How strife separates and control strangles relationships…



Love covers over a multitude of scarlet making it white as snow.

And if our love be true to God then our love will cover over the sins we see — or think we see — in others.

But an enemy eager stirs strife into a swirling fury when our anger and fear blind us from the truth.

He seeks to devour our souls and break up relationships, dividing one from the other and diluting the bonds of unity.

And we can be deceived by him to do his dirty work, aiding and abetting the enemy with our actions and words.

Sometimes we’ll even spout bible verses as we do, proclaiming from the rooftops how great is our God.

Do you think all God wants are sacrifices—
    empty rituals just for show?
He wants you to listen to him!
Plain listening is the thing,
    not staging a lavish religious production.
1 Samuel 15:23 The Message

But do we know the God of love and forgiveness like we say? Or do our own sins spin us further into the devil’s loveless lair?

We’ll swear to the contrary, groping blindly like a beggar, pride puffing our eyes shut to truth that sets us free.

And love and hurt twist together like strange bedfellows, with lies and denial crawling under the covers, and blame and shame in a shouting match, and guilt hanging heavy with unforgiveness ugly.

We can’t lie it down in peace because we are in too many pieces.

Accept life with humility and patience, generously making allowances for each other because you love each other. Make it your aim to be at one in the Spirit, and you will be bound together in peace.
Ephesians 4:2-3 J.B. Phillips

But love is not love and certainly no gift when our hurt and fear present as angry control and all comes undone and us helpless to hold it together try as we might, though not by the Spirit, and we further push away the love we so desperately want and need.

But God.


He loves us freely, even in our repetitive, dysfunctional sinfulness. He loves us with an open hand while holding us tightly within His heart.

And He loves us so much He is not afraid to let us go if that is what we need.

Our wise Father God teaches us to love like this. Whether a spouse, child or friend, we speak truth in love and let them go to make their own life choices and find their way.

Just like we made our choices when we were lost and no one could tell us anything about anything.

We learned the hard way and our trembling love remembering what we lost by our bad choices strives hard to prevent those we love from falling into the traps which swallowed us alive. And when our attempts to control another are unsuccessful, we may resort to punishment.

But is this really the way God loves us?

When our fears are big our God is small. We begin to believe that we are boss of the world, that we can make others listen to our demands and do exactly as we say. And if they refuse, as they have the free will right to do, we get even angrier and more frustrated.

And it’s exhausting holding the world on our shoulders.

God help the person who tries to speak truth to us when we are hell-bent that our way is the only way. We won’t listen and the judgements we render against another make us guilty, too. But it’s so hard to see this because fear whirls us in a frenzy frightful.

We don’t have the power to change another.

We can barely change our own lives if not for the grace of God.

But satan’s power is at work in us as we seek desperately to control at all costs even if it costs the end of a valued relationship.


If we stop focusing on the other long enough to look deeply within where our darkness festers we will see that without God truly as our Lord we will forever be stuck.

Our sins will continue to pile up and we will get dizzy circling in cycles sickening. Trapped until we repent of our sins not theirs.

For if we humble before our Father and admit we know very little then we will begin to learn.


True and real the way God loves us, with lessons lifelong.

But twisted love puts a strangle hold around the neck of our dearest relationships, squeezing the life out of them. And then we cry and wonder when people erect boundaries to protect their hearts from our bad behaviors.

We are all sinners.

We all need God.

We all need Love.

The Cross leveled the playing field.

And God has given us and others the opportunity to choose as we see fit and reap the consequences thereof. And as He lets us, we must let them.

If we are to live the lives He calls us to we must learn to let go.

And settle our own hearts secure in Him. And live like Him as best we can.

Loving and letting go without the judgement we wear as blinders. And then the light of Christ will shine bright in us and we will see situations clearly.

And the strife that seems to be everywhere in our lives will start to fade.

And fear’s fingers far reaching will stop screeching accusations across the blackboard and the mouth controlled by a fear-filled heart won’t be like a ouija board planchette.

Finger pointing at us and plancette is French for little plank.

Only the plank in our own eye is big and we can’t get rid of it until we stop focusing on the speck in another’s life.

We are the enemy’s puppet when we refuse God’s help to remove our planks stubbornly set.

So very sad…

All our longings end in love.

If your woman’s heart needs to talk one-on-one with a woman who has experienced and survived no small amount of pain and darkness, you may want to consider C2: Comfort and Conversation.

And if your heart is breaking? Or someone you know is hurting?
Purchase your copy of Heart Cry today by clicking here.

Heart Cry by Sheila Kimball

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4 thoughts on “How strife separates and control strangles relationships…

  1. I’ve been learning lately that I can react to life from a position of fear. Fear means I’m not fully trusting in God. When I trust Him, my fears subside and I can react to people and situations from a position of love.
    I must know who I am in Christ- I am loved- before I can ever hope to help others and show them true love. People need God more than they need me trying to fix them or their problems.

  2. I was drawn to remember the scripture “To obey is better than sacrifice.” Yes I am happy God does now force us with control, but allows us free will to obey and serve him. The rewards are great too.

    Thank you for sharing with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”