During the month of February we will be "dethroning cupid." Our culture idolizes the "love" that Cupid sells. He offers a love that is deep in emotion yet very shallow on commitment. He promises that another person can meet our longings for affection, esteem, and significance. He starts his relentless pursuit of us as children, and unless we actively choose differently, we will be swayed by his call and the culture that he creates.
God, on the contrary, invites us to a love that moves beyond the shallow, self focused love Cupid offers. He invites us to a love that is grounded in the very fabric of God's being. His is alove that moves beyond shallow emotionalism and embraces mutuality, trust and strength that can endure, and even thrive, in the difficulties of life.
Choosing to listen to God's call over Cupid's (or our culture's) requires facing our fears and anxieties about love and relationships. In order to move toward healthy love, we first have to admit our fears and anxieties and become willing to let go of past pains, hurts and misconceptions that we have about love and relationships (e.g. he/she/they should do things my way, love never has pain, she/he/they would change if they really loved me, I need to feel "in love" in order to be happy, my spouse/friend/church should meet my emotional needs, I need another person's love in order to be complete or happy, etc.). All these false notions about love are based in fear- fear that we will be hurt, abandoned, out of control or unable to cope in some manner.
Thankfully God invites us into His love that casts out all fear. As we face our fears and anxieties about love and relationships we can and give them to God, who overtime rebuilds in us His love. His love is first and foremost grounded in our being His beloved. When our identity and security are based in being God's beloved, we can engage in other relationships without the need to get our own agendas met. We can let others (spouses, friends, churches, family, coworkers) be themselves, without the need to control or beg to have our needs met. Once we have faced our fears and know we are unconditionally cared for by God, and therefore are safe, secure, significant, and deeply loved. Even in life's most difficult moments, our lives then will naturally overflow with His love.
Reflect this Week:
What fears and anxieties are holding me back from love and relationship with others?
By Babs May-Clark