Romantic human love, when stretched thin by misuse and deification, acts like an obsession and lives like sin.
What do I mean by “misuse and deification”? Please allow me to break this down.
Most of all of us share a common desire to eventually be in a romantic human relationship. But surprisingly, at the end of the day, far fewer people desire a spiritual relationship with God— the Creator of possibility and the Giver of space for human relationships to be initiated.
Our most recent generations are being raised in homes with either a father or mother missing (usually a father), and that leaves children scrambling and fighting to feel loved— both in their broken home, and in the world. When they don’t find what they seek from their broken home, they will undoubtedly seek it from outside the home.
Where do they go? you ask.
Well, I can tell you the majority of times, they don’t go somewhere seeking closure, wisdom, or answers from a loving God. And from the viewpoint of a child, why would they? What children on their own accord are mature enough to desire such a thing as a relationship with God, or the experience of healthy spirituality? That would be more commonly instigated in a healthy home where a mother and father represent spiritual figures in which the children are inspired and taught what it means for a husband to love his wife, and for a wife to respect her husband; for the husband to lead his family and his wife to be submissive. That happens in a healthy Christian home. In non-theistic homes, and/0r in homes where there is one biological parent missing—(or both, in the case that children are not adopted by a mature, loving, selfless couple)—the natural, healthy portrayal of a husband and wife (loving leadership and submissiveness) is lost— as well as the sufficient expression of love each child desires and needs in order to grow and develop in healthy, natural ways; “healthy and natural”– meaning– they learn and accept that they are in fact loved and that life is a good thing to look forward to each day, not some dark cloud to dread.
Long enough after this life phase has been exhausted– in both adolescence and early adulthood when one or both parents are missing– children have learned not only what it means to rebel, but also the ignorance of the importance of setting boundaries between themselves and the world; the allocation and wise use of intuition and discernment in certain life situations (finding a job, communicating effectively with your spouse, discovering a new/better living situation, etc.), as well as the desultory use of little or no stricture on where to find the answer to whether or not they are–or even can be–loved sufficiently**. They are zealous, but careless, in their ability to find what they need; desperately searching with the right intention, but hopelessly unaware that what they’re actually looking into are skewed distortions of acceptance and love in the forms of promiscuous sex, drugs, alcohol/partying, overspending/overeating, and even gangs/occults.
**(On my note on stricture with regards to finding the answer to love, I am describing the dangerous, misguided choice of any individual to join an occult or gang rather than that of something like a church community, or other social organization founded by trusted individuals with the genuine intent to provide space for validation, love, support, and the extension of a listening ear, as well as the arrangement of events with the sole purpose focused on providing entertainment and time for human connection–particularly for people living in unhealthy homes. Whereas gangs force you to prove yourself with violence, lies, betrayal, and secrecy; church communities make time and room for connection by providing the space conducive for authenticity without judgment or censure; allowing you– in fact, preferring that you–be your most sincere version of yourself for the purpose or having a place to feel safe and accepted without having to prove anything first.)
During my seven year stint as an atheist in my teens and early twenties, my god was love (conditional, expectant love– not centered or based on altruism or selflessness, of course). My response to life and its agonies (divorce of my parents, a dramatic change in home life, transition from elementary to middle school, death of family members, and more–all in less than one year) was to search for love in a place more believable and convincing. Girls seemed to hold up a sign that rang a louder truth to me than religion, and so I retreated to them. At that time, to me, having a girlfriend meant you were “somebody” and special, and that was exactly what I felt like I wasn’t, so I went searching for a girl to become my girlfriend to solve my problem. That was basically my life pursuit. In class I would daydream a lot, not really focusing on academics. I would work hard enough to pass, but I didn’t care about school; I cared far more about being loved in a way that wasn’t sufficient for me at home.
So my question returns to me: Where did I go?
My life as an atheist looking to girls to answer, complete, and solve my deepest longest for a relationship (the kind that didn’t even involve them, nonetheless) was thoroughly disheartening, disappointing, emasculating, and exhausting. One after one I would try to find a girl who could complete me, but rarely would a girl give me more than a conversation. There was a romantic relationship, yes–I did eventually achieve my status of being “somebody and special”–but even when I experienced such a shoddy reward tantamount to a desperation not even related to females— I could feel something was missing. There was constantly something my girlfriend wasn’t giving me that I wanted more of than anything, and she never provided it. Little did I understand for many years to come that no woman ever could have provided it. This absence inside made me angry and sad; disappointed and discouraged. And during the time I was in that space of desperate needs gone ultimately unsatisfied, I obstinately refused to consider faith, religion, or spiritual activity— any seemingly irrelevant, threatening**, or radical notion of a God written to me from the pages of some two-thousand year old book.
(**You may be wondering why I used the word “threatening” when describing the notion of God. Well, let me explain that. To a stubborn atheist like myself at that time, God was the epitome of arguments against a non-theist like me. Not only was He the argument against my disbeliefs, but He was ultimately the answer I was unwilling to accept to every question I wasn’t brave enough to ask. He was the one threat between me and reason, cornering me between choosing purpose and fate: Without Him, I had no purpose– and while I didn’t believe in Him, I denied the notion of fate (which denies free will, and there was no way I was giving that up), which forced me into the most minuscule space between my doubts, questions, and the edge of an answerless cliff called atheism.)
Truth is, readers, I was treating conditional love from a girl as an idol by worshipping lust and infatuation as my gods.
