When Passion Isn’t Healthy Love

love-2519688_1280Sadie Robertson, Duck Dynasty reality TV star and runner up on Dancing With The Stars, blogged recently about the break up with her boyfriend.  She described her relationship as passionate, but wanted  to send a message about true love.  Just because a relationship is full of passion, doesn’t mean it is a healthy type of love.

With great vulnerability, Sadie talked about her confusion when it came to the idea of passion.  She had heard the word, passion, growing up in church.  A word associated with church and God had to be a good thing, right? But the ups and downs of her passionate relationship left her feeling confused.

The passion she was experiencing in a relationship was different from the one she associated with church. It was part of an unhealthy relationship pattern-high intensity of affection followed by bickering, disrespect and self-centerness. One minute there was love and the next fear, jealousy, and a host of negative feelings. This emotional roller coaster left her wanting. The highs were great, but the lows were difficult. There was no on-going joy. She began to question her relationship.

She acknowledges allowing sin to enter the relationship–self-centeredness, pain, impurity and manipulation were all components of her unhealthy relationship that lingered and ended with lies and excuses for being treated poorly. Like many couples who hold on to the passionate moments of a relationship, the bad times were slowly eating away at the good times.

Passion doesn’t equate to true love and joy. Now, don’t get me wrong, we want passion in our healthy relationships. And there are positive ways to bring passion to a relationship like doing novel things together. But  when the passionate moments are outweighed by on-going negativity, the relationship can turn negative.

Too often, people hold on to moments of passion hoping those will make up for the bad times. But negative or false passion involves fear, jealousy, manipulation and more actions that are not healthy for a couple to experience on a regular basis. Forget what you see in the movies, negative elements of a relationship matter and do not make the list for the ways love is to be expressed.

Sadie believes passion may be a misunderstood emotion. She came to that conclusion by reading the Bible and trying to understand what real love is supposed to look like.  1 Corinthians 13 provides a clear picture. Love is patient, kind, it doesn’t boast or become envious. It is not proud, does not dishonor others, nor is it self-seeking. Love is not easily angered or keeps records of wrong. It delights in truth, not evil. It always protects, trusts, hopes and preserves. When Sadie studied God’s definition of love she realized her relationship was not measuring up to such standards. Passion cannot replace the love needed to sustain a relationship over time.

If you are in a passionate but unhealthy relationship, consider 1 Corinthians 13 as a measure for true love. Ask yourself, am I being treated the way God intends? Be passionate about God and trust Him to bring you someone who loves you God’s way.

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