To Love or To Leave?

Reconsidering a relationship because of abuse and adultery is one thing, but leaving for the sake of simply not feeling it one morning is different. That wonderful man or woman you vowed to love and hold for all the days of your life, will always come shy of pure bliss.

No matter who you end up with, they will drive you absolutely bonkers. For as sure as the sun rises in the morning, they will always remain broken by the sin of this world and fail your expectations, your desires and your hopes till death do you part.

Those sparks that captivated you in the first place will one day fizzle out; it may be in several months, five years or it’s already happened. The sense of adoration and awe that kept you enraptured every time they spoke or kept you on your toes will soon be replaced with annoyance, boredom and perhaps, even contempt. That first date which smelled of chocolate covered strawberries and freshly sprayed cologne (not in that order or combined), is now more or less reminiscent of Chinese take out from a few nights ago.

(I know this all seems very bleak, but hear me out).

Is it time to call it quits? Maybe all the signs are pointing towards the exit door. You may even be half foot in half foot out and let’s not even begin to remember the last time your heart did somersaults when he or she came into the room (at this point, you’re lucky if it even manages a tiny little jig).

Now instead of sitting around moping and wallowing in a puddle of your own tears and snot, understand that what you feel is absolutely normal. The person you say I do to at the altar is not the same person you will kiss goodnight to thirty years later. The core of that person will undoubtedly change and before that statement warrants you the right to pack your bags and go, let’s take a short brisk walk down memory lane.

You’ll come to realize that humanity (not just you) has had a commitment issue from the very beginning. Promises make us sweat and vows are more or less broken (if not by us, then by the generation after us). We see this occur time and time again in Genesis then Exodus and before you get too hopeful, every single book in the Bible after that. So why should it come to shock any of us that when it comes to our own personal relationships, we handle it just as poorly, if not worse? When in doubt, wondering whether or not you ought to leave because the feeling is gone, look to the Father.

In Exodus 32, we see God burn in jealous rage after he witnesses the people worship the golden calf and exclaims to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.” Some people may read and interpret these verses as God’s inability to act “God-like” or may even use it to prove God’s lack of love in the Old Testament as compared to the New Testament.

If read in that way, we severely miss the mark. What you feel has very little to do with the promise you have already made. God demonstrates this truth very clearly by revealing His unfiltered emotions towards Moses. In a surprising, yet oddly comforting way, the events that follow reveal a God that processes emotion in a way that is eerily familiar to us: He asks for isolation, to brood, to quash and even to punish the offender (sounds like my daily morning rush hour mood). The sole originator of emotion is God. Not only are his emotions sinless, they are always justified, and because God can do no wrong, His pain, frustration, loneliness and ache of betrayal is magnified to an incomprehensible degree. If we who are so easily ruffled, so proud and so sinful in our purest of actions can feel the intensity of hurt that abandonment costs, how much more does God hurt?

Regardless as to how the Creator of the Universe feels, He commits. He chooses even though everything would point him in the other direction and continues to love us in a way that is shockingly unfathomable. And yet, it’s a disturbing and altogether uncomfortable idea to know what love can be at the fullest extent. It is meant to be more than some romantic whirlwind of glee and joy. Even a child could tell you it’s not enough to simply say the words, “I love you.” For we know that words can be spoken and embellished with poetic flair, but without any backing behind it, it may as well fall on deaf ears. God knew better than anyone what love without action meant, so He set everything into motion before the world came to be and promised not just to love till death, but to love through death. The death of Jesus shows us that there is indeed a love that will never leave. It chooses to stay — even if staying requires it to be nailed, ridiculed and bled out upon wooden beams.

Hebrews 6: 16-20, ESV
For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath…where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever…

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