I feel very strongly about the whole love thing.
I do not quite know what it is in me (I hope it is God) that lets me get so caught up in feeling for others when they are failing to find the hope in life, if they are sitting in a big fat messy cloud of a problem, of despair, of discouragment. I am not an extremely emotional person. I am not someone that gets teary during movies – unless my mind is making some odd connection with real life. I find myself sitting a looking at what issue I must war next and know that I can do it with God’s help (Although that does more often now need to come through someone else as I seem to have passed off my self reliance for something greater – which is not always entirely convinient.). I struggle more for others than I do for myself.
I think love is important. I think we underestimate love in friendships. We instead exculsively tie love to relationships of the truly that kind.
I was reading tonight something about Eve. I’ve never really bothered looking at Eve’s story as its always the yep, I know it. Woman plus snake plus apple (yeah Granny Smith) plus temptation equals first submission to temptation equals first sin, followed closely by offer to male, which can’t be resisted, hence second sin. Goodbye – thus the fall of mankind. Farewell garden, farewell easy life, farewell condensed beauty. Hello desert, hardwork, painful childbirth (and child rearing), discord and difficult relationships.
I have in my travels around the outskirts of theology and looking at I guess the whole ‘being a woman’ in this world of two kinds of humans, definitely noticed the original blueprint woman. Her perfection before everything was interferred with, and have had the whole word ‘ezer’ flashed in my face when covering various ‘women and submission and leadership’ jargon.
Ezer. First ignored by biblical scholars and translated helpmeet/helper or something, then eventually realised and pushed to strong helper, and then further to actually mean something more like warrior (no the whole warrior idea doesn’t fully appeal to me – probably because it sounds kind of feminist, but it definitely has merit).
It was also dumped primarily in the marriage setting. Where it actually sort of extends further.
This is what frustrates me. Why women are expected to only be exclusively helpful to their husbands/husbands to be when we should be (to an extent) be allies/friends/ezers to our male friends. It’s not a practice thing – well perhaps, but a love thing.
1 John 4:7-12:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son[into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
It is unreasonable to suggest that we could improve everyone in the love arena.
“After Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit, relationships between men and women collapsed from unity into tension and conflict. Instead of being valued as the man’s strongest ally and spiritual resource, the ezer became an object to possess and control. The noble calling to rule and subdue the earth in God’s name was peverted…” (Curtis James, Carolyn)
I find it quite frustrating (as I said before) where Christian guys dance along the edge of this. I am not dissing guys or even talking about how people fail in treating females. These are well meaning guys who (and I’m sorry but you probably do know who you are) will not do something individually with a girl because it might look like a date when it isn’t. Writing this out has made things a little clearer and has reminded me that yes – the whole ‘fall’ did happen, so of course there is still this underlying impression that ‘ezers (ie: females) are/can be possessable’ etc. But sitting in this role as a friend?
I remember hearing something, probably from that Josh Harris sermon (haha, quick run before it’s too late!) about giving guys the freedom to go and have lunch or whatever, with females without the pressure of ‘something more’ being there.
Why does this always hang over our heads with friendships with the opposite sex? A platonic relationship is apparently rarely possible without at some point in time one individual being attracted to the other – if not both (and then guess what happens!)
It annoys me, because if we looked at things differently. If we didn’t have so many expectations or just normalities I think we might function with a lot more freedom. Can’t we just be honest with eachother about where things stand, be genuine friends and leave things until circumstances change (if ever)? Or is it too much to hope to ignore the discord, disunity, and the desert loneliness?