Relationships are messy.This article might seem detached but it is my response to a daughter who is going through a crisis . We are in agony because our fierce love seems like a noodle arrow which cannot pierce through to her heart. This is hardly an unique situation. Often we do not fully grasp what is best for our husbands, children or parents Often our way of loving misses their hearts completely. Some people crave touch, others need to hear love articulated. Still others think talk is cheap and anyone can hug but only feel love when it is put in action or they receive gifts. Even understanding the four languages of love does not make us much more effective because relationships cannot be explained in neat, tidy boxes. Life is messy. Life is a conundrum.
People have depths and layers to their personalities that will surprise us for as long as we are both alive. This mystery is sometimes a wonder and delight and at others times utterly frustrating. We want to understand, often so we feel in control but control eludes us.
Have you seen the movie, A River Runs Through It? There is a profound message in the father’s last sermon, which describes how we do not know how to really love those closest to us.
“Each one of us here today will, at one time in our lives, look upon a loved one in need and ask the same question: We are willing Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true that we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give, or more often than not, the part we have to give… is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us… But we can still love them… We can love completely—even without complete understanding…”