Joyce Meyer - Building Relationships You Crave
Hi, friends. Welcome to Joyce Meyer's Talk It Out podcast where my friends and I talk about God's word and the real stuff of life and we hold nothing back. I'm Ginger Stache, with Erin Cluley, Jai, and of course, Joyce Meyer. We're all in different stages of life. A young career woman and mom to two sweet kiddos. An accomplished songwriter facing an unexpected new life's journey. A leader, creative, an author with a heart for adventure. And a world-renowned Bible teacher whose personal story has impacted millions. And there's you, because sometimes you just need to talk about life with your girlfriends. So, consider yourself one of us, and let's Talk It Out.
Erin Cluley: Come on in, girlfriends! You wonderful, beautiful, fabulous friends of ours. Did you hear that?
Jai Williams: I heard all that.
Erin Cluley: That was Ginger-like, right?
Jai Williams: Yes, that was very Ginger-like. It feels like she's kind of here.
Erin Cluley: As you all can tell, we're missing our very sweet friend, Ginger, today. She had a family emergency, so she's not able to be here. So, we are praying for her and her family. I know you guys are joining us with that. But you got me and jai.
Jai Williams: Yeah, we're here.
Erin Cluley: We're here.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Erin Cluley: And we are gonna do our best.
Jai Williams: We're gonna do our best, yes.
Erin Cluley: But we have a really special friend with us today.
Jai Williams: We do, we do. I'm so excited about this guest because I've known her for a long, long time. I've known her for years. And-but our relationship has definitely developed even more and closer over the years. This is my good friend, Love McPherson. She's a licensed, certified family and marriage counselor, but she's also like a relationship coach. She's been featured on almost every network, even the bravo network, on some of the reality shows. And so, I am happy to have my friend, Love McPherson here, yay!
Love McPherson: Yay! Cheer, cheer, cheer, right?
Erin Cluley: I've known Love for like a month and I love her already. So, I can't imagine.
Love McPherson: Aww... And I love you both. And you know what? It is such an honor to be here on this broadcast with you all. You all are just girlfriends, and we are going to have a good time today.
Jai Williams: We are, we are. And here's the thing. I told,when I told Ginger and Erin and the team about you, I just raved about how much I love you and your family, but also how much you've helped me, and we'll talk a lot about that this episode. But then I remember when Erin actually talked to you on the phone, she called me. She was like, "Jai! I love, Love! And I want her to come over to my house"!
Love McPherson: I'm there.
Erin Cluley: I want you to move in and just coach me through my life. If you all don't know already, we're gonna talk about relationships today. So, love is gonna talk us through this. We're gonna have some really good practical conversations about how to have healthy relationships, how to work through past trauma, to have healthy relationships, and what does God have for us in our relationships? So, pretty excited about that today.
Jai Williams: Yes, super, super excited. And so, Love, I know I kinda introduced you, but would you like to tell us a little bit more about what you do, how you,what you've done.
Erin Cluley: Tell us about you!
Love McPherson: You know, I'm gonna actually answer the question that everybody asks me: is Love your real name? And the answer is yes. Love is my real name. My mother and dad would always tell me how I got, I received my name. My mother and father were married for 60 years, and she, i was the sixth of eight children, but she would have difficult pregnancies and my dad would be always there for her. And so, she told him that she put the love in there for him.
Love McPherson: And so, I say, "I'm his love child". And, so, yes, that is my name. And I also have an amazing husband of 38 years that I'm in love with and I actually still like him. And that's the big challenge in relationships.
Jai Williams: Before you keep going, like, seeing them together.
Erin Cluley: Oh, you've met him?
Jai Williams: Oh! Actually, I've known him, actually he...
Love McPherson: For years.
Jai Williams: Yes, for years. Like, when I was doing touring and like when I put my music and stuff out, they were serving at one of the biggest churches in Chicago. Like, so every time I would go to Chicago and like mama Love and her husband, they would take care of me. Like, I mean, pick me up, take where I need to go, get me food. Their daughter, Tif, would take care, like they were just there, and just seeing them together, you would think that they had just met. Because they are all, they're just giggly and it's so cute.
Love McPherson: Thank you so much.
Erin Cluley: I love it! I've got so many questions to ask you today. How you been able to do that for so long?
Love McPherson: You know, let me tell you, it takes work. And I don't want to over glamorize it. I don't want to make you feel like, "Ok, they have the perfect relationship. Nothing happens". Because when we do that, we set people up for failure. Because we are different people. We came with our own set of traumas. We came with our own set of personality types and injuries, inner wounds, and things like that. And so, we had to work this thing. I said, 38 years, but, you know, at every junction of life, you end up with more challenges. So, I am not my twenty-some year-old self but there are also challenges in your sixty-some year-old self. You understand? So, every avenue you have to take the time to say, "Ok, where are we"? But you know what? One of the keys is, of course, prayer and God. But the other thing is staying connected and dating because otherwise you wake up one day and you don't know who you're with. You are sleeping with the enemy or a stranger. And so, you have to continue to learn your person as they continue to grow. You know, death in the family, and kids getting older, it changes you, it evolves you. But if you didn't sign up for that person,cuz he signed up for my twenty-some year-old self, but he has to continue to sign up. And I have to continue to sign up all the time for the person that he becomes, and he has to continue to sign up for the person I become.
