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Dr. Neil Clark Warren - Christian Dating, Singles

Relationships and Spirituality - Part 3

  • Dr. Neil Clark Warren for the eHarmony Research Library
  • 2003 6 Jun
  • COMMENTS
Relationships and Spirituality - Part 3

How and why does the agreement on spirituality between two people play such a vital role in their partnership?

Perhaps the most central part of our personality is that part which we refer to as spiritual. When we have blending and harmony between two people in the spiritual area, we become woven together at our deepest levels. I'm convinced that two people who are spiritually alive and vital and who use that spiritual vitality in relation to the other person ultimately end up with a great marriage. When we fail to have spirituality in common, so much about us fails to bond.

So far in this series we've hit upon these concepts:

The Essential Internal Nature of Spirituality
Spiritual Health = Emotional Health

Today I'd like to explore an issue that touches the heart of my being and, to a large part, explains the success of my own marriage.

The God of Love is at the Center of Healthy Spirituality

The third point is that the God of Love is at the center of healthy spirituality. Now I need to tell you what I'm concerned about here. Not too long ago, Norman Lear addressed the National Press Club on what he says is the greatest story in the last ten years in America. The story is that Americans as a whole are pursuing the area of spirituality with tremendous intensity, but if you look closely at how Americans are exploring spirituality very often it doesn't have God at the center of it. It can be chanting. It can be trips into the hills in which you talk to the clouds. I say the God of love is at the center of healthy spirituality. That's why I'm a fervent believer in the Christian faith.

There are good persons in other faiths. I know that, but the reason I find myself so attracted to the Christian faith is because the God I find at the center of the Christian faith is a God for whom love is another name that is totally complete. God is love. The person who came to represent God is Jesus, a carpenter from Nazareth about 2,000 years ago.

The writer Paul, an apostle, says that everything about God is fully revealed in this carpenter from Nazareth named Jesus. This carpenter from Nazareth named Jesus talked all the time about the centrality of love. If love is at the center of you and if you find yourself attracted to a God who is a God of love for whom another name is love, then indeed it seems to me the likelihood is the spirituality you are pursuing will end up in health.

On the other hand, what I have to tell you is that even people who talk about God, if indeed they talk about God legalistically, if they talk about this God that is going to hammer you if you don't do every last thing he wants you to, then the idea of love is not at the center of this spiritual expression. I promise you that ultimately emotional health will not be the consequence of this kind of spiritual pursuit. Almost always resentment, primary pain, and anger mismanagement will be the result of this kind of pursuit.

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