WHEN it comes to healing troubled relationships, there is no better place to turn for help than God. He reveals solutions for resolving conflict that we could never figure out on our own. His power is all good. It is the power of divine Love. An understanding of divine Love's healing presence melts obstinacy, dissolves strife, and restores harmony.
''God is love,'' the Bible tells us in the First Epistle of John (4:8). God, divine Love, is much more than human niceness. Love is the heavenly source of good that can be relied on to outline and govern thoughts and actions. As God's offspring, each one of us is the perfect expression of divine Love. The daily Christian demand is to put off anything that would keep us from manifesting more of divine Love's pure qualities.
To heal through reflecting the power of Love, we must ourselves be free of the negative qualities we find offensive in others. For example, the belief that our neighbor is hard to deal with usually betrays a degree of intransigence in our own thinking. Paul pointed this out when he wrote in the book of Romans, ''Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest an-other, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things'' (2:1).
It takes humility to bow to God's will and make the necessary changes in our own thinking! And we must be willing to admit that divine Love can produce peace under all circumstances, no matter how trying. Hatred is not power. In spiritual fact, it is nothing more than a seeming lack of Love, which is washed away when we see more clearly the omnipresence and omnipotence of divine Love. Healing follows.
Over a period of time, my wife and I had encountered a mounting stubborn streak in our three-year-old. Finally she was adamantly refusing to go to bed at night. No reasonable tactic we could think of had any good effect on resolving the problem. Frustrated, upset, and greatly disturbed by the unpleasantness of the situation, we reached out to God for an answer.
I prayed to see more evidence of divine Love's control and less of the human-will type. I realized that the time our daughter went to bed was of little importance compared to the need for mutual respect and honor. I was expecting her to honor my requests because I was her dad. After all, children are supposed to obey their parents. Well, yes, they are. It is good for our little ones to respect and appreciate the wisdom and experience they have yet to gain. But perhaps more important, we as parents earn their respect by being good representatives ourselves of the spiritual qualities we desire to see expressed in our offspring.
My wife and I put more trust in the power of Love to resolve the situation and less in our own opinions. We saw that we needed to be less stubborn, so we stopped making an issue about what time she should go to bed and more sincerely appreciated her God-given ability to know what was right. We loved her more and trusted that divine Love would govern our family in everyone's best interest.
We can gratefully report that the nightly battles soon stopped. The obstinacy disappeared. Peace was restored. She now happily goes to bed at an appropriate time.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ''In patient obedience to a patient God, let us labor to dis- solve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error,--self-will, self- justification, and self-love,--which wars against spirituality and is the law of sin and death'' (p. 242). Like a strong detergent cutting through grease, Love dissolves even the most obstinate of bad attitudes.
There is nothing good that Love cannot do, for hatred, despite its many varied forms, has no ability to prevent Love from being Love--to keep God from being God. When we walk in the way of Love, we find that nothing can hinder our ability to love, to be loved, and to heal through Love. Divine Love is all-powerful.