Welcome to part 3 of The Relationship Foundations Series.
Are you certain about your loveability? What if we told you it's not about becoming more loveable but about realizing that your loveability is already absolute and unchanging? Join us today on Happiest Lives podcast as we take a deep dive into the profound connection between our capacity to love and our relationship with God. We'll uncover the transformative power of God's love and discuss how it influences our self-worth and relationships.
Have you ever wrestled with the concept of unconditional love? It's about loving someone wholeheartedly, irrespective of their actions, without expecting anything in return. It's not easy, but it's highly rewarding. Let's chat about how God's love can provide us with solace and strength and guide us to let go of resentment, hurt, and bitterness. By accepting that we are loved beyond measure, we can extend this love to others and create a ripple effect of love in our surroundings.
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You are listening to the Happiest Lives podcast with Jill Lillard, episode number 21. Welcome to the Happiest Lives podcast, where you'll learn to think better, feel better and become the woman God says you already are. Here's your host, jill Lillard. Hey, hey, welcome back to the series Relationship Foundations. Before we get started, let's do a short review of what we've been talking about for the past three weeks. The first concept we have been studying is that our relationships, whether with others, god or ourselves are based on our thoughts, which is good news, because we get to choose what we think. I like to base my thoughts on the truth of Scripture and pick thoughts that help me feel more loved and loving. So often we want to blame others for our relationship problems, when it is our thoughts that are creating our experience. So if you get nothing else out of this series, just remember your relationship is your thoughts and it is creating the experience that you are having of the other person. Even if someone you love has been diagnosed with narcissism, for example, what you make that mean will define your experience and your response. Now, I'm not saying you want to feel amazing about everything someone does, but being intentional about how you want to show up requires examining your thoughts. In the second week, we explored the pitfalls of imposing our desires onto someone else by trying to control them with our relationship manuals. Knowing why you're in a relationship with someone is important because if it is so that you could be happier, you'll always find that the other person falls short as they cannot meet your deepest needs, your deepest longings, desires, once they cannot fill the place that only God can fill. Instead of demanding people make us happy, we can make requests without demanding, and then we can look for ways that are once match up. In week three, we discussed the importance of setting boundaries, highlighting that boundaries are about protecting yourself. They're not about trying to control or manipulate others. Boundaries start in our minds as we understand where are we in and another begins. So this week let's talk about love ability. Love ability refers to your capacity to love others and others, capacity to love you. How well someone loves us. It has nothing to do with how lovable we are, but rather with their capacity to love you. My friends are 100% lovable. You always have been and always will be, and that's true for every single one of you. It doesn't matter what you've done. It doesn't matter what you haven't done. You cannot affect your own love ability. It is absolute. How do we know this is true? Well, the Bible teaches us that every human being is created in the image of God and is loved by God. His unconditional and sacrificial love is not based on our worthiness or merit. However, the Bible also acknowledges that all humans have sinned and fall short of God's perfect standard. Our sinful nature separates us from Him and hinders our ability to embody and express His love fully. We need someone who can bridge the gap between our fallen state and God's perfect state. We need a Redeemer, which we have in Jesus. Through His sacrifice on the cross, jesus provided a way for our sins to be forgiven, and through faith in Him we are reconciled with God and experience His transformative love, imperfect as we are, and yet God still died for us. We love him because he loved us first. He, in his very nature, is love, and that love is extended to us in our imperfect state. It is God's desire that we continually grow in his love, becoming more like Christ. God so loved the world that whoever believes in him shall not perish but will have eternal life. Our loveability has nothing to do with our righteousness, but is based on his love and grace extended to us before we were worthy. I have a friend who used to tell me that she knew in her head that God loved her, but she had a hard time feeling that love. This is a friend I would describe as incredibly lovable. Anyone who meets her loves her, and yet she so often feels unlovable. She might attribute some of this to her childhood, and it's true. Many who have experienced attachment trauma find it hard to feel connected to others. They find it hard to experience love. Her parents loved her the very best they knew how, but