Love Means Allowing Others Freedom
We all have difficulty owning what is ours. We disown what is ours and try to own what belongs to others. We often see this in relationships between parents and their grown children, as was the case with Rebekah and her son Jacob. Parents are to raise their kids so that their children can make their own decisions in adulthood. Yet it’s fairly common to see parents trying to control the decisions of their adult children. Rebekah did this when she pushed Jacob to deceive his father, and Jacob allowed Rebekah to control his actions rather than take charge of them himself.
In today’s world, similar violations might play out in a number of ways. For example, an adult son may make plans for Thanksgiving and therefore be unable to visit with his parents. His parents may have to deal with the disappointment of not celebrating Thanksgiving the way they want to. We cannot own things that are not ours, like our adult children’s time and plans. A healthy response by these parents would be to grieve for their lost wish for Thanksgiving with family and create some sort of satisfying holiday apart from their son.
It’s easy to say we love others but difficult to allow them the freedom inherent in love. We withdraw, feel resentful, send guilt messages and attempt to control those who do things against our wishes. These actions kill freedom and will, and they eventually kill love. Love cannot exist without freedom, and freedom cannot exist without responsibility. We must own and take responsibility for what is ours, and that includes our disappointment in not getting everything we want from another person. The disappointment that comes from our loved ones exercising their freedom is our responsibility. We must deal with it. This is the only way to keep love alive.
Read: Genesis 27:1-45
From my daily reading plan with YouVersion – Henry Cloud & John Townsen: Life Journey (day 2)