Avenues of Life

Love Me…but Not Too Tight!

 Christian Counseling, Marriage Counseling

Holding on too tight can be an unfortunate plight.

No one wants to be held too tight or too long. Sure, we sometimes want and need affection. We may want to hold hands and spend hours together, but not day after day unceasingly.

There is something to be said for going our own direction for a time, and when we come back together we will have amazing new things to talk about.

Look with me now and notice how beautiful the colors of this picture are? It makes you want to live in this picture and may give you the idea of wrapping yourself around someone. So sweet. Oh, but how dangerous it can be getting lost in someone or something. It happens everyday.… All day for some.

The crisp colors of orange and yellow overlaying the bright blue backdrop. It’s beautiful. You could literally get lost in it.

Imagine if one or the other needs to separate.

Imagine the ripping and tearing that would be excruciatingly severe to both parties. Imagine if these two carrots were to be separated after much time together. The indentions in each would be deep and the void in each would prove to be vast with coldness and loneliness.

There would need to be a time of regeneration. A time for regrowth in areas where it was not allowed to grow before. Interestingly enough, the two would grow in areas they never knew before. This will be paramount in their growth individually as well as together. But, wait a minute – they’re still together? Yes, they are – just not wrapped around each other.

Throughout any given day you see couples and think to yourself, “hmmm they seem balanced. They seem happy.”

Nothing on the surface is apparent. Let’s look deeper into the situation. Look at the reactions of each where there is no underlying words, which no one ever hears except the two of them. Let’s listen for the insecurity of one or both of which no one is aware. Sometimes, not even the partners are aware of these unspoken words or rules.

It may go something like this. She is at home and responsible with the children and house. All is well done on the Ponderosa. He comes home and will not allow her to go out to go to the grocery store or visit a friend. If she does, there are an exhaustive amount of questions as he follows her at the car window as she rolls out of the driveway, nearly missing his toe with the tire. Many calls are received while she is gone regarding her whereabouts and estimated time of arrival back at the Ponderosa. This is exhausting for both, because his security is not right there beside him. It’s somewhere, but he has no control over it.

This goes for either wife or husband.

It could be either partner who may be insecure, jealous, and possessive. It is suffocating. I have more people coming in for suffocation than I can count. I am tempted to bring in an oxygen tank for their need of a breath of fresh air. Actually, we have it in the office; but is doesnt come in a can. It comes in a growing understanding of how to be secure in yourself through the power of the one true God. I show people how to have a relationship with jesus.  This suffocating issue is a real one and is a very common problem. What to do.…

Let’s look at the carrots again. Did God intend for two carrots – or two people – to be wrapped around each other? I think not. He wants husband and wife to be one! But, what does that look like? It looks like grace, patience, respect.

I didn’t list love. Why not? Let’s look at love.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

John 4:7 perfect love casts out fear. What’s up with that? There is a certain amount of confusion that arises when most read this verse. The word fear throws many off. Love and fear don’t seem to fit together very well to most. However, it is very interesting how a person’s fear can drive a “loving relationship.”

     Fear can drive a “loving relationship”

If you notice, I put quotation marks around “Loving relationship.” I did this for a reason. When fear is the root and order the driver of the relationship, you will not have a loving relationship. You may think you do, but you don’t. In a relationship with fear, there always exist limitations and conditions. When this happens… watch out, because you’re going down.

While getting my degree I was taught to always ask open ended questions. A loving relationship should be much the same. The opposite of fear is love. That’s what this scripture is saying. If you don’t fear losing something or someone. If you don’t fear losing your reputation or how you may look at yourself, you will be free of fear and will be able to just love. Pure, unadulterated love. How do you get that?

Asking open ended questions and being open toward the responses you get.

In order to be in a loving relationship with your children aged 18 or older, you must let them be who they are and appreciate their open minds and ideas. Heck, even if they are two or three, be open to their thoughts and ideas, listen to them, and respect what they have to say. This is love – showing patience with grace. And that, my dear, is how it’s done in a relationship with your spouse. Be open, be gentle, give space, and don’t create deep divots and worn out spots in your spouse. These actions wear on emotions, and there will be no more “goody.”

Many times, most of us are afraid in the beginning of, in the middle of, and at the end of a conversation because we are afraid we will not be respected or heard. We are unsure if the other person will understand us. We don’t understand what the other is saying because we can’t hear what the other is saying. We just want to be heard. We forget to allow space for the other to be who they are and instead want to have them stay in our set, given space.

Now there are some who don’t know what they want and they look to the other person to tell them what they want.

How is this going to work? It doesn’t… very easily. You have couples where one will not be motivated to be active and responsible for their physical health, work life, or social life. You need to know there are different parts of your life you are responsible for as an individual, before you can contribute toward being a part of a couple. We must maintain our physique, mental preparedness, spiritual life, and so on.

For instance, when you are with your spouse and they are always complaining about how they don’t feel well. Or they are too tired. The healthy spouse may feel like they are alone. Well, to a certain extent they are, because their spouse has not been responsible in eating nutritious foods or taking on proper exercise. This plays a role in a relationship and, if not taken into account, will wear on the relationship.

A major contribution toward a thriving relationship is when each partner takes a responsibility in maintaining their own health, whether spiritual, physical, or mental. So, what does it look like for each to help each other? Each needs a place of understanding the other’s needs. We all need an understanding of how our loved one needs  time to exercise or shop or be with friends. These are important things in life. We should acknowledge and be supportive of these healthy ingredients in all our relationships.