Family Life – November 2011

A relationship cannot develop unless you are truly free to be yourself and you cannot be yourself entirely unless you know that partner accepts you unconditionally and will always be there. Marriage cannot be founded only on romantic love. It needs to be founded on carefully developed intimacy.

Ronke’s story
Ronke, a final year chemistry student and girl about town, was regarded by her peers as the most popular girl on campus. To many her beauty was divine. As she walked down the road, she always received the admiration of everyone. Ronke believed that there was no love without money and her motto was: “What’s love got to do with it?” She was often heard saying, “This love thing is not for me! What is love anyway? Will love put a roof over my head, or buy me the latest cars? I beg you to leave me.
Once the money is right, love is guaranteed!

It was not surprising that Ronke had a string of admirers who were willing to give her anything just to enjoy her company. They lavished cars, gifts, jewellery, and the latest attire on her. Name it. She had it. She was on top of the world and life was good.

Alhaji Musa was Ronke’s boyfriend. He has proposed marriage and was already preparing for their traditional marriage. He has spoiled her with trips abroad and a car and driver on campus. She soon became the envy of her friends. One fateful day on her return from a weekend trip with Alhaji Musa, the front wheel of his car fell out and he lost control and ended up beneath a packed trailer. An onlooker rushed her to hospital, but her legs could not be saved. Ronke became a cripple. Her world collapsed and her friends deserted her. Those who had given gifts to her reclaimed all her expensive possessions, one after the other. While she was still in hospital Alhaji Musa took possession of all her he had given her, changed the locks in her apartment and took all the gifts of jewellery.

All of a sudden Ronke could not even pay her hospital bill. She became desperate, frustrated and dejected. She did not have a friend to call on her for help; her only option was suicide. She got hold of the drug Valium, took an overdose and drifted off into oblivion. In her subconscious she saw the image of one like the sun, who said to her, “Ronke, my dear, I love you just the way you are. Though men forsake you, I will never abandon you. My love for you is eternal”.
She asked this person, “How can you love me like this? What use can you have for a cripple?
He answered; “It is not what I have to gain, but what I can give. I make all things beautiful in their time and you are my precious jewel.”

At that moment she regained consciousness and began to weep. She realised that love is all about giving to others, not because you want to receive, but because you want them to be at their best when they are not beautiful to behold. On that foundation a home can be built.

She exclaimed, “It is all about the love of God!” Then she gave her heart to Jesus, a friend who remains closer than a brother in times of tribulation.

We all believe the common misconception that human love can rescue us from our weaknesses, failures and hurts. We have to grasp the truth that only God can meet our needs and compensate for a lack of love from others. Everywhere around the world people seek love. This is one thing everybody, irrespective of colour, country, creed or gender desires. So often in our quest to find love our emotions, impulses or lack of knowledge makes us search in the wrong places.
As we discovered earlier, it is wrong to search for love with another man. God is the source of love. When we find god, we have found love. When we have found the source of love, which is God, he can then guide us to love someone else. We shall then have received love ourselves in our own imperfection and be ready to bless, without exploiting someone else.
It is wrong to search for love with someone who does not love you back. Love that flows from one direction is never enough to sustain a meaningful relationship. Love must be reciprocal to be meaningful. My aim is to see that you have enough information to determine the quality or strength of the love that exists between you and your partner. If love given is always returned, there will be enough to go around.

Love means different things to different people, depending on the understanding of the person expressing it. Two people may profess to love each other but still have different ideas of what they are talking about. Is love really that elusive? Does it necessarily have to mean different things?

What does love really mean to you?

I welcome your opinion.
Enjoy your home

Folake Johnson
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