Dear Believer Series: Love takes work

Dear Believer,

“Everyone falls in love sometime.” Hailing from the tiny Island of Jamaica and the love infested city of Miami, I, like you had been raised with a plethora of notions of what love was supposed to look like, and how I as a male was supposed to capture it.

I was raised to look at love through the eyes of a culture that had unique expressions of the four-letter word that we all seek.

Love at first . . .

That’s how I thought it worked, that was until I kept falling in love. Wasn’t I supposed to have a single true love? How was I supposed to determine who she was? Was there some type of handbook? “Oh, there is? How much is it?”

I love . . .

Everything was going great in the beginning. I was so excited, and so was she! Whenever I was gone to work, we’d text and call until I arrived. This was love.

I thought you loved. . .

I didn’t understand. Wasn’t it supposed to always be exciting? Wasn’t love supposed to be mushy, romantic, wasn’t the person supposed to always sacrifice for me, and I for them? I don’t feel it. I haven’t been feeling it for a while.

My dear beloved. You might have found parallels in this short letter with a relationship that resembles a relationship between you and someone you love/d. What if I told you this also represents our relationship with God?

I’ve received messages that say, “I no longer feel…,” as the person explains to me how they have fallen out of love with God. It reminds me so much of how people fall out of love with their spouse.

Praying no longer has the same feeling and fasting no longer seems to foster any awe. Just like the phone calls have begun getting dull and the movie nights no longer bring you closer.

Any therapist will tell you that you need to put in the effort to protect your relationship. You may need to stop getting distracted at the gym and seeing how “the grass is greener on the other side.” You need to stop looking for faults as you’ll always find them. So too do you need to put in work with your Lord, or one day you’ll find you’ve lost what you once loved.

 

Your brother,

Arthur K. Richards

 

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