The “Crush” and The Christian Marriage

July 13, 2006 at 9:54 am 30 comments

Wow.  I’ve read the word “crush” so much on Christian blogs that it got my mind spinning and thinking toward the topic more seriously.  Do Christians get any help dealing with this idea of a “crush”?  It seems or sounds innocent enough…

You aren’t going to hear this discussed on Desperate Housewives episodes, or Sex in the City. 

Questions I thought of:

  • What about crushes? 
  • Inevitable?  
  • Desirable? 
  • What to DO with them? 

I mean, I’ve read here and there about Christian “crushes” on actors, discussing past flames, checking them out on my-Space (where old crushes are, where they live, what they are doing, or “just keeping in touch”.)  Then, there is the bothersome “crush” at work or in ministry.  Thay person we can’t get off our mind.  It happens.   

First, I guess I should say that I hesitate to use the word “crush”.  It’s over-used, it sounds innocent and non-commital. 

So, is it just someone you would are “attracted” to?  That happens.  Or is a crush actually taking someone you are attracted to and begun to let fantasy mix with it…enjoying a mental vacation to fantasy. 

A crush implies an attachment, right?   

Test

“Crush”?  Here are some checks:   

  • not being able to get someone off your mind. 
  • Thinking of excuses to be with person.  
  • Wanting person’s time and attention, arranging it, perhaps in covert ways. 
  • Liking the sound of person’s voice on the phone a bit too much. 
  • Giggling a bit too much around person.  Acting giddy or silly. 
  • Lingering on the phone over no particular point of conversation a bit too much,
  • being overly attentive, overly curious. 
  • Feeling good when they are around or when you talk, 
  • rehearsing conversations with person after it’s over throughout the day, just because it makes you smile.  
  • Enjoying person’s great points, tending to not notice the bad anymore. 
  • Checking person out, coming up with adjectives to describe them in your mind. 
  • Talking about person inappropriately to others in terms of appearance or appeal. 
  • Not being able to “take your eyes off person”. 
  • having to rationalize some changes in your own behavior until it seems “right”

All this surrounds crush-infatuation. 

Some helps:   

1.  You may be bored and have too much “down time”.  The Bible tells us to stay busy and productive with our lives.  Idle minds are prone to wander and prone to “leave the God they love” as one hymn says. Focus on the basics of discipleship.

2.  Accountability:  have fulfilling community active in your life.  This minimizes the tendency toward fantasy and gives you help when problems like this arise and seek to steal your joy, perhaps your family.   

3.  Realize that Christians don’t lose human-ness.  Though married, we do not cease to be attractive or attracted. 

Past Crushes: 

Making fun of the past is fun. It is our past!  Making fun of crushes from old single days is a light side of life. The warning point may very well be when you begin to go back, check mySpace, scope people out.  Wondering.  Staying concerned about people is okay, but checking the heart motive is very necessary.  Respecting/honoring your spouse is very necessary.   

DANGER:  Going to meet them, calling on the phone, or doing eChats is usually not ‘concern’ or “friendship” for married people.  One of the two spouses would or perhaps should have qualms.  Whether you “trust” each other or not, setting yourself up for outside relational heart attachements does not affair-proof your marriage.  Perhaps you’ve seen different marriage stats than I have, but our goal is to do whatever it takes to be the exception.  Keeping relationships checked and tight is necessary.

Fantasy/Dreaming:  The heart becomes easily attached and dreams of better times,better situations, better marriages, and better life.  Is it really there?  Probably not.  All life, all marriage is process.  It’s hard work.  Don’t forget that.

You may be heading yourself straight toward a historical infatuation, fantasy land, wondering, and mental playgrounds. 

Learn to “let go” as a married person.  Live in the present.  Build “your kingdom”, and protect it like a knight.

To help you “release” or “let go”: 

Pray for past flames when the mind wanders.  Choose to do a Bible study helping you focus on and be thankful for your own spouse and situation.  Busy your mind in Bible studies and other passions as God leads.  God tells us to live alert and self controlled lives.  This doesn’t come from free floating mentally.  THAT is where the problem lies with dreaming.  Let him have your dreams, and create in you a passionate dreamer with dreams that grow His kingdom. 

Learn to life thankfully, not wistfully.  God promises this is the cure for the dissatisfied blues. Pray for God to use this person, protect their family, grow them to godliness, and provide for them. One prayer, or occassional prayers in this direction is enough.  God hears.  And…no need or necessary benefit to tell the person, “I’m praying for you”.  Guard your heart as a precious treasure.  Protect.

Pray that you would be able to focus on your own business as you should. 

