Tough Love

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Love is much the same way. It is far to often based upon the way we see a thing or discern an action or a word spoken. To many, love must always be accompanied by “mushy” warm feelings. It is always to make others happy. It is never saying or doing anything which makes another person feel bad about themselves or you.

The push today is to remain politically correct in both the secular world and the religious. Don’t say or do anything to offend anybody. Don’t do anything to rock any one’s boat or cause trouble. If that be the case, then let’s shut all our churches down because you can not really love people without a tough love at times. You cannot proclaim truth nor defend truth without love being tough at times. Love requires both bold word and bold action when called for.

Consider this…

  • Jesus twice took a whip to the temple and cleaned house.
  • Jesus called Herod a “fox”.
  • Jesus spoke the hard word to the rich young ruler and then let him ride away without another word.
  • Jesus looked at the five thousand He had fed and said you only follow me because of the loaves and fishes.

John 6:26 (The Message)
26 Jesus answered, “You’ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs—and for free.

  • Jesus declared the religious leaders of his day “whitewashed tombs”, snakes, vipers, and sons of the devil who were making their followers twice the son’s of hell that they were.
  • Jesus looked at Peter and said, “Get behind me satan!”
  • Jesus strongly rebuked his disciples on several occasions.
  • Jesus warned Jerusalem that there was coming a day God would judge them for stoning the prophets and killing the Son of Man. You must read the history book of Josephus to know of the horrors that befell Jerusalem 40 years later.
  • Paul called the Judaizers (those who mixed law and grace) dogs and evil workers.
  • Paul said he wished these Judaizers would go ahead and mutilate themselves.
  • Paul on several occasions called out people by name in the letters he wrote and told them to straighten up.
  • In the Revelation John records Jesus as saying unless you repent I will vomit you out of my mouth.

You may counter, but didn’t Jesus say to “love your enemies”? Didn’t Jesus forgive those who gambled for His garments at the foot of the cross? Didn’t Paul write the beautiful love chapter of I Cor. 13. The answer is yes to each of these questions.

Then how do we “justify” Jesus and Paul’s actions and words described above? You have to come out of your narrowed minded interpretation of “love”. The love of God and the love for the truth always “trumps” the emotional feeling of love we have for people.  In other words, we must love people enough to tell them the truth no matter how that is going to make them feel at the time. When people keep other people from knowing the truth which can change their lives, their destinies…its a game changer. When people try to keep others from the kingdom blessings of the Lord, God steps in with tough love.

Of this I am convinced, Apostles and Prophets will be accused of being unloving and unkind more than the other three ministries of Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher. Why? Because it is their deepest motivation not to allow the people of God to “compromise truth” in the name of “love” because they understand what it does to the foundations of churches. In these last days the apostles and prophets will speak far more loudly, and in some people’s opinions, far to boldly to the body of Christ. Why? Because Jesus is coming back for a bride without spot or wrinkle. The deeper wrinkles require a hotter iron. The deeper stains a stronger detergent.

Tell me which is more loving…to “love” people right into a train wreck of a life…or worse a train wreck of an eternity because we will do nothing to stop them. Or, to love them with a “tough love” which may cause pain, even an offense of the one delivering the truth, yet whose strong word may bring some to their senses and to a deeper walk with the Lord.

Lets make it simple: Is love letting your children do whatever they want growing up or is it guiding them with a love which says, “NO! you won’t do that.” and then backs it up with whatever is necessary to protect them.

I just gave my daughter away in marriage to fine young man. She was a “spotless bride” in every way for her new husband. Was she that fine young lady because we loved her by allowing her to do whatever she wanted? Not on your life. Was she happy all the time along the way? Did she have “mushy” feelings for her ol daddy in every season? Not on your life. BUT, when I walked her down the aisle, when I danced the father/daughter dance with her at her wedding, she said these words, “Daddy, I love you.” The beauty is I knew she meant it like never before. She understood the things necessary to get her to that day. My reward? “Daddy, I love you.”

…You discern for yourself which is genuine love. Letting people do what they want without speaking truth, or speaking the truth with even tough love to possibly turn the tide of their lives to something better.

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