I Don’t Like Her

I Don’t Like Her

August 14, 2013

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (NIV 1984)

Guns were loaded. Places taken. The showdown had begun. Her at one end of the table; me at the other. My plate a smoking gun; lima beans my bullets.

I wish I could say I was a two-year-old toddler, throwing a tantrum. Instead, I’m embarrassed to admit I was a 25-year-old adult, sticking it to my then-boyfriend’s mom; a woman I couldn’t stand. Neither of us was backing down. Meeting her stealthy gaze, I methodically slid one lima bean after another to the side of my plate. I would not take one bite of her potpie until it was clear of the offending veggies.

Oh, it’s not that I dislike lima beans. On the contrary. What I didn’t like was her.

Her, my boyfriend’s mother. Clinging tightly to her matronly apron strings. Sitting at the head of his table. Wedging herself between us. Serving his favorite meal.

Me, her son’s girlfriend. Building bonds. Sitting by his side. Finding my place between mother and son. Resenting her home-cooked food.

My own mother’s voice grew loud in my head with each lima bean I pushed aside. I could just hear her reprimand: it doesn’t matter what she’s done, you eat the limas, Sam. I held my challenger’s stare as I flicked another bean and ignored what I knew my mom would say: put down your disdain and put her above yourself, Samantha.

With determined purpose, I jabbed the last lima. Without a word I said it all: I will not honor your meal … your feelings … you. My mom’s voice shook my inner core. Humility, Samantha Elaine!!

After dishes were washed and guns put away, another voice resonated. I sensed the Lord speak gently, yet firmly. Why did you feel the need to battle your pride, and her, in having to be number one in your boyfriend’s life? This would have been the perfect opportunity to “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3).

I was ready with my rebuttal. She’s controlling and invasive. She doesn’t respect me or my relationship with her son. She’s impossible to get along with, much less honor. I don’t like her!

As far as I was concerned, she was the enemy, and it was my duty to draw the battle lines. Yet I knew my actions should not be determined by hers. After all, she had worked hard on that dinner. She was my boyfriend’s mom. And most importantly, she was my sister in Christ.

I knew God called me to be humble toward her. Not only that, but to go above-by eating (all) of her meal, and beyond-by complimenting her dish (it actually was tasty). It would have been a small thing, but it would have been the right thing … and the God thing.

Though my relationship with my boyfriend has since ended, my relationship with humility continues to grow. It may be through watching a television show that bores me but my friend enjoys it. Or speaking kindly when I’m frustrated, praying for someone who has offended me or taking a back seat when I want to be first.

When my finger is on the trigger of my pride, I keep in mind that by being humble, I’m obeying God, which ultimately honors Him. This truth gives me the grace I need to tuck my guns away and ask, “May I please have seconds?”

Dear Lord, thanks for being the best example of humility and honor. Please give me the grace to honor others, especially those who I find hard to respect. Thanks for Your Word that reminds me to put others first. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Jesus?

The Proverbs 31 devotional writing team is excited to share with you our NEW Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living, filled with 100 devotions to encourage you with God’s truth and hope! Pre-order your copy today; the book will be released September 24.

Connect with Samantha Evilsizer on her Facebook page, More Than Enough, a place of encouragement that Jesus is more than enough for every aspect of life!

Reflect and Respond:
Who do you struggle to be humble toward? Why?

Pray about having an honest conversation with that person. If you’re not able to, determine now how you will react in a honoring manner the next time you interact.

Power Verses:
Romans 12:10, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (ESV)

Colossians 3:12-13a, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another …” (ESV)

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Comments

  1. Amanda A.G. says:

    This is very thought provoking. I agree that we are called to humble ourselves, and the interesting thing is that when we do, we are actually the bigger person. It can definitely be difficult, especially if the other person is pushy or simply doesn’t deserve the humble gesture. Of course that makes me think of how The Lord lowered himself for our salvation when we didn’t deserve it.

  2. My stepdaughters’ biological mother. UGH! She is one of the least respectable people I’ve known to exist! Though I try – I pray, for me and for her, but especially for the kids. I’m constantly reminded of God and Jesus’ grace and sacrifice. But my mortal soul can’t live up to that when dealing with her selfishness and immaturity. And humbleness and Godly love isn’t received nor comprehended by her. Running out of prayers…..

    • I have never responded to anything online, but reading your comment Paula I feel your pain.
      My stepson’s biological mom is extremely controlling, manipulative and lies to get her way.
      I try to rise above and pray every day for me, for her, and for my stepson but struggle constantly.
      The best prayer and reminder for me was in today’s devotion –
      “Please give me the grace to honor others, especially those who I find hard to respect.”

      Don’t give up Paula, we need to continue to have faith and be an example to our stepchildren
      and one day I know it will make a difference!

      • Jenn and Paula, it sounds like we are all in the same boat! My step children’s biological mom is very mean and manipulative. She uses the kids against us constantly and has no respect or boundaries. I’ve tried very hard, myself to pray for this situation and for HER. I’m at the end of my rope though. Lately I can’t seem to even pray for her….I simply have to say “Lord, you know the situation…help”. That’s all I can muster up.