Pray, and release.  Meditate on scriptures you need.  God says his Word is as sharp as a double edged sword penetrating through soul and spirit.  You need that.  Share with a same-gender, trustrworthy friend with a proven track record who you know you can trust.  Confession can help “heal us” as scripture says.  

Time with your spouse ALSO needs a tune up.  We’ll discuss that later.  Find some in a relevant book at your local Christian bookstore. 

Fill your mind with fruitful creative exploration and outlets in healthy direction.  Pursue the passions God gives you.  Develop a lot of same sex relationships…pray for them, and wait on God for good ones.       

JUST A FRIENDSHIP?  “Friendships are healthy!  They are okay!” 
Continually growing male-female friendships need to involved a healthy mix of community, accountability, and clearly directed purpose.  If you are not trained to guide and coach people and in a professional position to do so cross gender, I’m advising you to stay away from it.  Being in a “helper” role to someone of the opposite sex is dangerous for you both.  Isn’t that an element of friendship?  Can’t guys and girls be friends.  Yes.  But, if you want to make sure your marriage is secure and you are safe…here are the safe guidelines.  There is no way around them.  If you want to protect your Christian witness and example, you have to be very carefully about friendships with those of the opposite sex, making sure you honor your spouse. Honor?  We’ll talk about what that really means more later.    

Do you “just like the smiles?”  The “joy”?  The “cheer”?  The lifeheartedness and joking?  The reciprocated curiosity (real or imagined)?  Ego boost? Is that okay?  Can’t we just have fun?  Does everything have to be taken seriously?

Well, let’s do some checks.  Do you: 

Find yourself wondering what to wear when they will be around?  

Wonder if they will be “there”, and if you will get to talk, and 

What you will talk about? 

What witty or funny thing you will say?  

What compliment you might give?  

What silly or playful situation you might construct or look forward to? 

“He or she is just always so fun!”  

“My spouse isn’t like that, doesn’t make me feel that way, doesn’t look as good, never says those things to me!”

Do you wonder what could or would happen, in another life?  Another situation? 

Do you find yourself quoting this person constantly?  Time for space and some balance.   

Do you feel God’s blessing in what you are doing, or do you feel a constant “check” wondering how far this thing could go without your getting into “trouble”?

Is this normal, or wrong?  And where does it get “wrong”? 

You might say, ” But, we’re not even necessarily at ‘lust stage’ here necessarily (not often anyway)!  ‘That’s’ not really a problem.  I’m not thinking of anything ‘dirty’.  Should I really ‘freak out’ over innocent and inevitable cross gender stuff?” 

If you are saying “yes” to answers of the FIRST set of questions, these are not the questions at hand.  Your mind can convince you this is all overkill.  Guard your heart.  Even if you are single, the “crush” can be problemati–it’s fantasy mixed with a lot of unrealistic expectations and infatuation rather than the reality of the person a lot of times.  Let God lead you beyond your emotions and fantasy.  Surrender them to Him.  Let him do the work of building solid relationships in your life.  

I’ve heard a lot of people have one crush… and begin to wonder if they married the wrong person at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.  No.  God knew it all when He made you “one”.  You are now one and your marriage is blessed by him.  It may be a lot of work and take a lot of work, but that marriage is yours…your example to the world of what God’s faithfulness to you looks like and feels like.  Stick with it.  It will be fulfilling and serve it’s purpose in your life and that of those around  you.  We’re not talking about extraordinary situations of life threatening abuse here.

The key thing you can do is to give yourself space.  Space away from conversations.  Contact.  Greetings.  Don’t cross paths, avoid eye contact for a while, and share with someone that you need prayer. 

When the Lord frees you to interact in any way with the person again, you’ll have a clearer heart and not worry about it.

I’ve heard people say, “Flirty is fun for everybody.  We all want and need it.  As long as you know where to draw the line.  We all enjoy the tension of a little flirting. Life is meant to be fun and exciting.  Anyway, I just like to see smiles!  Nothing wrong with making someone smile.  I enjoy that.  And…I’m not stopping just to be ‘perfect’.” 

Realize that “perfect” is not our goal.  Holiness is.  God calls us to holiness.  This is not the same as “perfection”.  Holiness means growing up, moving toward maturity of Christ, being sure to not get in the way of someone else walking in holiness. 

Truth be told, some of us would just rather not ever grow up!  Get involved in a church with some people who can guide you and help you find the purpose and direction in life you are looking for.  I heard a sermon yesterday that said it well.  “Babies crawl.  Children run.  Teens style.  Adults get the job done.”  Grow up in Christ.  If you refuse to grow up, don’t be suprised when you feel like “God isn’t letting you drive”. 

