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Romance Isn’t Everything

February 10th, 2022
By Adam Kruze read
Posted in Culture

Let me start by saying don’t let the title of this blog fool you, hear me out.

Often what we see with relationships in our culture, especially in the media, is the idealization of romantic relationships. Think about your favorite TV shows or movies, more often than not, there is a romantic subplot there to bring the two lead characters together. Most of the songs hitting the top of the charts say something about attraction, infatuation, affection. Even on the news or going to the grocery store, you see or hear of the relationships of celebrities, who’s dating who or who just got dumped.

A lot of this can feed us a message that the only relationship that is valuable or meaningful is a romantic one.

I’ve seen this when people have fed into the emptiness the culture offers. I was on a small satellite campus for my first year of college. For the first month or so, people were getting out, hanging out, and there was a community. After that, people began to pair up with a significant other, and Netflix and chill was the norm of the campus. The people I knew were seeking good things, to be seen, to be known, and to be loved. However, what were once relationships filled with joy, laughter, and hope, became drama, cheating, and loneliness. They sought to be “completed” by this one finite person, only to be left emptier than before. When those relationships dissolved, people had no one else to turn to sometimes because they had invested all their time into this one person.

What I want to express is: romantic relationships aren’t the only relationships we have.

For instance, we all have families. Our relationships with our parents, siblings, and other relatives are all unique, forged by the joy and the wounds over the course of a lifetime. I have a relationship with my sister that is unique and unrepeatable that no one else will have with her because of our shared childhood.

Another example is the men that I lived with through my years of college. They will always be good friends and I value the times we were together. We grew and learned from each other, and it forged bonds unique and unbreakable.

One of the more recent revelations I’ve had is that I will only ever see so much of a person when I am with them. It’s only through living in community with friends do I get to experience the other facets of a person’s life when others are around that they bring out of them, and this is true even in romantic relationships.

There are so many relationships in our lives that are important and valuable, and the truth is they are all important and have their place.

None of this is to say romantic relationships are in any way evil or bad, but it’s important to see the broader picture of our lives and where all these people fit in.

One of the most important relationships we will ever have is with God. If we don’t practice a daily encounter with him in prayer, then we will always have a bitter taste in our mouths and will be left unsatisfied. We are made by God and for God, and the best part is that God is Love, the most perfect love. We have nothing to fear by coming to him, rather we have everything to gain as he desires to pour into us a life that is to the full.

If we have him at the center of our lives, then all our relationships will fall into place. We will be able to better love the people in our lives and see where they fit into our lives.

Another piece that flows from this is by seeing how purely and fully God loves us, we can then begin to love ourselves better. We’ll be able to see more clearly if we’re being loved or not in any relationship and understand the standard of how to love another: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

I hope this has provided some good insight, and I wanted to give a few pointers to help us love this out well.

1. Pray 

You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but prayer is key. We need to have an intimate relationship with love himself to see how he loves and learn how to pour that out, both to others and ourselves. The best example I’ve heard is if you’re married, and you only have conversation with your spouse during dinner only on Sunday, is that really a healthy marriage?

2. Friendships

This one is especially for young adults and those who want to date. I would suggest before dating making sure that you have a solid foundation of friends around you when you do date, because often times the people around us are better at seeing if we’re being loved or not in a relationship.

It’s also important because we need our friends of the same sex to hold us accountable to be the people we want to be. We need others to build us up and understand what it means to be fully masculine or feminine.

I’ve seen that often the best friendships and relationships are those that truly build up and inspire the community, not those that diverge from community. They add to it so that it’s something more and something that draws people in.

3. Ourselves

Sometimes for people this is the easiest or the hardest part to learn. Seeing ourselves and understanding ourselves in the eyes of a loving father helps us become more alive and leads others to new life also. Often in our spiritual journey, the first person God wants to heal is us. Only from being made whole by him can we love others fully. I don’t seek to build up our egos, as we still need humility. Rather seeing our smallness in the palm of his hand can be the greatest tool for our lives.

About the Author

Adam is a 2021 Graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelors in New Media and Communications Technology. He grew up in North Royalton, Ohio and played the Saxophone through middle school and high school. He met the culture project through his sister who had the team over for a game night. He met the team and felt very welcomed and known by the team and desired to know more about them and join them. He applied to the mission, was encouraged through encounters and affirmation, and was accepted to the mission. “My sister has been the gateway for a lot of things in my life. I’m ready to live out the adventure the Lord has for me.”

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