Devotions for Lovers

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Possessive Love

Category: Devotions for Lovers

It is not rude; it is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians  13:5 During my college days, several of us were talking about marriage. There were two fellows in the group who were not yet married. One of them asked us, "What do you like about your wife?" I don't remember all the answers we gave, but I remember one person said, "She makes me feel like the most important person in the world, and she's always there to encourage me." That's mature love, not a possessive love. That man's wife didn't stay with him so he could make her a better person, though I think he did that. One of the qualities of true love is that it affirms the other rather than attempting to possess or control. Real love liberates; real love gives freedom to be ourselves. Frederick Perls wrote: "You did not come into this world to live up to my expectations. And I did not come into the world to live up to yours." Healthy love means I want what's best for you. I want to offer what you need from me in a way that preserves your freedom, allows you to have your own feelings, think your own thoughts and make your own decisions. Yet some lovers are often more possessive than they realize. Here are some questions to ask ourselves: (1) Is it more important to me that you be pleased with yourself or that I be pleased with you? (2) Is it more important that you attain the goals you have set for yourself, or that you attain the goals I want for you? (3) Does my love enable you to relate more successfully to other people? (4) Do I rejoice when you are liked and appreciated by other people, or do I want you to always make me the center of your world? That's how true lovers relate. They always want the best for the other, without holding back and without trying to possess.