Friday, July 29, 2016

TRUE LOVE: REALITY CHECK!

In the light of all that is happening negatively in marriages today, we cannot overdo addressing singles out there and helping them with relevant information that will ensure they do not add to the staggering statistics of failed marriages. 
While a lack of understanding of what true love entails is not the only reason why marriages fail, it is clear as day that a lot of ambiguity surrounds the concept of love, which many claim is the reason they are getting married in the first place. 
It is true that attraction between opposite sexes is normal, but the truth is that it is impossible to build anything that will last on the weak foundation of mere attraction/feelings. Attraction only creates contact which true love must then work very hard to build and sustain. 
See, your feelings for the opposite sex go back and forth! That is the way it is! As a single person, you will be attracted to many people at different times and even for different reasons. 
No wonder the bible says this:
"Don't excite love, don't stir it up, until the time is ripe and you are ready." 
Songs of Sol. 2:7 (THE MESSAGE)


Okay let us look at some misconceptions singles have about love and then straighten out those fallacious beliefs.
1. That love is a feeling that happens to you and over which you have no control. You know the whole concept of falling in love!
Reality check: 
Love is deeper and stronger than superficial, unstable feelings that come and go. Real love involves your will and you don't just "fall" into it. It is a well thought out, deliberate choice and decision; an unwavering commitment to the well-being of another person. Real love that will last is other-centered; not self-centered or self-seeking. It is action; a verb, like someone said and not just a noun! And the focus of it is the betterment of the other person. So if all you have is a warm, fuzzy feeling accompanied by a racing heart heading nowhere, slow down, it will soon wane! Give it time. Check out what is moving you and determine whether it is mere attraction or whether it has depth. If the intention of it is not the betterment of the other person, then it is not real. It will not last.

2. That your 'lover' is perfect, faultless and can do you no wrong because they love you like crazy! Lol. Such self-absorbed fantasy! 
Reality check: 
When you are truly in love, you recognize that your object of love (just like yourself) is not faultless and so you recognize the need for personal growth and development for both of you and you pursue that goal vigorously. 

True love is not blind! 
It understands that what you get in a potential marriage partner is latent, raw, unpolished virtues that require time, patience and hard work to fine tune. So from the get go, true lovers are interested in and actively engage in helping the other person grow and get better. Where this healthy exchange is not in place, true love is not in place. A true lover does not pretend that the other person is perfect, but chooses rather to focus on adding value to their areas of strength while learning to de-emphasize their shortcomings and consciously dealing with potential problem areas. And this goes both ways. 

3. That love is all it takes to make marriage work! 
It is unbelievable how singles believe that all you need to be happily married is to love each other, and nothing will ever go wrong. 
Reality check: 
Well, why don't you ask some people who are unhappy in their marriages or whose marriages crashed at some point. Find out from them if they started out loving each other and the answer you will get will be in the affirmative, because I doubt that anyone gets married knowingly without believing that they were 'in love.'
See, love alone is not enough to make marriage happy and successful! Love alone is not enough.
Even though it is important for you both to be in love, you need to understand that it takes character to make your marriage last and be successful. You must both cultivate virtues deliberately that will help you accommodate another person in an intimate relationship like marriage without giving up on them or having a roving eye. No matter how much you love each other, if you do not possess the necessary qualities that will help you stay happily married, any storm that arises in the future will tear you apart. Godly character helps you to stay in love as the years go by.

4. That you can make somebody love you.
Some singles believe erroneously that by drawing attention to their "assets" (their looks, eyes, body, muscles, intellect, connections, whatever), they can somehow gain the other person's love. Such triviality!
Reality check: 
Please note that it is not possible to concoct or fabricate an emotion like love! Never. What you need to ask yourself if you adopt this approach is whether that person is truly in love with you or with your "assets." If the focus is squarely on your "endowments" then what happens when your  "natural resources" dwindle and you are no longer as impressive as you used to be?
I love this quote by Mike Murdock: "What turns a man's head does not necessarily turn his heart." 