        • Hey ladies, I am a biological mother to my daughter and her stepmother and her biological father are very hateful towards me. I have worked hard to cultivate a positive relationship with the both of them, but they now have taken my kindness as “jealousy”. I am reminded daily by God that he has this situation under control and no matter what, in the end, this is NOT my eternal home. I pray for them several times a day and I know that when they pop in my mind, that is the voice of God calling me to be humble and love them thru this circumstance. I am unable to have feelings of hate or anger towards them as I believe the Lord has taken that ability away from me. I feel for yall as I know how it is, but i am on the other side of the situation…..keep the faith ladies! Remember this, when problems occur, dont go to the phone, go to the THRONE!

          • Good morning, ladies. Ten years ago I became the stepmother of 3 practically grown children when I was only 25 (the oldest was 18). They resented me and kept me at a distance to not “offend” or hurt their mom. (As an example, whenever they called our home and I answered the phone I would get, “Is my dad there?” Not even a hello.”) It finally came to a head after an ugly exchange between me and the youngest one who began to berate me in front of my own young children. I would not stand for it and decided then to give up and keep them away from me and my kids. That was three years ago. Earlier this year I did apologize for my behavior and for anything that may been hurtful over the last 10 years, even though hurting them was not my intent. They have mistreated both my husband and I over the years and still have not acknowledge or apologized for any wrongdoing. To them everything is my fault. I have not seen any of them since. This week God put on my heart to invite the youngest one over. I did and my invitation was accepted. It hasn’t happened yet, but after reading this, I know that when it does I must humble myself. I struggle with how to really do it, especially when none of them have apologized and I find it hard to forgive them without that acknowledgment. All of it is a struggle for me, one that almost broke my marriage.

    • Wow, this thread is amazing. Thankful for God putting together each of your mamas to encourage and lift one another up, and give inspiration and advice.

      As the ‘girlfriend’ I can say, one of my issues was insecurity. I wanted to be sure my boyfriend loved me and I was important in his life. I wanted to do the things his mom had done for him for years (like cook his favorite meals), as a way to establish my ‘place of prominence’ in his life. This was totally the WRONG heart of course, but that was my motivation. (and notice how many times it was about me?? Gag!)

      Looking back, I wish I’d honored his mother. I think that would have disarmed her and we could have had a mutual friendship. I pray for each of your situations. May the Lord intervene on your behalf as you continue to show and share Christ so beautifully. xoxo

  3. Interesting that you connected eating her meal with honoring her meal … her feelings … her. As a mom that is exactly how I feel when my kids gently but firm push aside some of the food I made. It bothers me. Colossians 3:12-13a “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another …” is a good verse for moms in such situations. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Anna, thanks for this beautiful verse. My mom is a phenomenal cook, but as a child I only wanted to eat butter noodles with parmesean cheese. Oh the delicious meals I missed out on! But it was never a slight against her. Just my taste buds rebelling. It sounds like you are a sweet and loving mother. Keep on cooking… one day they will appreciate it!

  4. This is one thing that I struggled with daily, my stepmother abused me mentally for years and still continues to make comments for want of a better word. I tried so hard to get along with her and her children an d I just kept getting hurt so the easiest thing for me has been to cut them out of my life, which in turn makes it difficult for me to see my father but I don’t know how else to handle it ?! I pray daily for them and ask God for direction…..

    • Laura, I desperately need your advise….I have a 7 year old daughter who is in an emotionally abusive situation at her fathers house by her stepmother and her children. If there is any way you and I can communicate so I can get some sort of direction from you and maybe your thoughts on what to say to help my daughter, I would more than appreciate it….my email is jennifer.malphrus@yahoo.com. I will pray for you Laura, as a mother, I cannot imagine how my child really feels and it breaks my heart……prayer for you!

    • Laura, sometimes we have to distance ourselves in order to maintain the peace. It sounds like you are walking in wisdom and trying to show them love as best as the situation will allow. Praying for sweet restoration friend!

      • Samantha, this is so true and I’m glad you posted this response. Sometimes, the abuse is so damaging that we do have to distance ourselves. I have had to do that with many emotional abusers but my toxic church upbringing taught me that I needed to put others first and then I took that to the extreme. I’m healing from deep, deep wounds and leaning to listen to the Spirit. For me, right now, I’ve been told to “take care of myself”. In other words, to put myself first which is so contrary to many teachings of JOY (Jesus, Others, You). This doctrine hurt me terribly and caused me to live with abuse for years and years which I am now trying to overcome. I’m glad you clarified that at times we must remove ourselves from relationships that are not healthy (2Tim. 3:1-7). It is extra difficult when the relationships are our close family relationships but when I became a believer, I was adopted into the family of God and I must obey my heavenly Father first and foremost. He does not want me to live in abuse. Oh how I wish the church would have taught me this when I was much younger. I am grateful that I have a Papa who knows my heart’s desire and my motivation but who also understands that some people just don’t want to change and for our own good, it is best to leave them to Him and let His Spirit go to work on their hearts. If they change, then so be it. If they don’t, then we need to turn to Him to fill the void where a mother’s, father’s, child’s, anyone’s love should have been but never was. I am trusting in His faithfulness.

