Characteristics of Love: Love is Not Self-Seeking

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Not being self seeking can be confusing at first. On one hand we can not give of anything until we have it within ourselves. Being self assured, self giving, and providing self care are all good things. We do need to seek our healing, our inner light, and to seek out what is best in our lives. We give out of the overflow of what we have and who we are. We also self seek when we seek God to an extent. We seek to lose fear, define our lives, search out our purpose and expand our horizons. These are all great things and we should all do them!

I believe what the author is saying here is that love does not behave selfishly with an attitude of entitlement over the needs of others. It’s very different to be self loving from being selfish and self centered in an arrogant way. Arrogance is a form of pride that lords itself over others. The type of self seeking that love is not is the kind that says, “I deserve more than you because I am better than you are.” True love never sees anyone that way, but sees us all as equal even when we don’t all behave on the playground.

We might have different places we fill in business, in life, or in family, but we are all equal in God’s sight. To self seek is to seek without God, from ego and not through Spirit. God’s Spirit is Holy and there is nothing prideful or arrogant within the love that is held in God’s Holiness. Self seeking is also a state of division. It states that a person feels they are higher or above all others and therefore deserve preference over others. It denies the Oneness that Jesus prayed to “the Father” about.

When we are looking to embody true God-love we do not seek preference over others but see one another as equal. We understand that we are not completely whole without one another. Everyone is in a state of “becoming”, so not everyone will be on the same spiritual path as another. Jesus did not come to the earth to just visit so He could establish a set of people who would have it all and others would not. Truth says Jesus came for the whole world, to set people free, to show the way, to relieve us all of condemnation, to pour out grace, to teach healing, and point the way toward eternity. Jesus laid down His life for EVERY human being ever created and came to this planet. That means people who were before, who were then, and who were to be. Literally EVERYONE. Not just those who believe as He does but even those who do not believe at all. Jesus was and is the supreme example of love if we ever saw one. He displayed a love that was never self seeking; a love that laid itself down for those who needed it more.

Do you want to embody this kind of love? Its hard when our human side always will compete to interfere. I believe this comes from not being healed from past trauma. We only act and react poorly from our soul scars. When we are healed and clean from those things then God within us can become bigger and more profoundly present. Remember Peter in the bible? People were healed just walking into Peter’s shadow. Peter did not receive any special preference from God or special grace. Jesus said we all could do greater things than even He had. When He said, “all” he meant everyone. Only pure love and faith could be that profound as to heal others with just being present. Isn’t that the express image of God’s love?

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

 

True Love and Sexual Intimacy

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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