Session XVII of Love and Relationships!
1. What does it mean to you to be a teachable person?
2. How can you be?
3. How does learning contribute to communicating?
I cannot love someone unless they will love me first; if…. When you seek to make love conditional that the other person does or behaves as you think they should, you will see a sure sign for a coming disaster! Because, what you are, in fact, doing is telling them, "I do not trust you! I will only like you, or love you if you like or love me first, or, if you…. then I will…" You will be communicating to the person who you claim to love and whom you want to love you, "I do not care about you as a person, your feelings, wants, or needs-only how I think and feel!" And, just think it through; how would you like to be treated in this way (Matthew 7:7-13)? There can be no real love in this mindset! Nor, can you place unreasonable expectations on the other person; we all need to remember what love really is!
The only way your friends, relationships at work, acquaintances, your spouse, or future spouse can know what you feel, need, want, desire, or think, is by your telling them. If you want to be heard, you have to be willing to listen. You have to be willing to put your share of the relationship out on the table first, rather than wait for the other person. Good communication is a must-necessary to understanding one another. We will talk more about expectations in the coming chapters.
On the other hand, there is the opposite trend to think, well, my friend or mate will change. Once we get to know each other, he/she will see my position and make a change. Or worse, once we get married all will change! NOT! The relationship will only get worse, since the motivation to change has been removed, and replaced with the reward of having the goal of friendship or marriage given to them! Remember this important fact, we humans are motivated by two things-desire and fear-just like dog training! Take away the motivation and the dog will not learn, as it is with you and me!
You can never force a person to change; they have to desire to do so themselves. And, by the way, fear is never a way to motivate love. It is good for discipline when it is in the parameters of love, as with child raising, but, not with friends or spouse. If your future spouse is going out with friends, and partying all of the time, and you think it will stop once you say, "I do," the simple answer is no, it won't. You will just get frustrated and hurt.
He/she will keep doing it. You will both argue. He/she will get more relentless in their lifestyle, because, you are not dealing with it, and it continues, back, and forth. The only person you can change is you! Unrealistic expectations will not magically be fulfilled once you say, "I do." Those are not magic words! There are the words to commitment not to change. Good relationships are built on a commitment that both of you are willing to be open, and improve yourself to please the other person. This means compromise, growth, and change. And, most importantly, you will be developing good Biblical character to please our Lord. This will, in turn, develop your relationship with each other!
1. in your experiences, what happens when you, or others in relation to you, make love conditional? Would you want others to treat you in a conditional way? Does God? Do you with others?
2. What role has listening played in your relationships? How much do you need to be listened to? How much do you listen to others?
3. Why can we never successfully force a person to change?