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This is a tough one; there is an answer, though not one we would often like to hear. I think that you and everyone else in this world will struggle with this from time to time, because of this we need to focus on what God says we should do and try and emulate that. Also, don’t forget to pray, pray and pray some more for God’s help in changing your heart for people.
Firstly, God tell us that we are all flawed; “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” This means that when we are dealing with people we have to assume that they are at some time going to sin against us. This isn’t something we like to consider, but it is true. If you expect someone to never cause you any problems you will always be annoyed and disappointed. This does not mean though that you always allow people to keep sinning against you, but don’t be surprised when they do.
Secondly, God tells us to love our enemies. This is counter intuitive to our human reasoning and culture, which tells us to live for ourselves and not care about others. Often we flip the Golden Rule on its head and instead of “Treat others as you would like them to treat you” we say, “I will treat others as they treat me.” Notice the difference? The big problem with the second one is that if no one starts treating others nicely, we will continue on our ever worsening spiral of selfishness. God has a different plan, he tells us that we need to love even our enemies and do good to those who hate us. We are to be the example of love to others and not wait for others to treat us with love first. In fact, in Mark we see that “whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” This means that a way we show that we understand God’s forgiveness of us is by forgiving others. If we don’t forgive than we need to look at whether we truly believe that Jesus died to forgive us, because forgiving others should be a reaction to being forgiven.
In the end this is not easy, but start small , pray hard and try to set the example of caring for those who annoy you. This is called “heaping coals on their head.” This does not guarantee a change in their behavior but will often get them to think about what they are doing. If they keep annoying you after that then sometimes it is the time to walk away from that friendship or interaction.
Well first I would say that not all Christians shun the idea of being relationship with someone. Though I assume your question is why some Christians do not want their High School kids to be in relationship with someone. Different people have different reasons for this position. In some ways I agree and in other I don’t, let me tell you why.
Firstly, the goal of any relationship should be permanence. This means that if you start dating someone you goal should be marriage, anything less is disastrous for many reasons. There are scriptural, emotional and scientific reasons for this.
For Christians the highest authority is the Bible, as such, what it says is the first thing we should consider before doing anything. When Jesus showed us how to pray He made an interesting statement, “Lead us not into temptation.” Now this doesn’t mean God leads us into temptation, but that he sometimes allows temptation. If we are to ask God not to bring us into temptation, why do we thing it is a good idea to lead ourselves there? Dating is all too often a temptation generator with no plan for the future which leads many to live in sin. Many would say, “what’s the big deal?” If the fact that the Bible says sex before marriage and living together is wrong isn’t enough, which it should be then let me share a statistic with you. I will talk about sex before marriage later so this statistic is about cohabitation; Studies have found that people who live together before marriage are actually 50% more likely to get divorced that couples who don’t. This is huge, the world has been selling us cohabitation as a helpful tool, I mean you would never buy a car without test driving it right? But the truth, not surprisingly, is that relationships are more complex than choosing a car and you are hurting your chances for success, not helping. The only real way to avoid this is to make sure you are deliberate in finding the right person to date, with a goal of marriage, rather than allowing your emotions and desires to carry you off.
The most obvious emotional reason is the pain of heartache. For some reason people have allowed the world to tell them that the short term physical pleasure is worth the emotional wounds of heartache and so they put themselves through the pain of short term relationships again and again. The problem with this is that every time you lose someone, whether through death or the death of a relationship it produces a scar. These scars stay with you forever. Don’t get me wrong you can’t avoid the scars of loss, all of us get some, but why add scars you don’t need to. Einstein said this about repeating something that isn’t working, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Take your time, get to know someone before dating them, this way you can avoid unnecessary scaring in your life. Many people don’t know that I have been married before, because of this I know a little bit about what works and what doesn’t. What I have learned is that physicality clouds emotional judgement, what I mean is that things that will bother you about the other person you will ignore if you are physically invested, I have seen and experienced this time and time again. Also if you know deep down that it is wrong to have sex before marriage, but still do it you will find out the hard way that you will have emotional guilt which will cause major issues in your marital relationship.
