The law of least love
I was reading about an American Sociologist called Willard Waller - no relation! He spent most of his life researching relationships and his findings can be summed up in something called "the law of least love", which says that in any relationship one person will love more than the other - and that this person has the least power in the relationship - that is, most likely to be walked all over. The person who loves least has the most power...
In my work I meet a lot of people who have been dumped on by someone in a position of power over them: a boss, a husband, an organisation. Often they have not been in the wrong, in fact often they have been very much in the right - loving/serving/giving far beyond the call of duty. One example is the wife of the violent and alcoholic husband. Another is the teacher who gives their utmost for the children in their charge even when no one says thank you.
When the 'dumping' happens, when the power is exercised, it can be really hard to understand and move on, because one of the main conclusions you have to draw is that the world sucks and people are nasty to other people. It seems impossible to believe in true grace because this requires you to acknowledge how little you have been valued.
Luckily, I have found at least one person who understands and has been in a similar position. Jesus loved us more than we loved him. He loved us even when we were betraying and killing him. Romans 5v6-8 says this:
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We had the power because he was vulnerable in love: and we killed him. He understands the pain of those who have likewise suffered.
Rob Waller, 01/05/2014