Thursday, February 9, 2012

"On Fire": So, What's Your Love Relationship Like? WITH YOURSELF?

"So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”---Luke 10:27(NKJV)

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”---Buddha

Hey Ladies...

Just a bit of food for thought. If you're one to check out any daily news feeds, you may have caught the story about former Victoria's Secret model, Kylie Bisutti stepping down because...well, for a few reasons: 

"...the more I was modeling lingerie, and lingerie isn't clothing, I just started becoming more uncomfortable with it because of my faith.'...My body should only be for my husband and it's just a sacred thing...I didn't really want to be that kind of role model for younger girls because I had a lot of younger Christian girls that were looking up to me and then thinking that it was okay for them to walk around and show their bodies in lingerie to guys."

And while this blog isn't really about her, because the focus of "On Fire" is to prepare us for marriage, being that she's been married for a few years now, let me just say "Big ups!" to her and her beloved. One, because she was married *after* she won the model search that earned her the coveted (literally) spot. Removing herself is about to change the face of their marriage (and finances) as they knew it as newlyweds...significantly. And two, for her to be where she is now, to me, it speaks to one of the main things that a marriage is supposed to do: support spiritual growth.

However, the main reason why I thought she would be a really good intro to this particular subject is that it takes *real self love* to make certain sacrifices. Because of her love for her God, herself, her husband and her influence on others, she walked away from a *very lucrative position* and a career that has put many a model on the supermodel map. For those of us who may not have that as a personal goal, insert one of your biggest dreams in the "Victoria's Secret Model" blank, *have it realized*, and then choose to walk away from it because it's not what's best for you.

Yeah. That's BIG.

Because I do quite a bit of marriage counseling, I read on the subject matter...*a lot*. Yesterday, I happened upon (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) a piece entitled, "Love Lessons No.2: Love Takes Work (Sex Does, Too!)" Now, most of us are single and so the sex part? Yeah. Not so much (LOL). OK, but there were some things that the author said about love that I think applies whether you "have a Valentine" or not:

"I hope you find this idea helpful: to take a step back and view your relationship as something outside yourself—something that needs your attention, care, and hard work in order to keep it alive. This basic attitude replaces a common misconception that good relationships come effortlessly. While we may wish it and Hollywood may sell it, it isn't so. You've got to work at love to keep it alive and well.

You see, good relationships are more like house plants than like weeds. Weeds grow without any care. Good relationships die without it. Since I have such a brown thumb, every house plant I have ever owned has died because I haven't kept a close eye on it. I didn't care enough to make the effort to find the right conditions of sunshine, oxygen and water for it to grow. Luckily, I care more about people than house plants, so I try to do better!

Love takes work. It takes effort to make the time and space in our lives to tend to our most important relationships. We are tired. We are busy. Add school, professional desires and commitments, children, chores, money, worries, health concerns, and obligations of all kinds.  There just doesn't seem to be enough time or energy left. But our relationships need us to find the room, to make the room. We have to work hard to remember that if we don't find room for them, we lose them."

LOVE TAKES WORK. In *any kind of love relationship*, work is required.

There's some stock art integrated within the article that says, "No one falls in love by choice, it is by chance. No one stays in love by chance, it is by work. And no one falls out of love by chance, it is by choice." Now, I'm gonna take a while to process the first sentence (I'll have to look up the word "chance" at some point), but I dig the rest of that. A lot of times when we think about a relationship being work, we consider our romantic or platonic situations and sometimes, we may even think about God (although, I think most of believe that he is to do more work than we do-SMH).

But what about the love relationship that we have with ourselves? *How much work do we put into that?* How much *effort* do we put into being patient with ourselves? How much *exertion* is used in speaking to our own beings with kindness? How *productive* are we at seeking out the truth about who we are, what we need and are deserving of? Indeed, why do we think someone should work hard at loving us when we don't do it? And sometimes, the evidence of this is in the kind of people that we *choose* to love us.

They don't work hard because we don't work hard. At loving ourselves.

It's worth mentioning, as much as we need to hear it, that loving our neighbors as ourselves means that with the same kind of focus and fervency that we may put towards loving someone else, we are to do the same for us. This is not a *recommendation*, it is a *command*. And boy, can you imagine what it would be like to arrive at Judgment Day to hear the Most High say, "Sorry, I can't let you in. You didn't love yourself enough." Yeah. May seem like a stretch, but he did say that we are to *keep his commandments*; that when we do, that's how we show him that we love him (John 14:15 and 15:10). The most healthy relationship books do say that it's unhealthy to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't love themselves because they won't love you well, either.


I'm sure I'll be posting, more than once actually, before that faithful (?!?-LOL) holiday that we all know and love so much. But I like that the Comforter (John 14:16-AMP) led me to pen this five days out from it. Whether you're in a relationship or not for Valentine's Day, take these next few days and *make the effort* to do something that commemorates the fact that if you don't already love you, you are about to start *doing the work* to learn how.

It's not only a good thing to do, it's *the godly thing* to do.




  1. So Shellie, how do you square this off with 2 Timothy 3:2? *scratches head*

  2. I don't. 2 Timothy 3:4 explains the difference:

    "...lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."

    People who make pleasure a priority over God are caught up in idolatry and that can lead to many...strange things. When the second greatest commandment says to love your neighbor as yourself, it follows the instruction to love God with your all. When you love him, he shows you how to love you, which in turn teaches you how to love others. I have *always* been fond of "as yourself". Love people as you love you. And personally, more and more, I find people who don't love themselves to be roaring spiritual hazards. They see life and approach things in it from a very unstable place.

    I got you on the prayer request as well.


  3. Thank you both for the explanation and the prayers ma'am