The biblical recommendation that we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength shows us that for love to be complete, genuine, real… and for love to thrive between two beings, we must have a connection in all those dimensions.
We must not only have emotional (heart) connection with someone to know it is love and that it is true…but we must also have spiritual (soul) connection, intellectual (mind) connection and physical or bodily (strength) connection.
I think those are the complete dimensions of love we must watch and exercise…and also ensure that they are all present and that there’s a good balance and interplay.
Many times when people are confused about their choice of love or lover, they are often instructed to “follow your heart” or by extension, to focus on your emotions. Though the heart is important and should be at the core of every decision, we must not always only follow our heart; we must follow as well the other three “determinants of love”. The heart is desperately wicked and deceptive says the Bible. Hearts do deceive, even more so because what’s in the heart is not always seen on the face.
People also advice when it comes to finding true love that you “use your heart and your head“, in trying to say don’t love blindly. Meaning whatever your heart tells you, give it good thought before acting. Don’t just act on your feelings, do some critical thinking as well. This is great but must we leave out the spirit?
Choosing a life partner or entering into a love relationship is as much a spiritual exercise as it is a physical one. It’s a matter of your soul.
Remember we are not to be unequally yoked per biblical instructions? How do we do that when we don’t wait to determine first if there’s a spiritual connection between us and the ones we are going to give our heart, emotions and body to? Would you want to blindly (without careful considerations) fall in love with someone who will sell your soul to the devil and lead you down the path of ungodliness? Your decision to love someone (choose them as a life partner) is not complete without you weighing in on your spiritual connection or compatibility with the person.
Physical attraction, the fourth dimension or determinant of love is also a good ingredient. I know some over-spiritual brothers and sisters always downplay this…and then find themselves hooked to some unattractive guy/lady only to keep fighting for the rest of their lives some temptations coming their way from some very fine babes/dudes.
You see, I believe that somebody you are not physically attracted to, you cannot be sexually attracted to. Unless you are one of those not so normal people who would sleep with just anything that bears the name female or male.
The sexual lives of countless of marriages are in red zone just because either one of the couples have gone out of shape or more bluntly have become ‘unattractive”. He saw many ‘fat’ women but decided on a person of your figure because that is where the attraction was and so when you let yourself go too much and you become too ‘fat’, you know what might happen? Similarly, he saw many slim ladies but his attraction never was tickled until he saw the big fat you and so when you overdo that slimming course and become as thin as a stick, you might just be making yourself an attraction for another man who has got that taste, not him.
Body image means a lot to many people when it comes to love and you must always have that open discussion so that you know you can always have his or her support and love when those times come that you need some motivation to get back into shape.
That thing we say sometimes that you must love me just the way I am so that you can just let yourself go from say slim to obese after choking down all the junk foods in the world may just not work out for you sometimes. Perhaps s/he will still love you alright, but you may just not be sexually attractive enough for him/her again as you used to…and sometimes you just have to live with that or get back to work!
So there you have it. If we agree that love is not just a feeling but much more a choice, then we must be holistic in the choices we make. We must not be only feelings driven; we must exercise all the four dimensions in determining true, genuine, complete, compatible love that lasts…I think.
Mark Gadogbe (McApple)
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