Think honestly:

  • How often are you making the same person happy
  • Are you honoring that person’s spouse in the way you interact?
  • Are you creating heart attachments and “woo-ing” the person’s heart?  Why?
  • Are you honoring the weakness of others who do not need to follow your example?
  • What might others think of you as a result of your interactions with this person?
  • Has anyone questioned you about it? 

Guard your family and your reputation, and theirs.  Guard hearts.

If you make healthy changes and give yourself “space”, the crush-friend may think you are upset with them for a while…let them get over it.  Assure them you are just busy or whatever.  Get on with your life.  Be kind, but don’t be overly attentive and “agg” anything on with anyone, crush or not.  Be responsible for your brother or sister. 

A scripture I meditate on regarding my husband: 

You are to feel for them [your spouse, husband here] all that reverence includes:  to respect, defer to, revere him — to honor, esteem, appreciate, PRIZE, in the human sense, to ADORE him, that is…admire, praise, be DEVOTED to, deeply love and ENJOY YOUR husband.  I Peter 3:1 AMP

If you have limited a view of and active fun relationship with your spouse…you two have some work that needs to be done as a priority.  You likely have too narrow a view of them, and are doing to little together in terms of projects, social time, thankfulness, helpfulness to them, cultifated times of good humored family and couple time. 

Plan a balance of fun and creative activities and time with your family, and just with your spouse as often as you can to keep it fulfilling to both of you.  The majority of cross-gender needs are meant to be fulfilled in marriage. 

Yes, God made us to be a “body” working together–just check your heart.  God says the path of life is for the wise.  I want HIS path of life for me and my family.  I am human, but I don’t want my human-ness and bad choices to get in the way of His best plan for us.  

Compliments/Encouragement versus Flirting:  We can interact with other people in ways that can be uplifting, encouraging and have God’s blessing.  But, sometimes people’s compliments are actually backward attempts to make draw attention and esteem back toward themselves.  It makes THEM feel good to try to make you feel good.  That’s not really an “honest compliment” anyway.  I think it’s worth some nitpicking in this area to keep our hearts pure and avoid pitfalls. 

Honest, sincere, short, and non-emotionally charged, compliments can be uplifting.  Be cautioned, many people get few at home, AND a compliment from someone we don’t know often has more “charge”. Be careful in the way you give and receive compliments.  Don’t give it too often.  Guard your attention.  Don’t turn someone’s attention toward you with numerous compliments. Don’t steal attention their spouse deserves.  Be an encourager…but, be very wise and discerning in doing so.  God says if we pray for wisdom, he’ll give it to us.  Once we have wisdom, if we are still wishy washy, we end up getting blown and tossed as if by the sea.  Use the wisdom you have. Compliments are to be powdered sugar, not even the icing on somebody else’s cake. 

Learn to say, “Thank you” to an honest compliment and let it go. 

Watch spiritual support and team work.  I won’t explan on that.  I think it’s self explanatory.  With more and more people functioning in ministry roles as we should have been all along, we have much to learn in terms of discretion and wisdom to stay safe.  It’s going to be an uphill battle for most churches.  Learn all you can.  Read.  Be prepared. 

Most of us think we spend the majority of our time at home and give the majority of our best attention to home, whether directly or indirectly.  Let’s see:  we work for our family, cook for our family, clean for our family, mow the grass for our family….

Look at it this way…in terms of “balance”.  do you really have a decent blend of  play time, talk time, project time, REAL date time, sharing time, family time?  This is the “balanced marriage” that grows together and is enjoyable, intimate, and fun.  This keeps flirting and needful “play” where it needs to be.  Marriage is fun and fulfilling.  It really can be! Have fun with other people as God allows you to in your spirit, but don’t neglect that your marriage and family needs your reserve of that, too.  A passive marriage is a dying marriage.  Be active about growing and nurturing your marriage and family.

Sometimes marriage can be exhausting.  So family can wear us out.  Many are tempted to seek the fun and thrill elsewhere just to escape.  Breaks are good, but also build needed refreshment into both of your lives and family.  Are you spending too much time at things away from home?  Honoring family above all else honors God above all else.

 Most spouses don’t complain about flirting…they reciprocate.   It may seem harmless, then all of a sudden, the whole cycle is not so “fun-loving”.

How “playful” is Christianity?  It is, can, and should be fun, and can be playfu lin “micro-doses” (with the same person over and over.)  People are more vulnerable to repeat attention than most of us realize.  Damage CAN be done.

Next verse:

Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband (that she NOTICES him, REGARDS him, HONORS, him, PREFERS him, venerates, and esteems him, and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him EXCEEDINGLY).  Ephesians 5:33 AMP

Not exactly what secular magazines and books lead us to do “naturally”.  

