Prosper in love: the comparison of ‘for’ and ‘with’

love2I took a moment to write this because I was blessed with an epiphany recently. I have struggled to understand how to develop a prosperous relationship/marriage, even though the first marriage did not work out so well. I felt myself in a spiral of confusion because as a man, I am not supposed to have real wants or needs beyond the things outside of myself. Women were usually the ones who focus on needs from their spouse while men were ‘generally’ looked at as the providers of what his woman needed.

I have not always complied to that form of thinking, because for some reason, I knew that, as a man, I deserved just as much as she did. Sex was not the only thing I desired, nor was a hot meal, clean clothes, or even money. I desired to have someone there with me as well as for me. Now, I did not see it in that light, at first, because I did not know that that was in any way important to a healthy relationship to me.

I have found that one aspect of a healthy relationship is to understand the difference between being there FOR someone and being there WITH someone. for example,  If you read some of the epistles of Paul,  you find that he ends them with ‘May the Lord Jesus Christ be with you…’. With defines as ‘being accompanied by’, so he prays that Jesus accompanies the readers of the text throughout their lives. To be WITH your spouse requires much strength, especially when the situation is dire or feels out of the persons’ control. The other part of strength lies in empathy; that is, placing yourself in the person’s shoes and accepting a pain that may not be your own. You walk when staying still is more sensible, you cry even though it feels trivial, and you stand in the fire when there are no flames burning in your life.

Being there FOR someone, or in support or favor of someone, does not require that you participate in the issue or situation directly, yet, if a need comes up, support is given. It is always easier to be there for your spouse or significant other within a marriage or relationship because a distance is kept, and empathy is not necessarily required. It’s like paying into auto insurance. I am not saying that being there FOR a person is in any way bad… there are instances where you CAN’T be there with them… only Christ can be WITH us through ANY and EVERYTHING.

I am thankful that God is WITH me in all things. My loved ones can only go as far as they can go…


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