December 28, 2011

Healthy Love

There is one popular romantic saying, that we ourselves only have one wing to fly and we need to find other wing to complete us. It teaches us that men are incomplete until they have found their 'ribs'. So does women are incomplete until they have found their 'head'. Sounds like a biology lesson :s Even many people uses the Bible to affirm this thought which is shown specifically in Genesis 2:18:

And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." [NKJV]

Many people interpret this verse by saying that Adam was alone and that makes him lonely. Yes, Adam did realize that he couldn't find anyone like him while he named all animals, yet the fact was Adam DID NOT feel lonely. He was alone but he was contained. He was ... whole in his relationship with God. He did not find the need of a partner until God himself initiated to give him one :) Hence, Adam was already ... complete.

Then, why did God need to create a woman as his partner of life? Well, the original purpose of God to create mankind is to reflect his image and glory. And God is love (1 John 4:7). Love is not love until it is given away and perceived by its receiver. How could Adam give love if he did not have the receiver of it? Just the way God created mankind to receive his expression of love, so does God created woman as the receiver of love from man. The love between man and woman is the best one that illustrates God's love to mankind. It is a grand magnificent design since the beginning of the earth.And it is the great harmony of love relationship which indeed glorifying God to the highest. Hence, the motivation to build of relationship is not about we need each other in order to be complete, but because it is the one thing that gives us opportunity the most to be like Him, an endless lover of soul.

When we adopt love as the God sees it, we can develop love relationship in the most healthy way. Love is not built by two persons who simply have mutual feeling, but it is build by two already-whole person in God who are commmitted to help each other to grow into His likeness. It does not talk about romanticsm, it talks about partnership. Why is it important that we need to be complete in God first before we establish a relationship? It is simple. No matter how loving a relationship can be, there will be moments when our need cannot be fulfilled by our partner. No matter how good a person is, they are still imperfect human. If we put our sense of fulfillment on how our partner treats us all the time, we will most likely be dissapointed. Because that is just not how God design it to be. In economic terms, we can say that love supplies but it does not demand. It gives but it does not takes. It gives and it receives. Take notice on the word of 'take' and 'receive'. Take means there is some expectation to be fulfilled while receive is an unexpected response from the opposite that is free from any manipulation. We do not manipulate to get things that we want, all good things that we do are simply the outflow of the love we are consistently maintained in our heart.

Healthy love does not possessive or get burned in jealousy. They realize that their partner does not belong to them but belong to God. They do not treat their partner's body as their own but as the temple of the Spirit of God. It never robs their freedom, but protect and guard it. There is one saying that you know that it is sincere when you let go of their hands but you know that their hands will always by your side. Healthy love does not need to hold tightly to their partner, they can enjoy each other's activity without feeling left out. Of course, if it is possible, they can do some things together. But if a space is needed, healthy love will certainly allows it too. As long as there is no secret activity and they can keep openness toward one another, they have no need to restrict one's activity. Healthy love also can guard each other's heart by themselves. A woman does not need to check every message of his partner's phone all the time and monitor all the female friends of his like a Sherlock Holmes :p She knows that his man know by himself the restriction in relating to women both emotionally and physically :) If some of you realize that either you or your partner do some 'forbidden' things above, then you may consider how healthy is your relationship and discuss how can you both improve it :)

Healthy love in itself relies on the wholeness of the two individuals involved. When you come to a relationship lacking of personal self-worth, all you can offer is neediness. There is no compromise in this area. It takes two to tango. It takes two to make chopsticks functioned well ;) Then how to become whole? Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot stated that there are no short-cuts to personal growth and wholeness. Each person's journey to wholeness is unique, but there are four general guidelines which is to (1) heal your hurts, (2) remove their masks, (3) sit in the driver seat, and (4) rely on God. But the first step, which is the toughest one is the determination of ourselves :)

Many people carried wounds from the past whether they realize it or not. Our memories record generally for things that brings us happiness or pain the most. If you can remember it, then there must be something attached into it. Many people find it hard to acknowledge if there is a problem even just a small one and they repress their feelings. But Drs. Les Parrot stated that the repressed feelings, especially painful ones, have a high rate of resurrection. That's why the place to begin your journey toward wholeness is where it hurts. As we dare to acknowledge our feelings, we can be one step closer toward wholeness.

We often wear masks to guard ourselves against rejection or maintain our so called pride. Yet a whole-people knows exactly that their pride means nothing in comparison with genuine relationship. We can never be whole when we pretend and cover what is inside us with mask. When what you show and what is actually happens in your heart does not match, it means that we wear mask eventhough we don't realize it :) We may guard ourselves against rejection or even can be admired by others, but we'll never be whole for we can never enjoy true intimacy. Yes, healthy love is certainly built on two genuine people. Those who shows vulnerability does not mean they are vulnerable, but they are courageous enough to do what most of people try to hide and cannot do.

Healthy love also contains two emotionally mature individual who knows that they are able to wait and delay some momentary pleasure to attain maximum benefits later on. The degree of maturity of one's person can be measured by how long can he wait and how he perceives a delay. For love is patience and not easily angered. Me, myself, is on this journey too. But to those who pursue wholeness, in the end they may find themselves enjoy a more healthy relationship than another. Wholeness is more like a process, rather than the destination. Thereby, we pursue them by consistent steps and not by some perfection goal.

And then ... we go on depending on God. What would it be a relationship without Him as the main ingredients? Tasteless. Or perhaps bitter and stressful. He is our living water and He promises us that we will never be thirsty as we drink in His words. Draw one step closer to Him and He will run thousand steps toward you. That is how loving our God is. That is how love should be. Let us fight for our love journey and never give up :) We can do all things through Him who gives strengthens us (Phil 4:13)

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