LOVE seems such a confused concept in this ‘love is love’ age. Love is only love when we understand that love joins emotion with action. Love that is emotion without action is merely infatuation. This is not to cast aspersions on the love enjoyed by two consensual adults, where there is the assumption of love giving itself for the other. But a love that only expects is not love.
There is the realm of love far more veritable than romance. Beyond romantic, however, relationships the very same principle applies.
It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about the other person. If we cannot get beyond ourselves we cannot love, and, in that, we do not live the life of Christ.
It’s about response.
LOVE IS ABOUT RESPONSE
It’s not about how we feel at the offense given to us, but it is about the grace-configured response we give.
If you hate being excluded,
Care for others by including them.
If you hate being talked about,
Care for others by refusing to talk about them.
If you hate being disrespected,
Care for others by offering unconditional respect.
If you hate it when people don’t trust you,
Care for others by trusting them.
If you hate being not listened to,
Care for others by listening to them.
God honours our responses of advocacy. God instructs us to turn the injustices we suffer into love through becoming an advocate for others. Advocacy is how we avoid bitterness. We turn the injustices meted out to us, inwardly, outwardly through advocacy for others’ needs.
When we lack, God is showing us where others lack too. He is showing us how to love them through what we lack. We get to feel how others
CARING compassion would found all our affairs in the ministry of the Word with people, but for the case of truth. But isn’t caring compassion founded most in the speaking of truth… gently? Yet, it’s much easier pondered than achieved.
Loving with the truth is a delicate balance that errs toward grace without compromising truth; the allowance of time and space for trust to be protected, nurtured and nourished. But there isn’t always the time and space available. There are also many potential mismatches in perception, conflicting goals and motivations, people’s baggage, and people’s personalities and capacities to take into account.
We may ‘speak the truth in love’ – according to our own perception – and get it totally wrong: speak truth haphazardly, according to those who disagree. But to speak truth haphazardly fails not only love but truth also.
Truth and love converge and merge in grace. Grace, yes, is the accomplishment of truth.
Truth is never devoid of love.
The giving and receiving of feedback is the primary course for speaking the truth in love. The giving and receiving of feedback, therefore, is where speaking the truth in love is tested. A manager cannot give poor feedback and accuse the receiver that they are too sensitive if there is an outburst; they have failed to speak the truth in love if there is an outburst. Perhaps they misunderstand the dynamic. Maybe they haven’t sufficiently cared to understand. This can be said because the manager is in control of the interaction. But they may not feel in control. Their competence, and history, could be their enemy. There is little trust in the bank, perhaps. See how, at times, it may be impossible to speak the truth in love. Some interactions are broken
Romance is a great thing, but it quickly becomes something a bit different. Usually, it becomes partnership. We are not talking about the teammate sort of partnership or the standard business arrangement… we mean the kind of partnership that enables us to enjoy balance, peace, and security within our minds.
There are a few stages in the partner relationship and they include that romantic, first blush of love stage; the more mature but just as “green” enchantment stage; the power struggle period (usually defined by a lot of growth); and the various “forks in the road” stages. These include the choice to make the relationship permanent through marriage or civil union; overcoming major struggles (rather than splitting); and taking time apart to determine if the relationship is worth saving.
Along the way, the couples that will make it through the biggest struggles are those who respect each other, find it possible to compromise, and offer trust even if it has been tested or broken.
The Nature of Love
What has to be emphasized here is the fact that most partnerships may develop for a variety of reasons, but they remain active and thriving only when the two really do have a foundation of respect. There is not really any chance for making it “the distance” if one does not really respect the beliefs of the other.
For example, a religious person who marries someone who is anti-religion is not likely to enjoy a lengthy marriage because the two different sets of beliefs are just too substantial. On the other hand, the couple who each cheer for different sports teams will enjoy a bit of playful antagonism and even bond over a shared affection for a specific game
You may be fretting with how to introduce your parents to your boyfriend who is of a different race, and that is understandable. After all, meeting the parents is taking a huge leap. No family occasion can be more unnerving than when you are dating expats and decided to bring him or her home for proper introduction. Below are tips on dating for women, especially when they have finally decided that the guy they are going out with is husband material. These should help her prepare both sides of the camp so her leap on how to find love in the face of cultural differences becomes a safe landing and not a disastrous meeting:
If you are the expatriate:
- Pick a time that you know both of your parents will be around as you float the idea of setting them up for a meeting with your boyfriend. This is quite a challenge if your parents also work, as they may have professional responsibilities even during holidays. However difficult it may seem, blocking off a schedule and a back up date at least two weeks ahead should cover the bases.
- Brief your boyfriend with your parents’ traditions and expectations, along with characteristics that you think might be a source of potential conflict. How to find love is sometimes a matter of minimizing friction, especially between parties who are equally important to you. Do they expect that he bring a present during the face-off? Do they expect that he be different to the elderly especially in matters of opinion? Will your parents be offended if he shows up in casual attire? Nothing is as frustrating as getting close to finally addressing “how can I find true love” only to lose it with a minor slip.