Get active with your marriage again. It’s both of your responsibility, it’s slow going, it’s a long, life-LONG process.  Don’t rush it.  Relax, rest, and spend time appreciating your spouse.  Make a list of five things you are thankful for that they do for you for a week.  Make a list of things you love about them and keep adding to it.  Put it in their stocking when Christmas comes.  Relish in your love. 

Be real.  Be human.  Just take care to not be whipped around by the fine line that comes with being human.  It’s there.  Rescpet it. 

I’ve heard this: 

“Oh, but my spouse (boyfriend/girlfriend, fiance) is secure.  They know me.  The real me.  They aren’t bothered by my ‘silliness’!  We don’t like “jealousy”.  We “trust” each other.  They agree the person is attractive, admirable, skilled, fit…we just talk about these things casually together.  We talk about everything.” 

My answer to that is:  You have no idea how deep insecurities in your spouse probably run.  Be careful.  A lot of men and women I thought seemed the most beautiful and secure have deep insecurities they compensate for with drive and projection of a self confidence that wavers just like everybody elses.   You can’t assume a beautiful Christian woman is secure enough to handle “innocent flirtation”, or even to hear you talk about how attractive an actor/actress is necessarily.  Honor her.    

Jealousy:  What role does it play? 

One question?  Is God jealous? 

Yup!  He is a jealous God with a jealous love!  Many assume it’s a character fault to be jealous just because I Cor. 13 says, “Love is not jealous.”   Here it is referring to jealousy in a hindering way .  There is a natural jealousy that is healthy for marriage relationships.  Marriages are meant for “one”…and jealousy is inherent to, and necessary to protect.   

God wants our full attention, focus, and commitment.  He IS a jealous God.  He has a jealous love.  He desires the same for our marriages.  He tolerates our mistakes, but not our “playing around” with other loves (not for long!)  He calls us into question.  Jealousy is a warning light.  It CAN be healthy.  Allow your spouse to want your “other-attention”: your love, focus, and heart-attention!  Protect their heart and let them help protect yours.  You belong to each other.  You are “one”.  

If you find yourself struggling with the fine line.  A few timps to protect yourself and your marriage. 

  • Give yourself time with truth (Family Bookstore is a great place to explore…see “marriage development”
  • Get space from the person (avoid them completely for a while if possible–or make it possible), 
  • Get involved in a Sunday School class or small group with your spouse where you can learn and have safe fun with other people
  • Use wisdom, read Proverbs again. Learn what “prudence” means. Respect wisdom God gives. 
  • Find some accountability  (Tell a mature person who understands marriage and can be trusted to help you that there is a quirky feeling you’d like oversight with for a while just to be sure.  You can say “May be nothing…just seems more than usual for some reason right now and I want it checked so that I don’t fall into a trap.”  Ask for accountability for the other person, if that’s an option, say in ministry settings.  YOU are not to be their mentor.

A live “crush” implies a heart attachment most of us don’t want or need to reckon with and need to tame.  Don’t be more concerned about offending the other person than about protecting marriage.  Find out what God’s will is and pursue it with a passionate abandon.  Let feelings take a backseat.   They are useful and real, and part of “us”, but, they can be destructive and deceptive tools, too ready to rip lives apart.  Learn how to manage feelings responsibly.  Only the word of God, prayer, and accountability is going to get your head cleared and keep it anchored so that you can be all your were intended to be.

I hope this was helpful.  You might find these helpful as well:

How Do I Forgive a Crush on My Spouse? (Boundaries in Marriage)

Christian Dress:  I Need to Feel Sexy: Meeting a Real Need

Christian Dress (Part 2): Some Practical Examples

How Do I Get My Spouse to (               ):  Working Together Toward a Spectacular Marriage

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Do You…Can Green Beans? Notes on Commenting

30 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Misty  |  July 13, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    I did it, I think! Glad you fixed it. We’ll miss you over at Blogger. I don’t blog enough to switch anywhere else yet, and I love the Hello program too much.

    And that WAS deep, only thing is, my hubby was my first real boyfriend, so I don’t think I have any old “crushes” to look up. How would I meet him, anyway? Drag the kids along? Hoping he doesn’t see the ketchup stains on my jeans?

    No, really, it can definitely be a problem for some and I can see how the “monotony” of marriage could be broken up by fantasy relationships that might progress. I think people get married thinking it will be a fairy tale and not realizing how much work it is to keep a smidgen of the fairy tale alive.

  • 2. Los  |  July 13, 2006 at 3:18 pm

    They are common. They are real. They are dangerous.
    Los

  • 3. Jules  |  July 13, 2006 at 3:56 pm

    “Capturing every thought for Christ” is a familiar passage I like to visit when pondering such things. Women tend to visit and revisit things mentally because of the emotional attachments associated with relationships. Dr. Jules says a good accountability partner helps. :)

  • 4. Anne Jackson  |  July 14, 2006 at 9:15 am

    Los said what I was gonna say, but he said it in about 500 words less.

