Friday, May 26, 2006

where I am coming from

Before I toss out an extremely opinionated series of controversial post here, I’ll have to make some claims and admissions. I believe in love. I’ve known it and I know it. I believe in love in the way that Shakespeare wrote about it. Romeo and Juliet love? Yes. This is the real thing. There are those of us who feel it so strongly. We get terribly confused and cynical about this, because it is rather rare for two people to feel it about one another. Therefore, to feel it, leaves one very vulnerable and open to disappointment, pain and the feeling of rejection. But to love and not to be loved equally in return, does not mean that it is not felt and given. For some reason we gauge what we think is possible and real based on what is given to us, rather than on what we can have to give. This is of our selfish nature and betrays that we haven’t given what we thought we’d given.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength love? Yes. This is the real thing. I reject out-of-hand most of what Christian marriage gurus have taught for years because I don’t believe love is a decision. I believe behavior is a decision, and anyone in love will know the difference.
Nothing aggravates me more than a marriage book or video series that teaches spouses to manipulate one another so that an acceptable behavior will result, or so that one can get what she wants. “If you want your husband to (insert your behavioral desire here), then you’ll have to compromise, begin to treat him like (insert appropriate non heart-felt, manipulative behavior designed to affect the above inserted desired result), then you’ll see him treat you differently.
This kind of teaching betrays our theology, because we basically teach the same things in discipleship. The word decision replaces the concepts of love and belief. One can decide to be behaviorally disciplined, but I don’t feel that belief or love are things that can be decided upon.
So all of that is just to say that I’m not an unromantic, chauvinistic ogre, who doesn’t give a flying flip about romance and fantasy. I’m a bit too romantic probably, in the high expectations I have for such a dangerous emotion. But I still believe to love and to be loved warrants the risk, and LOVE is worth fighting for. I have to try to convince you of this, because I don’t want my next post(s) to sound cold, unemotional, and unromantic.

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