Oh that dreaded day in which most men loathe is right around the corner: Valentine's Day. While women love the notion of romance, most men feel huge amounts of pressure and curse the heavens that some dude name St. Valentine ever existed. (Men, you can at least feel better knowing that the Roman Emperor Claudius had him beheaded in the 3rd century. And no, it wasn't because he purchased his lady the wrong gift:)
I've witnessed this celebratory day go off the rails for couples, often in restaurants or other public places. Usually the guilty party are younger couples who have yet to understand that real love goes deeper than a cardboard box of chocolates, flowers or jewelry. (Guys, I gotta speak up for us gals, however, that such things certainly don't hurt!)
But as a blogger to many, I feel compelled to address how we can use our age and experience to assist others who are struggling in matters of the heart. For sure, sometimes our personal lives are as distasteful as those tooth-breaking candy hearts that come with simple orders like KISS ME or BE MINE. Help me Jesus. If only it were that easy.
How can we help ourselves as well as others to seek a more permanent and delicious type of love? Furthermore, what is our level of involvement when we observe heartbreak before our very eyes?
Have you ever asked this question (see orange box:) after hearing your significant other say something TOTALLY inappropriate to you? Even worse, did your blood pressure rise after watching your adult child's boyfriend/girlfriend say something so rude that you’re counting down the minutes 'til the come to Jesus meeting?Instinct for this writer would be to jump up, tell the guy off, and yell "don't let the door hit you on the way out!" Sheesh.
Oh, but we also know there are repercussions for that type of behavior. Often, the loved one you're trying to defend may not be prepared to get out of such a tough situation yet. Serious feelings may be involved that the outsider looking in may not understand. Perhaps she's scared of being alone and puts up with way more than she should because of low self-esteem? Friends, emotional codependence is a very real thing.
So what then? Which heart do you offer from your box of assorted miscellaneous sayings? Think carefully, for advice from friends can have long- lasting repercussions.
Here are two big suggestions from Cupid, er, I mean this Taos writer of words:
1. Seek God's word and act accordingly. Remind them that in any relationship in our lives — romantic, friendship, family, etc. — it's key for us to be humble, patient, kind, and eager to listen. Feel free to print the reminder below from Ephesians and glue it to your forehead.. Just kidding! A refrigerator will do nicely.
Keep in mind that If we channel the Holy Spirit in all that we do, we'll receive the same qualities back in a partner or friend. Whether you're giving advice or accepting it, I'm finding it's better to have a few close friends than a lot of flakey companions that make suggestions solely based on their own personality. Think about the heart and personality of your loved one and how best to counsel them based on these factors. BE HONEST BUT BE KIND. Perhaps you ARE offering advice based of you knowing your friend all too well. Be brave and be willing to take the risk out of love and obedience to Him. Sometimes I flinch at advice I'm given from friends, but often, I must admit, they're right on target. I just need alone time to let it sink in. On other occasions, I wonder if they're just as mixed up as I am. After all we're all flawed humans in need of God's grace. But we must at least TRY.
2. Nourish and take care of your relationships by checking in and staying in touch the old-fashioned way: Call on your phone or get in your car and GO. I'll be the first to throw myself under the bus that I'm too much of texting queen. It's easy, it's fast and it's also the lousiest form of communication on the planet. Period! Smartphone users send and receive five times more texts than they make and receive calls. WHY? Texting allows us to avoid real eye contact and a person's facial expression. This is convenient when it comes to saying something uncomfortable. Also, people have become emotionally fragile. Consequently, it's hard for them to handle “awkward silences” or “disapproving tones of voice”. By contrast, a text message gives the recipient the freedom to react and not to show his or her real feelings. To those of you who've been the recipient of such exorbitant and distant communication by yours truly, I humbly apologize. I'm a work in progress for sure.
It is my hope that the above reminders are of some small benefit. But sadly, some relationships simply cannot be salvaged, regardless of prayer and endless attempts on behalf of both parties. Perhaps this link can help you evaluate your own life, or perhaps you may wish to send this link to a friend after all else fails.. Again, that's after all else fails. https://www.womansday.com/relationships/dating-marriage/advice/g2587/signs-your-marriage-might-be-over/
I realize my thousands of blog followers are aware that I went through a painful divorce this past year. Some may wonder if this blog is written out of anger and bitterness. Quite honestly, nothing could be further from the truth. I hate divorce. Hate it. This post is to provide counsel to friends and loved ones, hoping they might avoid an ordeal that often feels worse that death.
Most certainly, I could not have survived 2019 if it had not been without my faith and my friends. They loved, counseled, cried, laughed and banged at my door, refusing to abandon their grief-stricken blonde friend--one who often prefers her safe turtle shell rather than the arms of a friend who just wants to whisper, "I'm here and I'm not going away."
Oh dear readers, thank God for such people in your own life. Show them your gratitude in a personal way they deserve. Put away your cheap pepto, tasteless candy forms of love and be the real deal. Be brave, take the risk and love deeply. Trust me, your heart will thank you for it.
Give your heart away this Valentine's Day and get ready.. Love may just flow in unlike anything you've experienced before.
Brightest of Blessings,