Monday, September 05, 2005
Don Juans and Donna Juans, part 2
Go here for part 1. Would you be loved, or would you be great? Love is in contest with our pride. This was first played out in the garden with Adam and Eve. They had to choose between sweet love and security in God and actually being God. That they could be God was a lie, offered by Satan who himself believed that he could be God. God created Satan, though we still don't know why. God is God - eternal, infinite - beyond our comprehension. How could we be God? If we didn't drink water for over three days, we'd die. If we drink too much water, recent studies show that we'd also die. The idea, even the idea that we could be God is absurd. Satan said we could be like God, which is also ridiculous since God made us in His image. We didn't need to be like God because we already are. It was all a big deception.
But Satan said we would be like God in knowing good and evil. He really meant be like him and be an enemy of God, committing evil and learning to destroy, because God would have shown us the truth about good and evil.
Adam and Eve chose Satan's lie - something we do time and time again. We always have that choice to make between love and pride, which often means love over power. (Dire Straits would add: Love Over Gold.)
If you know that someone loves you, you have two choices. You can gloat over it - it's your victory, you now have power over someone because of their love. Or, you can choose to receive love and let it change you.
Billy Graham can think of himself and how great he is or he can be humbled that he is no better than anyone else yet was offered the opportunity to touch so many lives. Bill Gates can think himself a god and can use his genius to the exclusion of others, or he can be glad that he, along with other geniuses has made my writing, our writing so much easier because of the upside of technology.
Doctors can try to rob and manipulate people, or they can take advantage of their great opportunity to bring healing.
We always have two choices before us. The afore mentioned souls have had to make those choices. The powers of darkness stand by every minute to apply pressure to take the pride route, and sometimes the pressure is overwhelming.
When people are not raised on love they do not know how good it feels and they do not know how to receive it. They learn the patterns of pride, and the way of love becomes foreign and frightening to them. Pride is developed in the absence of love. What happens when a culture is full of such people?
The culture we are in has taken great strides away from love. The bible predicted a day would come when "most men's love would grow cold." That is this day! The good new is that God never changes, and God is LOVE.
But self love has taken a fall along with all the other love that has been drained from a society that centers on gaining property, proving the genius of man, and having power.
When you are satisfied with the love in your childhood, it lasts for a lifetime. In fact, celibacy can be achieved with surprisingly little effort, if one aspires to it, because emotional satisfaction has been achieved early. Emotional maturity, developed early, sets the tone. So says psychologist and author Gabrielle Brown,PhD, author of "The New Celibacy" - now out of print.
She compared the nuns and monks of today with yesterday, pointing out that it has become too difficult today for most to maintain a celibate lifestyle. In the past, before industrialization, our agrarian society stuck to simple family bonding and people found emotional satisfaction.
Isn't that amazing? Love is warmth. Warmth is physical. Simply feeling loved warms your body as well as your soul. Notice how The Passion of The Christ shows Jesus having a close bond with his mother? See, Jesus did not achieve celibacy in a vaccuum just because He was God in the flesh. God was subjecting himself to human weakness when he came. The truth is, even God in the flesh could not have been as healthy a soul at 30 as Jesus was without a healthy mom, dad, siblings and religious community. His mom, who we observe in the film - the warmth of her simple motherly love warmed his soul and his body - so He could more easily achieve a celibate lifestyle. God had to ensure that Jesus came to earth in the "love bubble" that he did.
Do you realize that being love starved makes you sex starved? Gabrielle Brown wrote her book in 1980! It was a time when lots of people living in Los Angeles were reacting against the sexual revolution and deciding to go "cold turkey" as far as sex. They were the neo-celibates. I met one while traveling in Europe in 1983. He was burned. He couldn't move himself to touch another woman and receive in his soul the impact of yet another involvement. He was from Los Angeles. I had just come from Los Angeles, but had managed not to let its control smother me. I left before it did. I did feel an impact but not like this man I met. We traveled briefly together and stayed in the same hotel room in southern France just to save money. I can assure you - he was a neo-celibate.
If this was true in 1980, what is true today?
Why is it painful to go back to the same person that Don or Donna has slept with instead of finding a new one? First of all there is shame. Both partners feel shame and don't want to face each other with the reality. Secondly, it is the pain of intimacy. We have to love ourselves and be OK with ourselves to be able to be intimate with someone else, and then it needs to be someone who is also OK with themselves. What "being OK" is would require more words, but you can just take a universal meaning from that. Avoiding intimacy is a way of avoiding knowing yourself or having someone else know you.
I respect John Bradshaw to some degree, another author of the past, yet he falls short. He tries to patch things up by saying, "let's just get smart here. Let's just raise better families and have better people." That was about as smart as just saying "no." We are beyond that, hello. Too late for "let's just........."
Let's just get something straight. We cannot do it. Whatever it is - we cannot do it. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the father of lights. Not one good thing can we procure from within. It's all a work of God's infinite grace, which becomes more infinite the more I know who He is. "Don't try, surrender," was what one Messianic Jewish friend I know heard the day he decided to believe in Jesus.
We need to stop trying, oh work ethic driven, performance oriented, workaholic folks. This can be far less popular, surrendering to "the cross." Ugh! You mean, just surrender myself to the death, the unbearable death of being lord of my own life? Clue: after death comes resurrection!
Families may have gotten sicker, but many have been sick for generations. There is only one way out - look up!