Why is my Partner like this?

One of my husband’s goals after our wedding was to teach me how to drive. So, we delved into it without wasting much time. But honestly, it was not a good idea. I remember sitting beside a taxi driver and asking him some questions about driving, the man turned to me and asked me who was teaching me to drive. I said to him “my husband”, and he replied with “forget it, it will not work, get someone else to teach you how to drive”. The man was right. It was not that great. My husband eventually had to ask his friend to complete the training. Even when I started to drive, my husband would always find something to correct. At a point, I came up with a plan and said to myself, “whenever my husband is sitting beside me in the car while I am driving, I will try to think as he would, drive as he would, take decisions as he would”. I thought I had studied him so well that I could imitate his reasoning and way of doing things, but I was wrong. The result was worse than ever, so I decided to stick to my own brain.

Some years ago, I also started to teach our daughter how to drive. That was when I began to appreciate my husband. He was far better than me. Maybe, as a mother, I just wanted every dot and comma to be placed appropriately. I suddenly wanted to reproduce a little me in our daughter. I wanted her to drive and make decisions the way I would have done, forgetting that I had been a driver for more than twenty years. Whenever our daughter was behind the steering wheel, my brain got activated, and all my nerves were upstanding, especially during the winter. Unknown to me, I became an obstruction to her instead of helping her develop confidence in her ability and gently grow through it. I had to talk to myself, calm myself down, and put everything in God’s hands, trusting Him for safety as we drive around.

Expecting too much from our partner is the mistake many of us make in our relationship, marriage, family, fellowship, community, institutions, etc. We want perfection in others while setting up our personalities, and perspectives as the standards. We judge situations behind our spectacles, forgetting that different specifications come with each spectacle. Most of the time we are not patient enough to understand our partner and descend from our high tower to their level so we could walk them up the stairs. We expect too much from one another that we become so worried and depressed because our expectations are not often met.

It is not possible to reproduce our perfect self in another. Everybody is unique. Peace comes from understanding the peculiarity of our partner or people around us and seeing them with the eyes of love. The establishment of this foundation will pave the way for a successful relationship, mentorship, training, etc. Knowledge comes before wisdom. We cannot apply wisdom to the matter we have no knowledge or understanding of. That is why the Bible advises in the book of proverbs to get wisdom and understanding: “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” Proverbs 4:7. We must endeavor to understand one another and respect our differences.

My husband once forwarded to me an interview by a couple on marriage. I was sure he wanted me to hear something from the interview, but it was not too long before I also spotted an area he needed to listen to (lol). So I ran back to him with that aspect and we ended up making fun of ourselves. However, there was an aspect of that talk that got me and changed some of my perspectives. The wife said, “sometimes, we are asking our partner to give what they don’t have”. How can someone give what he does not have? And the fact is that no one has it all, no one. That is the reason we must complement each other in our relationship and marriage rather than competing with ourselves or focusing on a weak part of our partner.

We cannot give up on our partners because none of us is perfect or fault-free. If changing some of our perspectives will bring us peace and buy us success, it is wise to do it and let love prevail. Love is patient, kind, and suffers long, says the Bible. Love also covers a multitude of shortcomings. Love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails”. 1Corinthins 13:7,8.

If we abide by this Biblical principle of love, patience, wisdom, understanding, etc., it will save many from depressions, frustrations, high blood pressure, addictions, and diseases of all kinds. It will help our mental health and prolong our life much better.

The Attributes of True Love

The love day should occur every day in a lovely environment. Love is good and it is a gift that God gives to every soul. It is medicinal as it penetrate every cell of the body and touches the heart. It is ok if a day is dedicated to the expression of love, but it would be much more profitable if such a day includes a period of reflection, reflecting on some attributes of love, especially as it relates to relationship, marriage and your home.

Although, there are different types of love, all still share the same root. I have heard some people talk about “true love” but the fact is, if it is not “love” then it is not “love”. Fake love, superficial love, benefitting love, momentary love, quick love, etc are not love in a real sense. Where true love is, its characteristics cannot be missed.

Gifts are lovely but true love is not always determined by lovely gifts, expensive restaurants, or special date nights, but also by being real to each other in the spirit of gentleness. Love is very patient, attentive and empathetic. For love to be a real and lasting one, it must be all-encompassing.

These days, love seems to have lost its original definition amidst all kinds of self-made, assorted definitions, and thus the reaping of the effects of generationally modified love. These days, it seems that love is becoming a scarce commodity and people are desperately looking for it everywhere as they choose, drop and pick.

Somebody said, ‘I gave up on love a long time ago’. One could easily notice the frustration in that expression. Superficial love, rash, benefit-based, self-gratifying love, does not stand the test of time. It fizzles out with ease.

What are the attributes of real and true love?

Love is natural; you cannot enforce it, otherwise, it loses its value. If you manipulate love or entice other into it, you will pay for the damage at one point or the other. Love is reciprocal. It does not follow the rule of opposite charges attract. Its own equation is based on: The same charges attract. Otherwise, the product would be a loose one that backs down easily.

