I remember once watching an episode of Sex & the City (yes, Sex & the City) and Carrie was whining about one of her relationships. In response, I also recall Samantha saying that the sign of a good relationship is if it makes you smile more than it causes you to frown. (Actually, the sign of anything healthy in your life is if it garners that kind of result.)

That said, recently, while I was talking to a 40-something woman about her relationship—well, her “situation” because all she really seemed to be doing with the guy is having sex with him whenever he wanted it…nothing more, nothing else—I thought about the look that was on her face while she was talking about what she was going through. She was crying about just how much she knew being with him was doing her no good and yet, she wasn’t ready to let him go. She loved him and so she wanted to “work it out” (which is probably more like “stick it out”). I’ve been there. Shoot, my first book consisted of being in a variety of those kinds of scenarios. Indeed, I know how it is: being in a horrible pattern but not being willing to break it. Not yet.

I must say that it is absolutely amazing how some of us will say that we’re staying in something that compromises every bit of common sense we have, all the while calling it “love” when the reality is that love is not supposed to make you worse; love is designed to make you better.

How can we know this? Well, for one thing, God is love. I John 4:8 &16 tells us so. For another, when you go to what I call the “love juice box” in the Love Chapter of the Bible (I Corinthians 13), the second ingredient listed is kindness. LOVE IS KIND. When we’re in a love relationship, it is designed to be as kind to us as we are to be to it. This means that it’s gentle, it’s considerate and (one of my absolute favorite definitions of the word) it’s helpful.

Yes, love is to be helpful.

Some of us stay in the relationships, the habits, the strongholds that we’re in all because we’re so consumed with our fear of what life would be like without its presence being in our lives. But I just want to take a moment to pose to you this one question: “While you’re spending so much time thinking about what you’ll be losing if you let ‘it’ go, have you ever asked how keeping it around is actually helping you?”

What good it’s bringing to your world?

If it’s making you a better person?

Does it make you smile more than it makes you frown?

It’s a simple concept, I know. But I encourage you to think today about what’s a part of your life that you know is causing you to compromise and if it’s benefitting you.

If it’s not bringing you peace…

If it’s not honoring your mind, body and spirit…

If it’s not treating you with kindness…

It really is time to let it go.

Love is kind. And that’s helpful to know.