In our quest to be loved and discover love, we find that love is a myriad of things. Love is patient, love is kind. Love, as described in the bible, gives us a distinct description of what love is, but more importantly, of what love is not. Love is not a revolving door to whomever enters and leaves our lives and neither should our hearts or bodies. Allowing others to enter and invade our heart, mind and body can be a dangerous exchange if we are not careful. This is not just in romantic relationships, but friendships also. We can become so obsessed with obtaining love from others that we sacrifice ourselves in the process.
Throughout various relationships, we sometimes develop this idea that, if we are with someone then it signifies that we are loved. That if this relationship or friendship ends, let me connect with the closest or next one quickly so it will show that I am still loved or lovable. That if no one realizes that we are by ourselves…if we can move to the next quick enough..we somehow hold on to the outward appearance of being loved. This cycle prohibits us from knowing who we are after the hurt, the loss, or the pain. Because the truth is that we change a little when our hearts our broken. In this world we live in, somehow it’s become more important to have the appearance of being loved than actually experiencing it. Somehow, the appearance of what love is or should be has twisted our experience and conned us into believing that we must accept love as something it is not.
My dear brothers and sisters, love is much more than a relationship status. Love is much more than relationship goals. Love is seeing the ugly and loving anyway. Love is uncovering the hidden and loving anyway. Love is recognizing some flaws and loving anyway. Love is enduring the valley and loving anyway. When you see the glow and pure joy of a couple and wish you had what they have, be careful to speak so quickly. The love that you see and observe went through a lot of “somethings” to get to that point! The married couple that has been married for over 30 plus years…we don’t know about the sleepless nights, the tears, the prayers, and the things that they endured to get there.
I want to be clear that I am not advocating staying in an abusive relationship of any kind, by any means! Your life is worth much more! Which is why, the way we handle love is so important. What we accept as love is critical in so many ways. How we go about finding love is even more vital! I thought of how there are some people that jump from one relationship to another like the child game leapfrog. Once they are done with one person, they leap to the next. Every other week they have a new best friend or are falling in love very quickly. I get it, not a lot of people want to be alone. But I worry that in our quest to not be alone, we have forsaken the opportunity to build a relationship with ourselves and with God!
We cannot place the requirement of others to love us and commit to us when we don’t do the same for ourselves! There’s this saying that states “the quickest way to get over someone is to move on to someone else”. While that may be true in some ways, what this actually does is create this cycle of numbing ourselves with the medication of relationship with everyone except ourselves and most importantly with God. We can’t become so addicted to being with someone that we don’t realize the dependency that has developed. When we don’t know who we are, we change ourselves to fit our surroundings like a chameleon. It’s a survival mechanism…blend in, be accepted, play the role…because working on me and acknowledging the scars means that I am not who I have presented to the world! But I am here to remind us all that we were created to be different and that we have been looking for love in all the wrong places!
The One who created you loves you beyond measure. There is no comparison to The Father’s love! For a lot of us, these relationship habits come from things that have happened in our past. For me it was dealing with abandonment issues and separation anxiety. This had a huge impact on how I operated and behaved in relationships. I could not effectively deal with people leaving, even if I was going to see them the next day! It was really difficult when I was young because I could not articulate what I was feeling. A breakup and broken friendship was a little bit worse. It felt like I wasn’t good enough or didn’t try hard enough. At one point, I began to put up with unacceptable treatment and behaviors just to say that I was still in a relationship! This went on for some time, until it began to affect me physically! Yep, the moment I began to break out in hives just from the sound of a voice, I knew that one of us had to go!
Isn’t it interesting how our body responds to stress. I had become so numb to my environment that I was making myself sick because I was internalizing everything. The things that I had buried on the inside began to manifest on the outside! What I learned was that I have a choice! Love is not snarky, condescending, dishonor, or name calling. Leapfrogging to the next relationship is not the answer either! Be patient. Love yourself patiently. God loves us patiently! You deserve it. Jesus died for love’s sake. For love’s sake, you were bought with a price. For God so loved, that He gave. Our relationships with one another are important, but we must never forsake our relationship with God.
1 John 4:16: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
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