Martin Luther King is reported to have said, if you want to change someone, you need to love them first.
As a counselor I have conflicting thoughts concerning the suggestion one person has the power to change another. It seems I'm constantly warning married people, those frustrated spouses at their wits end, “the only person you can change is yourself,” which is true. Ultimately we only control our own actions.
However, I have witnessed powerful examples of how love, in the form of patience, kindness, self-sacrifice and above all forgiveness can transform relationships and marriages.
There have been times in my life where my own woundedness was really just hurt pride.
Self-pity, when indulged, is a form of narcissism. I’ve been there and it is a hard hole to climb out of without God’s help.
The Bible teaches that God does not simply employ love, but that God “is” love. (1 John 4:16). In other words the very essence of God is love.
This is how the Bible defines love:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor. 13:4-7).
Love can only exist in the context of relationships. God loves you with increasable intensity. God gave up quite a lot to be in a relationship with you, as you are, imperfect,but lovable.
This kind of love has the power to change everything.
I bet that is what Martin Luther King was talking about.
"Father, I want to pray for the people who are seeking love, Your love. Thank you for being a God who calls us Your children. Find us and keep us close during difficult times. In Jesus name draw us closer to You and hear our prayer."