Despite what friends, advisors or therapists can guide,
As Catholics we know, that with certain relations, like family, God wants us tied.
For the Lord has asked us to carry this cross,
To remain faithful in a relationship, where the other might seem like a boss,
Being out of tune with us, making us feel lost!
For endless years, you bravely did dare,
To show them Christ’s love and care,
Though they took the cream of your efforts, they continued to break the dream,
Of what you and God did desire, for both of you to be on the same team!
The Lord has witnessed all your pain,
Counting your tears, His heart does drain,
Seeing your efforts, for friendship or love, in vain.
Now, how do you correctly continue to maintain ‘unity’?
For as a Catholic, you know the Lord is all about the Trinity.
Consider a parable below,
Of a brave man who addressed a lion, long ago:
“Oh Lion, I come with a proposal to Thee,
Let us live in harmony,
From today, let the distance between us cease,
Daily I’ll bring you water and food,
All I want is for you to crossover to our side and to me, be good,
Be understanding towards me, as I seek to understand you,
Let this divide end and let our friendship be true.”
The Lion roared at the brave man and snarled,
“If you want to give me water and food, that’s fine,
But if in exchange you seek to bridge the gap, please keep in mind,
By nature, I am that creature, who has my own mind,
My ways or thoughts do not yield to your kind,
What I am, I will always be,
O man, intelligent being, maintaining a line between us, has always been the key,
However good your proposal is, it’s not in my nature, I must disagree!”
The man went away realizing his joy would only be found,
If he held certain principles sound,
Ambitious, holy and good were his desires, no doubt…
But that was not nature’s way about!
No matter how gentle and giving you are in your interactions with this glorious creature, it remains steadfast in its nature. The lion, regal and self-confident, expects creatures to revolve around its own rule and desires, showing little interest in understanding or accommodating others.
In our lives, we may encounter constant painful awkward isolation with that one standoffish person we are tied down to, whether in a marriage, family or under a superior. When time and again we have offered a heart of goodness and efforts to them but they refused the mutual crossover to happen (within our reasonable expectations), we then need to realize, God is redirecting us. He is sharpening our mind in acknowledging that some people are better to be understood, much like the lion (in the parable above). If we adopt this new fixed mindset, it can resolve a significant part of our problem.
Proverbs 14:15: “The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.”
The second key is to understand that while God wants us to be faithful in this relationship, it should be as He desires us to relate to the individual and not how the individual or we, expect to relate to them! We are not expected to try so hard, even if they are family, so as to unknowingly crossover and slip into idolizing them.
Galatians 1:10: “Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Regardless of how strongly our heart may feel the need to fix this relationship and win their friendship or approval for the sake of Christian love, deeper Christian love demands that instead of once again spending time trying to win them over, we should pray for God to win their hearts over completely to Him and guide them toward what is best for their souls.
God would rather we stop putting in extra material and verbal efforts in trying our level best to win them over (after so many failed attempts), for what is worse is that He does not wish us to finally get exhausted, bitter and then decide to disappear on them. In this way we will succumb to the sin of breaking up or harboring unforgiveness.
It is wiser to ensure the window of cordial communication is open, respecting the Lion’s principle, which is to maintain a wider ‘breathable distance’ for them or their sake. We should acknowledge that the other may not be coming over to our side anytime soon or ever, and that is their choice, which we are expected to respect. But in finally having this mindset, we will then be empowered to deal and communicate with them on these terms, without putting undue pressure on ourselves to be ‘good Christians.’ Instead, we can strive to be peaceable individuals and release ourselves from some of the stress that we bore in the past.
Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
In the words of a wise man: In the end, strive to maintain peace and keep from sinning!