Erin Cluley: That's so good. And that applies to all of our relationship. It's not just marriage, but it applies to being parent-child, friendships, family members. So, before we dive into all that, because that is good stuff, let's go to Joyce and listen to what she has to say to kick this off.
Joyce Meyer: So the Bible actually, I think, is a book about relationships. I really believe it's one of the best books that we can ever find about relationships. But it's about three relationships: number one, our relationship with God which, if that's not right, nothing else is gonna go right. Secondly, it's about our relationship with ourselves. A lot of people don't get along with themselves so there's no hope of ever getting along with anybody else. If you don't love yourself, you're not gonna love anybody else. And then thirdly, it's about our relationship with all these different people out there. So, the way this is supposed to work is God loves me, that's the fact of the word. I believe that and when I believe it I receive it so I let that come into my life and into my heart and that becomes a reality to me and then only because God loves me I can begin to love myself. I didn't say, "Be in love with yourself". I'm not talking about a selfish self-centered love. I'm talking about a respect for yourself, an appreciation of what God has created, valuing yourself, being kind to yourself, being patient with yourself. How we treat ourselves ultimately is how we're gonna treat other people, amen? And so then, when that's taken care of, when you know God loves you, you've received that, you're loving him back, then you can let that love flow through you to other people. Matter of fact, the Amplified Bible brings it out very clearly, even in the famous 1 Corinthians 13 chapter where the first eight verses talk about what love is, and it clarifies when it says, "Love," it says, "That is God's love in and through us".
Erin Cluley: I think that's so good. And I think what's really interesting, and I wanna hear you guys share about this, we often jump to, "It's the person's fault". And you have to dial it back like Joyce was saying all the way back to our relationship with God and ourselves. So, let's start there because that feels like that's not as intuitive for us, you know?
Love McPherson: You know, that is,what Joyce said is,of course, always what she says, is so profound, right? And it is so profound, because as you said, we start somewhere else. But here's the thing. The Bible says, "The greatest commandment, love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, thy soul, thy mind, and love thy neighbor as you love yourself". So, you say, "Ok, God, I love you. I love you with all my heart, soul, mind," he says, wait, wait. Hold up, hold up. How are you gonna say you love me, who you don't see, but you don't, can't love your neighbor who you see every day"? "Oh, ok, God. I love, I love, I love my neighbor". He says, "No, no, no, love your neighbor as you love yourself". So, Satan says, "Oh, the prerequisite is loving yourself. Well, guess what? I have a way to help them not love themselves". Because see, what he does, he inserts trauma. Sometimes, even from the womb and trauma distorts how we see ourselves. It distorts how we see our neighbor. It distorts how we see God, and our perspective of the world. So, now, we're looking through a shaded lens of ourselves. So, what we see when we look in the mirror of ourselves is, "I'm not good enough". "I don't measure up". "I need somebody to fight for me and my dad was not there for me". And so, we begin to distort from other people's behavior who we are. We allow other people to give us our identity. Instead of owning the identity of: "Made in the image and likeness of God". And that's the answer. But Satan will put trauma in our way, and that's where the fight comes, because when it's time for relationships, see, people think about, you know,we're talking about marriage, "Oh, love your husband". Love is not your problem. Love is based on your integrity cuz that's a decision. So, every day I get up to decide, "I am tony McPherson's wife, and I choose to love him". It's liking him, that's the problem. It is. It is liking him. And this is why it's because how we relate to one another. It's the relationship part. The relationship part says, "I got my skills from my house. You got your skills from your house. So, my parents did it one way, your parents did it another way. If it was traumatizing in your house, and it was dysfunctional in your home, you walk away with those dysfunctional skills and bring it to me, and say, 'here, this is how we're gonna handle conflict. We're gonna holler' 'this is how we're gonna handle conflict, we're gonna avoid'. 'this is how we're gonna handle conflict, we're just gonna ignore it,' or 'spiritually bypass it and act like, oh, just shut up'. You know, 'that's the devil'". Well, we still have to deal with it, though. You understand? And so, what ends up happening, we stop relating to each other in a healthy way because we are afraid of rejection. We are afraid and hiding shame from trauma. And when Joyce was talking and she was saying our relationship with each other, not just our current relationship with our self, right now. What is your relationship with that little girl who was molested? What is your relationship with that little girl, that teenager who was promiscuous as a result of being molested? Do you love her? Can you say, "It's ok, you don't have to hide. I love you". Can you tell that little girl, "It's ok. I understand. That was not your fault". Traumatized people will take other people's bad behavior and blame themselves. Why? Because we are dealing with the accuser of the brethren. So, he will accuse you for other people divorcing you, for other people doing you wrong, for other people treating you badly. And we will own the shame and own the blame when actually Jesus paid the price where we don't have to be in this situation. And we bring that into our relationship, and we fear them getting too close to see those pockets of shame and blame. We don't want them to see the little girl. We don't want 'em to see the teen. We don't want them to see the people that we are trying to hide and the people we don't love because we feel like if you see her, you couldn't possibly love her cuz I don't love her.