Love is sacrificial. There are things one will let go easily for the sake of love. Love is compassionate. It feels the pain in others. It is not self centered. It sees beyond the short coming of its partner. The great love is empathetic rather than sympathetic. Love seeks good in others. Its resilience is outstanding.

Love is patient, attentive, and discreet at the same time. Love is not about controlling but understanding. Many relationships are marred because one partner always dominates the conversation in an authoritative way, while the other just watches. Love gives a chance to the other to express themselves. Love is tolerant. It sometimes intentionally allows its partner to win. Love does not impose itself, its ideas, its visions and mission on its partner, but is careful and patient in its presentation. Where love thrives, it is no longer about ‘me’ but ‘you’ & ‘us’.

Love sees the good parts of its partner much more than the dented parts. At the same time, it is not blind to the truth or faults but manages them with wisdom. The truth said in love is more efficient and effective than the truth said in harshness and aggression. Love will not leave you in a mess but will rise to the rescue.

Love is more optimistic than pessimistic. It is considerate and prefers others. It does not resist constructive corrections or criticism, but is submissive, and willing to learn. Willing to change.

Love is not the boss that sits on the throne and gives out instructions. It is active and interactive! When couples are being considerate and have respect for each other, progress is a piece of cake.

Love is neither proud nor arrogant but gentle. It does not know it all. Love listens, not listening to reply but to undertsand what is being conveyed.

Love described in the book of 1Corinthians 13:1-8

Love does not envy anyone but appreciates the good in others.
Love is kind and does not seek its own. It is not easily provoked. It does not desire evil for others nor rejoices in the downfall of anyone. The pliability in true love is very great and unique.

The talents and gifts may fail, power and wealth may fail. But not the real love. It abides through thick and thin.

The question is, how do we find such love? Don’t look for it in the other person first, look for it within. As love attracts, it will attract the right one, at the right time, in the right place, and sustain it, especially when that love takes its root in God. Even when love get sick or injured in any relationship, its flexibility and tenderness will pave way for easy reconstruction and reinforcement.

When struggles ensue and the heart struggles with the listed attributes of true love, the remaining love in the heart would gently and humbly seek for the best. It does not follow after the majority. It seeks out its uniqueness and makes the best of it. It pursues strength where it can only be found. It tracks down the never-failing foundational and reference love that is only available in Christ.

Most important is God’s love for us, which is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God’s unfailing love for us made Him give “his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This central love is a milestone to any other love and a secret of success to any loving relationship.

A Christian Heart

A Christian heart is precious before the Lord

A tribalistic Samaritan people would not allow Jesus and His disciples to pass through their village to Jerusalem. They have heard about Jesus and his connection to Jerusalem and decided to use their power of attorney to resist the pass. The immediate response of the disciples of Christ was to request approval to call fire down upon the village so that everyone in the place, including children, elderly, men, and women, will be burnt alive. They thought these villagers must know that we carry power with us as we go to Jerusalem, the City of God, to worship.

How did Jesus respond?

But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye, know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

Luke 9:51-56 (KJV)

Jesus simply made them go through another place; if one door is shut, there will always be another one; we do not have to die there or destroy the people because they wounded our pride or took us for a ride.

Before this occurrence, in the same chapter of Luke 9, there was another scene where disciples silenced some people serving God in their location sincerely. The disciples must have felt that those groups of people did not belong to their executive first class of Christ disciples and thus cannot be doing the same thing as disciples. The disciples had their reasons for muting those local people but Jesus corrected them also.

And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.

Mark 9:38-40 (KJV)

The disciples were obviously struggling with segregation, self-centeredness, the pride of position, place, race, etc. which Jesus corrected, and was documented for us to learn from, as followers of Christ, the redeemed of the Lord.

It is surprising to see all kinds of dissent, divisiveness, hostility among Christians these days, and one could not but wonder why (what could have precipitated all these). It should be a matter of concern if the salt of the world seems to be losing its savor and turning sour. People we are supposed to show the way of salvation and lighten up their heart, quietly sit in the dark watching the drama.

Many people have left the Christian faith or vowed never to have anything to do with Christianity because of the lives of some of us. Those people probably had seen some of our carnality, hypocrisy, division, partiality, displayed or hidden hatred, segregation, name them. Some of us also have left our first love and withdrawn from our zeal, giving the opportunity to the enemy to paddle our abandoned canoe. False teachers saw the lapses, took advantage of them, and blended in perfectly. Jesus said: “but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way”, Matthew 13:25. It is time to come back home brethren; Master is beckoning.

It is not too late to retrace our way back to the cross and cry out to God for the restoration of a right spirit within us. Our world still needs its lights and salts. Our world still needs God. Those that have been saved are to stand for the salvation of others and be good ambassadors of Christ.

A blind man was brought to Jesus for a touch of a miracle; Christ touched him, and he got his miracle instantly, but the man could only ‘see men as trees, walking’ (Mark 8:24). But when he acknowledged his incompleteness to Christ, he received the second touch, and this time could see men as men. This second touch experience is what many of us need these days; the Sanctification of our heart. If we can sincerely look inward individually and humbly pray for revival in our personal life, together, we will influence our world for good.