Desire. That’s a powerful word, isn’t it. Who doesn’t want to be desired? Especially by someone for whom you share strong feelings as well?
But though feelings are real, they’re not always right.
To illustrate this truth, allow me to change the subject entirely for a second.
Imagine you go to the doctor with what you think is a possible gluten intolerance, but find out it’s much worse than you imagined. In fact, you have six months to live. Tops. How do you feel?
There are no words.
But then a month later you discover your doc’s diagnosis was incorrect, and so was the prognosis. You’re going to be just fine. You can even eat pasta!
Were your initial feelings not real? OF COURSE they were!
But they weren’t right. They were based on wrong information.
Now let’s talk about this person you’ve been dating. So they want to have sex with you. So much so, they’re actually pressuring you to give them more than you’re ready to give them.
On a platter.
With an apple in your mouth.
Maybe with pasta on the side.
(Not literally, but hopefully you get what I’m saying.)
No doubt the feelings they are experiencing are real.
But are they right?
Now let’s look at you. On the one hand, this person’s intimate interest in your body might make you feel special, chosen, and desired. On the other hand, you might also experience some measure of apprehension, conflict and even disrespect. In addition, with the pressure you’re receiving, you might feel anxiety about whether they will leave you if you don’t give them what they want or whether they might leave you after they do get what they want. If they’re particularly aggressive, you may even fear for your safety.
Whatever the feelings you are experiencing, they are all real.
But are they right? And if you have contradictory emotions, how do you determine which are right and which are wrong?
To answer those questions, let’s go back to our medical allegory.
What if a day after you were given the six-month expiration date, you gave your boss a piece of your mind, quit your job, sold everything and blew it all (plus thousands more in debt) on a trip around the world? Then upon your return from Kokomo and beyond, you get the news that your doctor was wrong. You’re fine.
Now you’re going to need that job after all, along with all your stuff. And a serious debt reduction plan.
The good news, isn’t quite as good as it would have been. Indeed, your rash actions haven’t only created havoc for the moment, but have significantly altered your future.
Do you see the parallel to your real life situation with your hot-and-bothered lover?
Give it time.
Do you know how many, following the direction of very real feelings, will give themselves away tonight? Are you ready to join them?
Don’t you want to be certain? And when you think about it, does giving your body away in the act of sexual intimacy sound like something you ought to be pressured into doing?
Does this person, who’s got their mind set on you, truly love you? Or do they just desire your body?
Do they truly want to know you, or do they just want to use you?
Do they even honestly know the answer to that question for themselves?
And if you’re struggling to hold your own passions in check, do you know if your real feelings are right or wrong? Is this true love or a bad case of lust? Or just a bad case of gas?
Love will prove itself!
In fact, a person who truly loves you won’t ask you to give them something precious, like your body, until they have first given you something precious, like their word.
How about saying words like these first: “I do.”
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails!” – 1 Cor 13:4-8a (ESV)
Now think about the pressure you’re getting from this person you’re dating. Is their love like that?
And if it’s not, what kind of “love” would you be giving yourself away for? Is it worth it? (By the way, true love can’t be earned anyway, not with sex or anything else.)
Today they feel they love you.
What about a month from now?
What about six months?
What about six years?
How will you feel if you give everything up to this person only to discover their feelings were very real, but very wrong? And so were yours?
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!
ct to lead it!