Jai Williams: Yeah, and I realized that I was hiding from myself even, when I went through, and I've shared this with all of our friends, you know, you all have been on this journey with me of when I went through my,when I was first going through my divorce, even deciding if we were gonna have a divorce. Like mama Love was one of them first people, like I've told you all, I was like I have a host of counselors, confidants, people, and folks that will tell me when I'm in my mess, when I need to get up, when I need to do, you know, like...
Erin Cluley: She's one of those?
Jai Williams: She's one of those.
Erin Cluley: I'm glad I know that now.
Jai Williams: Yes, she's one of those people that I was talking to on a regular basis, every week, sometimes, multiple times a week. Ahh! 911! I gave her a 911 this week! I'm like, "Help"! You know. So, like, I keep, and that's one thing too, in learning yourself and knowing yourself, you've gotta get accountability in your life. Like even when it comes to building relationships, having people in your life that will tell you when you're not being a good friend or when you are being a good friend or when you are being a terrible wife or terrible mom, or a good mom and you know you have to have people around you. And so that was one of the first things that I did cuz understand the power of accountability. I didn't always have it, but I understand the power of it. But I remember when I was going through, you know, first finding out about the infidelity in my marriage, I would, I was talking to Love. And one of the first things that she really took me on was that trauma of what I dealt with, even with my parents with my family.
Erin Cluley: You had to go way back.
Jai Williams: I had to go way back. Because instead of deflecting cuz, yeah, we're not excusing what he did,what my ex did. But as far as, like, me rebuilding my self-worth and even allowing myself to love my neighbor as I love myself, I realized that even in my marriage, I didn't really love myself because I hadn't even really healed from the trauma. So, we started with even, like my relationship with my, we spent a lot of time talking about my life as a pastor's kid. The trauma from church, like the church hurt like, like, all of that stuff. And then, the next phase, you would think that it would be just about like going into like, Romantic relationships, talking about that. No, she really,we spent a lot of time talking about me and self-love and learning how to love me, you know.
Erin Cluley: I think that's so interesting because when you,when we walk through stuff like that, that's hard, I would think I would just tackle this problem right here. Like this,there's a root here to this one. But like you just said, you gotta go way back. Like what happened to me as a kid that is affecting why I'm lashing out like this as a mom or as a friend.
Love McPherson: Yes, absolutely. And here's the thing. A lot of times when we, one of the things that we were talking about, like when you were saying, I had to take jai back and show her how her trauma responses were showing up in her current relationship. Because what happens is our brain experiences stress and that stress is related to what kind of resources, we feel we have to deal with that stress. So, it could be a perceived threat or an actual threat. A perceived threat might be there's a monster in the closet. Well, there's no monster in the closet, but you feel it, your body feels it. But then the actual threat might be somebody shaking your handle and trying to break into your house. Now, the stress is released some by you having maybe a weapon or something to combat it or access to the police. However, our bodies experience, our brains experience the least amount of stress when we have social resources. And this is why God put us,it's not good for man to be alone. He needs a social resource. Which you're gonna connect them and walk them through those problems. And so, the stress and the anxiety levels of being separated from each other during the pandemic,notice what happened. Because our social resources were stripped from us. And so, what ended up happening in those relationships is as she began to see, "Wait, my social resources are leaving me," the anxiety was higher. Now, she had experienced it as a child because she was on a performance-based relationship. And she had to perform in order to receive love. When she felt the dismantling of her marriage, how,and the performance of her as a wife was in jeopardy. Everything she knew that she thought she was, she had failed that. And she did not have people rise to the occasion to say, "You did good. You get to get my love". And so, she had to deal with that.
Jai Williams: Cuz that's what I was accustomed to.
Love McPherson: Exactly.
Jai Williams: I was accustomed, I was accustomed to, and I'm sure a lot of our friends are like that, too. When you're,even as a child, we're used to getting praised for what we do.
Erin Cluley: Oh, I still call my dad for him to tell me, "You did a good job," and I am in my thirties, and I still want that validation. So, absolutely.
Jai Williams: Even if it's,even from friends, like, y'all.
Erin Cluley: Absolutely, I want you to tell me I'm great.
Jai Williams: We want that validation. And then, with me going through a divorce during the pandemic, as well, I was spiraling. Like, I didn't have any kind of social anything. And then, the church didn't step up like I thought that they should have. No one was holding him accountable. But what Love was telling me, she was just like, "Hey, it's his responsibility to deal with his stuff. Like, you can't change him. You can't,you know, you have to worry about yourself". And so, that journey of self-love has been the biggest journey and the biggest hurdle that I've,like that, and I wanted to ask you, like, why is that? Like, why is it so hard for us to really, like, embrace ourselves and love ourself without feeling prideful or feeling...
Erin Cluley: It's so much easier to deflect.
Jai Williams: Mm-hmm, why is that?