If there are any readers out there like me who tried–or is trying still–to replace the love God has for you with the love of another human, hear me now: You will never be satisfied with human love, and you will never find what you’re looking for until you surrender to God. That isn’t the way God created us, and when we try to deviate from our natural design (the design which God created us to naturally function; to need Him), we fall short, feel disappointed, and are always left unfulfilled. This never fails. People have gone to no end trying to replace the pain left in the void that is God’s missing presence (“missing” in the sense that we refuse to acknowledge the Truth that He is there), many times going to extremes of the renunciation of desire itself in order to rescind our belief in the need for anything besides our own presence (our inner connection to all parts of ourselves), which is what Buddhism preaches. But this will not replace God’s love; this will only prolong the distortion that we don’t need anyone’s love because love is itself a connection–a desire–and the belief of Buddhists is that all desire leads to suffering (which leads back to the argument of why suffering exists—something I’ve touched on a lot in previous posts, here, here, and here).
I may dig deeper into Buddhism in another post perhaps, but for now I am only using that for an example as to how so many people will go to any extreme necessary to deny the existence of God in order to live life evading the original hurt from the need they didn’t have met while still developing as a child. When a need goes unmet for an extended period of time as a child, that child may grow up to deify–to worship and treat as a god–lust, sex, and infatuation. These are the closest to human connection we get without actually attempting to be authentic in the process, while subjecting ourselves to the unguided, aimless belief that we don’t need a relationship with the Creator of relationships.
Without an honest, genuine, open relationship with Christ in our hearts, we misuse romantic love by deifying the feeling itself, replacing the relationship we seek with lust, rather than treating love as the result of something greater than the conditional, lustful love that we as humans idolize– misusing love as the answer to a deeper-rooted void.
Our void is our denial of the purpose of humanity beyond Earth; not that we don’t have a purpose, but that we refuse to acknowledge the depth of the purpose of our existence, the complex intricacies of our creation, and the Truth–the evidence–that humanity is capable and worth so much more than settling for lust. We were not born to solve each other’s problems in the sense that we become each other’s answers; we were born to discover how deeply we need God, and to use each other as a bridge to return to our relationship with the Creator of relationships. Without our relationship to God, relationships themselves would be pointless and directionless, and they would certainly not point us back to God–and therefore there would be no point to relationships, and that truth in itself would most likely undermine and uproot the very existence of any relationship. Is there any confusion then, why there are relationships; why our story as a human species on Earth does involve that Truth? If we refuse to acknowledge the must-be-acknowledged truth: That human relationships would be pointless and therefore non-existent if they were not meant to point back to the most important relationship (God)–then our denial points to a part of ourselves that has not yet found an answer. And I encourage you to do that today: Find your answer. If our relationship with God is not the most important relationship–and the key purpose to why there are relationships–then why do we have any? What does relationship point to for you, if not God? What does the result end with?
Readers, this comes down to a Truth that I had to discover for myself after a stint as a non-believer. If you are a non-believer, I have been where you are. I also know now there is more to life and faith than I believed there was while I was an atheist. That needs to be evidence for you that there is more to this life and relationships than sex and lust. Those are just temporary fixes for the moment; transient releases of dopamine in your body and brain that will in just a matter of time elude you once more. You don’t need sex (yup–I said it). You need God. And as much as it sounds like I’m telling you this as if I am the master of this subject, where I’m really talking from is the standpoint that I have been to the lowest of lows emotionally–to the point of trying to end my life–because I have tried to see life without God— and it’s morbid, dark, and broken. I have tried having relationships with human beings without God, and they’re empty. If you don’t agree, I strongly believe you’re hiding something from yourself. But don’t let me speak for you! Feel free to comment below. This post is for you, to encourage you to understand there is importance in the relationship with God because it fulfills the rest of life as well. Without it, there is no valid reason for anything.
Why live that way?
If you are misusing human love to try to sort out the emptiness of a faithless life, please consider my words. Jesus loves you! We could never do anything to earn it–He gave us His love freely. This is the kind of love you will never find from any human being— not ever. It’s impossible; we were made from God, therefore only God has the capacity to do in full what humans can only do partially. A car is a creation of man (inspired by God, however). So a car may work properly for a while, but not the way it does in a man’s head. A man can continue building new parts and innovate ideas for better car parts to work more effectively, but the car is never going to have the capacity that is in the imagination of any man. Likewise, God created human to need us: Cars would never work on their own– and even if humans figured out a way to make that happen, the device or machinery necessary to implement such goal would be temporary (ultimately, even if in the course of many years–the car would still break down). Again–likewise–life on Earth is temporary. Even relationships can be fleeting. They only point to Christ (cars point to their maker), they are not meant to replace Him.
Think about about and let it sink in.
You are loved by the God of Creation and the Creator of relationships. You need not wait for some person to make you feel like a king or queen; let God love you and fill you up to the full with a love beyond understanding. Allow that love to seep into your soul and resonate with the way you wish things would truly be: That your desires are truly relevant, they matter, and you don’t need to cut emotions out of your life to be fulfilled. Just soften your heart and allow Jesus to enter. His love is the answer to every emptiness and hurt. All suffering falls away like shackles from your wrist when you dig into your heart, realizing and accepting that Someone so omnipotent loved you enough to create a universe for you, send His son to die for you, and raised again to ensure your future with Him. You are loved by a Being very powerful, very mighty, and very humble and loving. There is no God greater!
Be blessed today, readers! You are loved!!