True love: how do I make the choice?

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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New month!

How Thou didst commend Thy love
When Thou didst whisper in my ears
“I am thine and thou art Mine.”
Kind were those accents
When Thou saidst,
“The Father Himself loveth you.”
And sweet the moments, passing sweet
When Thou declaredst to me
The love of the Spirit.
Never shall my soul forget
Those chambers of fellowship
Where Thou has unveiled Thyself to me.
SO I PRAY TODAY:
Precious Lord Jesus,
Give me a fresh draught
Of Thy wondrous love
To begin this month with.
And let Thy love be shed abroad
In every heart that’s willing to receive.
Excepted from:

http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/jesus-love

Image source:
http://www.happyholidays2014.com/hello-february-2015-pictures-and-images.html

The shoe man

My alarm went off
It was Sunday again.
I was sleepy and tired
My one day to sleep in.
But the guilt I would feel
The rest of the day
Would have been too much
So I’d go and I’d pray.
I showered and shaved
I adjusted my tie.
I got there and sat
In a pew just in time.
Bowing my head in prayer
As I closed my eyes.
I saw the shoe of the man next to me
Touching my own. I sighed.
With plenty of room on either side
I thought, “Why must our soles touch?”
It bothered me, his shoe touching mine
But it didn’t bother him much.
A prayer began: “Our Father”…
I thought, “This man with the shoes
has no pride.
They’re dusty, worn, and scratched
Even worse, there are holes on the side!”
“Thank You for blessings,” the prayer went on.
The shoe man said
a quiet “Amen.”
I tried to focus on the prayer
But my thoughts were on his shoes again.
Aren’t we supposed to look our best
When walking through that door?
“Well, this certainly isn’t it,” I thought,
Glancing toward the floor.
Then the prayer was ended
And the songs of praise began.
The shoe man was certainly loud
Sounding proud as he sang.
His voice lifted the rafters
His hands were raised high.
The Lord could surely hear
The shoe man’s voice from the sky.
It was time for the offering
And what I threw in was steep.
I watched as the shoe man reached
Into his pockets so deep.
I saw what was pulled out
What the shoe man put in.
Then I heard a soft “clink”
as when silver hits tin.
The sermon really bored me
To tears, and that’s no lie
It was the same for the shoe man
For tears fell from his eyes.
At the end of the service
As is the custom here
We must greet new visitors
And show them all good cheer.
But I felt moved somehow
And wanted to meet the shoe man
So after the closing prayer
I reached over and shook his hand.
He was old and his skin was dark
And his hair was truly a mess
But I thanked him for coming
For being our guest.
He said, “My names’ Charlie
I’m glad to meet you, my friend.”
There were tears in his eyes
But he had a large, wide grin
“Let me explain,” he said
Wiping tears from his eyes.
“I’ve been coming here for months
And you’re the first to say ‘Hi.'”
“I know that my appearance
Is not like all the rest
“But I really do try
To always look my best.
“I always clean and polish my shoes
Before my very long walk.
“But by the time I get here
They’re dirty and dusty, like chalk.”
My heart filled with pain
and I swallowed to hide my tears
As he continued to apologize
For daring to sit so near.
He said, “When I get here
I know I must look a sight.
“But I thought if I could touch you
Then maybe our souls might unite.”
I was silent for a moment
Knowing whatever was said
Would pale in comparison
I spoke from my heart, not my head.
“Oh, you’ve touched me,” I said,
“And taught me, in part;
“That the best of any man
Is what is found in his heart.”
The rest, I thought,
This shoe man will never know.
Like just how thankful I really am
That his dirty old shoe touched my soul……

~From the book “Just an Average Joe” by Joe Gonzalez (2005)

 

Found it interesting when I read it years ago. Touched my heart. Hope it touches everyone’s heart.

Cheers!

Mark Gadogbe (McApple)