Revisiting our way of Loving
Donald & Lorraine Gingras are missionaries in Quebec through World Partners – Heart Cry for Quebec ministry.
Recently Donald delivered this presentation to a men’s breakfast in Montreal.
Revisiting our way of loving….
What causes people to commit suicide? It’s not about the lack of alcohol, sex, drugs, money or material possessions… it is about “NOT FEELING LOVED, AND NOT BEING ABLE TO LOVE.” According to God’s plan, we are created to love and to be loved. By the way, the Great Commandment is about loving God with all of our faculties… and our neighbor as ourselves.
Have you ever been told: “You do not understand me!”Or “You should change!”? Have you ever done something seemingly harmless and seen an explosion of anger from your spouse as if you had stepped on a landmine? Are you part of the many couples who do not seem able to meet each other’s needs or have no real intimate life together? Are you part of those couples and singles who suffer in silence? Should we resign ourselves to accept that men are from “Mars” and women from “Venus”? No, there is more to life; God’s plan has so much more to offer.
Emotional separation walls
What can we do when the walls of our heart are filled with cracks? Crippled by discomfort, many will instinctively deny, conceal or attempt to close the gaps on the surface, leaving gaping, festering holes underneath. When relationships deteriorate, the woman, who is often more sensitive and needs reassuring, will make an attempt at reparation through communication. As for the man, prouder and feeling inadequate and especially not equipped to explore feelings and emotions, he will leak awkwardly in his cave. While women are more open to emotional intimacy, the men avoid it. In fact, our culture has managed to instill in our boys that ‘men don’t cry’. A man is strong and phlegmatic; a girl is fragile and emotional. A man is admired for his skills, his tone of voice, muscular character. He learns to find value in performance and success, proving himself, seeking to become this hero figure. For him to consider the path of feelings and emotions appears far too risky, because the perspective of the unknown and potential for failure does not attract him at all. And so he stalls.
Can God help us?
What to do when the waves of emotions continue to haunt our relationships with each other? Suffer in silence, sink into denial, impose a psychological contentment, fall into spiritual legalism, look for projects, or try to change others around us? I suggest that when we get to this point, there is an opportunity for a divine appointment to review the basis of our relationships through understanding the state of our hearts.
The main theme of the Bible is that God wants to save men and women from the eternal wrath of God and eternal separation from God. Equally, we can all benefit from understanding how God’s mercy is all about bringing human beings into reconciliation with each other also.
Here, we are talking about a way to understand His way of loving the world despite the evil and twisted heart (Jeremiah 17: 9) of man, and his idolatrous (Joshua 24: 23) approach. When you read the Bible, you can discover how the heart is vital for God no matter what. Indeed, in the original Hebrew and Greek languages of the Bible, the word heart and its 3 synonyms appear in nearly 2,000 verses. God must surely have good reasons to tackle the heart! (Deut. 30:6)
A life in truth and light: Isaiah 58: 12, Amos 9: 11, Job 28: 11; 2 Cor. 4: 6, 2 Cor. 3: 18
If humans are mostly attracted by outward appearances, don’t you know that God is primarily concerned with the heart? (1 Sam 16:7). God knows that real change in attitudes and behaviors are only brought about through the transformation of the heart. Jesus in his mission statement (Luke 4. 18-20), took care to specify that He came to heal the brokenhearted, to open the eyes of the blind, to set free the captives and release the oppressed. Jesus was talking about more than just the physical sense of these things; he was talking about the condition of the heart. Jesus loved people without distinction, he took care of their hearts by accepting them, listening to them, demonstrating understanding, by bringing the light (1 Jn. 1.5-19) and the truth to reign in the heart (Ps. 51.6; Psalm 139. 23 -24 Jn. 3.21), because this is what frees the heart. (Jn. 8:32). “You will hear the truth and this truth will set you free.”
True love, a matter of heart
True Love is embarking on the path of emotional intimacy; it is willing to take care of the heart like Jesus has demonstrated. (Joshua 1:5). The heart is the receiver of communication from God (Isaiah 40: 1-2; Eze. 3: 10, Hosea 2: 14) and humans (Gen. 50: 21; Judges 19: 3; Ruth 2: 13). Do you live this kind of intimacy? To ignore, flee and crush our feelings and emotions, urges us to reject God’s plan.
Heart of stone: A heart “locked”
Asking your heart to be insensitive, will, in the long run, build a “heart of stone.” We’re talking about a heart that closes and locks because it is resolved not to suffer. It becomes insensitive (Matt. 13: 15) in it’s relationship with God and with others. This is idolatry because a locked heart will manifest itself with pride, selfishness, self-sufficiency and self-protection; it tries to go alone in life without the help of others or God. We reach the point where we wonder why a relationship with God is cold, reading the Bible is not significant, prayer is meaningless, relationships are painful. Yet, emotions and feelings are in fact vital signs, and it is a gift from God to be able to understand the state of our hearts. There’s nothing wrong with feelings and getting emotional. On the contrary, a heart that lacks emotions and feelings will gradually perish, like having emotional and spiritual leprosy. (Ps.73. 27; Ezekiel. 11: 18-21, 36: 26-28)
Where are you looking for a solution?
Do you belong to those people who suffer in silence? (Psalm 143: 4) Are you the kind of person that needs to explore all the “Mars and Venus” of this world in search of hope? I suggest that rather than chasing intellectual excuses for your state, you accept the special appointment with Jesus, invest in reviewing the moods of your heart and find out where your painful rooted hurts and wounds are found. In this context, Jesus gives this amazing invitation: “Come to me you who are weary and burdened, you who are depressed because you are carrying too heavy a burden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and receive my instructions and put yourself in my school because I am gentle and humble of heart. And your life will find peace and its fulfillment in the rest. “(Matt. 11.28-29; Psalm 147: 2-3; Jer. 33: 6).
I suggest that Revisiting Love is to discover how God understands us and wants to take care of our heart and to heal it; it is also to put ourselves on the path of the school of Jesus to learn how to take care of each other’s hearts. (Matt. 22:37-39). What prevents you from accepting Jesus’ invitation today?