Many of you have heard my story of my relationship with my dad. However, for those of you haven’t I just wanted to share something that I learned years ago that still to this day is an important part of my life. I grew up in a home where everything was based on appearances. How other people saw us was very important. Because I was a very strong willed child and my dad had a pretty strong personality we had a pretty volatile relationship. That is a nice way of saying we fought a lot. I grew up feeling like I wasn’t the daughter he wanted. Let me just state here for the record, I was the daughter he wanted. In fact, after he passed away I found a precious note he had written to me telling me so. At any rate, perception is reality. My perception was that I never really measured up.
As I grew older, I hung onto this perception. It wasn’t until after my mother passed away after a long battle with breast cancer that I begin to work through my feelings about my dad. I was angry, hurt, and depressed. I had gotten to the point that I would tell God that if He didn’t do something, I would rather just be done. It was at this point that God began to walk me though a healing process that would not only change my heart toward my dad but my heart toward many things in my life. God began to challenge me to do some things that I certainly didn’t want to do. God asked me to start doing simple things, like calling my dad every day just to talk. I can assure you I DIDN”T FEEL LIKE calling my dad. Sometimes though, you find yourself in such a place of desperation that you will do anything. For weeks I called my dad every day just to talk. I hated it, I complained to my husband and God about it. Interestingly though, over time I began to feel less hostile about calling him. I even got to the point that I began to enjoy our conversations. I noticed that as I began to value and honor my dad, he began to value and love me in a way that I could receive his love. The biggest lesson I learned was that when you do the right thing when you don’t feel like it, your feelings will begin to come into line with what you are doing. I suppose it’s the law of sowing and reaping in action.
How does this story work in marriages? I talk to wives nearly every day who tell me I just don’t feel like being respectful to my husband, or I just don’t feel like having sex, or I just don’t feel like I love him anymore. Here is the real truth when we quit living by our feelings and letting them drive our behavior we will find that we can see some pretty amazing things begin to change. The best of which may just be our feelings.
Love and respect are choices that we make. We choose to love. We choose to be respectful and honoring. Too many times we decided that we will only do them if we feel like it. This is truly one of the biggest lies that we buy into. I challenge you today, begin to make right choices to do the right thing whether you feel like it or not. As you continue to do this, I guarantee that you will see your feelings come into line with your actions. Begin to pray and ask God to show you areas in your life where you have let your feelings dictate your behavior and begin to ask God to help you make the right choice and watch Him work in your life like never before.
Have you struggled with this and made the decision to do the right thing when you didn’t feel like and then saw changes in how you felt? I would love to hear from you. Share your story and together we can help and encourage others.