|Sarah Tun "Two Hearts"|
How do you define a faithful heart?
It is Valentine's Day! Do you believe in love? Romance? Do you put your faith in romantic love?
Whatever we believe in and hope for, that is the place where we put our effort and our trust. For example, I believe hard work earns its own reward; so, I work hard believing it will yield me benefit. I also believe in loyalty, so I'm loyal to others, believing others in turn will be loyal to me.
I think that whatever we believe dictates, in significant measure, our attitudes and our actions.
So, when we put our trust in romance or marriage, do we not put our effort toward engaging in romantic love? We do this because we believe it will bring us something we desire, like happiness and a sense of being loved. But is this the same as loving another person?
When it comes to matters of the heart, certainly we can't have a relationship with a concept. We must have a person to love in order for there to be love, right? But I believe we are able to put our hopes into an idea - or an ideal - so that we become attracted to love while believing we are attracted to another person. For example, we can desire love in our lives so much that we 'fall in love' with the idea of romance until that desire for romantic love propels us into a romantic relationship. I think loving the 'idea' of love or romance is natural, but I also believe we can confuse this desire for love with love for another person. If we do that, it can create all sorts of problems.
Love, romance or marriage can't happen in a vacuum. Love takes two people - a relationship - in order to bloom. If both people are committed to each other and want the best for each other, love grows. But if the ideal of love is what matters more than the needs and passions of the other person, then when the differences arise between these two people - and they invariably will - there might be very little depth or selflessness to hold the relationship together.
I remember a particular situation when I was a teenager. There was a guy I hadn't taken any notice of who asked me out. I said, "yes". He was attractive and pleasant but we had nothing in common. I see that clearly now and I think I even saw it then. But the potential for 'love' caused me to give a lot of weight to the possibility of dating him a second time. I give him credit because he didn't ask me out again and eventually, my infatuation or curiosity faded and I no longer thought about him. But for a short time, I keenly considered dating him... not because I was keen on him but rather because I was focusing on having an object to love. I wanted love and romance, and he became a target to think about.
Is that why so many girls have crushes on pop singers?!
For love to grow, we need to put our faith in it. But what love is worthy of our faithfulness? I've learned to have faith in the love that is responsive and has an excellent track record: my faith is in my family, my creativity and in my God.
I think without faith we shrivel and without love we despair. Without faith there can be no hope but,
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick." (Proverbs 13:12)
So we need to hope in love. But we need to be both discerning in where we place our love and faithful in our giving of it.
In whom have you placed your love? Are you being loved in return? If so, be grateful. And if not, consider: where is your faith? Never mind the concept of religious faith. Start with faith in someone you can trust. It may not be romantic love but it will be secure and lasting. As a tiny grain of mustard seed grows into a tree, a little bit of well-placed faith will grow an awesome result.*
|Sarah Tun "Embrace" and Vase|
NEXT SCHEDULED BLOG POST: Thursday 28th February TOPIC: Desires of the Heart