Many people understand that the time period after learning of your spouse’s affair is a volatile one. Often, it’s impossible to think clearly and objectively. And for these reasons, many people understand that, most of the time, it’s not in your best interest to make any important and lasting decisions until you are able to calm down and think rationally. But not every one has this luxury because sometimes, your spouse is the one who will make rash decisions.
A wife might say: “much to my great shock, I did not immediately leave or kick my husband out after his affair. I was kind of numb and I knew that I wasn’t thinking clearly. So while I asked for some time before we really talked this through, I did not do anything drastic. I truly don’t have any clue if we can save our marriage. But I would like the opportunity to explore that. However, I might not get that opportunity. Because my husband announced last night that he thinks our marriage might be over because he feels that he doesn’t deserve me and he thinks that he will never be able to get over these feelings of inadequacy. Frankly, this makes me angry. He is the one who cheated and now he gets to call the shots? What if I don’t care if he doesn’t deserve me?”
This isn’t that all uncommon. Sometimes, the cheating spouse is being absolutely truthful when they make this claim. They fully believe that their actions have made them unlovable and unredeemable. And they feel that you might ultimately be better off without someone as flawed as them.
But other spouses pull the pity card to try to get you to say something like: “you’re wrong. You do deserve
It’s completely normal to wonder about the woman with whom your husband had an affair. You wonder what type of person she is. You wonder what thoughts she had about your husband. You wonder what she thought about you. Often, people just do not understand this curiosity. They wonder why it matters to you. Admittedly, it doesn’t literally matter, especially as you move on. But many wives want this knowledge to quell their curiosity. Many of us feel that we could never ever cheat with someone who we knew was married to a loving spouse. How, then, could she? What does she think about us that allows her to do this?
A wife might ask something like: “do most ‘other women’ think that the wife is a horrible person who is not deserving of her husband? Because that is the only reason that I can come up with that would allow a woman to betray another woman in this way. Is this what most of them think? That the wife is an awful person? I’m not a bad person. I’ve never been anything but a good wife to my husband. But she must not be aware of this.”
I can’t speak for every one. Obviously, I don’t personally know every “other woman” in question. However, I’ve gotten correspondence from some of them. And I do have theories about their thought processes, which vary.
She Often Tries To Avoid Thoughts Of The Wife Because It Makes Life Easier: Many “other women” avoid thinking about the wife too much. They are in sort of a denial that this man is married. They look at the wife as an inconvenience of the relationship and they hope that this will eventually work itself out. Many don’t probe too much
So often I hear scenarios like I keep picking the wrong person over and over again to be in a relationship with. I’m a failure when it comes to relationships. Or, I’ve had four failed marriages and I’m not going for a fifth. Or, I’m a loser when it comes to relationships. So why bother trying again. How can I be so successful at work and be such a loser when it comes to women? Men?
Meetings of adult children from dysfunctional family systems are full of participants that can rattle off and analyze compelling reasons why their numerous relationships don’t work out leaving them feeling not good enough, adequate enough, loveable enough or in some way just not worth it. What this does is heighten the shame each already carries and reinforces being defined as a loser and a failure.
I remember the great cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead when asked why all her marriages failed responded by saying “I beg your pardon I have had three marriages and None of them was a failure”. I don’t think that most couples that marry today are mature enough for marriage. I stand by that. At the same time I don’t consider any person in a relationship, mature or immature, a failure at relationships. I do believe relationships do change form. They all will and sometimes it means it’s time to move on.
Anyone who was ever a success at anything just didn’t get that way overnight. My career was that of a family therapist. I was in private practice. In a joking way and with a lot of honesty, as well, I often asked clients when they were stuck in judging themselves harshly in regard to relationships, why do you think we in private practice call
How to Experience Depth in Relationships? The glue of relationships is getting to depth with your man or with anyone else.
Relationships can be chit chat or deep, and they can also be chit chat and deep.
I used to not think so… I was under the impression they needed to be esoteric, deep thought provoking subjects, one couldn’t get to depth with talking about the weather or politics etc. But I have since changed my awareness on this.
The following I know work in getting a deeper connection with anyone, and I know I for one would like to be more connected within pretty much any relationship I’m in but particularly with my partner.
First and perhaps one of the easier ways…
Use feeling messages…
You can talk to anyone with these… it takes a bit of practice not to feel awkward with them, but basically it is a matter of substituting your use of the word thinking or thinks with the word feeling or feel. This allows you to be more of a poet than a reporter.
It is interesting how it works… For example I could say I think I’m going to go to the store today, or I could say I feel how much fun it will be to buy new shoes at the store today. You get to describe the situation more, this brings the other persons involvement more into your story, and i.e. closeness gets more enhanced.
Second – Is really “being” there listening fully to them when they are talking…
This may take some practice but the benefits are outstanding.
Everyone is craving to be heard… but they don’t just want the physical aspect