Updated: Aug 9, 2020
A week and a half or so ago, I got to thinking about this concept–performance-based love (PBL). Rob Eagar talks about this idea in his book, “Dating with Pure Passion.” To define performance-based loved, well it’s literally exactly was it says, performance based love. It’s that type of watered down diluted love that most use as their fuel. You give me a rose, I now love you more. You give me Flowerbomb perfume (which smells absolutely wonderful, by the way, and I do actually want this lol), now I treat you better, because you made me happy. Now on the flip side, you make me angry because you didn’t do what I wanted you to do, now I am mad at you and no longer love you. You didn’t send me that text message at that particular time I wanted you to, now I give you attitude for a week. Typical performance based love. And y’all, please don’t get me wrong. This isn’t pointing the finger at anyone. I myself, have done this in the past, and probably will do it in the future especially if someone gets me Flowerbomb perfume. Lol jk. But no, on a serious note, everyone will fall short of pure love because we are… well, human and we are not perfect. Nor should that be our goal.
So as I was reading this book I started to think about the infamous Feb 14th. Dum DUM DUMMMM. People get into this crazy love frenzy that dies out within 24 hours. The next day people hop off that love-high. You know that cloud-9 type of feeling, the roses, chocolate delights, candle lit dinner by the moonlight, instagram pics showing the awesome food you made your sweetie, the facebook “check-ins” telling the whole world that you went to the most exclusive, upper-class expensive restaurant, the whole sha-bang. Y’all know what I’m talking about. hehe.
And I am just thinking, how come this day is so hyped up to the max? I mean if we love, shouldn’t that love shine out everyday. Can’t we be excited everyday about this awesome love we have going. Why is everyone running around going into a franic (frenzy + panic) attack trying to find a boo for Valentine’s day and just for that one day, like none of the other days in the year matter.
It brings me back to another concept Eagar talks about in “Dating with Pure Passion.” Ok, so let’s say we are super super hungry (me on a 24/7 basis, haha #skinnyGirlProblems) and all we have is this 50 cent chocolate bar in our pantry. What would any logical human do? Eat that candy bar! And ASAP! So you eat the candy and it makes your stomach smile, and all is good right? Well, not exactly. That candy bar will only satisfy you for a second because it’s not too nutritious. Two hours pass, and now you are hungry again, and this time it’s way worse than the first time around.
This analogy that Eagar gives us is a perfect example of the type of love we give each other. We need to feel complete, we are starving for love and we need to find someone ASAP. And we see that one person over yonder who can satisfy our grumbling tummy even if the joy will only last for a short while. And yeah we know the repercussions might hurt even worse than the previous hunger pains, but so what. We don’t want delayed gratification. We want instant satisfaction. Right?
So we fall into a pattern of PBL. We are hungry for some love, and just like candy makes us happy (for a short while), so does that cute text message we got, or that compliment he/she gave you, or how about how soft his/her lips are, how good things are in the sheets, or how much money he/she spends on us. This all makes us happy, in the meantime, it satisfies those hunger pains, so we go for it. We eat it all up. And then the hunger pains return when the text messages and compliments stop, the “in between the sheet” activities are old and boring, or that money we were being lavished with stops coming through the way it use to. Now we’re hungry again, now its time to go searching for a new candy bar to fulfill us. Sounds like a never ending cycle. Like a horror ferris-wheel that just won’t stop so we can get off.
Jennifer’s name use to be written all up on one of the seats on that freaky ferris-wheel ride. I use to seek completion through confirmation and approval. In middle school it was time to gossip and give people attitude and disrespect like the cool kids did, In high school it was time to get dressed up and show face at every party and get down on the dance floor, like there was no tomorrow, because that’s what everyone else was doing. In college it was about the “love of my life” and pleasing him. And when I fell short with my performance, I would be upset at myself and direct it at him. Or when he would fall short of what I wanted, I would be upset with him. Through out those years I did not experience the fullness of joy and love because I stayed eating 50 cent candy bars when I know I need a good balanced portion of protein, carbs, vitamins, fiber, diary etc in my diet not just sugar and fat.
Then I realized, by the grace of God, there is something that is more satisfying that a 50 cent Snickers bar. That is so satisfying to the soul you will never go hungry again. That will leave your pantry overflowing with food so that anytime hunger pains kick in, you just open the cabinet and replenish your body.
He is Jesus. His love is not performance based. His love is constant. If you forget to give Him a text message (or check-in with Him through prayer) not for just a couple days, but for years, He still loves you. If you don’t give him Flowebomb perfume (or gift in the form of offerings and worship), He still loves you. And even if you give Him your mind, body, and soul, He still loves you the same, not more than He did when you didn’t acknowledge Him. So if you mess up, don’t beat down on yourself. His love is not based on your performance. He loved you when you didn’t even know Him. So what more than now, when you consider Him a part of your life. His love is enough. His love is constant and never changing. So whether it’s Valentine’s day or Christmas day or a non-holiday day, He loves you.
And until we can understand that love, that good kind of love, pure and unadulterated, we will think eating unhealthy candy bars is the only form of nutrients our body can accept. The more we mediate on and understand His pure love, it allows us to not only love and accept ourselves, as Jesus has, but it also allows us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
So, if you are seeking a relationship but you are sick of gnawing on these non-nutritious candy bars that just leave you feeling hungrier and hungrier than before take a pause, a long pause, and meditate on that good kind of love–God’s love. I took a pause too. I departed from relationships that did not help me grow closer to Christ, but rather hindered me and gave me a constant supply of 50 cent candy bars. We must first know the Author and Creator of Love if we want to ever experience it first hand. Later, The Author will introduce us to another individual who also has first hand experienced pure, unadulterated love and knows how to give and receive His pure love that comes from Him and flows out through from within us.
Check out Rob Eagar’s book, “Dating With Pure Passion” (click on the book to be directed to amazon.com). His novel discusses what to look for when seeking a God-designed, lasting, truly fulfilling relationship, with the key being the realization that we must first be married to God. I haven’t gotten too far in the read, but so far, it is absolutely awesome. I am learning so much! And this may sound like its oriented to singles. But if you are not married, you are a single, and that’s perfectly fine. I am a single too. Until man leaves his mother and father and takes a woman as his wife, making a commitment on the alter before God, you two have not yet become one (Mark 10:7-8). So, this novel could be an awesome book for you courting individuals to read together to grow deeper in pure love, the way the Author intended for it to be.
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