    If I feel an attraction towards someone else, I tell Chris. It’s a pain and it’s hard to do but pretty much as soon as I do that, the attraction goes away. :)

  • 5. Your Friend  |  July 14, 2006 at 10:50 am

    Difficult topic! Needs to be addressed more often than it is. I totally agree with LOS and it is that simple. Accountability does make a HUGE difference, but as Me said, you must be careful about who you choose to hold you accountable. This is not a place where there is a margin for error if the person is not trustworthy. This is a very insidious area of temptation. About a year ago I found myself enjoying the company of a fellow brother more than I probably should have. I shared with a sister and asked her to keep an eye on me. I gave her permission to speak to this if she saw me being flirtatious or acting in some other goofy way (and girls we can do that). Knowing that someone was watching made me more conscious of my own behavior and the thing dissipated quite quickly. Bravo to Me for addressing this topic so openly—-may God help us to continue to be this candid in the body of Christ.

  • 6. Misty  |  July 14, 2006 at 4:03 pm

    Quote: “Ladies…dress to be clothed the vast majority of the time. But, that’s another entry I’ll get to another time.”

    Yes, I know, my shirt was malfunctioning last night! I get it! Sheesh! ;) All I had in my closet was sweat-stained, ugly t-shirts. I’m behind in the laundry.

    P.S. You’re probably going to edit me, and that’s ok. Love ya anyway.

  • 7. "Mag"  |  July 14, 2006 at 4:38 pm

    I won’t delete, “Janet”. Not unless you want me to!  I’m sorry that happened. I laughed when you reminded me. 

    I remember trying to dress remotely feminine as a woman after being burned out with the child care element, seeing other ladies look so smart and together and half way decent with it. I looked like baby juice, or felt I did. I’d try:  the slip slipped down, the shirt slid off, the hair got yanked, the jewelry pulled.  It’s hard–being a mom and maintaining any element of “self”. 

    I will say that the way a few other Moms dressed that week made it hard for me.  Some nights, I had to force myself to wear the tshirt myself.  I saw cleavage, pumps, and bare brown arms…put together outfits I’d go out on a girl’s day or a date night wearing.  I’m thinking…gee, WHO are you expecting to see here?  Save it. Are you not having to crawl all over the floor? And if you are, sometimes, I think people DO realize it and are so starved for “self” they don’t care anymore.  I’ve heard women say, “It’s just a bra.”  Are you kidding me?  For Pete’s sake!  Where have we gone.  And I sound 50, but can I get an amen? 

    That week did make me aware of how OUR DRESS affects even other WOMEN’S mentality toward self presentation–a hot topic this summer with me and some friends. 

    More later! 

  • 8. Misty  |  July 14, 2006 at 7:10 pm

    You need to make a whole new topic on this one :)At least I wear a nude-colored bra, so it doesn’t stand out that much. I could see how the clothing issue could contribute to the crush thing too. Husbands may come home seeing us in our sweat and food-stained shirts and sweats, hair not washed, no makeup, then go to work or church and see women who are dressed up, made up, and smell good. I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to improve my appearance for my hubby, like just putting on some perfume and combing my hair before he gets home.

  • 9. CJ  |  July 14, 2006 at 8:30 pm

    Dress???? If we’re going to delve into that one, Me had better start another post. This is a particular pet peeve of mine. Scripture states that if any one of us causes one of these little ones (relative terminology) to stumble and sin it would be better if a millstone were tied around his neck and he drowned in the sea. (loosely quoted I know) I am the mother of two teenage boys. It is difficult enough to deal with the various types of porn available, the temptation (and pressure) of premarital sex, too much explicit tv……..and so on. The Body of Christ should NOT be a place where THIS particular fire is ignited. We need to take into consideration, not only that other mature Christian men may falter, but babes in the faith, fledglings who are growing, just learning to hear God’s voice, beginning to test their spiritual wings are also vulnerable. Teenage boys are a bundle of hormones waiting to spring into action—they are wired by God this way, but they do NOT need any encouragement. We must think about ALL those who will see us—young girls (looking for role models), young men (do we look like hot mamas) men, period (do we want to be described at the church hottie?). It’s kind of difficult to share the gospel or give an effective testimony with butt cheeks hanging out the back of your shorts or with eyes focused on cleavage—okay maybe a little extreme here, but you get the idea. Let us adorn ourselves in a way worthy to be called women of God!
    CJ

    CJ

  • 10. CJ  |  July 14, 2006 at 8:45 pm

    An afterthought: Just what ARE you saying about women 50??????
    CJ

  • 11. 5purposedriven  |  July 14, 2006 at 11:17 pm

    um, um, um…UMmmmmmm. I’ll blog about that at a later date, too?

