Is this love? Most of the time, if you have to ask, the answer is no. At the risk of sounding spiritually spooky, I’ll take it a step further. If you feel a small inkling in your gut that it’s not really love, that’s usually the Holy Spirit’s way of alerting you to stop. Now I’m telling you to stop, in the name of love.
I’m not trying to scare you straight, and I’m not trying to mimic Diana Ross, but I do want to warn you to think it over. There’s a song by rapper Eve called Love Is Blind where she shares an account of domestic violence her best friend experiences. She asks if love is supposed to blacken your eye, make you cry, or make you wish you would die. A lot of you reading this may think the obvious answer to those questions is no. But there may be some of you who are not so sure due to your own personal experience.
When Eve’s song was released over 20 years ago, it got a lot of play on the radio. I was in college at the time and hadn’t thought about it in a really long time. The tragedy of the song comes toward the end when the abuser kills his girlfriend and mother of his children, and then, in retaliation, Eve kills him. Though the beginning of Love Is Blind is true, the tragic results are fictional. What made the song come to mind in particular this week was another fictional dramatic scene.
The family dinner scene in The Color Purple has been viewed on screens as well as on stages all over the world. That includes Broadway, and most recently right here in Beech Island, South Carolina, at a dinner theater production that I was a part of. I had the honor of playing the role of Squeak in the Ready Or Not Productions 10 Year Anniversary event. But it was Ms. Celie that linked the story, the songs, and this post together. Celie suffered over 40 years of abuse and consequently, never knew what love was for the majority of her life. True love only showed up in a lasting and consistent form when she was older with gray hairs to match her struggles.
Performing that tense scene this weekend reminded me that I have brothers and sisters whose sight of God is blocked by their situations. Some are covered in a trauma blanket, and they simply can’t see or understand that the God who made the entire world really loves them. So I want to tell you now that God really loves you. He loves you more than you’ll ever know. You may have someone in your life, your home, or your church who is not handling you like the jewel you are. You don’t have to settle for that!
God created you as His beloved child with a special assignment for this present age. He doesn’t want you living below your means. He doesn’t want you broken, beat down and disgusted. I want to encourage you that if you are in any space that doesn’t celebrate the God in you, think seriously about making your exit. Your next move could be your best move—a move toward true, long-lasting, and fulfilling love.