        • Sweet Rochelle, what a beautiful testimony you have. It is wonderful to hear how God lead you to His truth and reminds me of Psalm 23. Though the enemy would love to hold you down with lies, your Good Shepherd has instead lead you to peace and rest in Him.

  5. At the moment I am not struggling with this problem when I did in the past. I learned to show kindness, be slow to speak and let the person know how they make you feel and talk about it. Believe me after much prayer, letting my supervisor know privately I didn’t appreciate being spoken to in the manner she did especially in front of others being very unprofessional, and unbecoming of her. We should be able to talk to each other about any concerns privately. She then started opening up and our lines of communication were so much better, even though she was a Christian I started talking about what the Lord has been doing in my life and it was like the open door that she needed to release so much she had been carrying and able to talk to me about what was going on. From that day onward, she started coming to me, seeking advice, encouragement and just having someone to be there to lean on. She would bring me gifts for Administrative’s Day and do extra things for me unexpectedly like buying me a Starbucks coffee or lunch. Wow, talk about how prayer works and how the Lord did a tremendous change in her towards me. She became very close and attached to me, but I think used me to reach her at that time she needed someone but not just anyone but a Sister-in-Christ.

  6. I woke up this morning with my boss on my mind and a plan on how I would counterattack. Thank you God in heaven for this word! Through the power of the Holy Spirit I pray for this humility. In Jesus name.

  7. Oh boy! This was me with my mother in-law. One time I screamed to my husband, I hate your mother!!
    God had mercy upon me, that day I realized that I was growing bad seeds on my heart. I prayed and asked God for forgiveness and help to heal my heart. God who is so faithful, He cleaned my heart through His word and now I love my mother in-law and our relationship is so much better!!

  8. Such Godly timely on this devotional, I have been skipping p31 devotionals for awhile filing them away for when I have more time but when I saw the title of this one I knew I had to take a moment. For today will be the day that the “her” that I don’t like will cross my path. There is a person that makes it hard for me to show the love of Christ and she comes into my place of business every month on the 14th. This is exactly the reminder I need this morning! Thanks

    • Praying for you right now Renee. “You go before me and follow me.
      You place your hand of blessing on my head.
      Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
      too great for me to understand!” Psalm 139:5-6

  9. Oh… isn’t it amazing how God gives us a word!! I am the “boyfriends mom”! I don’t believe I’m the “controlling” one! I have issues with my son’s girlfriend, which has driven a wedge between my son and I. We have always been so close. I wanted to like this girl… tried to like her… in spite of what I think of her. She has shown so much disrespect for my husband and I. I am the one who needs to show humility… and pray that God will provide the grace that I need to show towards her. I certainly have none for her on my own!!

    • I remember my brother dating a girl…she didnt even want to come to our house because she knew the questions and uncertainty she would face. She wasnt a godly girl and she constantly tried to get my brother to disobey and lead him in the wrong things. My mother would tell my brother, “She’s not right for you and that’s all there is to it. God will take care of it.” Of course my brother rebeled. Soon, a really nice christian girl entered the picture, and the other one turned out crazy! I asked my mom how she knew everything would be ok, and she said it was because she prayed and heard God, but reminded my brother that it’s not His will. Sometimes, young ladies aren’t so lady like and as mature women we just need to remember that they are suffering somehow or have been brought up with the wrong teaching to disrespect and disobey authority. The word is clear that we should instruct our children and WHEN THEY ARE GROWN, they will depart from us. Just because they try to depart early (becuase they know it all) doesn’t mean we stop instructing them. Im glad mom reminded brother diligently and reminded the girl of the respect that his parents deserved.

    • Not a fun position to be in, but definitely a mission field of sorts. I pray God grants you wisdom to know how to best love her and for your son to gently guide in her respecting you as his mother. xoxo

  10. Oh, my that humble pie often isn’t so tasty going down, but isn’t it the more satisfying as it nourishes us. Becoming is what God knows we have to work at, so good for you in your journey. Just like you it does seem to stick in the throat at times, but goodness Jesus is always right there to encourage with His word and Spirit. This message was a real confirmation of a mission meeting I was at last night…the usually pushy leader became more open as I took backseat and took time “hear” her and time to share.

  11. My big battle with pride, is thinking my way is always the best way, with husband, co workers, etc. I cling to my suggestions and ideas as if they were my children and am crushed when all don’t agree that I am right…
    Praying for humility when I present ideas and suggestions, to do so more gently, with an open mind, and then leave room for God and others!

