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Friday, February 13 2015
True Love Has Nothing To Do With Shades of Grey

February is heart month and with Valentine’s Day approaching lots of folks have their minds on affairs of the heart.

Let me just say that I am all about relationships. I think that would be obvious since I make my living attempting to help people have healthy, fulfilling relationships with self, others and God. So I love a great love story just like most of you.

 

Real Love… Fantasy or Reality…

We are wired to need love and to give love. We tend to be fascinated by a good love story. The idea of a damsel in distress and a prince charming coming to save her still captures our attention, and if we are completely honest we notice the desire within us for rescue, adventure and happily ever after.

There is good reason for these yearnings. We are created by God to be in relationship. We ARE created for adventure, love and happily ever after.  The problem lies in the many books, songs and movies that have painted a distorted picture of what real love is.  It has been simplified or manipulated, and often appears harmless, but it’s not.

As a result, our perspective and definition of what real love is continues to move away from reality or truth, and into fantasy. We believe that our need for love will be satisfied within a human relationship, where one person will meet all our needs and fulfill us: “He or She completes me.” It’s just not that simple, nor REAL.

 

It Almost Cost Me My Marriage…

For those of you who have read my book, The Perfecting Storm, you know that I struggled with this same belief system. Even though I grew up reading the Bible and loving God, my beliefs regarding love were influenced and formed by the media and worldly role models. These viewpoints had a negative affect on my marriage and me.

The scary thing is the affect was subtle and so much of it looked good, or even benign. I had no idea I was being seduced by lies that would lead me down a path of destruction. I bought into the promises that the media sold. I was lured into fantasy, which appeared like reality!

I would later realize how unhealthy these sorts of books were for the state of my heart. It was part of what led me to become dissatisfied with my husband…

“Why wasn’t he like the guys in the books/movies? How come he didn’t understand my feelings like they did? How come he couldn’t meet my needs like they could?” I started believing there was a man out there who could. And I started believing that I deserved to have him (who ever that was; no one in particular, I was just convinced based on what I read that there was one). Sound familiar? This is many people’s story.

 

Fifty Shades Is Not The Solution…

With the upcoming movie release of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, I am deeply concerned with how this will affect our constant struggle to understand and navigate real love. There are many ideas that are just plain false and that is where my concerns start.  The most obvious is that this story is portrayed as a “love story”.  It depicts that one person can heal/fix another, but it does it in the context of erotica, and some would even call it pornography. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about a healthy sex life, but I believe erotica is to remain private between a husband and wife. However, the media is helping us become desensitized to the need for sacredness.

Another concern is the number of marriages negatively affected by this story. Many have been deluded into the fantasy that a relationship can heal or fix them. Or, that they deserve a better more satisfying relationship, whether it’s emotional or sexual. Of course, this is not the first book/movie, nor will it be the last, that influences us in subtle negative ways, but due to it’s widespread popularity, and erotic content, I am concerned about its impact and people’s naiveté on its possible affect. These books and the movie are not a good handbook on how to build a healthy relationship.

 

There Is A Better Way And A Healthier Way…

Perhaps, we all need to stop and think, do our own research, and make informed decisions about what and whom will influence us. Ultimately, it's up to each of us individually to decide, but make no mistake: what we watch, listen to, and reflect upon affects us greatly!   My prayer is that good common sense will prevail as we use our God-given freedom to say no to the deceptive flow and yes to the very real things of God and all He has in store for us.  

Here are some things to consider….

  • Is what you are reading, watching or listening to good for your heart?
  • Does it draw you closer to your spouse?
  • Does it leave you with more peace and contentment than you already had?
  • Does it inspire you to love those who you are committed to more deeply and authentically, even sacrificially?
  • Does it draw you closer to loving as God intends for us to?  

OR….

  • Does it create a discontentment, obsession or desire to explore outside of your committed relationships?
  • Does it make you dissatisfied with your life? 
  • Does it draw you into risky, unhealthy behaviors and thoughts?
  • Does it lead you to focus on yourself instead of others?
  • Does it draw you closer to God or away?

 

 “We are allowed to do anything, but not everything is good for us to do. We are allowed to do anything, but not all things help us grow strong as Christians.” 1 Corinthians 10:23

 

God Cares About Your Heart…

Remember, God cares about your heart. It’s not about behavior management or what is ‘right or wrong’. The bigger issue is the state of your heart (which includes your mind). Does it lead you to Philippians 4:8?

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Let’s be smart and informed. What we see and read, influences how we think, which then influences how we feel and what we act upon. And that leads to our destinies, one decision at a time.

We ARE created for love, adventure, rescue and happily ever after…but the only person that can and will fill that place of longing is God. He is the perfect lover of our souls. Life with Him is a grand adventure; one that will go on for eternity. Let’s not settle for the counterfeit.  Let’s get the real thing!

This Valentine’s Day seek God’s heart for the true love you desire and need. He created us out of His love and for love. He desires for us to have fulfilling love relationships! May your day be filled with real, authentic and lasting love.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 07:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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Benefits of Weariness

 

WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.

 

However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.

 

Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 

 

It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.

 

It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.

 

“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”

 

And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 

 

BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.

 

And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.

 

“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”

 

That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.

 

Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!

 

We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.

 

The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.


Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?


NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.

 

As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.

 

Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.

 

In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.

 

Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

1020 Barber Creek Drive, Suite 203, Watkinsville, GA 30677  ///  706.543.7012  ///  info@angelhdavis.com

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