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.
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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