  12. I’ve been struggling with being nice to a lady that I know. I’ve just gotten the vibe that she either thinks that I’m annoying or arrogant. I feel like I should apologize to her. I hope that I can have the chance to same, “I’m sorry if I offended you.”

    Thanks for posting this.

  13. Trying daily to not have negative feelings towards a co worker. Its gery hard to do when she constantly comes to work angry at the world and not do her job like she supposed to. We work in medical field and we are supposed to love what we do. I don’t think she loves it. She is always yelling rude remarks when we tell her she has a return call, or says loud and unpleasant things when patient can hear her a few feet away. This makes it hard to concentrate on my daily job and makes me not want to go to work. Very discouraged. I pray a lot. I put my Christian music on to try to block her out. Don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to feel like I don’t like her.

    • Rosy, I get this. In the past, I’ve had co-workers who just one word out of their mouth grated my last nerve. They were rude, ornery, and just plain nasty to everyone about everything.

      It’s so important to pray for them to receive Jesus’ love. But as you said, because we don’t want to “feel like I don’t like her” it’s good to pray for ourselves too. One verse I have on stand-by at all times is Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” I will pray that for you today, sweet Rosy, knowing God will answer our prayers because this is His will … so we might bring Him glory and fame.

      I also would love to encourage you to check out one of our (Proverbs 31) team members blogs. She has some powerful, Scripture-laden prayers that I hope will lift your heart and encourage you! http://www.sheilamangum.com

      With love!

  14. Oh my gosh, I have a daughter in law like this, pushing my “lima beans” aside. I want to have a discussion with her. I want a good relationship. I know she comes first in our son’s life but she has formed a wedge.

    • Linda, this so reminds me of Ephesian 2:14, “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,”

      In context, Christ is the peace between Jew and Gentile, as well as God and humans. We can also see that He is the greatest mediator of all times, for all situations. I pray this is so between you and your daughter-in-law. That can be a tricky relationship. But having Christ at the center is a wonderful place to be. xoxo

  15. Wow…I’ve read all the comments and some I can totally relate to….the stepmother whose biological mother of her step children is manipulating, controlling and crazy…every psychologist, every psychiatrist, every attorney and even the judges own clerk refuses to deal with her anymore….the children have refused to see her anymore…one is above age, the other went to court and obtained permission to not have to see her anymore… This breaks my heart because I feel they should have some relationship with her, but I also know a toxic relationship, as they have had all their lives with her, is not good at all and is best cut out. So I don’t encourage any kind of relationship with her anymore. Her emotional abuse of the children has caused very long lasting mental damage to them and, in some degree to their father. I stopped praying for her after we discovered she was into voodooism and witchcraft. That was the last straw. But I have to remind myself to pray for her children, my step children, whom I am trying to make a positive difference in their lives and more times than not, feel I am failing. I see my step daughter sliding farther back into the wrong kind of music, hanging out with the wrong kids, wearing t-shirts with bad messages. When I try to say anything to her, she gets extremely angry and I get accused of being just like her mom, then she refuses to talk to anyone for days. She’s also quit a job because she says they talked to her just like her mom. She refuses to go to church with us. Her brother has enormous anger issues and he thinks no one understands him and he refuses to be responsible for his reactions to situations or events. I worry how they will turn out. Neither will see a therapist, both have already done that for years with their mom but if she didn’t like what the therapist said, and she never did, they didn’t go back. So I started to see one for myself. So I could learn how to deal with being a step parent to children I had no control or say in how they were raised.
    The title of this devotion caught my eye because of a co-worker. She comes in late every single day and leaves early every time she can and no one says anything to her or tries to hold her accountable. She’s loud, she’s unprofessional, she’s inappropriate, when things don’t go her way, she cusses and we can hear her down the hall. When anyone does try to reprimand her, she starts crying and has one emotional drama filled excuse after another. My own supervision has said she is unstable. Her actions and the lack of action from management has soured the rest of the employees and we’re a very small company. I know she has issues outside of work, but she causes a lot of them. It’s very hard to pray consistently for her and I know I should. I end up praying more for myself, that I will stop being judgmental and be compassionate toward her. I want to like her, it’s just very hard to do so.
    Thank you to the author of this devotion and to the ones who have shared their struggles, for letting me know we’re not alone and that we all struggle with the same kind of issues. I know God hears us. I know He will prevail. I just wish I would be more faithful in praying for those around me, who desperately need Jesus in their daily lives, instead of writing them off as hopeless cases.
    Thank you Jesus that You never wrote me off when I was, and sometimes still am, a hopeless case.

    • Wow, Isabel, it sounds like you are surrounded by others who really need the love and rest of Jesus. I pray you feel His strength girding you up as you navigate these waters with your step-children and co-worker. That doesn’t sound easy, and I pray the Holy Spirit encourages you every step of the way!

      Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.~ Matt. 11:28

      Praying you have time each day and in the hard moments to break away and rest in the Lord.

