Our Emotional Cravings Relationally
Everyone needs to be loved, cared for, and affirmed by another person. Such yearning is natural. God created human beings to be in a relationship. He did not, after all, let Adam exist alone. God sought to find him a suitable partner. Hence, human beings are never meant to live in isolation but in sociality with each other.
The Enemy’s schemes can distort this natural state of being in a relationship with other people if we are not careful. Our need to be loved, cared for, and affirmed can make us manipulative and demanding to others. Such happens when we seek to find satisfaction from the insatiable desires of our hearts and souls in another person—this may be a significant other, a close friend, a parent, or even a son or daughter. When we start to move from saying “I love you” to things like “I can’t live without you” or “You are everything to me,” it can be a sign that the Enemy has started to distort our natural relational cravings and desires.
What are you looking for in your relationships?
To enter a relationship with the mindset that the other person will satisfy or complete us is to set it up for failure. Living in sociality with one another demands that we give rather than take. This is the ultimate Christian virtue. We love others because God loved us first (1 Jn. 4:19). And the kind of love that God showed us is a giving kind of love. God gave us His only begotten Son, and Jesus gave up his life for his friends (Jn. 3:16; 15:13). If we are to exist relationally with others, it must always be with the posture of giving rather than taking.
Giving rather than taking requires us to find our affirmation, strength, and sense of worth from God rather than the other person. Otherwise, when we depend on another person for the things only God can give us, it is like drinking from a cup with holes. The water will always run out. We will never be satisfied.
What is more, depending on other people for emotional satisfaction can lead to manipulation. We can start saying things like, “If you don’t do this for me, then you don’t love me,” or “If you loved me, you would never do this to me.” Such love seeks to satisfy one’s cravings emotionally by wringing the other person dry. The other person will end up disappointing you, and you will end up being broken. Why? Because only God can fill the void that is within us.
The same could be true if it were the other way around. We can go such extraordinary lengths to please others. We may agree to whatever another person is asking of us, thinking that it is them who will satisfy our sense of affirmation and self-worth. Doing this will only cause us to settle for less, unable to recognize that we were made for so much more.
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