Love McPherson: Here's the thing about that, Jai. One of the things that was happening is if you look at the emotions,and I'm not talking about the experiences cuz trauma doesn't tell you that it,what's happening here and now. It only tells you,shows you the emotions you feeling. Lack of church rescuing me, well, you experienced that in your childhood.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Love McPherson: Lack of church, "Why aren't y'all helping me with,y'all don't even understand what I'm going through to be up here in front" and then when your husband, "y'all not helping me". So, the experience of being abandoned by the people that were supposed to love you and never leave you nor forsake you was real for her. And then when she saw that, "I gave my best. I did my best. And it didn't, my best was not good enough". And then, to be, for somebody to just say, "I'm walking away emotionally from you," now, what she'd learned from her dad, do you mind me?
Jai Williams: No.
Love McPherson: From her dad is to cling or fight.
Erin Cluley: Yeah.
Love McPherson: And you can't control people's soul. They have to desire you. We have to follow the model of Christ where, you know, people like, I want you to love me and, "I'm gonna make you love me", no, you won't. And here's the thing about that. Because Christ said, "I don't know if they gonna love me. I don't know if they gonna accept me, but I'm gonna die on this cross anyway. And if they will, they will. If they won't, I'ma still let the sun shine on the just as well as the unjust". And so, what we want is we want assurance. So, we stop dating, we stop loving, we run because, "I need your,to control your soul". That's the part of us, God says, "I need your soul to want me. I know I can make robots, but I need you to desire me. I need you to choose me. And I'm not going to hold you hostage if you do not. And guess what? I'm still a good God. Whether you choose me or not. I still have been good, and I am a good father. Whether I have bad kids or not, I am still a good father". And when you realize, "I am a good person," maybe you're not in a place where you are healed well enough to actually see it or experience it, but that's not a reflection of my health, that's a reflection of yours. And so, sometimes we have to realize,that doesn't mean we get a hall pass. It just means you can't control where somebody is emotionally and place it on, "Let me just jump higher, leap faster, sing a higher note". It doesn't always work that way.
Erin Cluley: So, this is sort of embarrassing to say out loud to you because my child is seven. But recently, he was, actually it was both my kids. My son is seven, my daughter's five. And so, they love their dad. And mom does,mom keeps things running and dad is fun. And so...
Jai Williams: Girl.
Erin Cluley: Right?
Jai Williams: Mine's eighteen.
Erin Cluley: Let's talk about everything. But anyways, so they,they want to be with him. And I can't remember the situation exactly. But like, I got really upset because they liked him more, and they were very clear in that feeling. And they're little, so they communicate exactly how they feel. And I remember feeling as if it was an adult that made me feel upset, like wounded by my small children because they picked him over me, and "I'm not good enough". And so, I'm having these emotions and I thought, "Erin, they are children. This is not about them, is it"? And I could trace back what you're saying. This is me like as a kid, feeling like I'm not chosen. I'm not picked and someone else was picked over me. And it's coming out my kid. And so, I'm seeing this mirror as I'm parenting them. And I had to apologize to my children. But it was so interesting how far back I went.
Love McPherson: Yes, yeah, and that, I really love your transparency on that because we will bring it. And this is the thing. And you will probably not only see it as a child, you probably, before you got married or whatever, you probably saw it show up in other relationships.
Erin Cluley: Oh, absolutely.
Love McPherson: Like, "Am I good enough"? And you're trying to like be ok, and somebody ghosting you, or somebody not,deciding, "No, I'm not gonna have a relationship with you". It was very personal to you. And so, what ends up happening is this, when people feel that, you have the insecurities of, "I'm not enough, where you'll love me," you really show up in a space where they feel some sense of rejection themselves. So, you think that they're, when people fear rejection, they're actually projecting their fears and making the people feel rejected. So, your children probably, at times, felt rejected by you because you were feeling rejected. So, they were thinking, "Mom is harder to please," or "Mom is this,is probably not you know, she's not gonna like this," and "Mom is," you know, so they were feeling uncomfortable. While you were looking at them, they were looking at you for your eyes of approval. And one of the things that I love, the beauty is grandchildren. So, wait on those. And so, but as a grandchild, I make it a habit, when he walks my little grandson, I have one and he's three. And when he walks in the room, I make it a habit of making my eyes glow when he walks into the room. Let your eyes glow for your children when they walk into the room. Don't look at through eyes of criticism. Maybe eyes of criticism shaped you and you're always wanting to make sure you're ok. But instead of doing that, what you wanna do is make your eyes go, "Hi! Hey there"! No matter what you're doing, stop. Start practicing that. Cuz, you know what? People gravitate. What,even the Bible tells us how we gravitate in the presence of God, right? And so, literally, let the,watch them gravitate towards you as your eyes brighten when they come into the room.
Erin Cluley: So good, whew.
Jai Williams: And honestly, and I know, we gotta keep moving, but I just wanted to drop this in because we had a conversation about this with my daughter, who's a lot older than yours. My daughter is 18 and so just know it, keep going, so, it's like, if they've gotta favorite, they've just gotta favorite, ok? Cuz I am not my daughter's favorite. Because a lot of times, like, is it possible for children to see,and because their minds are still being developed and shaped, is it possible for them to assume that rejection is also correction? Or is also, like you said, you're the one that keeps the train movin' like I was always the one that said, "Do your homework, clean your room, brush your teeth, you know, do your chores".
