Well what would a February newsletter be without a little love advice. Here's the advice about love, Do it! Okay, just kidding. There is more to it than that. Jimmy Evans wrote a great little book a few years ago on marriage called "Our Secret Paradise." In it he describes the ways to rekindle and retain true passion in your love life. In it he writes, "Many people think that 'chemistry' is the reason we fall in love with each other. It's true that chemistry may have been the reason we were initially attracted to each other, physically or emotionally. That kind of attraction is often how we match up with someone. But it is not the reason we fall in love."
That discussion of chemistry prompted me to think about the stages of love that I often see in any relationship. First there is the "I love you because" phase. Our eyes meet. She's hot. He's a hunk. He has a nice car. She has a nice boat. Whatever the reason, there is a "reason" for our love.
The next phase is "I love you if." This is the phase that is based on mutual benefit. There are some promises we made at the beginning; great sex, breakfast in bed, frequent oil changes, take out the trash. (And that was just Doris's part.) As long as those basic needs are met I love you.
Sometimes that stuff doesn't work out. Then comes the "I love you in spite of" phase. You've blown it. You aren't the Mister Perfect that I thought you would be. You've gained 20 pounds and snore like a freight train. But I love you anyway. we feel really good about ourselves when we reach this stage. It's kind of all about me in that sense. I love you in spite of the fact that you are bad and I am good. So, I feel even more good!
Finally comes the "I love you" stage. No conditions, reasons, or history. Just I love you. There is a total surrender to the other, a giving of myself completely. A real and genuine love. There is no comparison and no describing this kind of love. And sadly, far too few of us ever reach this point. But when we do... there is chemistry. So go love somebody today and better yet, remember that God loves you just this way. Mike