Ten Myths About Romantic Love
TEN MYTHS ABOUT ROMANTIC LOVE
1. Belief in Love at First Sight
- While some will disagree, love at first sight is an emotional impossibility. Why? Because love is not simply a feeling of romantic excitement; it goes beyond intense sexual attraction; it exceeds the thrill at having “captured” a highly desirable social prize. These are emotions that are unleashed at first sight but they do not constitute love.
- These emotions are selfish in the sense that they are motivated by our own gratification. Such a person has not fallen in love with another person, he has fallen in love with love.
- How does the Bible describe love? How does this compare with the concept of love at first sight?
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
- Real love, in contrast to popular notions, is an expression of the deepest appreciation for another human being; it is an intense awareness of his or her needs and longings. It is unselfish, giving and caring. It is not something that one fails into at first sight like dropping into a hole. It is something one grows into it and that process take time. You have to know the person before you could appreciate the depth and stability of his or her character, and also be willing to accept his or her shortcomings.
2. Easy to Distinguish Real Love from Infatuation
- The answer again is false. That wild ride at the start of romantic adventure bears all the earmarks of a lifetime trip. However, the exhilaration of infatuation is never a permanent condition. You cannot expect to live at the top of the mounting year after year. Emotions swing from high to low to high in a cyclical pattern. Since romantic excitement is an emotion, it is also bound to fluctuate.
- Even when a man and woman love each other deeply and genuinely, they will find themselves supercharged on one occasion and emotionally bland on another. Love is not defined by highs and lows, but is dependent on a commitment of their will. Stability comes from the irrepressible determination to make a success of marriage, and to keep the flame aglow regardless of the circumstances.
- Lets return to the question: if genuine love is rooted in a commitment of the will, how can one know when it arrives? How can it be distinguished from temporary infatuation? How can the feeling be interpreted if it is unreliable and inconstant? There is only one answer to those questions: it takes time. Hence, make no important, life-shaping decisions quickly or impulsively and when in doubt, stall for time.
3. People in Love Don’t Fight and Argue
- The answer is obvious. Marital conflict is inevitable even in loving marriages. There is a difference, however, between healthy and unhealthy combat, depending on the way the disagreement is handled.
- In an unstable marriage, anger is usually hurried directly at the partner. Hostile, person centered “you messages” strike at the heart of one’s self worth and produce internal disturbance: “You never do anything right!?” “Why, did I ever marry you? “How can you be so stupid (or unreasonable or unfair)?” “You are getting more like your mother everyday.”
- The wounded partner often responds in like manner, hurting back every unkind and hateful remark. The intention of this kind of in-fighting is to hurt and it does. The cutting words will never be forgotten, even though uttered in a moment of irrational anger. Such combat is not only unhealthy; it is vicious and corrosive. It erodes the marriage relationship, and can destroy it.
- Health conflict, on the other hand, remains focused on the issues around which the disagreement began, issues around which the disagreement began. Issue-centered, “I” messages let your partner know what is wrong, but that he or she is not the main target. “I’m worried about all these bills.” II get upset when I don’t know you’ll be late for dinner.” “I was embarrassed by what you said at the part last night – I felt foolish.”
- A healthy couple can work through problems by compromising and negotiation. There were still be pain and hurt, but there will be fewer barbs to pluck out the next morning.
- WORK: What Biblical principles can we apply in order to have a more constructive conflict?
o Proverbs 15:1, 18; 17:14
o Ephesians 4:26-27, 31
o 1 Peter 4:8
- The ability to fight properly may be the most important concept to be learned by newlyweds. Those who never comprehend the technique are usually left with two alternatives: (1) turn the anger and resentment inward in silence, where it will fester and accumulate through the years, or (2) blast away at the personhood of one’s mate. The divorce courts are well represented by couples in both categories.
4. God Selects Only One Person for Us to Marry
- There are Christians who believe that God has prepared only one person for us to be our lifetime partner – like some sort of a soul mate. However, if that is the case, what if that “special” person for you committed a mistake or disobeyed God’s will? What then will now happen to you? They also tend to pass to God all the responsibilities, “God would have stopped us if He didn’t approve.
- Some, however, belief that God does not perform a routine matchmaking service. This is not to say the He is not interested in our choice of a mate. However, instead of choosing a specific person for us, He gave us Biblical principles, personal judgment and common sense to guide us in matters of marriage. And as long as we decide within God’s parameters and depend for His guidance, we are choosing in accordance to Hios will.
- WORK: What does the Bible say in finding a lifetime partner?
o James 1:5
o 2 Corinthians 6:14
o Matthew 6:33
o Psalm 37:4
o Proverbs 12:4, 31:3-0
5. Hardships and Trouble Have Little Effect on Relationship
- Another common misconception about “true love” is that it stands like an immovable rock against the storms of life. Many people embrace the notion that love is destined to conquer all. However, love is also vulnerable to pain, trauma. The fiber of love can be weakened by financial hardships, disease, business setbacks, or prolonged separation.