  16. I think it would we wise to point out that, although we are to act in humility and graciousness, there are times when it is appropriate to set boundaries and pray “from afar” if another person’s actions are clearly stepping over boundaries and/or are emotionally or verbally abusive. If you have tried to deal with the conflict or issue honestly and openly in love, and there is no change, I do not believe you are called to continue to relate at close range.

  17. joyfulmommy3 says:

    This is just what I needed to read today!! Thanks!!!

  18. I love when Proverbs 31 writers speak from personal experiences. It is so real. Devotionals like this one make me feel normal and I realize that I am not “out there” feeling like this devotional talks about. Thank you Samantha for being “real” and thank you for allowing God to use you. Awesome devotional. It leads me in a good direction with a friend of mine. :)

  19. “Always put other’s first,” was my sweet Daddy’s words of Christian wisdom throughout my childhood. I loved him so much I just knew I would marry my Daddy one day. He was my best friend, my best fan, and showered me with unconditional love. My mom…I wasn’t sure where I fit under her umbrella of importance and love. I knew she loved me, but she didn’t show it much after her father committed suicide. I tried to reach her in the beginning. I’d lay my head in her lap when I was little while she was on the phone just so she would tickle my arm. That was the only time I can remember her showing me a small dose of love at that point in our lives. I’ve tried today to reach her more, but only to become disappointed/hurt. I so agree with your devotion this morning…humble ourselves and make sure we are doing the right thing no matter how other’s have treated us or how we perceive things. We know what Jesus did for us and we are to be His hands and feet, but don’t forget who you are in Him and how He works through you. “Put other’s first,” continuously rang in my ears as I became a Christian at 9 yrs old. I wanted everyone to know about Jesus and I wanted Him to shine through all I did. I took up for the person being bullied, I hurt for other’s when they hurt, I felt sorry for the girl being left out, and I could make friends laugh or talk them through their problems when they were sad. I felt this was my mission and gift God had given me. He gave me the gift of encouragement. Encouragement flourished in me as I became a teacher and truly cared about each students little life. I saw a lot in those short 4 years and how I had to bite my tongue when an unhappy parent lashed out at me but yet tried to take up for myself. As I have grown to be an adult, I look back how I put myself last to the point I lost my worth, self-confidence, was worried about what other’s thought, felt left out(I tend to push relationships to the side that I feel will intimidate me somehow), was almost too considerate of others to the point of over analyzing things, and had empathy so deep for others that I emotionally hurt. I hurt much of the time bc I was “ole faithful” to others, but wasn’t always treated the same in return. My Daddy since has passed away and I don’t blame him for his wise words, but I now find myself reading Facing Codependence by Pia Mellody. A Christian doctor referred me to this book. I’m learning that the longer we hold on to the things that happened to us in the past, good or bad, is part of what makes us who we are today. I’ve always known this, but can’t shake the heartache and brokenness I feel. Not many friends truly know where I am in my life bc I am the upbeat person who walks into our SS class as my husband teaches to a large class full of 35-50 yr old friends. Even though I know so many women on medication to help with emotional/stress issues(as I have been on anti-depressants in the past) I am trying to mush through this w/o medication. But because the pain I am feeling and have felt during times of my life, this outgoing, loving, cheerful giver has chosen to almost become introverted just to stay away from being hurt. I don’t want to become like my mother, as harsh as that sounds. Wow how those expectations we set so high for ourselves and others can be the fall of us. The resentment that can root when I serve other’s in need, but at times don’t receive in return has worn me down, but I know I shouldn’t let it. Putting other’s first is a gift from God, but at the same time it can be my own worst enemy. He will get me through this though as He has pulled me out of other situations in my life before. As a friend and I have said before, just keep doing what you know is right until the season passes. Hopefully and prayerfully, He’s just pruning me so He can use me for a greater purpose.

    • Amy, my heart aches as I read your post. I get it. We give and give and give to people who just can’t meet our needs. The lesson I am learning is I have made them idols. I’ve attached myself to people and not to Jesus. He is taking every one of them out of my life so that I have nowhere to turn but to Him. It is so very painful to not have a mother’s love that we so yearn for. I am struggling too. As best you can, turn your eyes upon Jesus. Ask Him to fill the deep, deep void where a mother’s love should have been. It will hurt as we go through spiritual surgery, as He cleans us out, removing all the idols. Look to Him. Learn from Him. Lean into Him. I’m with you in this. What I’m praying for is a spiritual encounter with Jesus. I want to know His love for me like never before. This is not a selfish prayer but one I believe He delights in. I want to know Him like I’ve never known Him before. I will be praying for you as I pray for myself. Find whatever way God speaks to your heart. For me it’s music. If He speaks to you that way as well, download “Dance with Me” by Jesus Culture and “Receive” by Calvin Nowell. Listen to them over and over again. Renew your mind. One day it will sink in for God promises if we seek Him with all of our hearts we will find Him and we will not be disappointed. And God cannot lie. It just takes time to work through the pain and emotions of what our experiences taught us to believe and remember, they were lies. You and I are both worthy of love. We have the love we so desperately seek already, we just have to open up our hearts in undefended love and receive. The enemy does not want us to believe the TRUTH. But remember, that TRUTH will set us free and we will be free indeed to be all God wants us to be. You are loved. I am loved.

