The Quiddity of Love
“Just because someone can’t see your worth doesn’t mean you aren’t valuable!”Pastor Paula White-Cain
Hello friends, Welcome back to my blog!
This past week I made acquaintance with this young man, and we had an extensive conversation on a number of topics, but our discussion on dating, love, and relationships stuck with me and is partly what has inspired today’s post. This young man asked me if I was single and I responded with, “tell me what you think.” Odd, right? In any case, since being single and trying to accustom myself with the concept and dynamics of a single life, that has been the response I have chosen to go with. His response I swear is what honestly got me thinking. He said, “I think no one is ever really, truly single these days. There’s always something, somewhere, however unacknowledged.” In December, someone had asked me the exact same question and I responded by informing him that I never really knew how to answer that question because people choose not to believe it when you tell them, or some ask why you are single. Anyhow, he chuckled and asked me how such a simple question could be difficult to answer. Well, my reasons were more similar to what this young man said because truth is, as honest as I may be about being single, another person may not be as honest as I am because in truth I have always been the type of person to acknowledge my truth. However, just because I am that type of person, it does not mean that everyone is, which goes back to this young man’s statement on people not acknowledging their truth.
Honesty builds trust and strengthens any form of relationship, but not acknowledging your truth disrupts a relationship because the foundation on which it is built is unstable. We are dishonest despite understanding the fact that emotions are involved when it comes to such things. Relationships should be founded on honesty. As we continued our conversation, he went on to say that we hide our true selves and feelings. We always put up a front which we hope the next person will draw from, or rather present ourselves in a way that will be attractive to that person showing interest. So, that being the case, you find that when it comes to questions being asked about your relationship status you tend to be dishonest and state that you are single especially if you’re not in a stable relationship or rather a not well-defined relationship. Insightful young man, right? Ok, moving right along!
Love, dating, and relationships are, in general, a rather complicated and impressionistic topic. The dynamics involved are by far the most complex due to the individualistic stance each one of us has about it. Over the years I have come to the grim realization that we never give ourselves the time to fully comprehend what love and commitment mean to self, first before we can actually share love or commit to anyone else. How can you love or commit to anyone, if you cannot do that for yourself first? We fail to understand the concept of self-love as being the first step toward actually attaining what we need from the next person. Being true to self and not obliterating it to be accepted by another is of utmost importance as well as grasping the fact that before you can accommodate anyone else in your life you have to accommodate yourself first and above all else appreciate what you stand for and never lose sight of it in spite of anything. That being said, I believe only then can you truly be able to share yourself with another and you will not be highly expectant of them giving you what you have acquired already through acknowledging self. You will not seek validation because you know what you stand for and who you are. You will not seek healing from this person because you have journeyed on your own toward a path of self-amelioration. Rather you will be able to share your love with them in faith that it will be reciprocated without fear, concern or doubt, particularly if you center it around God. He was after all the first to love us by giving us the ultimate sacrifice (see John 3:16). Is there another form of love that can ever surpass that? So, since God demonstrated to us first what love is and how it should be, what could ever prevent us from expressing it? If He is within you, don’t you think you can actually express the same kind of love? Well, yes, you don’t have to completely obliterate yourself or sacrifice anyone for that matter to prove your love. However, with God working inside you, He reshapes and refocuses everything within you to ensure that you are able to freely give and love wholeheartedly. Therefore, if you involve Him in your journey of meeting and creating a relationship with a counterpart, things work out without you having to worry. God is love and true love, the partner you want even, can only be attained through Him. All you have to do is find Him, build and maintain a faithful relationship with Him first, ask and all these things will be given to you (see Matthew 6:33).
Hiding things is what really puts a strain on the relationship and the fact that we never involve God in the affair makes it all the harder to sustain. This is where courtship comes in; we never truly grasped the concept but rather always felt like we needed to do things on our own accord. Courtship is pledging allegiance to God as you try to acquire a life partner. Being in a relationship with God first ascertains that whatever relationship you commit to will be to fulfill His will and find His purpose for your life. The reason courtship is what we should strive toward is that it is founded on the principles as set by God, which is then what I believe makes it work out and fulfills his purpose in our lives. In essence, courtship (see 2 Timothy 2:22) seeks to circumvent the snags that we encounter in the relationships we create for ourselves without involving God because in truth we are focused on the surface of the person we are with and never truly delve into the true character of the person. That being the case, we never share long-term goals or aspirations for the relationship, which wastes you entirely and you end up losing a part of yourself in the process. Therefore, after all, has been said and done, you find that by the time you meet the person God has destined you to be with, you honestly have nothing to offer them especially emotionally so because you constantly gave yourself and dedicated yourself to people who never truly appreciated that about you.