6. Better to Marry the Wrong Person Than Remain Single for Life
- Generally speaking, it is less painful to be searching for an end to loneliness than be embroiled in emotional combat of a shaky marriage.
- Proverbs 15:17, 17:1
- When one plunges into marriage despite the warning flags, he is desperately hoping for a matrimonial miracle. But storybook endings are uncommon events in everyday life.
- A bad marriage is among the most miserable experience on earth. It is filled with rejection, hurt feelings, hatred, screaming, broken children, and sleepless night. On the contrary, a solitary walk as a single person can be fulfilling and meaningful, and even offers some advantages over a married life.
- 1 Corinthians 7:32-34
7. Sex Outside Marriage is not Wrong
· This is the most dangerous of the popular misconceptions about romantic love, not only for individuals but also for the future of a nation. During the past years, we have witnessed the tragic disintegration of sexual mores and traditional concepts of morality. Responding to the steady onslaught of the media and entertainment industry, people have begun to believe that premarital intercourse is a noble experience, extramarital intercourse are healthy, homosexuality is acceptable, bisexuality is even better. These views labeled as the “new morality” is embraced by millions of Americans and other people around the world.
· 1 Corinthians 6:13-20
· What does it mean by “he who sins sexually sins against his own body?
· Sexual morality is so intimate and personal that is corrupt us at the deepest human level. It also physically destroys us because of venereal diseases which is not only prevalent today but also during the time of Paul due to temple prostitution devoted to the worship of Aphrodite, goddess of love and sex. Lastly, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, thus sexual immorality defile God’s temple.
· Mankind has known intuitively for at least 50 centuries that indiscriminate sexual activity represents both an individual and corporate threat to survival. Anthropologist J.D. Unwin conducted an exhaustive study of the 88 civilizations which have existed in the history of the world. Each culture reflected a cycle, beginning with a strict code of sexual conduct and ending with complete sexual “freedom”. Unwin reports that every society which extended sexual permissiveness to its people will soon perish. There have been no exceptions (Sexual Regulations and Cultural Behavior, 1969)
· Why is reproductive urge within us so relevant to cultural survival? It is because the energy that holds a people together is sexual in natural. The physical attraction between men and women causes them to establish a family and invest themselves in its development. It encourages them to work and save to insure the survival of their families. Their sexual energy provides the motivation for the raising of healthy children and for the transfer of values from one generation to another.
- On the other hand, a society is seriously wakened when the intense sexual urge between men and women becomes an instrument for suspicion and indifference within millions of individual families:
o When a woman never knows what her husband is doing when away from home.
o When a husband can’t trust his wife in his absence.
o When half of the bride are pregnant at the alter.
o When newly weds have slept with numerous partners, losing the exclusive wonder of the marital bed.
o When everyone is doing his own thing, particularly that which brings him immediate sensual gratification.
- Sexual cost:
o The psychological scars to children who witness the conflict and separation of his parents.
o Children who will grow up without the guidance and care of their father.
o Babies born to unwed teenage mother.
o Venereal disease that reached epidemic proportions among America’s youth.
o Illegitimate births, emotional heartbreaks, shattered personalities, abortions, disease, death
· God has clearly forbidden irresponsible sexual behavior, not to deprive us of fun and pleasure, but to spare us from the disastrous consequences of this worsening way of life. Those individuals and those nations choosing to defy His commandments on this issue will pay a dear price for their folly.
· Hosea 8:7
· “You cannot break God’s law, you will only break yourself against God’s law.” (Cecile DeMille, director of The Ten Commandments)
8. Genuine Love is a Permanent Condition
- Love, even genuine love, is a fragile thing. It must be maintained and protected if it is to survive. Love can perish when a couple just spend their time in their work without any romantic activity, when the husband and wife forget to talk to each other.
- When does your marriage rank on your hierarchy of values? Doest it get the leftovers and scraps from your busy schedule or it is something of great worth to be preserved and supported. It can die if left untended.
9. Short Courtships are Best
- The answer to this question is incorporated in the reply to the second item regarding infatuation. Short courtships require impulsive decisions about lifetime commitments and that is risky at best.
10.Teenagers are More Capable of Genuine Love
- If this item were true, we would be hard pressed to explain why half the teenage marriages end in divorce in the first five years. To the contrary, the kind of love that is unselfish, giving, caring commitment – requires maintenance to make work. And maturity is a partial thing in most teenagers. Adolescent romance is an exciting part of growing up, but it seldom the criteria for the deeper relationships of which successful marriages are composed.
- 9-10 honor, 5-8 – wait an extra 6 months before marriage, 4 or less – confused dreamers.
Love is patient, love is kind. it does not envy, it does not
boast, it is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Emotions Can You Trust Them? by James Dobson
MacArthur Study Bible
NIV Study Bible
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
This discussion is featured in one of our cell group meetings. This material is prepared by Ramil Dizon, The Cell Group Leader.
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