      • Thank you sweet Rochelle for sharing and encouraging! Yes, the enemy has been at work with his lies; a spiritual warfare I’m certain. It is so painful. Idols…unbelievable how that one word struck a huge chord with me; you are so right. God has put me in some lonely places on so many occasions(to do just that…lean solely on Him; no one and nothing else). I know He wants ALL of me. I surrender to Him over and over but am holding onto to something that keeps me from hearing him clearly. My purpose, my worth, my path at 47 yrs of age…I’ve given it to Him, but forget to focus on my blessings He has given me. Being grateful is part of the remedy too! How quickly we forget when we’re in the pit. Your reminders of God’s promises is the medicine my heart needed to hear today:) I am sorry for what you have endured as well, but it is so cool how God uses our stories to relate to and encourage one another…for He is the LIFTER of our heads! (Psalm 3:3) Music…wow, I too get lost in praise and worship music w/Him. I’ll be sure to listen to those songs you mentioned. It’s my safe place! You Are I Am by Mercy Me and Lord I Need You by Matt Maher are some of my favorites, yet I’m still falling apart but haven’t given up HOPE. I “feel” hopeless and despair at times, but God’s hand is still there pulling me to His side. I will pray for you, Rochelle, and covet your prayers for me. God bless you on your way to total healing and restoration! I appreciate you reaching out to me today and others as well. God is smiling:)

    • Amy, I love you and want to sit down and have coffee. You are so real. So I will be praying for you in the morning over my morning coffee. Do something just for YOU tomorrow!

      • Linda…that was the sweetest heartfelt reply. Thank you for your kind words and prayers for me during your coffee time:). I do love some coffee! God did answer a continuous prayer I’ve had. I won’t go into detail, but I did realize I was reading the wrong book(Facing Codependence). With prayer and God’s direction, I am purchasing Erik Rees SHAPE series today. God has given me a mission and I am taking one day at a time. Have a blessed day and again, your reply was precious:)

  20. Wow,

    This is something I struggle with for sure. There are a few people in my life that are “snobby” and instead of humbling myself and showing them love, I try to “one up” them. Lord, please fill me with the Holy Spirit when I’m confronted with these people, help me to show them love and not disdain.

  21. I am currently struggling to humble with a situation at work with a co worker. This devotional is a great reminder of being the better person. I thank God for his constant reminders that are to strife to mirror the character of Christ in all we do. So that we can be most affective in showing Christ love in all we say and do. Although our flesh wants to just lash out and retaliate the Lord is calling us to show Agape (unconditional) love to all the world so that we can be what we are called to be in and through Christ. As others have mentions Jesus was the ultimate example of humility when he died and was buried but Praise God He arose just like he said. Thank you so much for your ministry

  22. Many of us have struggles with humility. It is so hard for many. I really need to focus on humility in my daily life!

    I really needed this post today!

  23. I am dealing with this very thing. I was not so humble recently. I am a fixer, a peacemaker. But sometimes when dealing with others who are impossible, after many tries, you lose your patience with them and join in the battle. Someone I dated at church, who is verbally abusive and has an addiction problem, I didn’t know this at the time. I have tried to help him. He has decided to date someone else 14 yrs older than him. I told her to guard her heart but she felt threatened and it created a big mess. I finally just had to walk away from them both. I do pray for them… but I do still see them somewhat as the enemy. I guess I need to practice more humility.

  24. Broken Heart? The Lord Is Close
    by Rick Warren
    I hope the Proverbs 31 Team is ok with me sharing Rick Warrens devotional for today…it was spot on
    “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NIV)
    Everybody has had their heart broken in some way — maybe by disappointment, fear, shame, rejection, or ridicule. I would say to you, as your friend, I’m sorry. I really am. I care about the hurt that you have gone through, because God cares about it. He’s hurt with you. What was God doing when you were weeping? He was weeping, too.
    In fact, it is in your pain that God is closest to you, whether you realize it or not.
    The Bible says in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (NIV). How does he do that? He saves us by giving us a heart transplant. It’s his specialty, in fact.
    God says, “For the heart that’s guilty, I’ll give you a heart that’s forgiven. For the heart that’s resentful, I’ll give you a heart that’s full of peace. For the heart that’s anxious, I’ll give you heart that’s confident. For the heart that’s lonely, I’ll give you a heart full of love. That heart that has been bitter and angry? I’ll give you a heart that is forgiving and loving and generous instead. Let me do a heart transplant in you. I will set you free.”
    Why do we need freedom? Because we’re all enslaved. We’re a slave to the expectations of other people. We’re slaves to past memories. We’re slaves to future fears. We’re slaves to current pressure. We’re slaves to the opinions of society, and on and on and on.
    But all you have to do is open your heart to Jesus Christ and give him 100 percent of your heart. Say, like David in Psalm 119:32, “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.”
    You have no idea what God wants to do with your life. Stop limiting God! Open your heart to him, and let him transplant it for his own.
    Talk It Over
    • When are the times you have felt closest to God?
    • What were the circumstances surrounding those times?

