"If you don't jump to put jeans on
Baby, you don't feel my pain."
- Savage (Remix)
Let’s have a little heart-to-heart about love abuse today. In my view, love abuse is when people use connections, religion, and affiliations to abuse your love walk. We are a Christian community, so I am going to assume you subscribe to the faith. If not, try and pay attention to these principles anyway because quite frankly, we have all suffered love abuse (or been love abusers) at some point or another in our lives.
I recall being the middle girl of eight children, growing up in a community that seemed to have no boundaries or balance. The chaos was overwhelming to me, so I sought to create order in some way, shape, or form. Much of my need to control my environment in my twenties came from believing that physically controlling my space would create order in every other aspect of my life.
Our early childhood experiences often impact what we deem as acceptable and appropriate in our adult relationships. Since no one is perfect, we will all inevitably have some part of our love walk that needs reworking. Today, I want to discuss reworking our definitions and expectations of loving relationships. These are not all biblical, meaning I won’t post a scripture after each one, but they are hard-earned lessons through my life experiences, and I thought they might be useful to our community.
Here are three elements that MUST be present in every loving relationship:
1. Love is an action verb.
Stop accepting counterfeits. A lot of people think love is sending emojis, liking your pics, or offering fake support. No. Real love shows up in REAL life, not just the life people see on social media. If the people who claim to love you never actually help you in real life, they either do not know what love is, or they think YOU don’t know what love is. Either way, let’s learn to judge loving relationships in word and deed.
2. Love protects.
Meaning, it keeps your personal business, personal. It defends you when you are not in the room. It doesn’t come back and say, “People were saying this about you. I cannot tell you how many young women tell me accounts of friends telling all of their business, only for me to look them in the face and say, “Boo, those aren't your friends.”
3. Love can “carefront" you without malice.
One of the telltale signs of friendships lacking authenticity is when the friend group operates more like a cheerleading squad than sound relationships which challenge and support us. "Challenge and support" looks a little something like this, “Boo, your gut is outta control, let’s get on this workout plan together.” OR, “Sis, your house is disorganized, I’m coming to help you clean up.” Notice the confrontation, followed by an actionable offer for support -- it also features follow through.
If you find yourself constantly disappointed by those who claim to love you, it is highly likely you have yet to raise the bar on what you define as love. It’s time to raise the bar. Times are too hard in these streets for you to be in “fake love” relationships.
Did a lightbulb go off? Share it with a friend!