User or Lover?

On this side of life, which would be mid-way – shh, don’t tell anyone – I can better perceive certain truths. Things I couldn’t fathom as a teenager are now simple to understand.

Why I had to learn fractions.

Why I needed to learn to drive a stick shift vehicle.

Why my Dad insisted upon my using my brain instead of his. “Dad, what does COMPREHEND mean?” “Where’s your dictionary Deb?” GRRRR.

Really, all of those life lesson lend themselves to independence. I have raised my children to become independent valuable members of their circles of influence. As soon as they could dress themselves they did. They help me cook and bake. They will learn to drive a stick shift. And they get the same response from me as I did from their Grandpa.

That ability to live, survive, and function independently keeps you from being a user. If I wanted something, I made it happen. I set aside the “I” in the last 15 or so years. Well, maybe I didn’t. Maybe I put my “I” into making others “I” successful. Their dreams became my own. I loved them. Then again maybe I didn’t. Maybe by setting myself at the “never gonna happen” place and them at the “must happen” place, I crossed the line. I defeated my own purpose in life.

In my effort to love them, did I actually use them? Or in my clear demonstrations of love, did they use me?

What do you think? Should one person give up their entire being to another? Should there be a compromise of goals and dreams? Should both live out their dreams to the fullest – together? Or?


9 thoughts on “User or Lover?

  1. Actually, I think both need to give up their lives for the other–it’s not 50-50, but 100-100. Many times one party gives 100% and the other doesn’t ever see the need to also be giving 100%. That usually results in hurt, disappointment, and bitterness. If both are giving 100%, there will be a melding of dreams and goals as they both work on making the other happy and successful. 🙂 There’s a lot involved–this isn’t meant to be an exhaustive answer!

  2. Our flesh wants to please ourself and love ourself (we don’t have to teach ourselves to love ourselves!) God wants us to love Him supremely and others as ourself. I love the book of Philippians. It is a daily struggle for me to love others and give of myself to them, but I believe that is what God wants and I believe that is where real joy is. JOY = Jesus, Others , You.
    I am also a very independent person, but God wants me to depend on Him and I need to submit myself to the authority God has placed in my life and that is a daily struggle also.
    I think the greatest thing we could do as a mother is pour our lives into our children and love them and teach them all we can while we have them…they will soon be on their own.
    This is my hearts desire. The more I grow in the Lord, the more I see that the “things” in life do not matter at all. It is the “people” in life that matter .


    • I’m wondering, Tina, if it is possible for the independence you have to be a gift from God that He could use rather than a sinful trait He needs to refine?

      On the topic of motherhood I agree we need to do all we can to love and teach our children. The best way to do that, I think, is debatable.

  3. Very thought provoking. I certainly don’t have the answers, but I will leave my scant two cent’s worth. I think when it comes to spouses, it is not healthy for one to be the giver and the other the taker. It definitely needs to be mutually satisfying. Of course there are exceptions. For instance, if one spouse is completely disabled, it would stand to reason that the other spouse will do all the giving. When it comes to children, (especially ones with disabilities) it is most often the parent(s) that do the giving. I have two with disabilites, and most days I feel like I’m in a battlefield. I am my son’s ADVOCATE every where. He gives me smiles and hugs in return, but there isn’t a whole lot he can give back. However, with some of my other children, I need to “demand” more! I guess we all see the world through our own lense.

  4. I can relate to your thinking Debbie…and just recently I have started letting my husband know my dreams–I don’t think I have ever told him. At almost 40, I feel I don’t have a lot of time left- hehehe. I totally love that your enrolled in college, I’ve done some since leaving ABC, but it was so hard to find the time to get things done. Praying for you!

    • Good for you, Nicole! I’m finding that God has given me my dreams. He gave me zealousness, desires to achieve, hopes, and goals. One concern I now have, especially, is the idea that when we marry we are to set aside all of that which God has given to us and set it aside as though it never existed in the first place. Does that mean that a woman, such as I, should never marry? Does it mean that a man that marries a woman like me should see that her calling from God is just as important as his? Personally, I believe that the one-flesh ought to make my calling as important as his. And to say that my calling as a woman is to be a wife is to say that a man’s calling is to be a husband. Period.

  5. The Bibe says to love your neighbor as yourself. I know many Christians feel that loving yourself comes naturally, but I disagree. I don’t think you can truly love others until you properly love yourself. Also, I don’t think that you can always put others first in your life. I am not advocating selfishness by any means, but if you don’t take the time to fill up your tank with gas, get your oil changed, etc., you will have nothing to give others. Some people say they would rather burn out for God than rust out, but either way you’re out!

    Also, the Bible has much more to say about mutual submission then it does about one person bending to another person’s commands. So often when we reference submission verses, we forget to read the verses in context. Almost always it is referencing mutual submission, i.e., Christian compromise. “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” Defference (not difference) is most often what is meant by submission.

    • Cathy, I couldn’t agree with you more. I would also add that Christ was our example. He retreated from the crowds and even his disciples. And when he slept on the boat it was a time when the disciples needed Him. Perhaps His rest on the boat allowed Him to deal with the crisis following. We also see mutual submission on Christ’s part in His washing of the disciples feet.

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