Many couples tend to be undisciplined and hasty in declaring their affection. They blurt out their feelings before seriously even knowing the other person. And then they tend to be very self-centered, wanting the other person to respond in kind and begin meeting their romantic fantasies with equal desperation.
Jesus does the exact opposite. Let’s listen to Ward again:
The mistakes in our human friendships are usually due to the fact that we give too generously what is useless to our friend [easy displays of affection], and are too [stingy] in giving the more costly gifts, which are essential to his welfare [reining in our feelings until we know we can back them up].… At the back of all appearances lies the truth that the measure of love is its costliness. To analyze one’s feelings is the worst way of arriving at a measure of friendship; to count its cost is the best way.
To analyze one’s feelings is the worst way of arriving at a measure of friendship; to count its cost is the best way. And yet isn’t that what many of us do, spend endless hours trying to figure out what we’re really feeling? Jesus lived and taught that friendship and love are marked by sacrifice: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
Feeling romantically inclined toward someone, but not mentioning it because you know doing so would be premature and unwise, is one of the most loving and difficult things you will ever be asked to do. It is difficult to feel so strongly and not talk about it with the one you’re infatuated with. And it is so delicious to hear that the feelings are returned. But giving free rein to such emotion and conversation is the opposite of love; it is selfish. It threatens that person’s emotional and spiritual health. It shows a lack of concern, a lack of care, a total lack of the willingness to sacrifice on which true love is based.
Thomas’ entire article is excellent. Visit Boundless and check it out.
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