  • 12. Magnanimity »  |  July 22, 2006 at 12:27 pm

    [...] The Crush and the Christian Marriage  [...]

  • 13. R. Willy  |  July 24, 2006 at 7:25 am

    There is a lady who is attracted to my father and is going out of her way to get his attention.
    She calls their house all the time, buys my father is favorite foods and delivers them to him.
    Her marriage is not good and she has become very angered over this in the past months.
    My mother knows what the lady is up to. She has been around this kind of behavior before. My father did not think it was a big deal but has come to see it for what it is now.
    They are all retired and spend their winter months in close camping quarters at the same village all winter.
    Is there something any of us should do?
    Concerned Daughter

  • 14. 5purposedriven  |  July 24, 2006 at 9:30 am

    Without knowing all the details, it is hard to give advice. It’s a sticky situation involving some co-dependance issues with this lady. These sound like long term friends of your parents, which makes it even harder for them to deal with.

    I hope they can find a trusted mentor to gain insight from who may know more, and would be able to walk them through this step by step, or find another wise couple who can help them come up with a game plan they can stick to and “pray through it” with them on hard days. Sounds like it’s become taxing at best.

    You can pray for them. Pray for the situation to be resolved. Pray for help for them all. Otherwise, I would advise YOU to try to stay out of it and let their problems be theirs to resolve. Advise your mom to talk to your dad instead of you. Suggest some ways she could say things to him if needed, find someone trusted to pray with you about it, and leave them alone. You can’t fix it and your getting involved will probably make it worse.

    Boundaries in Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend is a good resource on this topic if your parents are readers. Every relationship needs room to breathe. They are responsible as a couple to define and maintain boundaries they need to promote security, even if it means occassionally being less than completely friendly or supportive to a close, hurting friend. God is this lady’s help; she needs to find her own solutions. They don’t have to be God and are not her only help, or they shouldn’t be…don’t have to be. She may have to expand her basis of community if it’s getting too much for them. And that’s okay! If things aren’t getting better for her after an extended period of time, it’s helpful to her and to them to enlarge the support system.

    It may be painful to do it, but sometimes gracious but firm boundaries are okay in a marriage. This prioritizes the marriage relationship and is the best example we can give to the world as to what a healthy marriage looks like–protecting. Hurting people often need to be trained and dealt with as children–emotionally, that’s often where they are. They may feel hurt in the moment, but long term, they usually understand. The best thing your Dad can probably do for this lady is be an example of a faithful man to your Mom and stop helping her in any way for a time–this honors the lady’s husband– even though they are struggling he deserves his space with his wife, too.

    They may have to both expand their circles of community in other directions by cutting this off for a while as graciously as they can. There will be some pain involved, but it will hopefully allow this lady to find healthy supports she needs. Your parents probably need consider changing their vacation plans if it’s not going to be a respite for them. A change of pace can be good. Even with friends, at some point we have to let their problems be their problems and prioritize the health and rest of our own families.

    I think that’s the best I can do long distance. I’m no Dear Abby, but hope it helps. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

  • 15. Lisa  |  May 22, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    This was very helpful. However, what are your thoughts on having a crush on a Christian brother when you are both single? Is there still that need to guard one’s thoughts? When will it ever be appropriate to move from regarding a ‘feeling’ as a crush, to considering it a deep and genuine love and respect for someone who you desire to be your husband? Thanks!

  • 16. Anonymous  |  June 23, 2008 at 12:07 am

    I’ve been looking online for something like this to help me for a while now. Even though it doesn’t all apply to me, because I’m 15 and not married I think it will help me with my relationship with the guy that I like. I’m sure it’s going to save me the humility of talking to my pastor about it. I just wish I had the courage to ask about it because he’s just turned 18 and I’ve liked him for a long time, and he has a lot of time for me and I’ve asked God that if he’s not the one for me to take him off my heart/mind but we’re becoming better and better friends. Maybe soon I can get a prophecy.

    Well thanks.
    God Bless.

  • 17. J. Young  |  August 6, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Wow. Thank you so much for this. I’ve been torn up with a crush right now: I’m having trouble sleeping, eating and cannot get this person out of my mind or heart. I keep asking God to do it… but He hasn’t yet! This has encouraged me to seek out some prayer from a trusted friend.

