Tag: in love

Top 5 Posts for 2015

Top 5

photo credit: theodysseyonline.com

It’s here, the end of 2015. And what a year it was. So much happened this year for the me and my family. Here’s a rundown:

  • I left my job at Walmart to work for the Department of the Army at Arlington National Cemetery. It was pretty awesome and a huge honor.
  • My oldest son graduated high school. I know I don’t look it, but I’m the parent of an adult person!
  • The church we we’re helping build in Alexandria organized a neighborhood outdoor movie night. That may not seem huge, but it was its legit outdoor movie equipment and that’s how I spent most of my summer Friday nights.
  • I launched The Whole Man. I’ve met so many awesome people through it.
  • We decided to up and move to Boise, ID. So, I quit my awesome job and packed a moving van and off we went. God did a lot of work to get us to the point where we accepted it.
  • My adult son moved to the Seattle area, near his mom, to pursue college. So no we’re down to two kids in the house.
  • MY BABY GIRL TURNED ONE! Please make it stop.
  • I became a podcast co-host. Me and a couple friends launched a new podcast called The (G)odd Show. It’s so cool. You should check it out.
  • I received my first rejection for a book proposal. It was a little brutal and stung. Not so much here or here, but right in this area.
  • Oh, and I quit my Master of Divinity program. I have no idea what I’m doing.

So that was our year. In addition to that I had some great responses to the articles I put out on The Whole Man. Here’s the top five.

5. 2 Reasons why you still haven’t found what you’re looking for.

As “blog launch day” has drawn near, I really struggled with what to write for the inaugural TWM post. There’s so many ways I could have gone, but a lot of what I thought to say about this site is already in the MANifestio (should be done in the next week or so), so it didn’t seem helpful to just rewrite it here. But then I thought about the one thing that connects all of us. It’s something that Hollywood has known for so long and has exploited to make fists full of dollars selling kiddie pool deep rom-coms. [Read More]

4. Two Truths About Not Being “In Love”

I would venture to guess that one of the most commonly used reasons for ending marriages in our culture is “I love you, but I’m not IN love with you anymore.” It’s the ready-made answer for ending the marriage that no longer meets our needs and desires. I confess that I am 100% guilty of saying this in the past. [Read More]

3. How We Got, “Wives, submit to your own husbands…” Wrong.

This past week my wife asked me, “Why is it that everyone talks about what Biblical manhood should look like, but hardly comparatively, anyone talks about Biblical womanhood?

Good question. Maybe because we mess it up more. [Read More]

2. He said, “Tell Her How You Know.”

I had always wanted a newspaper route. I thought it would be cool. Having my own money to spend only made it more desirable. I was 11 when my parents agreed to let me deliver papers. It was hard work. I got up every day at 4:00 am and hauled my bound stack of daily news into the dining room. There I would roll and stuff each one into a plastic sleeve and place it into the double-sided pocket carrier. Once all the newspapers were packed, I would sling the heavy carrier over my head and rest its weight on my shoulders. Each morning I headed out into the dark, snow-covered, streets of my neighborhood. It was hard work, but I loved doing it. [Read More]

1. Do I Need to Confess My Adultery?

A few years ago, I was counseling a guy who had been hiding his affair from his wife. He had long since ended contact with the other woman, and even confessed his affair to a chaplain friend. However, he continued to hide the truth from his wife. On the day he confessed the affair to me, he was in the midst of struggling with the need to confess to his wife. I wasn’t surprised that he hadn’t confessed to his wife, or that he was struggling with whether or not to do so. [Read More]

So there you have it, the Top 5 posts from The Whole Man for 2015. I’m super excited about 2016 and what Boise holds for us. See you in the new year!

Two Truths About Not Being “In Love”

Love

I would venture to guess that one of the most commonly used reasons for ending marriages in our culture is “I love you, but I’m not IN love with you anymore.” It’s the ready-made answer for ending the marriage that no longer meets our needs and desires. I confess that I am 100% guilty of saying this in the past.

On the surface it seems like a logical reason. Why would you continue to pursue a relationship when you’re no longer in love with your spouse? I’ve had a number of friends tell me that they are no longer “in love” with their wives. I was able to talk with most of them and I’m glad to say a few of them dug in, did the work and are still together.

Before I move on, let me clarify two things. First, there is nothing wrong with being “in love.” It’s a wonderful affair. It’s an amazing convergence of feeling like you might die and like you could live forever. I loved falling in love with my wife. Where the “in love” feeling becomes a negative thing is when we use it as an excuse to dismantle a union which we have promised to honor. Second, I’m in no way saying that if you are in an abusive or dangerous relationship, or one where your spouse is actively sinning against you, that you have to stay. If that’s the case, God loves you too much to watch you be continually hurt. You need to make decisions that are focused on your (and any children involved) safety and well-being. If that’s your current situation, find a Christian community that will help and support you, speak with a counselor, or law enforcement.

It is out of these conversations with my friends, and my own experience and study, I have discovered two profound truths about the statement: “I love you, but I’m not IN love with you anymore.”   Without mincing words:

Truth #1

The person may not feel the same “in love” feeling anymore, but they also do not love their spouse.

