response of “tough love” is not taken well, if at all. Personally, I have found some of the recipients of my “tough love” feel attacked as well as feel I just don’t understand the whole situation or issues they’re going through. Sometimes my constructive criticism is misconstrued as a personal attack on their character. Honestly, it was not meant to be that at all but sometimes I don’t even get a chance to explain.
Proverbs 15:31 NLT
If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.
What it really comes down to, I think, is how the words get interpreted or perceived. Not to mention boy, does the enemy just like to wait and pounce when the opportune time arises so he can take full advantage of the situation. We all know the enemy came to lie, steal, and destroy and any chance he gets to slither his way in he will. He not only likes to rub our faces in it but oh, how our ears sometimes only hear his twisted half truths in the matter.
Proverbs 8:6-8 NLT
Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you. Everything I say is right, for I speak the truth and detest every kind of deception.
It is important for any of us to step back and give God a chance to work on us when someone delivers “tough love”. I know, I know easier said than done Deb but really if I don’t let God work in me then how can I expect Him to work in the other person. I am having a hard time getting someone to understand well, I guess take action in working through a particular issue they are having. So here I am in my frustration writing this post.
Let me ask you this, how do you speak the truth in love without the person feeling attacked? Oh, yeah and how do you deliver it when it is someone extremely close to your heart? Sometimes I am concerned that I might offend them.
Proverbs 18:19 NLT
An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.
It is very uncomfortable having to tell someone I love very much that hey, you have an issue here that we really need to address because it is getting way out of hand. I am so grateful to have a God that loves me so much that He reminds me of His scriptures. Thank God, He stops me in my tracks before I let my tongue dig a hole that I won’t be able to step out of.
Proverbs 15:4 NLT
Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 16:24 NLT
Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
What about when the mere mention of the “taboo” topic immediately changes their facial expression instantly, I think oh, oh that could have been delivered better. I’m at the point where a tone of frustration seeps in and that is soooo not what I wanted to happen. Sometimes it is hard to know how to approach the issue so that it is completely spoken and understood in love. Unfortunately, I do not always succeed in the delivery department.
Guess what? I bet you probably guessed what came my way, yup “tough love” via the Almighty! Ooo, ouch! I felt God say in my spirit, “Deb, the tone of your voice could have been a little sweeter and less accusatory. You asked Me to help so why not let Me do what I need to do in her first.” This was exactly what I have been praying for and there I was going ahead of God so that we, well I could get through this issue quicker.
What I have to remember is that God is working in both of us through these circumstances and I have to be patient to wait and see the good that will come of it. Amen!