Love & Romance: Some Lies Our Culture Gives Us

Regardless of where you are up to in life’s journey, tuning out cultural lies about love, romance and sex is essential for healthy relationships, especially for healthy marriages.

Number one of these lies is probably that love is a feeling. Our culture talks about love as something you fall into and out of, like a volcanic eruption of passions and emotion. Feelings come and go, day-to-day, sometimes hour-to-hour. This may especially be the case when we are facing financial pressures or the children are being particularly difficult. Sometimes , however, problems are magically resolved or even disappear. Feelings are like that, they come and go. But love is more powerful than that; it’s a commitment, a covenant my wife, Susan, and I made at our marriage ceremony. It’s not popular or trendy, but it perseveres through failure and disappointment. We can’t allow our lives and those of our children to depend on our feelings alone: Feelings are very good servants, but terrible masters.

Secondly, they say opposites attract. Where did this come from?I’m not sure. In our culture, personal attraction and “chemistry” between people are regarded as confirmation of true love. It’s as if shared values and having things in common are too mundane. Susan and I, despite being opposite in many ways, had one thing we agreed on and that brought us together: God. There was a physical attraction, but we wouldn’t have made it without a shared love for God. Strong, stable relationships need things in common, specifically in our case, a shared faith.

Another cultural romantic notion is that there is only one person for you, you just have to find them. This can put a lot of pressure on us, to find “that one”. This one person, your own personal love, can become a god to you: You need them in order to feel complete or whole. Another danger of “the one” kind of thinking is that it can believe, naively, that failed relationships are the other persons fault. It does not think that the blame may be their own.

We are up to number 4: Good looks are more important than character. Just watch the movies, on TV and cinema. Listen to music and DVDs, especially in our pop culture. Such a high proportion of them are about love or have a “love interest”. For a relationship to last, you need partner whose identity is not found in you. They love you, but they don’t need you in order to live their life. Therefore, they are able to tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear.

In our culture, belief that you can change your partner is a real threat to healthy marriages and partnerships. When Susan and I first got married, we agreed a pact: If I behaved like my father, she would tell me; If she behaved like her mother, I would tell her. It worked quite well, but there were some very long silences between us until we got closer to a practical acceptance of the plan. Very often, it’s not your spouse who is the problem, its you that needs to change. And if you are willing to do so, it can have a marked effect on your partner.

Culture says that conflict in relationships is temporary, and that all healthy relationships reach a point where everyone is happy. Actually, in real life, working at your relationship can be hard going. It generates tension, but thistension is healthy. Resolving conflict together provides an opportunity for your relationship to grow. Susan has often said that without the Holy Spirit we would have separated years ago.

My final cultural falsehood is contained in the title of a hit song by The Beatles: “All You Need Is Love”. Remember it? In reality, whatever baggage you carried before finding love, follows you into that relationship. But the love we have for each other, like we ourselves, is in need of being rescued by God, from its own self-indulgence. We are fallen people without Jesus. It’s his kind of love we need to make successful and lasting marriages.

Being powerful is like being a lady, if you have to tell people you are, then you aren't. Margaret Thatcher
The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but God will make us good because he loves us. C S Lewis
Fear is misplaced faith. Kris Vallotton
God has already seen every mistake, every failure and every weakness, and the good news is he's already forgiven you. He is not holding it against you. Joel Osteen
God is not nearly so interested in changing your circumstances as he is in changing you. Joyce Meyer
Pray, and let God worry Martin Luther
Those who never change their mind never change anything. Winston Churchill
What you do (for a living) is not who you are.  Celia Apeagyei-Collins 
 People who write you off when you fail know nothing about history and even less about life. No person ever fully succeeds until they fully fail. Lance Wallnau 
There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite. Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael.  C S Lewis
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Jim Elliot
You never know how much you really believe anything until it's truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life or death to you. C S Lewis
If you know you are loved, faith is easy. It's easy to trust someone you know loves you. David Forster
Every moment that you spend upset, despaired, anguished, angry, afraid or hurt, because of the behaviour of someone else in your life, is a moment in which you have given up control of your life. Unknown
Remember, you do not have to live today by how you feel, nor by what you think about yourself, nor by what someone else thinks about you. The person who created you thinks you are wonderful, and he waits with open arms for you to agree with him. David Forster
Shift gears from doing something in God's presence to simply being in God's presence. Lance Wallnau
Your future doesn't depend on what is in front of you, it depends on who is in you. Lance Wallnau
Did you know that you are utterly and completely loved by God, without doing a single thing, good or bad. David Forster
no one knows how bad they are until they have tried very hard to be good.. C S Lewis
If we are living daily by faith, we will be constantly over our head; Beyond our ability to do this our that. We should all be in that place in some area of our life. If we are not, we will be like an old wineskin; too rigid and inflexible to receive the Lord's new wine. Rick Joyner
For a believer intimacy with God is not an option, it's a necessity. Guidance and direction depend on this intimacy and sensitivity to Holy Spirit. There is no substitute for the latter. Graham Cooke
Jesus reveals the Father to us. He gives us peace and rest. He is not a hard taskmaster. David Forster
The God who creates everything, pursues you. Don't let anyone tell you you're are worth less than that. Louie Giglio
In the kingdom, physical obedience brings spiritual release. Bill Johnson
Don't be surprised if you pray for nearness to God and he sends a trial. Nearness always requires dependence. Desiringgod.org
Our corporate worship doesn't meet a need in God, it meets a need in us. Sam Storms
How you feel is not who you are. Feelings are great servants and terrible masters. Kris Vallotton
There is a lot that is good in your life. Don't take it for granted. Don't get so focused on the struggle that you mis the gift of today. Joel Osteen
The enemy commits identity theft when you believe you must earn what God freely gives. Alison Brown
If you agree with your creator and receive what he freely gives, you will have serenity in your identity and confidence in your countenance. David Forster
If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got. David Forster
A satisfying and exciting life organises around an identity focused on Jesus, not the church..  Graham Cooke
Satan cannot impose his will on anyone, he has to have our agreement.  Graham Cooke
Every day adjust yourself to where God is taking you, that is, toward the prophetic vision he has given you. Lance Wallnau
Real faith is not faith in an outcome (of a particular situation or circumstance), it's faith in a person. David Forster
Be in no doubt that God will redeem the losses and mistakes of your past life. David Forster
God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself, because there is simply no such thing. C S Lewis
Wealth, women and status; these are the major temptations that can draw a man away from God. Each is morally neutral; yet given the appropriate significance, each can control us. David Forster
The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he doesn't exist. Anon
Fear is the enemy of love. The two cannot exist together. We have to choose daily: Fear or Love. David Forster
You are not saved because of the quality of your faith. You are saved because of the object of your faith; The Redeemer! Tim Keller
Revival goes from the bottom up; Reformation goes from the top down. Therefore reformation is institutional and revival is personal. Lance Wallnau
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Albert Einstein
Inner peace is key to experiencing God's presence. Rest is a weapon against the enemy Graham Cooke
Fairy tales don't tell children that dragons exist. Children know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed. G K Chesterton
When you are at peace with God, you will be at peace with yourself and with other people. David Forster
You can believe in Christianity in the same way you believe that the sun has risen; Firstly, because you see it and secondly because by it you see everything else. C S Lewis
A little while ago I became old enough to start believing in fairy tales again. This means there are far better things ahead of me then what I have left behind. C S Lewis
Your unfinished destiny is your most potent argument with death. Graham Cooke
I am not focused on what I am not, I am focused on what he is for me. David Forster
Reaching the Heights