I know from the start that by writing on this questionable subject that you, my amazing reader, might have some presuppositions pop into your head about why I'm writing this. I hope to defuse these before they even get implanted because there is nothing worse then having someone come up and comfort me about being single. I'm not a widow, I don't have a disease, I'm going to be ok! If you see me and you do that...I may shun you from my blog ;)
First, I'm not sitting here in my room, lonely, with e-harmony popped up in a corner just waiting to be matched with the love of my life. (If you are one of the few who this has worked for I hope you know I'm not knocking you, it's just not for me) Second, I'm not doing this out of some prideful, "please look at me" attention grab, trying to show myself as sensitive. I just have come to some realizations about things in the past couple of months and I know I'm not the only person to see this stuff. A lot of singles do and only talk to a couple people about it! Finally, everything I do is to exalt and magnify my God. Period. My singleness is something to rejoice in and I find many people who don't do that! As if their life isn't complete! While I understand, and admittedly face those same emotions, I actually really do enjoy being a bachelor and all the freedoms that entails. While it has it's setbacks, I'm not willing to give it up just yet. Which leads me to my actual thoughts about singleness.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her"(Ephesians 5:25) I have not been able to get this verse out of my mind since I wrote my last blog. It has just overwhelmed me! First, we have to ask the question of how Christ "loved the church". What exactly does that mean? Think of everything Christ did for us?
(1) "but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." Philippians 2:7
(2) "who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father" Galatians 1:4
I could keep going on how Christ loved the church. It is a pretty profound and demanding idea. Christ did not just whisper sweet nothings in the ears, He died for His bride! I was thinking about this today that Christ had to wait almost 30 years before His official ministry began. He met tons of people throughout His life and He knew that He was the answer to their questions. He knew He was the one to save their soul. Yet, He waited for God's timing, He waited for God's sending! He didn't want to rush meeting His bride! Now obviously that might be a little of a stretch but the Bible says clearly that a husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the Church. Jesus had to trust God's timing for OUR salvation. His bride which God gave to Him. How much more then should we be patient for God's right timing in our relationship. Especially with our future spouses.
The second issue of this passage in Ephesians is the issue of "love". My brother will be glad that I bring C.S. Lewis into this because he's been ranting and raving about Lewis' book "The Four Loves". The one which Lewis' associates relationships with is the Greek Word Eros. Now we easily think of this as erotic but that is not what Lewis means. I find Lewis' definition of Eros astounding because it is something which I would not expect.
It is indifferent he states. How can it be indifferent? If you think about it though this makes perfect sense. In fact, this is the beginning of the answer to why I am single. Eros is indifferent because it is not based on what I CAN GET from a person, it's indifferent to that fact, it is totally based on what I can give to them. With no desire for anything to be given back. That is romantic love at its fullest, biblical capacity. That is what Lewis meant.
I think for many guys, maybe even guys who are in relationships now, we have such a tendency to control. It is truly scary how I've seen this worked out in my own life, wither in a close examination of my own internal reactions or the sad outworking of a true life story. We so easily fit Lewis' warning concerning Eros "Love begins to be a demon the moment it becomes a god." When we act like a god in our relationship we think we can create, we think we can demand, we think we can move someone else to our will. We find ways of doing it. We find way of manipulating. We find ways of forcing a girl out of her comfort zone because we are out of ours. We make our own emotions, not hers, the god of our relationship and by doing so cripple any woman who is unfortunate enough to care about us.
I have this god rise up in so many ways it has disgusted me. When I read that Ephesians passage I began to think of what "love" is. I can only fall back on 1 Corinthians 13 and while everyone quotes this verse, there is one part which really stuck out. "It [love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (13) It may be sappy, it may sound redundant, it may sound even impossible, yet the command of the man is to be this to his wife. I don't know if I'm there yet. I still battle such selfish, animal, reactions when I don't get my way. I don't act on them, but I think them. I have witnessed (more then I ever wish to have) what happens when men act on them and it has scared me more then anything I can ever have imagined.
I am not in a relationship because I don't know if I can love a woman like Christ loves the church. Frankly, in many ways I love myself a little to much for comfort. This may just be because I haven't found the right girl. Maybe all of this will change when I do? I just know in my dealings; I'm not very patient, I can be not very kind, I do kind of boast, I am definitely tend to be proud, I do envy, I am self-seeking, I do keep records of wrong, and sadly I can get angry. I want to give myself to someone who doesn't have to deal with this. And while I will always have some of these issues, no one ever loves without mistakes, I want my future wife to have the best she can get. Until I know that I can give that, I focus on my pursuit of lady wisdom. Mrs. Bell deserves Superman.
"When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."
Monday, May 5, 2008
Posted by Brother Bell at 11:05 PM