Love McPherson: Good cop.
Jai Williams: Good cop, bad cop.
Love McPherson: Oh, absolutely.
Jai Williams: And so, because we're the bad cop, even though we're doing it, and that's the part that hurts so much is because being the bad cop, you're doing things that you know,you're telling them things that you know will help them in the long run and help them become better human beings, better adults, have a more successful life, even "Like go to school, do," you know, like, the things that I've, you know, even talking to my daughter and like, of course, like her dad has always been the fun one. Her dad's the one that's like, "Let's go get hotbox cookies". You know, "Let's go," you know, "Let's go to the mall and buy those j's," you know, and I'm like, "No, you better wear them shoes out, I bought you". You know, like so could they, is it possible for them to deem that correction as a parent as rejection? You know what I mean? Cuz I feel like I still got the glow, but I feel like glow, "And go clean the kitchen".
Love McPherson: You know, my mother, I just thought, like, all this stuff, relationship stuff that I talk about, I just thought, "My God, you are so out of touch". And people pay me to say, to speak our wisdom now. And so,but,but my kids, of course, they love their father. He was tickle monster every Saturday morning, and run around the house and I was like, "Don't tickle me. Do not tickle me, do not tickle me". And so, you know, the thing about it is, yes, they do. But guess what? Mother's love is delayed gratification, very often. Why? Because your children will grow up and they will experience life. Life is full of lessons and hard knocks, and they will overcome. And all of a sudden, your words,your words and your wisdom, your discipline, they will say, "Oh, my mom said..." And they will begin to respect you more. My daughter, who is,has the son, all of a sudden, mama rocks now. And I just love watching. I was like, "I wonder who he got that from"?
Jai Williams: I love that.
Love McPherson: I've been waiting for this day for her to experience herself, right?
Jai Williams: I love that, how you said a mother's love is delayed gratification.
Love McPherson: It is.
Jai Williams: I really love that.
Erin Cluley: Let's make sure to remind each other of that, ok?
Jai Williams: Yes.
Erin Cluley: Ok, that's good. Ok, let's...
Love McPherson: It's gonna come, though.
Erin Cluley: I'm gonna write it down and date the day, that you told me that. I'll call you in a year. Let's jump now to relationships with other people. So, we've tackled this part. So, let's see what Joyce has to say about relationships with others and talk some more about that.
Joyce Meyer: 1 Peter 3:11, the second half of the verse, says: "[do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, and go after them!]" so I just wanna take just a moment here to say to you, make sure that you're at peace with God, that you're not doing things that war against your conscience, that there's not hidden sin in your life that needs to be dealt with and forgiven. Think a little bit about your relationship with yourself. Do you like yourself? Do you love yourself? Are you your own worst enemy? Are you your own worst critic? And then secondly, how do you navigate and handle relationships with other people? You know, avoiding people is not having good relationships with them. I mean, we can get pretty good at just, "Boy, I know what I'll do. I'll just,it's just me. I don't need anybody else. I'm not gonna mess with anybody else. Who needs people"? Like one person said, "If I don't know you I don't need to know you". Well, that's not the way God wants us to be, amen? So, just a few guidelines for good relationships. Number one, let people be themselves. Stop trying to change them and love them as they are, not the way you wish they would be, okay? I love that statement. Let's learn to value people the way they are, not the way we would like them to be. 1 Corinthians 9:19-22. Paul said, "For although I am free in every way from anyone's control, I have made myself a bond servant to everyone, so that I might gain the more [for Christ]". So he's, like, "Look, I'm free. I can do whatever I want to. But I've decided that I'm gonna do everything I can to serve you and to get along with you and I'm not gonna do it because it's easy. I'm gonna do it because that's a way of serving Christ".
Erin Cluley: So, as we talk about pursuing peaceful relationships, let's note the thunderstorm that's happening outside of the window, here. If you hear large booms, it's not our souls crushing cuz our relationships...
Jai Williams: I said, "God, just wanna be a part of this conversation". He said, "Wait a minute. Let me interject".
Erin Cluley: Yeah, he knows we need him in this space. So, have no fear everything is all right.
Jai Williams: And guess what? Just like Joyce said, "We're not goin' to change him". We're not goin' to try to change him. We're gonna let God be God.
Erin Cluley: Come on in.
Jai Williams: "Come on in, God". But not too close, though.
Erin Cluley: You can keep the rain out there. Ok, on that note, let's talk about peaceful relationships. In a world that feels like toxic relationships are the norm. And like, what you see every day and the work that you do, how do we even navigate that?
