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We’ve all heard that  ‘I love you’ from that guy that claimed that you were his world, we’ve heard it from friends who stuck close enough just when they needed you, we’ve heard that same lines from parents who say ‘ I only want what is best for you’. We’ve heard this same words from preachers, Christian brothers and sisters, course mates and relatives but how sincere were those words? Sometimes, we’ve been the ones to say it but deep down we question our sincerity.

Every man seeks affirmation and acceptance from somewhere, something or someone. For most of the world, acceptance is sort from society. Our dear sweet parents are no exclusions. Like a woman who seeks to have a child not because she longs to serve and love that child but to not be the so called ‘barren woman’ on the street. Like the mothers and fathers who send their kids to school, who deep down, want to believe that they do so to ensure them a better life and not just because it reflects well on them. We’ve probably met those parents who ‘kind of’ force their kids to read professional courses, we’ve heard them say ‘my son would study medicine’ while they remain oblivious to the true gifts and talents of their kids. The truth is, they don’t care about the child’s fulfilment, and they only care about the benefits that come their way; better clothes and housing, more money in the account, respect from their friends. Most of our parents seek to live out their lives through us.

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Let’s talk about friendships, we all have those guys that only show up only when they need something, those friends, sorry I mean leeches, who are there to drain you out. In most cases, we know them but what about those friends who hang around you, who believe that they are real friends but when their heart is faced with a crystal mirror, it becomes evident that they hang around you either because you make them feel better about themselves or you have the ‘connect’ they need to climb up the ladder. To be honest I think we’ve all been those people. I remember a time, not too long ago, when I desired friendships because I hated being lonely and I wanted to be around people who I could draw from plus it helped my street cred *wink*. I guess that’s the mentality we get, when we base our lives on quotes like ‘associate with those who are higher than you’. What ever happened to just loving people irrespective of what they add to us, isn’t it more profitable to give than to receive?

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And yes, the romantic love; ever asked a guy or a girl, why they love someone, the usual answer is ‘he makes me laugh’ or ‘she makes me happy’, ‘I feel good ever time I’m around him’, ‘oh, when he kisses me….’ blah blah blah, we’ve heard it a thousand times. But I wonder, what should be the answer, should our happiness or joy be banked on another human being? Or should our feelings be the mark of what is true, Shosuld being in love be about us? How many of us ask ourselves if we are good for the person we claim we love? How many of us think about their needs before ours?

So I met this guy, six feet three, handsome and well spoken. In less than a month of our friendship, he claimed to be in love. Now to be honest, I can’t 100percent blame him, I led him on. I’m not excusing it but he was fineeeeeeee!!!!! And I was blinded with what was physical. As we grew closer, I began to see how it was impossible for me and him to be an item, we had conflicting views on several issues that where deal breakers for me. In his mind, he was perfect for me, and I was for him. He never thought about how he would make me better, through our conversations (thanks to the holy spirit), I could see how it was as if I wasn’t in the equation, by this I mean, it was evident that in his dreams, which he shared, he only saw how I would benefit him, how I’d make the perfect wife for a striving lawyer with political ambitions. He never thought to think if he would be the kind of man, a girl like me needs. Was his love for me selfish? Yes, that doesn’t mean that mine was any less selfish.

When we get involved in romantic relations, most times it’s about us; don’t get me wrong, falling in love is an awesome decision for both parties involved but I believe it should be based on something bigger than ourselves. Love is the most abused word in the world, I’m learning every day that everything we do must be birthed from a place of genuine love. Now, I’m not saying that seeking companionship or having babies is a bad thing, because it’s not, we must ask ourselves if the reasons for our choices is to satisfy our flesh or emotions alone.

As parents, and parents-to-be, ask yourself, do I have the right principles to train up a child or do I need to take time out to redefine my core values, now I know that there is no such thing as a perfect parent, but we can be good parents, dying to ourselves so we can really live right and raise our kids right. I can’t say much about parenthood because I am not a parent myself but I know about individuals and internalising the core values upon which your life is built. Marriage and parenthood comes with its own challenges but I believe that if you are an honest person, it would never change in the face of difficulty, unless you never were.

Friends, ask yourself why you want this friendships, is it because you are lonely and don’t really like yourself; so you go out looking for someone to make you feel better about yourself or is it because you desire a genuine companionship, where love is shared between both sides. If you search yourself and find out that you fall under the first category, I advise that you learn to love yourself and your own company and keep in mind that you cannot be successful with other people, if you have not paid the price to be successful with yourself.

Love couldn’t be better defined as it was in 1corinthians 13 v 4-7
‘4. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5. Or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6. It does not rejoice in injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

I end this by saying, seek God and let him change you from the inside out because you cannot love unless you have God, for God is love. 1 John 4 v 8.

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