So, that someone turns their head to take a second look at you and then pursue you till they marry you is not a guarantee that you have their heart for life. Think again!
Real assets are those things that possess enduring quality.
Value-adding qualities that last. Focus on those in your love interest and in yourself too. Let the "natural resources" be just like the frosting on the cake. A bonus if you like.
In fact, I dare say that singles be wary of any guy/girl who is quick to expose their body to you. Beware of a guy/girl who has no qualms about drawing your attention to their body. If they make their body their main pre-occupation in attracting you, in all probability that is all they have to offer you! 
So don't bite the bait only because they are proportionately well packaged. Check out that they are not spiritually, mentally, intellectually, socially, relationally and character deficient as well.
Having 'swag' says nothing of a person's ability to be a true lover!

5. That sex equals love. 
Isn't this a familiar line of thought everywhere today? That being in love with someone mandates, necessitates and even excuses having sex with them even outside the commitment of marriage. That somehow, relationship with the opposite sex prior to marriage naturally should involve sexual intimacy because they are in love and even plan on getting married.
Reality check: 
Sex and love are two different things. They are not the same and should not be confused.
Sex is simply an appetite; it is not necessarily an expression of love! If it was, then are we claiming that rapists love their victims or that paedophiles adore their innocent young victims?
So that a guy/girl desires to have sex with you does not indicate that they love you. They are simply hungry! Lol.
Within the context of marriage, God designed sex to blend our heart, mind, soul and body in one special act that makes sense only within the confines of marriage. Sex is a covenant act meant for the covenant relationship of marriage. 
1 Corinthians 7:2
2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
I intend to deal with this issue in a little more detail sometime in the future.
But suffice it to say for now that even though sex is a powerful drive,( like every other God-made natural drive), it certainly is not an uncontrollable need! ( More on how to handle the sex drive in a later post. Watch this space!!!)
So engaging in it prior to marriage is actually a selfish act and it has serious consequences.Someone said " just because lips have met doesn't mean that hearts have joined. And just because bodies are drawn to each other doesn't mean they are right for each other." I couldn't agree more!
Anyone who loves you genuinely would not want to violate you or encourage you to push the boundaries and go against God's law. 
My friends, true love is disciplined. Period.1 Corinthians 13:5.

Let me wrap up by emphasizing the need to use you head in this game of love. 
Think! 
True love combines emotion with reason. 
See, emotions and passion need to be guided by reason, otherwise you could be blinded by them and end up where you do not want to be. 
True love can think even in the midst of raging passion.
So if you are already in a relationship you need to ask yourself some salient questions using the above checklist as a guide. 
Make sure yours is not a deficiency- love relationship. That is being in a relationship with someone because they satisfy a certain need in your life. Examples will be someone who gives you a ride to and from work everyday, taking off the burden of public transportation from you; someone who helps you deal with your tendency to be easily bored by making you laugh and being entertaining; someone who helps you deal with your low self-esteem issues by always complimenting and saying nice things about you; someone who takes off the burden of domestic chores from you by helping you keep house, clean, shop, cook etc. the list is endless.
This will work for as long as your needs remain unchanged and the other person also remains in the same circumstances that make them able to meet your needs. 
But remember, like I pointed out in my last post, we all grow and evolve and our needs change too. So the so -called love relationship is doomed when the other person is no longer able to supply what we need or be who we desire them to be, or when our own needs and circumstances change.
Phew!!! 
This is it my friends; a common sense guide drawn from God's word about matters of the heart. The above list is certainly not exhaustive but will surely help you gain perspective as you interact with the opposite sex. 
Love they say makes the world go round, but only if it is the true, genuine, empowering love. Otherwise, it will only make your world go on a frustrating merry- go round of heartbreaks! 

Peace to you.

5 comments:

  1. SOS 2:7(Message). Never read that scripture all my life! Thank you ma. Really thank you so much for all the reality checks;quite helpful.God replenish you ma!

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  2. Wow! So much Revs! So true especially the deficiency-love relationship. Ma you are a blessing! Thanks a million

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  3. Can I chip in that when two people go into a marriage, expecting to contribute 50/50, they would most likely get it wrong? What happens to the other 50 being withheld? Where is it donated to? I strongly believe each person should bring in a 100%. Both their 100s still equal a 100% in the marriage - wholeness, bringing and giving all and melting them together into one whole.

    Thank you for being a blessing ma.

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