Love McPherson: You know, what I see is, too often, one of the things that Joyce talked about, I see too often, and that is that we don't accept people for who they are. We want,and especially, in Romantic relationships, we actually write a script for our spouse and expect them to live up to it. I remember years ago, my first year of marriage, and I've been married 38 years, and I used to watch soap operas back then, ok? So, I was watching "All my children" and I thought, "Ok, let me reenact this script". And I had this Romantic dinner for my husband when he got off work, and I had, I met him at the door with a negligee. And on the,it had happened, that scene, it happened in that show. And when, I think, doctor cliff or whatever, he came in, he was just like, "Oh, you are the this..." And he was telling all of this stuff that she was cuz she was so Romantic. So, I did this, and my husband walked in the door, and he was like, "Uh, uh, what is this"? I said, "I did this, honey, because I love you". He's, "Uh, love you, too. Wow, ok". Wait. You don't have, like, "Love, I love you, from the ground to the floor to the ceiling. You are the world"? He didn't do the script. I was so upset that he didn't follow the script. He hadn't received it, but he hadn't, but he didn't follow it.
Erin Cluley: He should have known it.
Love McPherson: Yeah, he should have known it. He married me, right? And I gave up soap operas because it has unreasonable expectations. And as women, we have to realize that there are things that give us unreasonable expectations of people. And those chick flicks and soap operas, and those are scripted. And they're like, "Oh, wait, take two". And they have their lines and they're feeding their lines. We can't feed other people their lines and just make them abide by them. What we have to do is realize they are going through their own personal traumas. They are going through their own salvation with God. And you know what? We have to look at the model of Christ. And this is,if he had told me back when I first started in this salvation thing, which is years for me cuz my parents were all Christians and stuff like that, but if he had told me all the stuff, I was gonna have to work with,work on, on myself, I would have walked right out this... "Oh, sorry. Thank you. But I think I'm gonna go a different direction". But he,you know, God is so gracious, and he will allow us one thing at a time. You'll see everything lining up. "Let's work on your character, here. Let's work on that. Let's work on that". And he'll give us time to come to him and grow and all this kinda of stuff. But a lot of times we want our spouses, we want our children to change. "Now, I want it now, and do it now. And don't you ever go back. If you ever,if you even, if you are sincere about changing and you go back and you mess up, see, you were not sincere," we have to give people grace. We wanna have relationships with the role, instead of the person, r o l e. We have,because when we have a role, expectations are attached to the role. If you say, "I'm here with a relationship expert," the role expert,relationship expert is going to say, "Oh, well then, we expect some really good relationship advice from her". But what about having a relationship with love, you understand? With me. And so, a lot of times we wanna have a relationship with mom. But mom was broken. Mom is not there. Mom is on drugs. Mom is busy. Mom is depressed, whatever the case. And so, we are longing for a relationship with the role, when in actuality, if our mom's name is Susan, "Susan is trying to heal". This is who you have to say, "Susan was a little girl. Susan went through this thing. What can I do to love Susan"? Now, let me tell you, you bring little Susan, teenage Susan, adult Susan up in the church, you would love on her. You would take care of her. You would have grace with her. But Susan, the mom, you don't have patience with her. You're only resentful and angry because Susan didn't have the perfect childhood to be the perfect mother. Father, whatever the case may be. We have to stop having relationships with a role and have a relationship with people.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, my husband and I were in counseling last year, and I did treat him very much like a role. Like, "I assumed you got the job description when we got married, that this is what a husband does". And so, in counseling and just hearing some things that he experienced, I had a real,like, I remember specifically a shift that I had where I realized, "Oh, my gosh, you have hurt. And if anybody else told me what you just told me, I would feel nothing but empathy towards you. And why have I met you with such hate? Only because of the role that you've been assigned. If you were anybody else in my life, I would have treated you totally different in this situation and had more grace for you".
Jai Williams: And that's great. Like, that's how I ended up finally getting to a place where I could forgive my dad. Like with the empathy part of it. And, like, honestly, I literally started, like, cuz I was praying, like, I'm like, "God, I don't wanna have this anger with my father". Like, I don't want to, you know, I wanted our relationship to be mended. And, you know, and so, I started having dreams, and like, seeing him as a kid, seeing him in Missouri being, like, seGregated, like, not being able to drink from certain fountains or not being able to,as a teenager, him having to, you know, to do the things he had to do to help his family and help his mom. And I'm like, "Wow, like, he's had a lot of trauma". And so, I remember waking up one morning, just weeping like, "Man". And like, I just felt so much hurt for my father, who I was very, very upset with, cuz he had done a lot of, you know, we didn't have a great relationship, you know, especially my like twenties. Like, it was really, really bad. But I started waking up and started empathizing with who he was in his trauma. And that's why I was like, "I forgive him". Like, I forgave him for that.
Love McPherson: And that's when you have to say, "I will have empathy and forgiveness for people who don't even realize they need it". Because he may not even be in a position, because of his brokenness, because of his traumas, he may not even be in a position of realizing, "I need her to show empathy and grace to me". Instead, he is still showing, I'm not saying your father. But a person that's showing the same type of relationship, like angry or judgmental or something that is demeaning to you. But you still have to say, "Hey, I need to see the role, I mean, the person, not the role". Because the role is all about me. It's all about feeding into what I want, what I need. So, their behavior becomes,you become resentful because they're not giving you what you feel you signed up, like you said, to give to me. It's all selfish.
Erin Cluley: Oh, it's so good. What you said, I think, is so good because God met you where you were, like he gave you that dream. So, he hasn't left us in these relationships to figure them out. If we have to be empathetic for someone else's trauma, he will give us what we need.
