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We typically like things that are fair and balanced. And this seems especially true relationally – we want the effort we put in to be matched by the other. But this is not always the case. And yet sometimes we’re still called to love even when our relationship is not equal.

Perhaps this is easiest to see in our relationship with our kids. The time, resources, and emotional labor we pour into them far outpace what they’re able to give back, particularly in their younger years. Nor are we even on a level playing field in the understanding of our relationship together. And this is why we’re often playing two different games at the same time. For instance, a game of hide-and-seek, catch, or tic-tac-toe is what it is on the surface for them. But for us we’re playing with an eye on the infinite game of relationship building, connection, and life skills.

And while we would prefer all our adult relationships to be on equal footing, it doesn’t always turn out this way.

Of course, there are times in which being unequally yoked brings an end to our relationship together. We’re in two different leagues and the chasm between us is too great to maintain a meaningful connection.

But, at other times, we remain committed to a relationship even once we’ve realized we’re not equally matched. To be sure, this brings much grief and difficulties. And it’s certainly a journey to surround ourselves with true peers to support and encourage us along the way. Together we can discover how to show up and love even when we’re not receiving this same love in return. This is how Christ demonstrated his love for us.

We miss a profound opportunity to reflect God’s love when we demand every relationship to be fair and balanced.

In the end, don’t waver in your commitment to love even when the efforts in your relationship are not equal. Surround yourself with trusted others and continue to practice the love that Christ has shown toward us.

Photo by Asdrubal luna on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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