Some people strive in difficulty and feed off the pain. They believe that if it’s the “true” form of love, it has to hurt. Somehow, I think they believe the emotion attached to love is hurt and I have tried to get my head around it to completely fathom how hurt and love can actually be the same emotion or rather even co-exist in the same space. However, I will admit that I have completely failed to comprehend that. In actual fact, my take on love is based on it being an effortless pure form of emotion grounded in honesty, genuineness and exuding joy as well as peace. Well, if the emotion is positive, that is what I would like to believe love to be. Many want to force love just as much as many will pick fights for the thrill of it all to test if they still have it in them. People want to test commitment and will go to great lengths to achieve that. The unfortunate part is that, in the end, that ruins the good, if ever there was a good in that relationship. We want to love and have companionship, but we sure do have a funny way of expressing it. I get that our love languages are different but somehow, somewhere along the line we all do one or all these things mentioned above and I know that we can never admit it, but it’s true! We push, we force in the name of trying to make it work for us or rather make that particular person work for us and that shouldn’t be the case if that love is founded on Godly principles.
We build relationships based on what we have seen or experienced. We mirror those around us instead of creating our own unique thing. So, as much as we tell ourselves that we will never use our past relationships’ broken blocks to build a new relationship we fail completely because somehow we find ourselves using that past as a reference. We never allow things to flow and work out as they should or the person to make their own mistakes, instead, we determine the mistakes they should make based on our own expectations and past relationships. We are extremely covetous of the relationships the people around us have, that we end up comparing those to our own forgetting the fact that just as different as we are, so are relationships. I’ll tell you this; these are but some of the countless scenarios that set us out for failure for sure.
This is a wide topic and can never be truly discussed at a go. I mean I’m no expert on love, dating, and relationships either but I can only share on these aspects through my own personal experiences. I have allowed myself to be consumed by love or rather allowed my emotions toward a man, which I will attribute to “love” take control over everything in my life. The unfortunate part is that during that phase of a “high”, I completely lost myself but once I began to “sober” up I learned so much about self and in truth I am still learning even today. During these times, you find yourself being lost in this world and being consumed by these feelings toward a person who might not actually even share the same sentiments as you do that you start floating and lose your balance actually fail to remain grounded in who you are! My mother said something the other day about how life has so many complexities but regardless of that you have to remain grounded, have a backbone. Reality is that when we are “in love” we lose sight of that because we feel the need to lose ourselves to accommodate this person, bend over backward for this person, die to self literally whereas that’s not how it’s supposed to be. Like I mentioned earlier dying to self does not mean obliterating self. Yes, die to self, compromise but don’t you ever forget who you are! Unfortunately, we lose our stand and fall for any and everything that when it all ends everything in us is shattered.
Through my past relationships, I’ve gained lessons, however the hard way because I feel like in each of them I had to pay the price of losing myself because I always wanted to please, dedicate and love them the way I wanted them to love me, but that never happened instead I gave and gave until there was nothing more I could give. Through my walk with Christ, I have since learned that for me to get through anything I need to draw my strength from him. I think over the last decade I’ve come to assimilate all the events that have happened in my life, more especially when it comes to love, dating, and relationships. I’ve sought out acceptance and validation from men because I wanted to feel something, in turn, that was all just short-lived because it wasn’t founded on Christ and consequently I realized that my partner and I each never managed our roles the best way possible in terms of our etiquette toward one another. Understand this though that, the past carries a record of a life I once lived, however it does not define the person that I am today. I know better and because of that, I resolved to do better. My life now is centered on God and my relationship with Him, that me meeting a person right now and letting them into my life will solely be based on them sharing the same values as I do when it comes to Christ first before any other “in common” thing comes to play. (see Philippians 2:1-5)
As I said, this is an extensive topic of which I know we will get to dissect more over time. However, I just thought today I’d lay ground on it particularly because it is part of the journey. As I continue my walk with Christ, I strive to also find His guidance when it comes to love, relationships and finding a life partner. Also, I am doing more research on the concept of courtship, and I hope that one day I’ll be able to share more of it with you here.
Today I leave you with points or rather these questions to answer and reflect on. Please share your thoughts in the comment section:
1. What is your definition of Love?
2. How do you want to love to be demonstrated to you?
3. Do you want love to hurt for it to seem real?
4. Do you want your partner to fight for you?
5. Do you want our partner to prove their commitment to you?
6. How do you want that commitment to be demonstrated to you?
7. What is your opinion on courtship?
Thank you for reading friends. As I write on, I hope you will read on. Until next time!