Love should be simple, and it really is, but we make it very complicated. Love has its own attributes and when we know them we know love. God describes love as something based on character and not a feeling. Love is patient, kind, long suffering, etc. We think, or believe, its supposed to be a feeling. The emotional high we get when we meet someone is attraction. We are supposed to have that too. If not, no one would ever connect with anyone and “couple”.
The sexual part of loving someone can be an emotional high, but it should be much more profound and deeper than that. It is a physical connection that has spiritual, emotional, and mindful components to the intimate action. The type of depth we can experience during sexual intimacy can not be obtained early on before establishing a deeper understanding of love and devotion. Basically what I am saying is, without getting to know the character of love then the sexual encounter is only physical. There is no devotion in the mere physical part of having sex. There is no intimacy in just going through the sexual motions. All of the things required for the characteristics of love happen aside from having sex. They are deeper, have depth of understanding, and come to agreement even if it is to agree to disagree.
Compassion, as a part of love is necessary to give sexual intimacy meaning. Without compassion there is no true passion, only lust. Do you see where I am going with this now? Can you see why God wants the physical sexual connection to be within the bonds of marriage and devotion? It takes time to even come to understand how the characteristics of love happen between two people. This also takes commitment. Within that commitment there is a discovery of the passion that comes from true compassion and depth of insight into one another.
So often couples come together after they have had a sexual encounter. This is only lust or to fulfill what is perceived to be a feeling of some form of love. Although it might seem loving there is no devotion connected to it, therefore it is merely an encounter and physical exchange. Basically said, sex without love is not real intimacy but only a lustful encounter. This is so mistaken in society today. For some reason many have been led to believe that once a couple has a sexual encounter they are then sealed as a couple. Not so. Physical sex does not bring devotional love. Real love brings devotion within the physical encounter. We get it backwards. No wonder there are so many divorces!
Love and devotion say, ” I will be there for you when you are at your lowest, when life has sent a curve ball, when finances don’t seem to add up, when we don’t see eye to eye, and when the darkness seems bigger than the light.” Real love and devotion bring growth, and can feel frustrating at times, as two people struggle to become one within their partnered bond. This struggle is the dance we call true romance. It does not feel great at the time, but our frustration is the character of love trying to come to understanding. Two people are never the same. We are all unique. True attraction comes from getting to know a person from the inside out, not the other way around. This can be an easier process or it can be extremely hard. The choice is ours.
Do you confuse sex with love? Maybe take some time to meditate on the qualities and character of love as God has designed it to be. Then compare those qualities to what you present to another and what that other person presents to you. Can you come to an agreement with one another and go deeper into the commitment of love and devotion? If not, then the physical part is a waste of time. We often call having sex, “making love”, but the true making of love is to receive loves character and give out of that wisdom and understanding every single day, especially when it is hardest to do.
Love goes the long haul. Physical sex will not deepen it but love can deepen the physical connection. Meditate on this. Go into the Bible’s explanation of true love and compare it to what you feel you understand about it. Put it into the context of your own character. Is your love patient, kind, long suffering? Does it refuse to keep record of wrongs, but forgives as God forgives? Is your understanding of love one that is present for another because of true devotion and not duty? Deep questions. Real love will always be devotional, commitment oriented, and have a depth of kindness even when we have become angry, upset, and have discord. Real love is like a rubber band that will always spring a couple back into harmony after a hard bought if misunderstanding.
This is an opportunity to check your depth if insight and understanding of yourself and how you love your partner and also yourself. Are you patient with yourself? Do you give yourself compassion and forgiveness as well? Do you wallow in the wrong things you have done or do you keep no record of wrongs? I know I have given you a lot to think about. Maybe some meditative journal time is in order here!
Loving you from here,
Dr Jenine Marie Howry