Choosing Love When Someone is Hurting You

How do I choose Love when someone I have allowed into the deepest places of my heart has turned against me?

What does choosing Love look like when you are being deliberately and maliciously harmed?

This kind of thing happens in churches all across the world, and in Christian marriages and families.

In prayer, I heard Father say to me,

"A sure weapon of defense is to pray for those who befriend you and then choose to betray you, even persecute you.

"A sure weapon of offense is to praise me in the midst of your tears of anguish."

Choosing Love, God seems to be saying to me, is an act of warfare. Our Father's kingdom is not of this world, so to fight on the natural level doesn't often end well.

Christians have just as many broken marriages and homes as anyone else in the world. I've experienced this personally to a depth I wish I didn't know. I'm so tired, really, of all the games we play in life.

Retreating was not the answer. Disengagement didn't stop the pain. Isolation changed nothing. The only thing God keeps saying, over and over again, is to choose love.

Love is supernatural.

   Love is persistent; it never gives up.

      Love is truth that means no harm.

         Love overcomes evil.

            Love always wins.

Choosing love is to war in both a position of offense and defense. My only weapons are of Love, expressed in:

  • Praying for my enemies and seeking to bless them.
  • Praising God in the midst of my agony, trusting Him to provide the solution.

Recently God explained what happens when I choose love, to pray and praise in the midst of the agony:

"Troubles come on the scent of doubts.

Praising God changes your scent.

Rejoicing dissolves the troubles."

This advice kind of sounds like a television ad for a supernatural cleanser, disinfectant, weed-eater, cancer-killer kind of thing! I believe it is. Choosing Love is the supernatural way of responding to betrayal and persecution. This does not mean we can't respond on the natural level. There is a time to do what has to be done in court, church, and community… but the first responsibility is always spiritual: Choose Love.

Sometimes Love means exposing, confronting, and evicting, because love does no harm and does not partner with evil. Love is not being a doormat, to be walked upon or taken for granted. Love takes the higher ground and does not participate in deeds of darkness.

One wise teacher recently answered my question about how to choose love when someone intentionally and deliberately wishes to harm you, and he said,

"Your relationship with yourself is your relationship with life… and with all people. When your relationship with yourself is unconditional Love, it changes all your other relationships for the better… or ends them."

This rings true for me, and it's something I need to ponder some more, to see how I can apply it to my life. Choosing to love myself, even to honor and cherish myself, as God's beloved daughter, has been hard for me. And yet that is the most important step for those of us who have been the target of sociopaths. What do you think?

Writing Prompt: If you were to choose love in one of your ongoing situations today, what would it look like in your own life? Have you tried it? What happened?

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With all my love,


Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.  

Today Susan helps abuse survivors write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into the future, creating new family legacies.

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