  • 18. T  |  October 21, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Like J. Young, I’m struggling with a crush and am a married with two children and am a (supposed) Christ-follower. Problem is, unlike J. Young, I don’t want to ask God about it, I don’t want it to go away, and that is frustrating and plaguing me. I keep doing Internet searches about this person; at one point, I though they were married and I was dismayed to find that I was actually disappointed. I hardly know what to do, even though I know what I OUGHT to do. Admittedly, this happened a few years back, but I (the Lord, better yet) was able to break through it, but not because I was in feverish prayer about it, sad to say. So, I know there can be an end to this, but, at the same time, I don’t want there to be an end. Does anyone else understand where I’m coming from? Argh.

    Mag replies: We are human and the mind can go where it will, often believing,
    that the grass is always greener “on the other side”.

    Even still, there comes a point where we must ask ourselves who we want to
    please,and what we want to find in this life.

    Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, he must deny himself, and follow me.”

    Also, “You will seek me and find me when you seek with all your heart.”

    Jesus came to die for our sin, and ecause of that great act of love for us…he deserves our full attention, and frankly, he GETS my full attention. His love surpasses anything your heart is longing or looking for.

    I suspect you have not yet found how to experience and live in that great love.

    Read my blog the last few days and you will know of his tender compassions and very real love for each of us…no matter what we are going through. It is daily. It is practical, and it blows my socks off very regularly.

    Know that if we are just living in our own power to please him, we cannot do it. It
    is foolish to try. Generations tried, in the Old Testament, only to prove
    that they needed a Saviour–they could not keep the law on their
    own…they were incapable of meeting God’s standard, as hard as they tried,
    as many laws as were made to try to keep them from stumbling. The only answer, my friend, is Jesus.

    He died so that he could live in us and help us live a life pleasing to God. If you don’t have Jesus Christ, then, you will probably continue to struggle with whatever in life you are facing. Only through him do we have forgiveness of sin and free access to God. Only by him can the chains that we face be broken.

    Then, we can pray prayers like, “Lord, do whatever you need to in my mind and
    thoughts to help release me from the tendencies I have to sin. I want my
    life to be pleasing to you. Keep me centered. Help me find and experience YOUR perfect and faithful love. Only can only be faithful with your help…and I’m asking for it today and always. Thank you for dying for my sin and overcoming death so that I can live life free of fear and doubt and worry.”

    I assure you that he can and will adjust your perspective if you want his help.

  • 19. Craig  |  November 22, 2008 at 12:42 am

    Found this through google. Thanks, very helpful. I thought it was all just fun and games. I’m fine, I have a strong marriage, flirting is no big deal, right? Well, now my non-Christian crush-friend has separated from her husband, and I don’t know what role I played. She says she feels disconnected from him and unhappy in that relationship. Meanwhile she has been describing herself and me as “best friends”. God help her and her poor husband. So I am shocked and pulling away, and she’s upset about that as she expected me to be “supportive”. I feel terrible and wish I could help her (she is a good friend), but know I’m not the right person. She is so lost and really needs God but doesn’t see that. My big question now is, when and how much do I tell my amazing wife? I think I want to be fully open with her, but I don’t want to hurt her.

  • 20. Maggie  |  November 22, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Craig,

    I’m sorry for the emotions you are having to go through. This path is hard, but you are doing what you feel is noble now. When we’ve consistently made someone feel “happy” without all the responsibilities and entangleness of life getting in the way, then that person has to go home to “all of the above”, without time or emotional energy for the laughter, where would the heart prefer to be? It’s a false sense of “happy”, really, that we’ve enjoyed. It is a lure. But, the heart longs for it with our spouse. Something that is often not realistic for the stage of life we are in, juggling kids, responsibilities, late nights, work.

    It will be hard to keep your own heart from needing to be a “friend” in this time. When I’ve seen people try to do what you are doing alone, I would then see that same person with the “friend” talking or sitting together. People know…and it will only embarrass people and get back to your wife eventually anyway, if she doesn’t know already.

    Those kinds of behaviors confuse. To break, you need to break. Her heart is not healthy, and it won’t be healthy toward you. Insist she find healthy supports by sending them to her.

    One way to do this is to have someone you can call or email who is healthy for her. You can say, “I don’t know if you have time, but my friend is needing someone right now. _____ is going on. I can’t be that person for her. I’m trusting the Lord, and leaving it with you.” This person would have to be a special one…a pastor who can handle it, or his wife…I don’t know what resources you have. I would suggest not asking updates. Let their confidentiality build. Just let her and it go.

    Your spouse:

    It is hard to deal with these situations and a spouse, but the Lord will help you learn and know what is best for your marriage as you seek Him. Whatever you decide to do, it has to be dealt with sensitively.

    You can let your spouse know you’ve learned a lesson and if this person goes to church with you, you can let her know enough to help shield you from conversations.

