I have a question regarding Jesus’s directive to love our enemies. Consider that someone is an enemy, and their sole motives in interacting with us are to be hurtful, destroy, exploit, etc. Many enemies are very crafty and clever in using charm and cunningness to continue to inflict pain. In other words, our desire to treat them with love, kindness, and trying to understand their earthly and/or spiritual positions puts us in a weak position in dealing with them.
Specifically, I recently attended the funeral of a family member who was a young college age student but having difficult, divorced parents. The opposing parent’s family was quite friendly with me initially at the funeral, as I desired to be a bridge builder to their loss also. Concessions were given with kindness and respect to them. But it ended the same way it always has for many years; anger, fighting at the funeral and spiteful actions. Intimidation even as I spoke the eulogy. Afterwards, they requested another bridge through me to visit the home and it again ended badly, they even lied to the children about the events and our family. It pains me to see the effects of the opposing family on her remaining children. It was disturbing to me.
How are we to balance love for our enemies and praying for them when their sole intention is to destroy us and use us, even at the cost of their children? Why can’t we just ignore and cast them aside to protect ourselves? Thank you.