Have you every been in a conversation, and suddenly the things you are saying make sense in a way that you didn’t anticipate, didn’t plan and have no idea where the idea or word picture came from? Yeah, that’s God. He shows up. He does that frequently in recovery for me, because otherwise there’s no way I could continue being a good leader, accountability partner or sponsor. Even as messed up as I feel I am at times, He is bigger than my messes, and His healing power is more all-encompassing that any earth-bound concept I may have.
So let’s jump into this. We’ve all been young teenagers, or maybe we were even younger when the first feelings of emotional puppy-love hit. You see someone and then BAM, it hits you, hearts, flowers, you see yourself happy with no one else for the rest of your life. Every love song on the radio you hear is written about the feelings you have for your beloved. They can do no wrong. Your passion for them is beyond reason. Adults in this stage know it as infatuation, some call it lust, though it doesn’t have to be overtly sexual.
For me, I called it being in love with love. I loved how being in love with someone made me feel. I loved the high, the emotional gush of swirling pinks, purples and reds, the way I believed my future husband would sing love songs to me everyday, looking me in the eye so soulfully, just like some kind of romance novel hero. Yeah, it was nauseating.
If you are in a relationship with someone, then the point is to get to know them well enough that some of this wears off and you develop an appreciation for their shortcomings as well as all their wonderful qualities. This the process of the hot, gushy emotional love cooling a bit and developing into committed love (see the whole chapter 1 Cor 13).
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 COR 4-7
For some, emotional love never develops into a committed relationship that has the materials necessary to build a marriage and family. The Beatles song All you Need is Love works for getting along with your neighbor, but maybe not so well in making a long-term marriage last. Especially when addiction or other habits/hurts are involved.
It is my experience that some people, such as persons in my extended family, never developed the commitment component of love, only the emotion component. This left them like the chap who built their house upon the sand. A storm would blow in and poof, the dwelling would be gone. Both pieces are needed for the cement to set into a solid, viable structure, capable of supporting a family. Some people can develop this in recovery later in life through willingness to commit to the program, I have seen it happen.
Even though I did tend toward letting love yank my chain a bit, I realized the destruction that could be caused by letting it run rampant without giving sober consideration to the commitment involved in love. God shows his extravagant love for us in many ways, both emotional and committed. This again shows balance, what we are to emulate and to strive for.