  25. Well, this is a first for me as I have never commented online (blog, news story, etc) before. However, I feel that God has been reading my mail again. 

    My husband of almost 10 years told me on Dec 10th that he wanted a divorce – we have 4 children (then ages 14y, 4y, 2y & 4m), recent move, stay-at-home mom, severe pay cut – because he wasn’t happy anymore. He moved out of our home in January (I convinced him not tell the kids or leave until after Christmas), he told me 3 days after he moved out that he had “feelings” for someone else (someone I thought was my friend). I then began connecting the dots and talked with her husband (yes, she is married as well) to realize that they had already begun their affair before he told me he wanted a divorce. This year has been a crazy one for me to say the least. I have struggled with SOOO many feelings in these 8 months – anger, bitterness, rage, hate… **Funny, I’m sitting here listening to the radio and as I type this, the song “Losing” is playing**

    Ok, so back to this devotion and how it touched me… Having grown-up in church, raised in a Christian home and being a long-time Christian myself (although I admit that I had gotten a bit cool in that area), I know that these feelings with their corresponding attitudes and actions ARE NOT Christ-like or acceptable in His eyes, so I have prayed and cried and cried and prayed some more that He will HELP me because I CANNOT do this on my own. Needless to say I reeeally DO NOT like her!!! However, because I have gone to the throne in my brokenness to seek His face, grace and mercy & He is ever-faithful; God is changing me (which I desperately needed) and drawing me closer to Him.

    Sooo a few weeks ago God gave me some specific (yet difficult) instruction…GIVE GRACE. “BUUUUT GOD, I don’t want to, I really don’t want to, it hurts, she doesn’t deserve it, she is living with MY husband, these are MY children, this is ALL wrong, sooo wrong!!! Isn’t it enough that I’m working on not hating her and that I don’t really want her to go to Hell (literally)?” This would be me yelling back at God with His still-small, sweet, gentle whisper responding “Give grace, she is my daughter too and I love her just as I love you” Me, humbled and weeping, “ok. Please help me; I don’t know how to do this.” And 4 days later He opens the doors for me to attend a retreat – 2 days all about grace (“Reflecting His Grace”). He continues to show me and gently remind me to give grace and extend honor – not because she deserves it but because I choose obedience. My feelings will catch-up to my act of will to obey Him.

    Now I don’t want you to think that I’m all pious and humble, I have to choose obedience daily (multiple times a day to be more accurate). God gently instructs me on how to do this (like todays devotion, other P31 devotions, personal, study, etc) and He will not leave me to flap in the wind. She does not know the Lord and it is more important to extend His love so that one day she may come to know Him than to let my wounded pride run amuck.

  26. Wow! Without a doubt, we can say that Satan is at work…he delights in our strife, our jealousy, our selfishness. I am thankful that we serve a mighty God. He alone is sovereign! PTL!! My husband’s mother caused much tension in our marriage early on. She constantly tried to control my husband and me in many ways. It was often very draining to go to her home for a visit. She voiced her opinion and disdain for me often. My hope of gaining a second “mother” was not to be. My husband’s brother and new wife confided in us that she had been saying a lot about me…most of which were lies!!! That was very disheartening for me. I was devastated. We struggled with her snide and manipulative comments and whether we should confront her. It all came to a head one Christmas break as she berated us for three long days. We said nothing to her…opting to turn the other cheek. We left her “home” defeated, deflated, and exhausted. Through that experience we sought help from a Christian counselor. Through her counsel and an excellent book called Boundaries, we came to realized that boundaries were to protect us and our marriage and not to punish her. My husband, after much prayer, went to his parents’ house and lovingly confronted them explaining that we would no longer subject ourselves to her snide, disrespectful comments and attempts to control us and our decisions. We have distanced ourselves by setting up boundaries. We visit less often and carefully consider what to share about our lives. My mother-in-law has never apologized…probably doesn’t think she has done anything wrong, yet we still choose to love her and include her in our children’s lives. We just now do so with healthy boundaries in place. I love her still and hold out hope that one day the Holy Spirit will grab hold of her and she will be set free from all that keeps her from more Spirit-filled relationships. Our God is mighty, and he reigns!!

  27. Thank you for sharing this, Samantha! You were definitely His tool today!! I needed this, and had actually just prayed because of my situation before I left my house… I get to work and your post was the first thing I see on my newsfeed. Message rec’d!!!!! Thanks!

