Have you ever built a brick wall? It is something that is tedious and repetitive. The whole process takes a long time and at the end you get to see all that you have built. It is a tangible way to see how you spent your effort like a lot of physically demanding jobs. We build walls to keep things in or out of our space. We build walls to keep our dogs in and to keep other dogs out. We build ways to keep ourselves separate from other people. The process of building a wall brick by brick is sometimes confusing and at the end we have something that is hard to tear down, go over, or plow through. Often though, we neglect to see walls that we build in relationships.
Slowly, one fight to the next, we say things that we can’t take back, or are hurt by things that our friend, sibling, or spouse says to us and a wall starts to form in the relationship. Brick by brick, insult by insult, comment by comment we build our wall. It takes time. It is tedious and repetitive and at the end we are blindsided at what we built. Every comment, every insult, every time we didn’t forgive, and every time we didn’t seek forgiveness add up and you are looking at a relationship with a wall too big to overcome. This is often why families stop talking, we lose lifelong friends, and why so many marriages end in divorce. We build a wall and at the end it is too big for us to tear down, climb over, or plow through and as a result we give up.
God offers us a way to tear down these walls and rebuild relationships, unconditional love. It is a love that is not natural to us and is selfless. It hurts and pushes us further than we ever thought we could go. It saves marriages, unites families, and maintains friendships through all obstacles they may face. Unconditional love, the love that God shows us and calls us to show others, will take down a wall brick by brick. It is a tedious and repetitive process. It takes time, but slowly we are able to take down the walls in our lives that we built. It will hurt. There will be tears and heartache. We will be pushed to go further and further, far past what is fair. The beauty though is that once we rid our relationships of these walls, when we love and forgive unconditionally, we show others the love of our God. We show others how much healing God can bring to our lives. We show them what it means to be called a child of God.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
-1 Corinthians 13:4-7