Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Consistent love

     I have been thinking a lot about inconditional love lately , probably because I am trying more and more love that way. Its hard ! Hear me, when I love , I love big. It is easy for me to love and I am quick to forgive. We all tell those we love "I love you no matter what" and most of us truly mean it. We may indeed love someone no matter how badly they disappoint or hurt us. Here's the deal though: how many of us show love the same way in those hurt and disappointed moments as we do in the content happy moments? How many of us withold affection when we are angry ? How many of us deny forgiveness until we know the lesson has been learned? How many of us use the silent treatment or cold shoulder tactic ? Answer: not me, me, me , and ummm me. My conclusion: maybe I don't have an issue with unconditional love at all, maybe my issue is consistent love.
     As a parent I know unconditional love well. All of us start out the same babies. Babies are easy to love. They fit perfectly in your arms and they are easy to read. They smile when they are happy and cry when they are not. They do not have intentions yet so their actions can't hurt you in any way. Ok, maybe a really bad poopy diaper can make your eyes water and nose hair burn but you know what I mean. Its only when they get older and have words that we learn very quickly how badly that precious bundle of joy can cause us emotional pain. Then there are adults...full vocabulary and sometimes not the best of intentions.
     Why is it that when we are hurt, disappointed, or angry at or by someone we feel the need to punish that someone in some way? We respond with either words that hurt them back or the above mentioned actions. The only answer I can come up with is that it is simply human nature and its out of selfishness because we are certainly not following the example set for us by our Creator.
     Even though we were disobedient, sinful, and ungrateful, God loved us anyway. He loved us so much that he sent his only son to this earth to be hated, tortured , and crucified . Jesus loved us so much that he was willing to leave heaven for us knowing what was to come. Sometimes when I think about that kind of love , it is overwhelming. As parents we yell at our kids when they run across the street without looking both ways because we don't want them to get hurt. How many of us would knowingly send our kids to slaughter? How many of us would leave our cozy homes to voluntarily be tortured and killed for someone who hated us? Well God did and Jesus did. Why? Because their response to disappointment and hurt was to show love in the most incredible way. So incredible that we can't even fit it on the unconditional scale.
     The more I think about it , the harder I am trying to rip a page that from that book and establish it as my standard. Responding with love is not easy and I have failed more than I have succeeded lately but I am finding that the more I put it into practice the better at it I am becoming. I can tell you that the difference it makes is worth the extra effort.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stop and think

     A couple of days ago I had a conversation with a sex addict. I can see some of you right now sneezing BS into your hand. I too at a time in my life thought the term "sex addiction" was something used to excuse bad behavior. I did some research on sex addiction one time and I can assure you that it is real just like drug addiction. Chemically, sex creates a "high" in the body just like certain drugs do . There are different categories of sex addiction, some of them actually involve little or no sex at all.
     This particular addict was a man with a wife and children. For the biggest part of his marriage he had been actively involved in betraying his vows. It all started with simple flirting but over time escalated . In the early years of his addiction he did have sex with four other women but the guilt from those acts was driving him to think of suicide so at some point he drew a line in the sand and said no more sex. The addiction did not subside and he still found himself getting caught up in a twisted world of flirting with other women. Sex wasn't his ultimate goal , his addiction was about the seduction. Once he had "won" his conquest over to the point she would have had sex with him , the game was over.
     He hated himself every minute of every day but didn't have control over his addiction, instead it controlled him. He couldn't understand how he could love his wife and still betray her over and over. Even years after the line in the sand was drawn and there wasn't any more sex, suicide was always on his mind. His mission was that his wife never ever know. He knew the pain it would cause her and he wasn't willing to put her through that. I too for a short while wondered how he could do these horrible things and at the same time really love his wife. Unfortunately that is the nature of addiction, any kind of addiction. I have a really good friend that is a recovering drug addict and have spent hours talking to her about her addiction. Addiction is mean and makes you a very selfish person. Addiction will make you do things that you thought you would never do.
     The point of this blog isn't to persuade you that sex addiction is real even though I believe it is. Out of everything that he told me, this is what bothers me most : ALL of the women , including the ones he had sex with knew he was married. Some of them were married themselves. Most of them knew he had children. As a married woman with children , I find that very disturbing. I don't know how many women we are talking about, I doubt he even knows. We are talking about a approximately 12 to 13 year period of time though so the number is probably staggering.
     It would very easy to look at this man and judge him to be some kind of monster . Fact is though, if not for the willing participants he found, he would not have been able to feed his addiction. Think about all of those women who willingly lined up to play his game knowing that at the very least they could be potentially breaking up a marriage. Those who knew he had children , potentially destroying a family. I find all of this very sad.
     I know people cheat , men and women. The statistics are depressing. As a mom and wife, I am constantly putting my husband and children's  needs and wants first. I think about my actions and how they may affect other people whether I know those people well or not. I cannot imagine messing around with another woman's husband whether he had kids or not. It scares me that more woman aren't like me. I pray for this man , his wife, and all of the women who apparently didn't think hard enough about how their actions might hurt not only another woman but the kids involved.
     I guess my point is this...before you do anything, even speak, stop and think about how what you say or do may affect someone else.