Did you Learn to Love?

A couple at Rocky Butte at night.They used to say years ago that one should make a list of things they want in a spouse and pray that to God.  Now they’re saying to make a list of what you want to change in yourself for your spouse.  The latter makes sense.  Now that I think about it the former idea is a bit selfish.  It’s legit and honest to ask, but have some variety besides “gimme, gimme!”  We don’t want all cookie monster prayers.

Now some are wondering, Josh, you’re single, are you seeing anyone?  Hey, don’t you know I’m a ninja and don’t reveal confidential information on pain of death?  I’ll just put it this way.  I’m heading a good general direction, have been taking steps forward, and now have a good group of positive, close friends, and am not worried about it.

Love.  So many definitions.  There’s a Misty Edwards song that says, “Did you learn to love? It’s not about my ministry.  Did you learn to love? It’s not about my money.”  I think love takes a lifetime to learn and then we barely scratch the surface.  When 1 Cor 13:12 says we see through a glass darkly, it’s in the context of love.

People think love is a feeling, you know, butterflies, being twitterpainted and all that.  That goes often with it, but that’s not love itself.  Scriptural love is when you put another person before yourself.

I’ve dealt with this, and apparently other guys have too and that’s to fall hard for girls they either haven’t dated or just met up with once or twice and she ends up “just a friend.”  (I know guys, it sucks.)  They can even start thinking she’s “the one” and somehow spiritualize it.  This makes it even worse, because he starts acting weird.  Girls do it too.  They fall hard for some guy who sweettalks them for a month then moves on.  For some reason we want someone we can’t have.

Ever see that old SNL sketch called The Denise Show?  The whole show’s premise is where Adam Sandler pines over a girl who broke up with him, and says stuff like “Now’s the part of the show where I look at her picture and cry.”

Guys these feelings however real they might be are still not love.  And while it might not be same as lust, it’s still unhealthy (not attractive either!).  This is a needy type of attraction that drains you and keeps you from your purpose.  The cure?  Let me talk old-school programming.

Line 1 Ask

Line 2 If failed, say boohoo, then move on.

Stop involving her in your prayers.  Hang out with other people.  Have fun.  Go after your purpose.  You don’t need more pick-up lines, you just need to get shot down a few times.  Ouch, I know.  What helped me was to think, you try, you win, you don’t try you lose.  Whatever the results you just get better in the process.

This needy thing can even involve our worship.  Why are we worshiping God?  Is it to fulfill some neediness in our own life or to truly proclaim His greatness?  It’s great when we experience God in a powerful way, but when we don’t have these experiences later on it gets a lot harder.

Young people often move to go to a school of ministry for a season, which is a good thing, while they’re seeking.  But is it always the right decision?  After so many years of training, how much training is enough?  At one time I wanted to leave town and live at a prayer center.  But a prayer center isn’t always the answer when you’re already praying, but avoiding your own issues.  I’m seeing that now as I’m heading a direction that’s right for me, not someone else, and we now have our own prayer center.

Love is relational, something that truly gives to others and to God.  How can we change our attitudes?  As the founder of CD Baby, Derek Sivers said, “Give give give, and sometimes you will receive.”  Find a cause.  Find something new and different to give to those you care about.  No expectations in return.  Take a risk.  Don’t accept the status quo.  Be creative and have fun with it.

Category: Personal Growth, Relationships |

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