Governors, Quarterbacks, and Soul Mates
- Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Of course, trying to convince two people in limerence that one of them might become that desperate some day is fruitless. While still in limerence people usually see no flaws in the other and anticipate living happily ever after. If they have a right to each other, that impossible expectation isn’t as harmful as when they don’t have a right to each other. Either way, no relationship lives on limerence for more than three years and must have something deeper to survive a lifetime.
At least Governor Sanford is alive and so is his paramour. However, the embarrassment and shame he faces publicly, including the demands that he resign from office and the humiliation suffered by his wife and children are a terrible price to pay. As long as he is in limerence he will likely see his love for Maria as worth it. When limerence fades – and it definitely will, no matter what he believes about it now – he will come to a point of self-examination and guilt that will likely be far worse than whatever he faces now. At least I know that will happen if he is the good man that others believe him to be. A good man who did a bad thing.
Not because he intended to be bad or that he even contemplated how his actions violated his values. A good man that, as Paul wrote it in Ephesians 2:3, succumbed to his sinful nature (flesh) because we are by nature children of wrath.
When I read that passage now, I think of how the very things within our bodies (our flesh) that make us human can lead us to selfishly, almost blindly, go after what our emotions focus on if the focus is strong enough. I’ve seen enough Godly men and women destroy their lives by yielding to their flesh (brain chemicals and all the other things involved). Haven’t you?
There are only two ways that I know of to overcome the natural. You do it either through natural means or supernatural means. If I have cancer and the physician’s employ surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or whatever else they have in their arsenal to kill those destructive cells and save my life, I happily embrace their use of nature to overcome nature. Like many other Christians, I see no lack of faith in taking an aspirin when my head hurts or downing an antihistamine during ragweed season. Similarly, there are rational, natural means for combating limerence. I use them every month and see amazing success.
Bring your spouse or twist the arm of someone you love to come to my weekend workshop and our record since 1999 proves we have a three out of four success rate in overcoming marriage problems – even limerence – and saving the marriage. Our system is scientifically valid. It’s a use of the natural.
But don’t for a moment forget that the supernatural can overcome the natural in the twinkling of an eye. The most amazing miracle in the Bible is that of conversion, a person yielding to God and being changed in ways that humans cannot begin to measure accurately. Therefore, I often pray for conversion for the converted when that converted person has yielded to the flesh, particularly in the ways of limerence. Though I understand that brain chemicals drive them and make them illogical, I also know that one can choose to walk by the Spirit or by the flesh. Yielding to the Spirit not only can change our directions, it can change our emotions, and, yes, even balance out our brain chemicals so that they don’t have as much influence over us.
Just as God heals some naturally and some supernaturally from their physical diseases, He can and will heal them either naturally or supernaturally from their “brain” and emotional misdirections such as limerence. The primary difference is that they have to yield to Him rather than to their flesh.
There is hope and there is a love that can develop for each other – the limerent spouse who strayed and the wounded spouse who stayed – that is so much more fulfilling and brings much more contentment and happiness than any intense short-lived love. Let us help if you will, but whatever you do, surrender to the Spirit and walk by His guidance rather than that of your own desires, no matter how strong those desires are.
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