I'm a romantic at heart. I like writing Brittney poems, twirling her around the dance floor, and holding her hand whenever I can. But being a romantic got me in trouble at times in my relationships with her—especially in how I spoke.
The tongue is very powerful. It has the power to stir up so much emotion in another human being. With it you can do great good and great evil. The worst part? The tongue is also tricky. Or, to be more precise, we are tricky—our motives.
I played with fire in this area with Brittney. I knew she loved me—she'd filled dozens of journals about me!—but I always yearned to hear it again: that she loved me, loved me, loved me.
Use your words to lift your significant other's eyes to God
Part of this yearning was tied to my own insecurity, for sure. But somewhere deep in my heart, it seems I also wanted her to love me more than she loved God. (Not that I ever thought that. It's just how I see my behavior in retrospect.) Instead of using my words to lift her eyes to God, I used them to lower her eyes to me.
By doing so, I was shoving God out of Brittney's life and shoving myself into the center of it.
Don't get me wrong. There's nothing bad about falling head over heels in love. The problem occurs when infatuation foils your relationship with God—which is easy to do if you're always using your tongue for your own satisfaction instead of for God's glory.
Look for ways to help your other radiate with love for Jesus, not you. And if that makes them fixate on you, awesome. If someone is going to love you, you want them loving the Jesus in you.
If someone is going to love you, you want them loving the Jesus in you
Brandon Andersen, executive pastor at Mars Hill Church Everett, offered the following suggestions as indicators that you may be crossing the line emotionally:
- You just started dating, and you are sharing "heart" things with each other that you haven't shared with your closest friends and/or mentors you've known for years.
- You are isolating yourselves as a couple and not listening to people whose opinion you used to value (Proverbs 15:22), saying things like, "They just don't understand what we have."
- Your individual Christian walks become intertwined, and you end up pursuing and becoming closer with each other over becoming closer with God.