Friday, August 5, 2011

A Purpose-filled Relationship

Have you ever gotten into your car and driven for a while then suddenly realized you were headed in the wrong direction or driven past your destination? I hate when that happens to me, because it means I'm lacking focus, and driving a car requires focus. If you're like me, you suddenly realize you weren't paying much attention to what you were doing or where you were going. I call it “auto pilot” (only there's no AP system to engage), but by not paying attention to what I'm doing, I've “mentally wandered away”; giving me a reason to be concerned. I don't think I'm the only one this happens to because everyday while driving to work, you'll see someone driving in the left (i.e., passing lane) holding a cell phone to their ear. I've seen women with a curling iron, guys reading newspapers; activities that aren't consistent with driving a car. We get into certain behavior patterns that initially appear innocuous (to us). It's almost as if I'm unconscious, sleep-walking as it were; while simultaneously being conscious. What I like to call, “Unconsciously Conscious”.

I read someone's blog that gave me one of those “Ah Ha” moments. I say that because sometimes, I read a blog and I'm on cruise control; not really feeling what the blogger is saying. This was the case recently. My mind had drifted in and out of issues surrounding a family emergency, and I needed a break, so I started reading blogs. I had never read this particular blogger before, so I had no framework for the particular writing style she used. Her topic was about a guy; not just any guy, a particular guy. There was a section on her post that snapped me back into consciousness and out of my intellectual cruise control:

...I am a simple booty call. To him I am nothing more than just another girl. I was okay with this when we began.... As of now I don't know anything about him or his life. This is so stupid of me, but I can't help it..... I don't want a relationship with him, I don't want to love him, I just want him here.

This made me ask myself the question, “Is there a genuine purpose in the unconsciously conscious things we do, or is it just something we just do out of habit?” How can I truly do something effectively and find satisfaction and meaning, when I'm not aware of what I'm doing, or why I'm doing it? Can I truly be happy just doing it? Nike's motto is, “Just Do It”, but hidden in those three words is the implication, that:
  1. You really know what you're doing
  2. You really know why you’re doing it
  3. You really understand how to do it
These three actions are what identify a relationship with a purpose; what I call aPurpose-filled Relationship”. I think there are times when a relationship can move into the “Unconsciously Conscious” realm; two people find themselves lacking purpose in their relationshionship and waiting for something to happen. To them there no longer exist a real purpose in it (if there ever was); it was merely something for them to do. If I'm driving my car, behaving in this manner, I can self-correct by re-establishing my focus while driving. It's much more difficult to do this in a relationship, because, for some, this is how the relationship began; so, it always lacked real purpose. A purpose-filled relationship has to have more going for it that a mere “hook-up or booty call”.

Some guys (and women) might say, “Give me a booty call that has great sex, and I'll take that over a meaningful, purpose-filled relationship any day”.

I would say to them, “You don’t understand the purpose of a relationship, and you will eventually find yourself living a lonely, unfulfilled and empty life; never recognizing the potential for loving another or achieving your relationship purpose!

I look at a purpose-filled relationship like a multi-layered cake; decorated with frosting. The frosting is like a binding agent that holds the layers together. A frosted cake can be sliced and the layers won't collapse. Now some cakes look really appetizing until you slice them. I remember buying a cake that looked so pretty until I got home and sliced it and to my surprise, it was molded! A great tasting cake isn't defined by how it appears; its purpose goes beyond appearance. A purpose-filled relationship must be more than a pretty, layered cake. A purpose-filled relationship isn't for show; it's for real. Because its real, a purpose-filled relationship is defined by:
  1. Love
  2. Commitment
  3. Unselfishness
Love: A purpose-filled relationship needs love because love inspires two people. Love comes from recognizing a vision of one's future; a future which has no meaning without that other person in it. It's a shared vision because you both communicate it to each other, every time you say, “I love you” (and you're not just mouthing the words). A purpose-filled relationship needs love because love directs two people. It's a mutual direction because you both recognize the need to work together to get the relationship to a specific place. Getting to that specific place, means that the two of you are in a potato sack race; you aren't opponents, you're partners.

