Is It Love or Infatuation?
Today I would like to attempt to propose and discusses 2 models for how people pursue relationships,
The Hollywood model
And God’s model.
The Hollywood model represents the way that our culture or “the world” generally views how relationships develop.
As you will see, the Hollywood model is very different from the way that God instructs us to relate to significant people in our lives.
The Hollywood model goes something like this:
1) Find the right person –
Finding the right person generally just happens.
It’s wild, accidental, and you’re helpless in the process.
Eventually you are going to meet the “right one”, maybe when you least expect it.
True love is magical and mystical.
It happens in the movies all the time and it will just happen to you.
Just keep looking.
2) Fall in Love –
When you find the right person, something will snap and you’ll just know.
No one knows how, but… trust me you’ll just know.
You can fall in love with a stranger.
Love is based on chemistry, not knowledge or character.
The feeling is equated with overwhelming feelings that discount reason, background, shared interests, or compatibility.
Love “makes you crazy”.
3) Fix your hopes and dreams on that person –
Loves vetoes every other decision.
Brides and grooms regularly leave the altar and run off with someone else with whom they are “really in love.”
All previous commitments are null and void.
The person is the object of your life, your future, your dreams, and your satisfaction.
You suddenly realize that this person alone will make you complete.
Life will have meaning like it never has before.
We are being subtly taught to base our future happiness on the unconscious expectation that finding the right person will solve all our problems.
Hollywood equates infatuation with love.
Sadly, once the infatuation subsides, as it always does in 2 to 18 months, generally, we may conclude that our love for that person is dying.
The other person doesn’t measure up to our imagination of the relationship, we still have that empty feeling inside of us, therefore, we logically conclude that the person failed to live up to their end of the bargain.
Our lack of love has nothing to do with us; it is simply the result of discovering that we no longer have the right person in our lives.
To me the 4th and final step in the HOLLYWOOD version of love is the most destructive of them all. that step is:
4) If failure occurs, repeat steps 1, 2 & 3 –
What do you do?
Simply repeat steps 1 through 3 with a new and improved person you find.
This time maybe it will work.
The key to love is finding the right person.
If the person does not fulfill all your dreams and desires, if you are not exhilarated, then you must have the wrong person.
See, I told you it was the worst one of them all.
Sadly, that is exactly what most of us are doing.
We are running on the hamster wheel of romance hoping to somehow find lasting love by running around in circles.
In order to find lasting love, you first have to STOP!
Take a TIMEOUT,
and get to know yourself…
I mean really know yourself first.
How can you find a person who will be a good fit for your personality and your life, if you don’t even know who you really are.
The way in which we pursue love, sex, and lasting relationships has been largely shaped and encouraged by the media.
Most people do not know where they learned how to do relationships.
God’s prescription for relationship is the exact opposite of Hollywood’s.
[Therefore] be imitators of God, (as beloved children); and walk in love, (just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us), [an offering] and [a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma]. (Eph. 5:1-2)
The word “be” indicates a command to become or show that you possess certain character traits.
God wants us to be a certain kind of people – his imitators.
Re-read that scripture verse again.
Take some time to think about how safe and comforting it would be if you lived in a marriage where your partner loved you the way Christ does, and you loved them back in that very same way.
If we were imitating God, we would forgive them when they wronged us.
We would see them with a softer lens, and know that they were a generally good willed person, who never intentionally meant to hurt us.
When they did hurt us, we would be slower to anger, and quicker to forgive.
Now let’s compare Gods Model to Hollywood’s model of love.
Gods Model goes like this:
1) Become the right person –
God tells us to become the right kind of person.
Instead of looking for love, God tells us to realize that love has already found us!
God loves as no one else ever can.
The best way for us to demonstrate that we have understood and accepted God’s love is to learn to imitate him as closely as possible in the way we treat others.
It means that in relationships we are to be kind, tender-hearted, empathetic, discerning, willing to make allowance for people’s mistakes, and consistently forgiving.
It means we want good for them.
2) Walk in Love –
This means that we love others in exactly the same way that Christ loved us.
It’s all about sacrificial commitment.
Giving the other person what he or she needs the most when it is least deserved, because that’s exactly how God has treated you.
It is speaking the truth to them, being honest.
It is other-centered action that provides what’s best for the other person.
Genuine love isn’t a passive, quivering mass of good feelings;
Genuine love is a deliberate, intentional, honest, and even painful giving up of self-preservation for another person’s good.
3) Fix your hope on God and seek to please him through this relationship –
Because Christ is the most important person in your life, you will treat your partner better than if he or she were the most important because Christ will help you love them more than you ever could by your own strength alone.
We must ask God to make us who he wants us to be and to help us to walk in love, giving sacrificially what the other person needs.
Great relationships involve struggle, conflict, working through issues, and refusing to demand, consciously or not, that the other person make our lives work.
The byproduct of God’s approach to relationships is the very kind of intimacy, love, sex, and lasting companionship you and I have always wanted.
4) If failure occurs repeats steps 1, 2, and 3 –
This step may look the same as in the Hollywood model…
But here the focus is on US to change and become the right person if the relationship fails.
Love tends to endure. Real love is stable.
Infatuation is fleeting and ALWAYS had an expiration date attached to it.
I know that romance in Hollywood is dramatic, and makes for a really great story line, but the problem with the Hollywood version of romance is that they never show you what happens after the wedding.
Fairy Tales all failed us in the same way.
They never taught us what to do after the wedding.
There was never the sequel about how Cinderella and Prince Charming fought over money, children, and in-laws…
We were all raised on a steady diet, of…
Just get to the Alter, and the rest will be… Happily Ever After.
But God’s marriage manual does tell us what to do after the wedding.
The bible is full of scripture that teaches us how to live in relationship with each other.
How to become one.
How to nurture and enhance love and respect for each other, and by doing so you keep the sizzle alive in your marriage as well.
So this weekend, when you are spending time with your partner…
Try a little Biblical Romance for a change.
It just might reignite that fire that has almost burnt clear out!
Have a great weekend!