Jesus said, ”Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:13-14). Real love is that pure Christlike love that has the power to transform our hearts from empty and afraid to permanently filled with the light of God's love. It is that perfect love that casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
The world is filled with imitation love--with most of us using what Dr. Greg Baer calls "getting and protecting behaviors." When we use these tactics, such as seeking praise (trying to please others with lies about ourselves), power (attacking, placing blame, and using manipulation or force of any kind to get others to love us), pleasure (using sex or other forms of pleasure to feel loved), or safety (acting like a victim or clinging to our partner), we are experiencing imitation love that leaves us more thirsty for love than before. When we use these getting and protecting behaviors, we may feel temporarily validated. But, deep down, we know that what we wanted was not freely given and the feeling does not last. When we partake of imitation love, we thirst.
Real Love has no agenda except to be unconditionally loving. It honors agency and does not expect the other person to reciprocate or change. Real Love is freely given--not earned or demanded. Real love is vulnerable and allows a person to tell the truth about himself or herself and truly be seen and accepted--warts and all. When we share who we really are and receive acceptance, we can trust that it is real.
Many relationships, including marriages, fall into a transactional pattern of exchanging imitation love. Couples become disillusioned as they start to quibble over who got the most or who did the most. When we partake of imitation love, we will thirst again. In fact, we will be perpetually thirsty. When we focus on loving freely, without expectations, we will naturally connect with other wise people who do the same. Real love can change your heart. It can change the world.
We are pleased to share one of the most important interviews we've done, or will ever do, about love--which we bare in our name: "Love In Later Years." We were blessed with the opportunity to meet with Dr. Greg Baer himself, author of "Real Love" and many other books about this same concept. It may take a lifetime to master, but it is a joyful, worthwhile, and fun journey. Enjoy the interview that will elevate your perspective on love and support you in creating more real love in your life.
FEATURED THIS WEEK
LILY Pod Episode 59: Real Love with Dr. Greg Baer
LILY Tube Video: Real Love with Dr. Greg Baer
LILY Tube Video: Deepening Connection in Dating Relationships
Enjoy the interview with Dr. Greg Baer about real love. There is a listening option on “LILY Pod” and watching option on “LILY Tube.” Real love is one of the most important aspects of life so we hope you will join us in learning more! We also have another new video on vulnerability and connection in dating relationships, which ties in well with this focus on real love.
If you enjoy this letter, forward to a friend. Our goal is to support as many mid-singles and later-married couples as possible!
To get a copy of "Intentional Courtship" on Amazon and create more love in your life in 2022, visit Intentional Courtship.