  28. I’m not even sure where to begin…. My husband and I have been together for almost 7 years, married for 2 short months. When we first began dating his 3 children seemed to love and accept me. Over the last 4 years, this relationship has steadily been torn down through numerous things. Because of things said by both his children, my husband, his ex-wife, and myself, we now do not speak or see his daughter (I haven’t seen or spoken to her in almost 2 years, and my husband hasn’t in almost a year). She said some things about her dad, that were obvious lies, but unfortunately cause serious problems with Child Protective Services, and now refuses to talk to him about what she said or why. The only responses he can get when he asks her about it is “That is in my past and I don’t have to talk about it.” We’re pretty sure this is something that one of her numerous counselors said to her in passing, and she has taken it to the extreme and uses as an excuse to not have to discuss anything she doesn’t want to talk about.
    We got married 2 months ago, and because his daughter wasn’t invited to our wedding (not my decision, my husbands), one of his sons also refused to come. This last act of revenge (probably not the best description, but certainly how it has been taken and feels) has literally destroyed me. The relationship between my husband and I with his children, almost consumes my thinking. I am not sure if this is something that we should just forgive and move on (forgiveness is not the problem, it’s the moving on with full trust), or if we should continue as is. Honestly, I am very hurt and angry with the whole situation and not really sure where to go from here. I know that forgiveness is certainly the first thing to do, but unfortunately, at this point, I really can’t. I pray about this situation numerous times a day (like I said, it has almost consumed by thinking). I desperately want this situation resolved and to have our family back together. Any advice or suggestions is welcome…thanks

  29. Wow, this is so timely for me! I am struggling (and failing) with my In-laws staying at our house for the summer. Just having someone stay in my house for and extended period is extremely hard for me, but it is especially difficult to have THEM here. Not only do I feel like they are “stepping on my toes” and getting between me and my husband and kids, but they are not Christians (neither is my husband) and that makes me feel like they are the enemy. So, I am pretty sure God is trying to teach me humility, patience, and love, as these little lessons seem to be popping up everywhere lately. I greatly appreciate Proverbs 31 Ministries, and I feel like this particular devotion was written just for me!

  30. I struggle with this… especially when I feel like someone deliberately tried to hurt me… or hurts you again and again… I find it so hard to forgive that… especially if they say that they are you “friend” or everyone else seems to think that they are the “bees-knees”… I know that there is a bible quote about forgiving and forgetting for past wrongs… but if they repeated it and it still stings… how should I be humble and forgiving if they just keep on hurting you and don’t seem to really care… :-(

  31. The Lord knew I needed to be reminded of this today. I am struggling so much to let go of the offense I feel and praying that the Lord would enable me to respond with humility and putting her first. I need to memorize those verses. Thank you for your encouragement and openness!

  32. This has been the post that I’ve needed. Reading each of your stories has given me faith that my relationship with my mother in law can definitely change. She has hurt me over and over again and it has been really hard to practice humility. Every time I seher all of the hurt comes back and its hard to get past the things that she has said about me. Jesus has set the best example for us on humility and grace. I am striving everyday to honor others even when I feel otherwise. Thanks for giving me the hope I need and thank u God for providing this blog for each of us to learn more about you.

  33. Bailee-Rose says:

    It was so meant for me to find this!! My step sister sent me a devo from this website one day. I decided to check out the website and look at the other devotionals and I found this one, and WOW, it helps me so much. I am currently dating a guy from Germany. We both go to school at Auburn University, where we met. I knew that cultures and people were different, but I did not expect his mother to be the way she is. He is so calm and loving and would NEVER intentionally hurt someone. He loves people. Therefore, I thought his parents had taught him this, especially his mother.

    She came to visit a few months after we started dating and the first time we met, she talked about his ex-girlfriend for about 20 minutes. Giving her compliments and praises and talking about how in love they were. I was caught off guard and didn’t say anything in order to try to let the situation subside. Throughout our relationship, she has brought up his ex-girlfriend several times. I don’t mind talking about exes/it doesn’t make me jealous or mad. I understand everyone has a past. However, she would rub this in my face that they were so close and would tell me how well Lukas treated her and she could tell he loved her. Something just wasn’t right and it started to hurt my feelings really bad. I didn’t know how to talk about this of who to talk about it to. I saw a therapist at the time and that became the topic of our discussion every session. It was taking over my mind and hurting me, just like I am sure she wanted it to. She really liked to put little thorns in my side and talk about how much Lukas loves his mama and loves Germany and will for sure return one day. I never responded. I knew her intentions. She was jealous and upset that her son had moved away and fallen in love, therefore she was trying to run me off. It didn’t work though, because I could see the sweet woman she could be. (If only I wasn’t an American girl, but a German girl. :) )

    I struggled with this for months. This last summer I went to Germany for a month and things got worse. She didn’t talk about the ex, but just put me and my opinions down. Constantly. I just kept praying and trying to find a good time to talk about things. Finally, three days before we left, we had a long long talk and I told her exactly how I felt. She acted oblivious but ended up apologizing. I assured her that I was NOT kidnapping her son and keeping him in the states and never letting him return! I want him to visit home and be wherever he is happy.

    I still pray for her and hope that one day we will have a great relationship. I guess she just has to figure out I’m not so bad agterall. Keep me in your prayers please!!

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