Love McPherson: But he told her father, what he needed as well. He gave him a daughter that loved him in spite of himself. Because he was doing the best he could, preaching and doing, in the midst of his trauma, in the midst of his brokenness, he was still trying to promote God. God still saw his heart and his need. He always wanted to cling to his daughter.
Love McPherson: But he didn't know how to do it.
Jai Williams: He didn't know how.
Love McPherson: And therefore, he used an abusive way to keep her close. When in actuality, God gave her back to him through love and not through control.
Jai Williams: Yeah. And it's,our relationship is so great. Once I made the decision, and I actually saw who he was through his trauma, like, it's so good right now, and,
Erin Cluley: That's amazing, because two years ago, when we first started doing this, it was not that.
Jai Williams: It was not.
Erin Cluley: And you were barely talking.
Jai Williams: We were barely,when we first started the podcast, me and my dad were barely, and that was even before I found out about my ex. Like, you know, like that was before, that's when our marriage, I thought, was great, you know. It wasn't. But I thought it was. But it was so kind of God to allow me to go through that healing process with my family right before all of this, you know, came out.
Love McPherson: You know, and I have to...
Erin Cluley: Love has something to say. She put her finger up. What is it?
Love McPherson: Because what, that is what the key to what, how I counsel. And this is why. I realized that we have to go back and heal those core relationships. Once we,you remember I talked about skills. Relationship, relating to people is skills. One of the main skills you'll need is forgiveness. You have to go back and learn to forgive, empathize, give grace to those core relationships that failed us. And then, you walk out the door of your home to forgive the other relationships. But until you go back and do that thing with that core, you cannot,you will not forgive you. You will not forgive others. You will just have a spirit of unforgiveness. So, go back, learn how to empathize with the person who hurt you. The relationships that hurt you the most, learn those skills. And then, go and use that skill, the mastery of forgiveness, the mastery of,of empathy and that the Holy Spirit will direct you and give you. And you take that, and you place it on your ex, you place it on your present, you place it on your children, you place that on your boss, you just place it all the other directions.
Jai Williams: I love that. I think that is so powerful. And I think that, that will help a lot of people, you know, like, that are even struggling, I think about work, you know, you said the bosses that are having conflicts at work, having conflicts with that...
Love McPherson: That's the role.
Jai Williams: That's a role. Powerful.
Love McPherson: And you know what you do? You sow seeds. You know why? Because when we look at ourselves, how many roles are we playing? We are roles too. And we need that same empathy. We need that same grace upon our lives. We operate as people, but people experience us in our roles. And they have expectations of us in our roles. And so, we need the same empathy, grace, forgiveness, all of those things in order to, so, sow it, sow to somebody else.
Erin Cluley: Ok, well let's go back to Joyce and hear a little bit more about how to deal people in our relationships and how we can do better. And then, I have a question for you.
Love McPherson: All right.
Joyce Meyer: "To the weak I become weak that I might win the weak. I have [in short]," and this is really, I love this verse. "[in short] I have become all things to all people, that I might win them to Christ". So, you know what Paul is saying? Everywhere I go, I've already set my mind that I'm gonna adjust and adapt to you". Now, that doesn't mean if somebody's in sin you're gonna jump in sin with them so you can be like them. That's not at all what that means. But it does mean that we're going to adapt and adjust. You know, for example, I am,I'm a bottom-line person. Just tell me what you're trying to say, do it in as few words as you can, and let's get on because I've got a lot of things to do. Dave, however, is very detailed. And so, it takes Dave a lot longer to tell a story than it takes me to tell it. And so in my way of listening, I feel like that he's giving me a bunch of details that I don't care about. And I assume because I don't care about it, nobody else does either. Because we all think that everybody's like us. So if I'm not really careful, and I do have to be careful and I don't always succeed, when he's telling me something I can get really impatient and it will show on my face and be in my attitude and come out of my mouth. Okay, so one of the ways that we can get along with people better is learning to know them, knowing ourselves. And then maybe just saying, "Now, I know when I have lunch with that person that I'm gonna probably need to listen to things that I don't care that much about". But, see, listening is one of the ways that we can show love for people.
Erin Cluley: That's very difficult to do. I would just like to say it upfront. She makes it sound really easy, like you just listen to them. But sometimes that is exhausting. And especially when you're annoyed or frustrated, so how do you do that, Love?
Love McPherson: It is absolutely self-discipline. It really is.
Erin Cluley: Ugh! Let's pick a different word.