I am not going to say all dating relationship lead to physicality and sex, because that is not entirely true, but for scientific purposes I will focus on relationships that do include this. I will start with the girls because in some ways I think they have it worse. Something that is often not talked about or glossed over is the fact that women under the age of 25 are more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases that men. This is because the protective layer of cells that would protect them somewhat starts off only 1 cell layer thick. Think of this as trying to hold water in a spaghetti strainer, not very useful right? As they get older the protection grows thicker, but this doesn’t mean that they ever get to a point where the protection is complete, at best it would be trying to hold water with a paper tower in a sieve; it does ok but water still gets through. The second challenge girls have is that when they make a physical connection with a boy there is a chemical bonding that happens in their brain, they literally give away a part of themselves every time they have sex with someone different. Obviously this causes a problem for two reasons, firstly in a sense you bring in every boy you have been physical with into every future relationship. Secondly, each successive chemical bonding is weaker and as such by the time you finally find your spouse your bond with them would be less than it should be or would be if you had waited. For the guys it is different, they bond as well, but they bond with the physical experience not the girl. This can cause a couple of different problems; it can make them more susceptible to cheating as they are connected to certain physical things so if a woman at his work has certain attributes he enjoyed in a previous relationship and your proportions are slightly different he would be attracted in certain ways to her over you and open consideration of cheating. Men are also generally stronger visually, because of this they hold onto a running memory of physical encounters and previous naked girlfriends which obviously can cause issues in the bedroom with their wives (this is the same reason why porn is soooo damaging to a marriage).
All in all, there is nothing wrong with relationships, BUT make sure you get to know a person before dating, get accountability from people you trust to keep from being physical outside of marriage, and make sure your goal is marriage in any relationship you get into. If your values and hers don’t match get out!!!
How do you love someone? was the question. This is a little vague so I am going to focus in on what is love supposed to be like, and as such how you should love someone? I am hoping that this won’t be too long, but I want to make sure to give a clear and proper picture of what Love actually is.
Love is a word that is thrown about in today’s society though it bears little resemblance to the proper, original meaning. To many people love is a feeling that comes and goes; they loved the iPhone 5, until the iPhone 6 came out. God has a lot to say on what love should be like. As well, I don’t know if you know this, the Greeks had 6 different words for love.
Let’s work through the Greek words for love and see how it ties in with what God has to say. The first Eros is probably closest to today’s definition. It is the idea of sexual passion and desire. The Greeks though viewed this type of love, wisely with a bit of caution, as something that included a fiery loss of control that would not last. God is not against this love at all, he designed it to be enjoyed in the commitment of marriage. We find in Song of Solomon a husband and wife, “My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh that lies between my breasts” and “Your lips drip nectar, my bride; honey and milk are under your tongue;” So, God is not against sexual desire, He only tells you that you have to be married first to act out that type of love.
Next is Philia which mean deep friendship. It is a love of loyalty to your friends, a sacrificing for them, and a sharing of emotions with. The type of friendship you can’t have with your 2000 friends on Facebook. This is the type of Love that God wants to share with you. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
Ludus is one of the lesser known words for love. The simplest definition of this is flirtation. In today’s world I find either someone has too much of this and they flirt with everyone or the other side where they flirt until sex and or commitment happens and then they stop. There are people who are exceptions to this, but sadly I would suggest they aren’t numerous. This again is something God is for, but within the context of finding and enjoying a spouse. If you look again at Song of Solomon you will see plenty of chasing, flirting and teasing.
Agape love is the type of love Jesus has for us, it is a selfless/sacrificial love or “gift love” (C.S Lewis). It is giving of yourself in a way that puts other first, sadly a declining idea in our world where selfishness is celebrated. Another concept attached to this word is the idea of empathy, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, as with selflessness, this is declining to dangerous levels around the world. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son (to be born, live, die on a cross for your sins) that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Pragma is the idea of long standing love. This is what is considered a mature love, kind of a step up from the other types of love. It is a love between two people that has learned to compromise. It is the one love that cannot exist without two people having it. Others like Philia for example can be one person loving their friend that way without the friend returning that type of love. One person can sacrificially love (agape) someone without the other person returning that love; this is Jesus’ relationship with anyone who does not love him in return, he loves all people sacrificially and many don’t even acknowledge his existence. Pragma is, specifically, two people loving each other both making compromises for the other. Philautia is our world favourite though many would not like to admit it. This is the love of self, which in itself is not a terrible thing. It is important to love yourself otherwise you would not be able to do as God commanded, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” If you don’t love yourself at all you will not be able to value anyone else the way you should. That being said, self-obsessed love is just as dangerous as no self-love. If you are self-obsessed you also will not love or value anyone else as you should. Your “love” will be self-focused, and you will only “love” someone if it benefits you, this is NOT real love.
So how should you love someone? First love yourself enough that you care about others. Then love someone with a loyal, selfless, sacrificial, passionate love that is willing to compromise when necessary and never willing to stop chasing them. You will not be perfect at this and neither will they, but work towards it and expect them to do the same.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.