Being “in love” is a feeling, although it’s probably more of a collection of feelings, but nonetheless still a feeling. The feeling of “in love” is meant to draw and connect us to another person with the purpose of making a commitment to love only them. Because “in love” is a feeling, it can shift and is no more sustainable than the feeling of excitement. “In love” is akin to striking a match; it flickers with the breeze and is easily blown out. Its sole purpose is to light the flame of mature love that isn’t as easily influenced by the whims of other elements. Mature love has weathered trials and is hardened like steel by the flames of difficulty and success. Mature love exists regardless of, and in the face of, waxing and waning feelings. Mature love is a love that decides to stay because it’s rooted in something deeper than feelings. Being “in love” with someone and loving someone are completely different.

Because being “in love” is a feeling, when you say that you love your spouse, but you’re not “in love” anymore, you’re telling a half truth. The true part is that you no longer feel “in love” because that feeling is simply unsustainable. What isn’t true is that you love your spouse. If you loved them, how you feel would be less important than doing the work to mature the relationship. I don’t mean to make it sound easy; it surely isn’t. Marriage is probably (for most people anyway) the one thing you will have to work at harder than anything else. Ever.

If you love someone, then you keep the promise and put in the work. If your marriage is based on feeling “in love,” then you misunderstand what love is and how it works.

Truth #2

This statement is solely based on, and grounded in, selfishness.

When you make love all about your feelings and you’re willing to end your marriage when it doesn’t feel the way you want, then you’ve eliminated the other person from the equation. That’s selfishness. You’re selfish. Genuine love is always about the other person. John 3:16 shows us that God’s love for us moved Him to give to us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son…” so the WE could be saved. He, God, GAVE for US. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)  Love gives – it does not give up.

I’m not saying that you can’t want to feel “in love.” We are made to give and receive love. We are creatures of love. I hope and pray that we all get to feel loved, but feelings aren’t useful for determining how we love others. Genuine love is always about the other person, regardless of feeling. That’s mature love.

I’ll close with this quote from C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity

“Ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”

What does love mean to you?

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I Love You; I’m Just Not IN Love with You.

Used from http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/theoverdose/500776/This is probably one of the most common excuses for ending most relationships in our culture. “I’m not IN love anymore” is a ready-made answer for ending a relationship that no longer lives up to what entertainment tells us love should look, or rather feel like. I readily confess that I’m 100% guilty of this in the past.

On the surface it seems pretty reasonable. Why would you continue to pursue a relationship when you’re no longer in love with the other involved party? Unfortunately, being “in love” with someone and loving someone are two completely different things.

Recently I had a friend tell me this about his wife. We were able to talk about it a little and I suspect (and hope) that there might be more, but it got me thinking a lot about what it really means when someone says this.

Without mincing words, here are the two truths that occurred to me about when someone says it.

1)   They may not feel the same “IN love” feeling anymore, but they also don’t actually love the other person either.

2)   That statement is solely based on and grounded in selfishness.

Before I move on, let me clarify. There is nothing wrong with being “in love”. It’s a wonderful affair. It’s the most amazing convergence of feeling like you might die and feeling like you could live forever. I loved the feeling of falling in love with my wife. But, the “in love” feeling becomes a negative thing when we use it as an excuse to dismantle a union that you promised to honor. Of course I’m mainly addressing marriage here, but, to be clear again, if you’re dating and haven’t yet uttered those three little words (not “Pass the queso”, still important, but not those) then take care to be sure that you are actually willing to commit to what it means to actually love that person. Then if you choose to end it, pre-marriage, be honest with them and tell them, “You don’t make me feel the way you used to and I’m not ready to be in a relationship where loving another person is all about them.” It might sting more, but at least it’s honest.

Now, back to the lecture at hand; here’s why I came to the two conclusions that I did.

Truth #1

“In love” is a feeling, although it’s probably more of a collection of feelings, but nonetheless still a feeling. The feeling of “in love” is meant to draw and connect us to another person with the purpose of promising them our commitment to love only them. Because “in love” is a feeling, it can shift and is no more sustainable than feeling excited. “In love” is like a striking a match; it flickers with the breeze and is easily blown out. It’s sole purpose is to light the flame of mature love that isn’t subject to the whims of the elements. Mature love has weathered trials and is hardened like steel by the flames of difficulty. It exists regardless of waxing and waning feelings. It is a love that decides to stay because it’s rooted in more than feelings.

Since “in love” is a feeling, when you say that you love someone, but you’re not in love with him or her, only part of that statement is true. It is true that you no longer feel in love, it isn’t sustainable; you probably started to not feel in love a long time before you voiced it. But what isn’t true is that you actually love them. If you did actually love someone, how he or she makes you feel would be less important than doing the work to mature the relationship. I don’t mean to make it sound easy; it surely isn’t. Marriage is probably (for most people anyway) the one thing that they’ll have to work at harder than anything else, ever. If you love someone then you keep the promise and put in the work. If your marriage is based on feeling in love, then you probably misunderstand what love really is.

Truth #2

When you make love all about how you feel and you’re willing to end it when it doesn’t feel the way you want it to, you make love completely about you and entirely eliminate the other person from the equation. That’s selfishness. Genuine love is always about the other person. We all know the scripture verse John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only some…” so the WE could be saved. He, God, GAVE for US. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)  Love gives.

I’m not saying that you can’t want to feel love. We are made t give and receive love. We are creatures of love. I hope and pray that we all get to feel loved, but feelings aren’t useful for determining how we love others. Genuine love is always about the other person, regardless of feeling. That’s mature love.

heart

I’ll close with this quote from C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity

“Ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”

What does love mean to you?

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