Love McPherson: I remember my mother,when she's talking, a scene goes towards my mother. And my dad was a big talker, and he was in politics for 36 years. He was an elected official and stuff. And my mother was a lot of wisdom. So, people would,like me, she was the one who was out there speaking and doing things like that. But when it came to my dad, he would be talking and talking, and I would just see my mother sitting and listening. And they went to breakfast every day. And they were married 60 years, and I would just see her just listening. And then, they would start taking walks, but then, they would sit at the bus stop. And now, I'm already married at that point, right? Cuz they're older. And they would just sit at the bus stop. And I remember driving past and seeing my parents sitting at a bus stop and I looked, and my mother was just listening, and daddy was just talking, talking. And I thought, "I don't even have that skill. What happened to me? Where," I am like Joyce where my husband will be talking and I'll have to say, "Love, sit and listen". Because he will take you down the railroad and then up again. And so, now, we go to breakfast. I sit, and I sit on purpose. I will tell myself, I really do. And I find myself reminding me of my mother cuz I'll sit and say, "What he's about to talk to you, you could care less about, but you're gonna pretend you do, and you're gonna to, and you're gonna sit right there and nod and give him all the body language he needs to believe that you're interested in this". And then I, after a while, I start asking questions. And then, I am actually interested because I am interested in him, not what maybe what he's saying, but I'm interested in him loving me, and being a part of his world. Him,he's so into my world but I'm not always as engaged. So, I have to make sure that I am disciplined to be a part of his world. And he's into youth, right? He's into youth ministry and all this kind of stuff like that. And I've done that for many years and I'm like, "Ok, I don't really wanna hear about the youth no more".
Jai Williams: "I ain't worrying about them kids".
Love McPherson: "I ain't worrying about them kids, they wore me out". But I listen.
Jai Williams: So much about it is selflessness.
Love McPherson: It is.
Jai Williams: And then, I like,one of my favorite things to do,like, now. It wasn't always but is learning people's love languages. Is because I've realized that so much of my life and so much of my relationship, cuz my marriage lasted, you know, for a young person, I have to, I can't discredit the fact that we almost made it to 20 years. We were at 19. That's a long time, right? You know, so Satan will wanna make me feel like, "Girl that was nothing". No, no. We had,like Satan came in at the last part and tricked my ex at the time. But we had a good run while we were at it. But one of the things I do know that I wish we could have done better is learning each other's love language and loving each other through the love language. So now, I implement that more so even in my friendships, my relationships with anybody is not, because he, I realize later that he was loving me the way he received love. So, if I'm,if he's a gift person and I'm an acts of service person and he's constantly buying me stuff, I'm like, "That is not what I need," you know? But he's so excited cuz he's like, "Oh, I've bought you this and I bought you that". And I'd be like... You know, it would deflate him. But it was also him not listening to what I needed. And I think that, that's a big part of it. Figuring out the other person, whether it be a Romantic relationship or a friendship, learning what makes that person feel loved. And if it's words of affirmation, and mine is maybe, you know, like I said, acts of service, not do,like picking your cup up for you won't make you feel loved but me saying "Hey, you're doing a really good job, Erin".
Erin Cluley: I love how practical it is because it doesn't just happen. We have to work at all relationships we have, they don't,they are not just handed to us, and then, they're good. We have to invest that time into them. I think that's so good.
Love McPherson: Absolutely, absolutely.
Erin Cluley: I have a challenge to issue to all of us. I'm going to tell us some questions, we should start asking in our relationships. Ask some of yourself too. This is not just for us to do. You have relationships too. So, listen to these questions. How am I showing up? How can I communicate better with my closest relations? How do we serve and listen to those we're in relationship with even when we are so very frustrated? And this one is very, very difficult. How do we help or serve, and serve without being walked all over? But also, how do you serve them when you're getting nothing back? You know, I feel like sometimes we serve, I know I do this a lot in my relationship. I have to purposely think, "I'm gonna serve him, not because I'm gonna get something back from him. I'm gonna serve him because that is what God has called me to do. And that is,that's something I can do. And the rest is not on me". So, I think those are some good questions for us to ask ourselves. So, Love, do you have any final thoughts or words of wisdom for us to walk away with today?
Love McPherson: Yes, I do.
Erin Cluley: Oh, good. Thank you. I'll write it down.
Love McPherson: And I love the questions that you're asking, and the serving is very important. This is what I will say. And I say this,and this is always my ending: always choose love. Because really love never fails. We may fail each other: we may fail ourselves and people may fail us. But really, the act of loving, you can't lose when you love. You can't lose if you receive God's love. You can't lose if you give people love who don't deserve it. You can't lose when you love yourself. Love just never fails. Why? And this is the thing. Satan will come to talk you out of love. He will bring everything in you to talk you out of love. Never give up on love. Why? Because God is love.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, so good. Read 1 Corinthians 13 if you haven't. And once you get into that scripture, you will not be able to run from it. And you'll see in every relationship you have how you can do better and where you can grow close to God and how he can help you be kind, and patient, and not rude, all those really important attributes. So anyways, we're so glad you guys joined us. We have a very special offer for you today, all about relationships because we all need some help. Joyce has a resource for us. It's a free digital download called "Enjoying successful relationships". I have read it. It is excellent.
Jai Williams: It is, excellent, yes.
Erin Cluley: It is really good. So, get it. It's free. Just head to joycemeyer.org/talkitout. You can find that there. You can catch up on past episodes, or you can head to YouTube, make sure you subscribe to the podcast, write a review, tell your friends about it. But we just love you guys so much and we need each other. We need each other to walk through these things in life. So, we're glad you're here today. Hope you have a wonderful day. Love you guys. Praying for you. Bye.
Jai Williams: Bye-bye.