their ability to offer her the love she craved it was lacking. It was not because she was unlovable, although she internalized it that way. They were doing the best they could, based on their ability to love. Many who did not feel loved as children have spent their lives trying to become more lovable, wanting to be loved by people who were incapable of loving. Well, they are spinning their wheels, trying to do something impossible, as we cannot increase our loveability. We are intrinsically lovable. This goes both ways. Think of the people in your life who you find hard to love. It is not because of their loveability, as they are 100% lovable. It is because of your ability to love. If your ability to love is high, you will feel a lot of love for them. If your ability is low, you will experience them as unlovable, but you will be wrong. We are capable of loving and being loved only because God first loved us and continues to pour His love into our lives. God wants us to love others. The Bible teaches us to love others just as God loves us. Jesus summarized the commandment by saying Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is this love your neighbor as yourself. This commandment to love extends to everyone, including our enemies. So how do we increase our capacity to love? First, we must know the one who is love, and he will teach us to love in every situation, with every person. He will fill us with new truths about ourselves, based on who we are in Him. When we operate from the place of believing we are loved and lovable. We have a secure base to explore the world. In college, I remember learning about forming secure attachments in childhood. So when a child is securely attached to a parent, they can move outside the parameters of the parent and explore the world because they are confident in their secure base. The child whose parents were non-responsive developed insecure attachments and lacked the confidence to engage and explore the world around them in the same way. So, whether you have a secure or insecure attachment from childhood, the Lord offers to be your secure base. He can rewire your mind and help you create new neural pathways that foster love. Faith comes from hearing the word of God, so writing down those truths and taking action on them will increase your faith in what he says about your value, worth and lovability. With a strong sense of who he is and who we are to Him, we can go into the world with an increased capacity to love. We are worthy of love because he made us worthy through His blood. He loved us before we knew Him. If you haven't listened to my first podcast, who Do you Think you Are? It explores the concept of identity and how knowing God, knowing who God says we are, and nurturing those truths will impact how we view ourselves in the world. So remember love is a fruit of the Spirit. In Galatians 5, 22 through 23, the Apostle Paul writes but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This means, as we grow in our relationship with God and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we will increasingly demonstrate love toward others. We just have to be willing to listen and obey Him. We have to be willing to let go of bitterness and unforgiveness which hinder the work of the Spirit. In 1 John 4-18, it tells us there is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. As we experience and embrace God's love, it enables us to love others more fully and overcome fear and security and selfishness. You don't have to conjure up a feeling of worth, value and loveability by affirming yourself. That only leads to a false sense of competence, arrogance and narcissism. Rather, we find true love as we humble ourselves before the Lord and humbly receive His grace and love, believing what he says about us, over what we feel, and willingly letting go of the hurts we want to hold on to. In this way, we fan the flames of the Spirit in us rather than feeding the indulgences of our own flesh. The harder it is to love someone, the better you will get at loving, as it requires you to lean into the Spirit to do what you are incapable of. Cooperating with Him, you will get over yourself and be filled with His love and power. This is the abundant life Christ has promised us. Feeling loved and loving fills amazing. Imagine loving everyone you saw, even if they didn't love you. Love overflowed from your heart. You would feel so incredible. We think love comes from outside of us, but it's not true. It starts in our heart, in our minds, our will. When we love others, we are filled with love. If someone tells you they love you and you believe it, you will fill that love. If you think you're unlovable, you won't experience the love, no matter how many times they tell you. The better we get at loving ourselves and letting God's love take root in our hearts, the better we get at loving others and the better we get at loving God, the more love we will experience in our life and the better we will feel Just feeling loved and loving. It doesn't mean you have to do certain things the other person wants you to do. I'm talking about just feeling the amazingness of love In Clarity and Courage. I teach my clients how to hold space for another without judging them, but to just receive them as they are, without imposing yourself. I feel such love for my clients. I love them in their humanness, all