Relationships come in all shapes and sizes (yes, clichés are my life!). Relationships represent one of, if not the greatest, component of our lives. You can’t really function as a human without some sort of relationship. Oh, you can try, but you aren’t going to be very happy. But when it comes to relationships between men and women, we as collective group, have developed some rather odd expectations. How many times have you heard of someone looking for their soul-mate or for Mr. Right? The idea behind those notions is somewhat unrealistic. First, that whole soul-mate thing presumes that there is that one person “out there” who is predestined to be your other half. You, apparently, have little or no choice in the matter and have to get busy finding them. (And there are how many people in the world?) Then, funnily enough, when you find them they only lived about 20 minutes from you (smile). Amazing! And then there is Mr. Right. Mr. Right is again that one fella who is just right for you. You can tell when you have found him because he will be just right (haha). Those of us that have been married for any length of time know that our Mrs. Right or Mr. Right is far from always being just right (Just ask my wife!). Add to this, can you even imagine living in a culture where your folks choose your mate? No thanks Mom and Pops!
So what exactly then is a relationship supposed to be? I think we are smart enough to recognize that any two people can make something work, if they are committed to it. But what is the secret to a good relationship? Is there a secret? To answer that question we have to go back to the origin of man. Before there were Adam and Eve, God was. God being all-knowing and all-powerful came up with the grand idea of people. But there is another aspect of God we must consider as well. God is love. God isn’t just the act of loving or One that maintains a loving nature. God actually is love. Whatever love is, is God and whatever God is, is love. They are inseparable. Interestingly, the one thing the whole world seeks is love. Mankind is born with a God-hunger on the inside, which can also be called a hunger for love. In light of that, we have been looking for love in all the wrong places…(singing)…I digress sorta. Now back to Adam and Eve. (Hey maybe Eve was Adam’s soul-mate? Okay only choice? I guess Adam was Mr. Right as well as Mr. Only…again I digress.) When God made Adam, He made him body, soul and spirit. Adam’s spirit was his connection to God, or if you will, his connection to love. Eve came in similar fashion and was connected to God’s love as well. They started out connected to and filled with love; God’s love. There wasn’t much competition so they formed a relationship together (smile). We can assume as the prototype that they were both pretty “hot” and attracted to each other. Though they started out perfect, they soon proved by their own free-will that they weren’t perfect. (You know the story…) Now if you can take a brief pause from your uncontrollable laughter, the secret to a good, if not great, relationship is in that story. Relationships between men and women were “supposed” to be based upon a strong, wonderful love from God and a mutual love and devotion to God. With that firmly in place, the rest was easy! Sure there was still forgiveness. Sure there was a willingness to let the past be forgotten. But in reality, those wonderful qualities are all a part of God’s love anyway.
Accordingly, the problem with relationships now-a-days is that we are looking to fill that void with our mate. We foolishly think, “if this person would just do what I want; look how I desire and treat me the way I deserve to be treated, I will feel loved.” Then, when they fall short, as they invariably will, we wrongly conclude that love is lost and that they weren’t really our soul-mate after all. In reality that approach is very selfish. Your mate’s job is not be everything you think they should be. Their job is to be everything they want to be with you being there to support them and love them and encourage them (and vice versa). Marriage is not two people living one same life. Marriage is two people living “separate” lives together. And the only way for that to work out most effectively is for both of the parties involved receiving and sharing God’s love with one another. Folks ask how Connie and I have stayed together for so long and the answer isn’t, as Connie jokingly says, “that we never wanted to get divorced at the same time.” The truth is that when things got real crappy, we both loved God enough to persevere. Without God we would have never made it this far.
So don’t spend all your time and energy looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right. Spend your energy learning how to receive and give the love that God wants to give to you. Get good and full of that love and you will suddenly discover there’s a whole lot of soul-mates out there waiting for you!
Just some good thoughts…