    Be open to taking a marriage class to strengthen your own marriage. We all have to learn along our path. Don’t beat yourself up too much, but learn…and take that with you as you interact with others. You have learned a lot of wisdom already, I see. We all hope this has helped, and that you have someone local in your life who can help grow you through this time well. That’s what the church is for, at it’s best. Just choose carefully.

  • 21. jennifer  |  February 7, 2010 at 5:20 am

    I want to ask a private question – I’m desperate for help in getting over an infatuation.

  • 22. Maggie  |  February 7, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I’m here…

  • 23. Hank  |  December 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    I’m with Lisa, for those of us who are single, how do we deal with a crush? I’m figuring that as long as it doesn’t become an obsession, and/or turn our minds from God, then its okay. Though one thing I thought was funny (ironic funny) is that all those feelings you described are what I feel for a girl my age right now, and I thought it was bad like I was getting weird or something. I never believed people when they talked about getting “weak-kneed”. I guess my two past (toxic) girlfriends made me shut down, I never knew what it was like to…I don’t know how to express it, I can’t think of the words right now…the only one that pops into my head is “glow”. All well, that’s just my thoughts on it…

    Anyways, you have some great thoughts that can be adapted to singles, to keep our minds focused on God, and to keep ourselves busy to prevent “fantasies”. Good tips. Thanks.

  • 24. Lisa  |  January 19, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Maggie! :) It’s me, Lisa, again. Wanted to send you a personal e-mail, but not sure what address to address it to. Let me know? :)

  • 25. peter yaw siame  |  March 4, 2011 at 9:25 am

    It is very interesting to hear people view and advice in marriage which i will like to have marriage men and women friends to shear with, i’ am marriage with three children and God is taking control over every situation we found our self which is wonderful. god bless you all.

  • 26. Ebbs  |  June 27, 2011 at 8:50 am

    thanks for the usefull information to help me with this feeling. I am having this problem now and i am 17 i think it is a teenage crush, i am a christian and the guy i have a crush on is also but he is older than me like about late 20s. Is this wrong he is a good person and very good man of God(i know there is no chance of anything more than me secretly having a crush on him). he invited my mum and me to see one of his friends at his house becuase he does a lot of missionary work and he is even more amazing close up he kept making me laugh as he tryed to speak my language and it seems like we always catch each others eye. i hope this will blow over because i will be moving soon from the area and dont want this crush to become a total fancy, lovey always thinking about thing becuase it could lead to sin and lust.By the way i havent told him or my mum. Please help anyone! x

  • 27. click here  |  May 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Just to let you know your web site appears a little bit unusual on Firefox on my pc using Linux .

  • 28. Maggie  |  June 12, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Thank you. I am unaware of how wordpress has things set up. I hope they get it fixed!

  • 29. Maggie  |  August 7, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I don’t have a food way to test this situation, but appreciate your letting me know!

  • 30. Maggie  |  August 7, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Give it time. What you are experiencing sounds normal and it seems you have a good check in your spirit as to when you need to reroute to keep it from overtaking your thought life. If it does, increase your devotional time with The Lord, He is The Lover of your soul, surrendering all to him. Hope this helps!

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ME: “MAGGIE”

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Sifting the joy from the mundane:

recording, photographing, learning, creating.

I am married to the love of my life, as we raise three children, learning the ways of grace.

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Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:

MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.[1] (Source: Wikipedia)

MAGNANIMOUS WORK

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"We shall not waste our time in looking for extraordinary experiences in our life, but live by pure faith, ever watchful and ready for His coming by doing our day-to-day duties with extraordinary love and devotion." ~Mother Teresa

MAGNANIMOUS LIFE:

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"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not come. We have only today. Let us begin." ~Mother Teresa

MONTHS

MAGNANIMOUS ATTITUDE

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A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in it's vicinity freshen into smiles. --Washington Irving

WHERE I SHOP:

MAGNANIMOUS LIFE

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When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. -Harriet Beecher Stowe

YOU CAME; I SMILED

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Please know that I am not posting as an expert, but as a fellow traveler. I recommend that you research and double check things on your own before taking any advice or instruction from this site.  Information is given in good faith for the time period in which it was written. I am also an affiliate of the Sure Cuts A Lot software, for Cricut, which means you don't need Cricut cartridges to cut any font or .jpg on your computer.  I get some pocket change for introducing you if you choose to buy it by clicking on my site.  And we all know I need more cardstock, so I do appreciate it.  I sometimes review other products for a fee, but I am not required to give a positive review, and post honestly as to my experience.  I hope you find this useful.

Sidebar photographs by Maggie except "clay mugs". Others, stockxchng (by permission) unless noted.

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