Sunday, December 7, 2008


I feel like I've had more than my share of frustration when it comes to romantic relationships (pity party of one). It seems they all start, run their course and end in a circular pattern. If I could just break out of this cycle. And then, in the midst of the disappointment and hurt I make a pact with myself- never again. How much easier it would be to write off behaviors, circumstances or people forever; I rationalize surface-level intimacy is better, honest communication is not really paramount its actually quite dangerous. Isn't it safer not to get emotionally involved by putting yourself out there?

The problem is that I am involved - whether or not I like to admit it to myself. The Bible tells us we should love one another and submit to one another and always put that person first. In context it means we should be loving to our spouses, other believers and to the world - but it sort of leaves us guessing about what our romantic relationships should be like - how much of that is appropriate for dating? And what if they don't put you first? Or you perceive they may be acting in their own best interests rather than your own? Should you overlook it because, after all, only God knows whats in a man's heart and there could be more going on there than you're aware of? But wait - Is that really good advice when you're not married to the guy? Kind of makes me wonder, though, if turning the other cheek is a Biblical code of conduct for responding to everyone else, shouldn't Biblical truths like that also be relevant for every person in my life (and in every aspect of my life)?

The thing that keeps getting overlooked is that God placed this desire in our hearts in the first place, "Its not good for man to be alone". This urgent need to be known, accepted and loved is strong enough for us to risk security. But then, when disappointment after disappointment happens, we begin to question if its worth the risk. We stop hoping, "if it happens it happens and then after its happened I'll get excited about it." We're scared of our God-given passion - not just for relationships, but for life. Desire is just too risky. Hope can be crushing.

So what's the answer? How can we freely desire as God intended and as we were able to do before the world slowly broke us - yet avoid being leveled by disappointment?

I think the problem started with our "never again" pact. Instead of letting God pick us up and clean our scraped knees - we try to fix it ourselves. We decided it makes more sense to amputate the whole leg to keep from feeling the pain. We callous our hearts and prevent ourselves from truly experiencing our most innate desire, love. The Bible even tells us "We love because he first loved us." How could we possibly expect to do this right without His help?

15For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.
Matthew 13:15

Lord, I renounce all of these plans and formulas I've created to make life work on my own - for believing I could take care of what only You can do - for not having faith that You are good for Your word - the root of unbelief I planted a long time ago. Please forgive me - heal my wounds; heal the places in my heart that have felt hurt and alone and that life was up to me. Teach me how to love generously, to love as You designed me to, as You love us.

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength...
Isaiah 40:31

Love is here, Love is now
Love is pouring from his hand
With streams of mercy flowing from his side.
-Tenth Avenue North ("Love is here" lyrics)

No comments: