Crushes (#Loveblog2017)

Crushes are getting a bad rep in the Christian singles blogosphere. They’re seen as this all-encompassing obsession that keeps you away from God. What is the first thing you think about in the morning? Do you spend your day trying to get a guy’s attention rather than thinking of how you can better serve God? *You have an idol klaxon*

I think this is problematic. a) Not all crushes have this teenage feel to it. b) You risk turning the Godly-woman-who-doesn’t-ever-make-a-small-mistake into the idol instead.
Believe it or not, I don’t spend every waking minute thinking about the infamous Dr Tim Stanley, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t accept a marriage proposal on the spot if he ever asked, and it’s been like that for the best part of the past 5 years. Do I still productively use my time for God? Rhetorical question.

I have a tendency to let my insecurity dictate the agenda of the day. It’s often work-related, but it can be guys, too. I’m dealing with a heartbreak right now. It has a habit of resurfacing at random times but usually when I want to sleep. There is also that one person everybody still thinks I really like but we’re just stuck in some weird hamster wheel together, and I don’t even really know why I care about what he thinks of me anymore. And then there is the guy who would have my heart if only things were different. And then there is Andrew Garfield because honestly, you can’t help but being a bit (err…) smitten with him after this. (I toyed with the idea of turning this prompt into an open letter to him.) 

That’s a lot of crushes for someone who isn’t sure about whether she even wants to be married, and that’s a lot of competition for first thought of the day and last at night and everything in between. The one way out of this conundrum is to find 3 more people I can like and assign a day of the week to each of them so I can idolise them one at a time for a full 24h. Can’t you see how stupid that sounds?
Crushes are just people you like. You can get butterflies in the stomach when they text you, and bore your best friends to death with trying to read into mixed signals, and you can forget about them for days on end because there is something else on your mind. It doesn’t mean you like them any less.

So why do Christian bloggers pontificate like there is nothing between indifference and obsession? Do they get off the feeling of euphoria in being idolised by teenagers who think they’ve just found the Holy Grail? I don’t get it. Why can’t we seem to have mature conversations about things? There is a real danger in telling people to forget about things: the mind doesn’t work like that. The more you try to forget something the more it will resurface in your mind. We risk turning a relationship with God into something pharisaic and legalistic. We need to do all-the-right-things.

I don’t speak to my mother every day. I often break her heart by making it like I only call her when I need something, but that’s mostly accidental. It’s not that I don’t love my mother, but I get caught up in my things. Do I think she would be happier if I only called every day out of obligation rather than a desire for her company? I don’t. So why would God be happy about my half-bothered worship I’m only taking part to because I have to, but, really, I have something else on my mind?

If your heart isn’t bursting with joy at the thought of spending time with the Lord then you have a problem. But it’s not crushes. Crushes will easily sneak in to occupy this vacant space in your heart. It is true that you might start from a really good place and let the lure of human affection bring you further from God, but that’s not the only option and one-size-fits-all sermons about how you should deal with what may even be God-given desires of the heart, otherwise you’re somewhat deficient in your faith, are not the answer. It’s really worrying how many people are building a platform of ministry on such shaky grounds. Have you ever read 1 Corinthians 7? “It is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.” (v.8, NRSVACE). It doesn’t say “You have to put God first, no excuses, forget your desires for this person.” St. Paul knew how complicated human relationships are. How all-consuming passion can be, and how not everyone can just master self-control just because you tell them they should put God first.

Guess, what? We know we should put God first. And we fail repeatedly. If it’s not crushes it’s something else. That’s being human and how we’re not born saints. St. Paul told people with burning passions to use them for a godly purpose through marriage for a reason. Can we now stop beating ourselves up for something we just can’t avoid, please?

This blog post is part of the #LoveBlog2017 blogging challenge and linkup. Meet your co-hosts for the day:

Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.
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Tayler Morrell is a motherhood and lifestyle blogger at The Morrell Tale. She loves raising her kids, Rhys (2.5 years old) and Evelyn (1 month old). She also writes about her time as a teacher, her Mormon religion, books she’s read, and recipes she and her husband have created.

