When I was growing up, my dad was really affectionate. He would cuddle me as a small child quite often. He loved to give hugs and show his affection. He sat close to mom and they held hands and kissed quite often.
But, there were times when he was angry that he would lash out. He would get physical. Our typical discipline before my older brother and sister ran away were many spankings with a leather belt. After they left, it was spankings with the soft side of the broom. But, he was a large, scary man to me and I never knew just how physical he was going to be.
I also never really knew his mood. One day he might be happy, joyous and loving life. The next, not so much and I had no idea why. Actually, often it was within the day. One moment, he was happy, joyous and loving life, and the next, not so much.
Sometimes, it was obvious what set him off. He had been drinking. We had forgotten to do the chores. I got in trouble at school. He got in an argument with mom. Sometimes, it was not so obvious. He went from laughing one moment to looking like he was going to throw a pool ball at you, the next.
It can be difficult to live with someone, particularly someone you hope to bring consistent love into your life, and you really aren’t sure if they are going to love you or come down on you. It can be equally difficult to work for someone that way, particularly if you’ve experienced it at home.
I think we all want consistency. We want to know we are loved. That the other person will always be for us, even when we mess up.
That is what we find in Jesus. That is what God provides. Consistency. Consistency, of love. We can see it throughout the Bible. We know it is true. He doesn’t always do what we want or like, but He always did it (does it) in love. God’s love is so consistent and true that it goes beyond our understanding.
When people in my life are not so consistent, when they fall short in their ability to demonstrate love or that they are for me in some particular way, I lean into the truth.
God loves me.
I am His child.
He will always love me, even when I mess up.
He is for me, that is why he disciplines me at times.
He is for me, that is why he walks with me through the difficult times.
He is with me.
He is watching over me.
He will fight for me.
He offers ultimate healing.
He will provide.
These are truths that provide consistency when the world doesn’t. When people fail us. When they fall short. When they seem wishy washy. When they praise us one day and belittle us the next. When they clamor for your love and affection and follow that up with abuse.
Jesus isn’t like that. He loves us consistently. Eternally.
That is the reason we are called to trust Him.
We are warned, not to trust man. Not to trust ourselves. But, to trust Him.
He is trustworthy.
Find peace today in His word:
PS – There is more to say and consider and do for those in an abusive relationship, but today, today was about leaning into God’s love and consistency. To find peace in the midst.