Thursday, February 25, 2010

Relationships: Beloved {Part One}

Relationship here for an overview.


"I charge not stir up or awaken my love until she pleases." Song of Solomon 8:4

So we have worked our way up the relationship chart to come to "Beloved". This is someone that you have been affected by and you have deep affection for. Hopefully the affection is for both for the physical and the spiritual in that person. Also that the affection for the spiritual is rooted in God's truth and principles.

So how do you know if you are "in love"? Well I'd say one of the most important things is that the other person feels the same way as you do. You can't be in love with someone that has not reciprocated the same feelings. Now I am not saying that you don't feel genuine love for that person. But you are only half of the equation. Think of it like this.     L-longing O-obsession V-validated E-equally

If the other person does not feel the same way about you, you only have the first part of the word...L-longing O-obsession. Also known as infatuation or a crush. Now I do not believe that it is wrong to have a crush on someone, to a certain extent. If you start lusting over that person that is a different story. But I think people can have intense feelings for someone and not be lusting. Remember God created us to have relationships. He created us to be attracted to one another. The biggest problem with a crush is that it is easy to get hurt. You have to remember to love yourself too.

I remember years ago after I had rededicated my life to the Lord i met this guy. He was totally good looking, totally cool, he was a musician, and to top it all off he loved the Lord. I had never met a guy with all those ingredients. Within about two weeks I had a crush...big time. Over the next couple of months I fell harder and harder. It got to the point that I felt like I was going to throw up every time he entered the room! Lovesick to say the least. The problem was that he obviously didn't feel the same way.

He was always very nice and friendly but most certainly not lovesick like I was. But instead of being realistic I let my emotions go. I prayed about it everyday. I asked other people what they thought. I talked to my parents about it and had them pray. Never once letting him know how I felt. I was even ready to follow him half way across the world on a missions trip! I totally committed myself and became emotionally involved with someone that was totally not committed or emotionally involved with me. It took me some time to rein in my emotions and get a clue. It was hard to do because I had let them run wild for too long a time.

The other problem that comes along with a longing obsession is that we tend to compromise our moral integrity. Because of our own insecurities we take it personal when anyone doesn't like us. So when you have a crush on someone and don't keep your emotions in check and you start to do things that you ordinarily wouldn't do. This is all in hopes that you can make the person that isn't in love with you in love with you! That is not the way to go about love.

What tends to happen is that you start changing who you really are in hopes that a certain version of yourself will be appealing to the person your are obsessed with. You start changing the way you look. Dress more sexy, talk more dirty. You start obsessing about your weight and other physical features. You start hanging with people you know you shouldn't. You start taking on the bad habit of the person you are after. Drinking, drugs etc. Your identity is being ruined just so that someone will fall in love with you. As we all know the most common last ditch effort is to have sex with the person. So now you end up with someone who loves to have sex with you, but doesn't love you. Not I'm not saying that everyone goes this far. But obsession left unchecked have potentially damaging results. Things that you can't take back.

"Purely sensual love is never true or lasting, for which reason "first love" is, as a rule, but a passing infatuation, a fleeting passion." Richard Von Krafft-Ebing {sexologist of the early 1900s}

"Limerence" {infatuation} a term coined by psychologist Dorothy Tennov to describe the involuntary cognitive and emotional state in which a person feels an intense romantic desire for another person that is unrequited or not reciprocated.

I had never heard the term limerence until just a few days ago. There are tons of articles on the web that ask the question "Is it love or only limerence?". Well I'm going to solve the problem for you. It is not love and cannot be love unless the other person is returning the same feelings to you. You can't be in love with someone that is not in love with you. And hopefully that "you" is both your physical and spiritual aspects. If you have not made a verbal commitment with someone, you are only as connected as the least connected person is connected. Meaning you can be totally committed and in love with someone that doesn't share your feelings. Therefore you aren't committed and there is no connection!

Remember how we discussed that love is not just a feeling. Love is also a command from God. Meaning that we can choose to love and choose not to love. There should be no such thing as irresistible love. God created you in such a way that you don't have to be at the mercy of your emotions; that includes love. So be honest right from the get go when you have these strong emotions of love. It's not wrong that you have them. But you need to deal with them in such a way that you will be doing the most loving thing for yourself as well.  You must be truthful about the situation and act accordingly.  If someone doesn't love you back it is NOT because you are unloveable!  They just aren't the one that is going to love you for you.  So you don't want to be with that person.  Don't sell yourself short.  Be patient and trust God.  He takes all your desires very seriously.

There is no doubt that love is one of the hardest things to deal with because it involves the freewill of another human. It is impossible to go through life and not be hurt in this area. We all have been there. For me I really had to learn to lean on God to keep my emotions in check. This is possible with help of the Holy Spirit. But you have to catch your feelings early. Be honest about the feelings your having!  It's OK to be attracted to people.  But take those feelings to God right away and ask him how to prceed. Be honest about the signals you are getting from the other person. No matter how hard it is don't press something that isn't there, it won't be worth it in the end.

I found it best to try to focus more on deep friendships{like we discussed in the last post}.  To not be so caught up with the rediculous notion that I had to have a boyfriend to feel loved.  Deep friendships are really the relationships that you want to develop into love. Then you not only have a love you have a friend who is already committed to you. Someone that accepts you for you. Someone that has the same morals and goals. Somebody that reciprocates love for the right reasons. Someone that is just as obsessed with you as you are with them. Then lasting physical and spiritual passion can ignite and burn strong.

More about "Beloved" in the next post.

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