The great thing about being partners (husband and wife) is that you genuinely like the other person; you're really friends. A purpose-filled relationship needs love because love sustains two people. Love comes from possessing the ability to endure; strengthening your partner when they need bolstering, and not just when they ask for help. Both people realize they can function successfully without the other, but they similarly acknowledge that they don’t want it without the other person. All relationships go through roller coaster experiences; the ups and downs, twists and turns, and the highs and lows; things that can derail a relationship. A purpose-filled relationship is sustained through the storms, because they know the shelter is there for them both. When you have love in a relationship, you have vision, direction, and endurance.

You can never have a purpose-filled relationship if you are unable to capture a vision of loving that person tomorrow. Truly loving someone isn't just a matter of imagining them in your future; it's living out that future each and every day with them. The bible says, "Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish..." (Proverbs 29:18, Amplified) Just as we need a vision from God to quicken our heart to love and commit to obey Him, we need a vision of love for that one person that quickens my heart with love, passion and a desire to commit my life to them.

There is absolutely nothing more fulfulling than loving another person! I realize that:
  1. No one can eat just one Lays potato chip
  2. Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sarah Lee
  3. You can't get enough of that Sugar Krisp
  4. Ford's are built tough, and
  5. Enterprise will come pick you up
But the truth is that none of those things surpass love, nor will they give you a vision to love.

I don't believe that I have ever been inpired by a thing, it's always been a person. A new car is nice, but it won't inspire me. Thrill me? Yes. But at some point, the thrill will be gone and I'm ready to move on to the next thrill.

Love isn't a thrill.

It's a willingness to surrender my will by demonstrating my love. John calls us to witness God's love when he says, "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us... (1 John 3:1, NASB) The Apostle Paul asks the question, "Who will separate us from the love of Christ?" (Romans 8:35, NASB)

When you love someone, there is nothing that can separate you from that love. Love for God, love of a parent, love of a child, love of a spouse; even death lacks the ability to steal your love for another.

That's the security of love.

Father God,

I long for You in the early morning before the sun rises. I seek you in the noon hour. At night, I kneel and call upon Your name. O God, worship and adore You. You are my strong tower and my Deliverer. Thank You for loving me so completely. Teaching me in turn how I ought to love; really love from my heart. Yes, I love Your blessings which enrich my life, but I seek You Lord. I'm amazed that You turned and considered me worthy of Your precious grace. I have yet to truly grasped Your love and grace, but I never tire of seeking to know You and the power of Your resurrection.

I lift up before You, husbands and wives, blessed by You with a love for one another; fulfilling their relationship purpose. I pray for those struggling in marriage, those lacking real vision, those who have yet to understand their purpose. Give them a vision Lord, excite them with passion and joy. Those of us living as single men and women need You as well O Lord. We love You too. Bless us to remain faithful to You. Amen Dear Lord Jesus, Amen.

Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte and Ginger).Spiritual Sunday's


micey said...

what a superbly terrific post! I drive the way you drive too. =]

Anonymous said...

Wow! Now that was thoughtful and good!


love, kelee


Charlotte said...

You make some very good points. I can identify with the driving thing as probably everyone does. What bothers me is when I drive away, turn the corner and wonder if I put the garage door down. Sometimes I turn around, go back to check and it is always down. But I feel better knowing for sure. Some things it is not good to put on auto pilot. A marriage is one of those things.

Ginger~~Enchanting Cottage said...

I thank the Lord always for having a husband that's my best friend.

Sharon said...

This was so good. Depth seems to be lacking in many areas of our culture these days. And never is it more apparent than in our relationships. As technology makes communication faster, it also makes it more impersonal and superficial (in my humble opinion). I thought your points on purpose in love were just great. (I also really liked the potato sack race image!)

Thanks for continuing your dedicated exploration into what the Lord has to say about love and relationships - especially marriage.