Have you ever been slighted, insulted, snubbed, felt as though you weren’t good enough, aw come on you know rejected. Studies show us people in stable, long-term relationships and marriages often feel rejected by their partner at some time or another. Furthermore, in our society married couples, go to bed every night with one of the partners feeling rejected by the other. “She never initiates intimacy, he never puts his arms around me, when I reach out to her she’s always tired or not in the mood.” When your partner rebuffs your advances; avoids your attempts at intimacy; turns away when you try to kiss him or her; is reluctant to have date nights; goes to bed significantly before or after you do; rather check text messages, catch up on Facebook and other social media gossip; falls asleep on the couch or in the kids’ room; drinks too much during a romantic dinner and crawls into bed without you; or claims exhaustion when you’re finally alone, or on an otherwise romantic vacation—you are going to feel rejected and it’s going to hurt.
What an awful and awkward feeling. Although many experiences are mild, however, when they recur over long periods of time, they can be extremely painful damaging your self esteem and even endangering the relationship. In order to protect themselves from further hurt, a rejected spouse or partner is likely to become emotionally withdrawn, distant, and disengaged. They are also likely to develop feelings of anger and resentment toward the partner, and in some cases, become depressed.
Most of us have grown up on nothing short of a roller-coaster when it comes to trying to please people so they won’t reject us. Rejection is tough any time, at any age…even babies cry when rejected. God made each of us with the innate desire to be loved and accepted by those around us, we were designed for community. Yet we live in a fallen world where sin is rampant. People hurl flaming arrows of rejection at their friends, family members, and co-workers without realizing the depths of their damage that can even reach throughout generations. People usually love you based on your performance. If you do what they want you to do, when they want you to do I, they accept you; but if you don’t, they reject you.
This is the modus operandi of human love, and none of us inherently know how to do anything different. We are all prone to disappointment and feelings of rejection, and that is especially true in the aftermath of a broken relationship. However, as believers we have a resource in God’s Word that can bring comfort and clarity to any situation. God’s has an altogether different love, and a different view of love, a love that’s not based on your performance but is based solely on God. He loves you and accepts you because He decided to, not because of what you do or don’t do. Please don’t misunderstand, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t desire holiness; but you’ll never arrive at new levels of holiness if you think God rejects you and withholds His love every time you fail, your shortcomings are no surprise to God. He is empathetic because he knows – Hebrews 4:15-16.
How can we overcome rejection that simmers at the very core of our being? Our first step towards healing will begin when we reject any thoughts, words, or actions that run contrary to the Word of God. As believers we are not defined by our past failures or by disappointment or by the rejection of others. We are defined as children of God, born again to newness of life and endowed with every spiritual blessing and accepted in Christ Jesus. God has prepared for each of us unique opportunities to walk through “all things” of this life. We can either walk in our own strength our “flesh,” or we can walk in newness of the power of the provision God has made for us through the Holy Spirit. It is our choice.
Walking in the flesh by our feelings is like walking through the world with our heart on our sleeve. We are bound to be hurt, and disappointed, by the things of this fallen world in which we live. What we choose to do with the hurt and disappointment will either allow us to grow stronger in our walk with God or it will cripple our witness transforming us to the walking wounded. Both outcomes are our choice. God makes it possible for us to walk through the disappointments in life with a knowledge that His provision for us works. His grace and His comfort are ours as we rest in Him.
Something was troubling the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:5 to the point He asked God at least three times to remove it from him, God’s response according to Paul in verse 9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” If you are a child of God, you may be rebuffed and suffer disappointment in this life, but you need to remember that as a child of the King, this rejection is a momentary bump in the road. You have a choice to either allow that bump to derail you and walk through life wounded, or you can choose like the Apostle Paul to claim the heritage of a child of God and move forward in grace…so that Christ’s power may rest on YOU.