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Also I’m so excited to introduce a new thing this year: a giveaway!
The #LoveBlog2017 giveaway starts 01/02/2017 and runs through 28/02/2017. While we love our international readers, this is limited to US residents only due to legal restrictions. To learn more about all the sponsors, check out Belle Brita all month long!
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  1. I love the direction you took with this prompt! I originally wanted to blog about having crushes on other people when you’re married, but something urgent and unexpected came up this week that took up a lot of time. I’ll write on that topic eventually, but I want to do it justice, not rush it. What I wrote for today only took about 2 hours, including the time to format everything and create my pinnable graphic.

    I definitely know what you mean about the tendency of Christian leaders/writers to take an all or nothing approach on messy human behaviors. Life isn’t black and white; it’s a swirling gradient of gray.

    1. I’m looking forward to reading it. As you know I’m not married, and presently I’m not even sure whether I really want it, and part of it is that I seem unable to get past my inability to commit to things.

      As for the prompt, you can always count on me for coming up with the least expected interpretation of it. I was really going to write the letter to Andrew Garfield but then my FB timeline ended up flooded with these sorts of article and I thought it’s either a sign or not, but I’m writing about it anyway and hope for the best. I quite love how you put it, “Life isnโ€™t black and white; itโ€™s a swirling gradient of gray.”

  2. I disagree about the whole obligation thing. I mean crushes come and go, whatever. But I think love is sticking around no matter what, even when you don’t want to. And to some that might mean calling mom every day out of obligation even if you don’t really want to or have other, better, more important things to do. Or, calling on God when your mind is elsewhere. Because, you aren’t going to love your mom, your husband, your crush, God, whoever EVERY day. You aren’t going to be enthusiastic EVERY day. But the point is that you showed up anyway. You went to church anyway. You took the time to visit mom anyway. You volunteered anyway.

    Of course, I do realize that your mom, God, your crush, your husband, the church, whoever will tell you “don’t come unless you want to”, but they never really mean it. Your response is always supposed to be “But I DO want to” even if you don’t.

    I’m not saying any of this out of judgment; it’s just been my experience with love. If we always wanted to do what we were supposed to do, where is the love in that? Where is the sacrifice and commitment?


    1. Thank you for your thoughts. It’s an interesting point you make about wanting to do things all the time not leaving room for sacrifice and commitment ๐Ÿ™‚ the point I was trying to convey is the risk of making it a box to tick off on a list of things we do to be holy and the dangers of forgetting why the item is on the list in the first place, and thinking we’re doing okay because we’ve spent those 30 minutes doing things that we associate with prayer (but being distracted half of the time because the more we try to focus on something to forget something else the more we get that pushed into our conscious mind) when we could simply bring our whole heart, crush included, to God. After all, whoever the guy is, he’s God creation and we’re taking delight in it.

      I think sacrifice is inevitable and not mutually exclusive with showing up with the whole heart…I don’t have children but from what I hear it’s like to have them for me this is like when you are woken up in the middle of the night by your baby. You’re tired, annoyed and wishing you didn’t wake up until at least 2h later but you don’t love your child any less for that and I think most mothers would still make an effort to enjoy their time with their baby since they are there. Life is too imperfect not to require sacrifice. It’s all about making an effort for the right reason and bring what we have into a more genuine relationship with God, even one that includes our crush as, after all, by liking someone we’re delighting in God’s creation as much as when we like a beautiful sunset ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Don’t worry, I have brain delay without kids. And I love to meet people who love Doctor Who. Which of the 12 are we talking about for crushes now? I’m partial to 8th and 10th but I have to say 5th and 11th aren’t bad either ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. What an interesting viewpoint on crushes from a Chritian standpoint! I love this phrase: “you risk turning the Godly-woman-who-doesnโ€™t-ever-make-a-small-mistake into the idol instead.” Thanks for linking up with #LoveBlog2017!

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