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She Loves Me, She Loves Not-Me
“I want a girl who loves me for who I am.”
“I shouldn’t have to change to be with anyone.”
Have you thought, or said, things like this before? A popular belief about relationships, is that you should find someone who accepts you for who you are, doesn’t try to change you, and the two of you will live happily ever after. However, this is a boring, static, and warped view of true relationship.
How many times have you heard (or said) statements like, “She wants me to ________, but that’s just not me.”. We cling to ideas of individuality, claiming we should be free to be ourselves, and then are surprised when things don’t work out in a relationship which involves two people. The truth is, relationship requires that your individuality becomes deeply and profoundly interwoven with the other.
A true relationship is two individuals finding themselves as they grow, shape, and change each other.
The question is not if you can find someone who will not change you, but if you can find someone who changes you into someone better than you are.
This is a truth which becomes drastically apparent in marriage. When two people join together, if they hold to individualized identity, it is inevitable that they will move apart.
Change is inevitable.
You either change together, or change separately and move further apart.
I believe this is a truth evident in the very beginning of creation.
22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man. ” 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Genesis 2:22-24 (NIV)
And affirmed again by Jesus in Mark 10:6-8.
But at the beginning of creation God “made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. (NIV)
Two become one.
Individuality becomes communion.
In true relationship, especially the sacred bond of marriage, identity is no longer defined by individuality, but emerges from continual, growing communion between two people. Each constantly grows and changes to be what the other, and the relationship, needs. Petty ideas of entitlement are traded for beautiful realizations of self-sacrificing love. Neither is belittled, but both are uplifted, as two people strive to become a single, unified example of love.
What ideas of individuality are you clinging to, which drive a wedge between the relationship you are meant to have?
In what ways do you cling to the desires of self, and neglect the communion of two becoming one?
If You Are Not Married
Focus on finding out what the other person needs in a relationship; talk about the things that matter most to each other. Protect the one you are with, and do not cross the boundaries of physical relationship.
To have sex before the commitment of marriage, is to become one physically, before becoming one in identity. It will inevitably bring confusion.
When you are not married, you protect the other by not joining into a communion that you are not ready for. Do not take from your partner what they should only share in the communion and commitment of marriage. This is not only about sex, but also about sharing parts of your life which you are not yet ready to share.
Be careful of the emotional dependency which can arise from becoming too close before you are committed to the other.
If You Are Married
Your identity is deeply rooted in your spouse. Every aspect of life is about the two of you. Your thoughts are to be in light of what is best for the other. Your choices are to be decisions which move you and your spouse closer together. Even your body is to be cared for, as it is now shared with another.
Your identity is now the communion between you and your spouse.
Every decision (what you think, say, watch, or do) is now to be weighed against how it will impact the union between you and your spouse.
For Us All
May we strive to let go of false notions of individual entitlement, and strive to discover the truth of relationship which embraces change.
[box_help]Thanks for reading. What can you do to better prepare for marriage, or to be a better husband? Let us know in the comments.[/box_help]
About Matt WellsMatt Wells is a born-and-raised Floridian, from Lake Worth. He currently lives in Florida with his wife, Heather, their baby daughter, Bella, and their dog, Marley. He is the author of "Fix Me, Love Them: Christianity as it Should Be", and can be found on Twitter (www.twitter.com/FixMeLoveThem), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FixMeLoveThem). He can also be reached at FixMeLoveThem@gmail.com
Christian Shoddy is Still Shoddy
A tense cloud hovered above the desk that separated us....
- Posted 57 days ago
We Are Not Hoodlums.
I think we've all been there. You've scoured the Christian...
- Posted 59 days ago
Of Hobbits and Angels
After seeing the new Hobbit movie (in 3D nonetheless), and...
- Posted 68 days ago
Rags to Riches and Back to Rags Again
I love a good rags-to-riches story. Sam “Walmart” Walton sold...
- Posted 79 days ago
Are We There Yet?
A few months ago, my family and I moved from...
- Posted 87 days ago
Verse of the Week
––1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)