their shortcomings and imperfections, their fallibility and ugliness. Because of that I am able to coach from a space of love. When your client can feel that that's the space that you're in, you can do the best kind of coaching. I can do that for my clients because I have learned to do that for myself, to love myself the way the Lord loves me and see myself the way he does, to experience unconditional love despite my shortcomings and flaws. When we withhold love from someone because we think they don't deserve our love, we are the ones that suffer. When we hate, we feel the hate. When you don't love, you feel unloving. Now, loving someone doesn't mean you have to have the person in your life and spend all sorts of time with them and do whatever they want you to do. But what it does mean is you show up for you in the space of love, regardless of how they show up. Sometimes love says no, it sets boundaries, it doesn't do all the things the other person wants. In Luke 632, jesus says if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? This goes on to challenge his followers. But love your enemies. Do good to them. It's not enough for us to love the people that are easy for us to love. We are called to love those who are hard to love. Make sure you aren't deleting people from your life that are hard to love. Otherwise, you are only going to surround yourself with those who are easy to love and you never grow in understanding what love really is. When we only love those who are easy to love, we don't lean into the spirit and we don't grow to become more like Christ, who loved us unconditionally and sacrificially. Think of the person that is hardest for you to love. Decide their behavior won't dictate what you feel. Have they been unkind? You can still love them. You can love people who don't deserve your love. You do it because God has loved you tremendously and you want to experience the fruit of his spirit, the greatest thing being love flowing in your heart, and no one can take that from you, even if you have reasons for your hate. Is it what you want to feel? Probably not, and so I encourage you to let go of bitterness and resentment and let the Lord's love fill your heart. He is your vindicator and redeemer. He is the lover of your soul. He loves you and he will take care of you. Decide to love this person, no matter what they've done, what they will do, no matter their words or actions. Love them. You get to choose. The more you choose love, the better you will get. The more you love yourself when you miss the mark, as you see yourself through the lens of God, the more you can love others who miss the mark. This does not mean you have to be around them. You may need to set some healthy boundaries when they act certain ways, but you can still love them unconditionally. I coached a woman whose husband had cheated on her and she was in the midst of a divorce. She was so hurt by what he had done that she used it as an excuse to withhold love from him. She wanted to love him, but was using his actions as a reason not to. She even turned on herself, thinking she was unlovable or he would not have cheated on her. The truth is, she was choosing not to feel love, which felt terrible. She thought it might make her feel protected, but it only made her feel miserable, even if she decided to divorce her husband for what he had done, she could still feel love toward him, which always feels better than anger and hate. I don't know who originally said it, as I've heard it from many people, but I appreciate the phrase I love you and there's nothing you can do about it. The Lord will love us all of our lives. That does not mean there aren't consequences for our choices, but his love is unconditional. He will love you and there's nothing you can do about that. You can choose to love anyone in your life and they can't stop you. This doesn't mean you invade their boundaries and stalk them against their will, but it means you're going to feel love when you think about them. You're going to allow the spirit to bear fruit in you as you let go of bitterness, hurt and resentment, trusting the one who is your secure base, the one who loves your soul. Another person's actions they don't have anything to do with your loveability. You can love someone and not do anything they want you to do. Just because someone doesn't do what you want them to do doesn't mean they don't love you and it doesn't mean you have to stop loving them. When we quit trying to change people and just love them, our relationship explodes. This is true, unconditional love. Embracing loveability leads us to experience God's perfect love. Remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made in God's image and His love for you is unconditional. By loving ourselves as God loves us and extending that love to others, we create a ripple effect of love in the world. As we root our identity and our relationship with God and stand on His truth, we can live a life of loveability and make a positive impact in the life of others. Alright, my friends, that's what I have for you today. The final lesson in this series is coming next week, where we talk about people pleasing. If you are wanting to know the difference between loving people and people pleasing people, tune in next Friday. Remember, you are loved beyond measure. Take care, everybody, and I will talk to you soon.