If we examine the invent or beginning of relationships, we cannot do so without acknowledging our earthly mother and father and our spiritual mother and father—Adam and Eve. The health of our relationships begins with the first example we see and experience. These relationships tend to define all the other relationships that follow.
Eve became an integral physical part of Adam. She was created with his rib. There was love there. They were created in God’s own image, so love must have been present. They loved uninhibited until Eve decided to act in a way that opposed God’s will for their lives as a couple. When they realized their error, unity and a part of that love may have been lost in their sin. Their actions changed the entire trajectory of relationships for humankind.
I lost my father to a car accident when I was just three years old, but my heart remembers his love. My eyes still see it. My hands still feel it. His love was a great example. My relationship with my mother is strained, but it was not always that way. Ours was a relationship more like sisters than mother and daughter. That ended when she betrayed me by having an affair with my husband at the time. My idea of love and relationships started to change. I began to question if I was enough. I did so because my father left and took his love with him, and my mother intentionally betrayed and hurt me deeply, so I believed any love she may have felt for me left the relationship with the acts of sin and betrayal. This became my view of love, or the absence of it, because hurt and love do not belong in the same sentence. They cannot reside in the same house.
While love and hurt cannot reside in the same house, love is required to build and rebuild the house. God says we must “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2). Few things in life will hurt more than the alienation that comes when a relationship is broken, especially that between a mother and daughter. Once fractured, relationships can heal, but they may never be the same.
Like a broken limb, broken relationships can cause a tremendous amount of pain. This is considerably true when the relationship is not reconciled. Then the limb is akin to a phantom limb, where we realize the relationship is no longer present or healthy, but the sensations of the relationship can still be felt, which leads to grief. Whether it be pain, strength, or weakness, the emotion holds on long after the demise of the relationship. Even so, we are instructed to continue loving. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).