Fruit of the Spirit: Love

Season 1
Episode Number
Release Date
February 4, 2019
Fruit of the SpiritLove
feat. Devin

Introduction (00:01:06)

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Hey everybody. Welcome to PSALMS to God podcast. Today I'm going to be talking about the Fruit of the Spirit, specifically love, and I asked my friend Devin to come join me, because it's a deep and complex topic, and I don't feel like I'm an expert on it. So I felt like I needed a friend to come help me out and come talk. So hey Devin, how's it going?

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: I'm doing good, how are you?

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: I'm good, I'm good. Do you have any, like, initial thoughts about love, and I don't know—why I called you up to talk about this topic?

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Well, when you asked me to do this I don't feel like I'm an expert on love either. But I think that love is something, like you said, it is complicated, and I think it affects our lives in some good ways and bad ways. And it's something that we all have to deal with as we grow in our personal lives.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Definitely, yeah. I feel like, I don't know... So for those who don't know,[1] I'm in a group chat with Devin and one of our mutual friends. And I feel like we talk about love a lot in this group chat.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: The third person will be coming on the podcast for another topic later on, but I feel like we do a lot of talking about it so that's one of the reasons why I picked you because, yeah...

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: OK 😂

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: 😂'Cause we're always talking about it anyway. Figured we might as well go ahead and talk about it on the podcast.I know that like the older I get the more I realize that, like we said, love is complicated. And there's so many different types of love there's like the love between friends, there's you know romantic love, there's familial love; there's just a lot of different types of love. Right?

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: But there's also different ways that we express love...

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Right

Love Languages (00:03:02)

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: And so I started reading up on, like, love languages[2] because I thought it was really interesting. 'Cause we we understand love in very different ways. Are you familiar with love languages?

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: I am familiar with them.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: I feel like, actually you might be the person who introduced me to love languages. 😂

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Really?

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: I can't remember. I feel like it was like a Facebook quiz or something.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: That's true. Yeah, I always do those quizzes, even when I start relationships. I think I sit down with whoever—you know, over the years, I've sat down with whoever I was with at the time and taken the quiz. And we compare results to figure out we should like deal with each other.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: 😂That sounds like a good idea actually. Maybe I should start trying that.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: I think it helps, and I can read them if you want me to.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Sure go for it.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah, so this is just something I googled. We have words of affirmation, which we would describe as you know kind word supportive words or words of reassurance in some way. Then we have physical touch which which can range from things like a hi-five, hugging, kissing, and so forth. We have receiving gifts. Some people like to get gifts from their partners or someone that they love. And quality time—spending time with someone. And acts of service, which I would think of things like, I washing their car for them, or doing their chores for them—helping them in a way they didn't expect.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yes, yes. I loved reading about love languages 'cause I never really thought about it before. I did realize that, you know, there could be disconnects. Like I remember when I was a kid, my Dad tried to throw a surprise party for my mom. It was a disaster. My mom did not like it at all, and I was like but he tried so hard. But my mom's love language is not—it's definitely not surprises—but she doesn't really like gifts. She would rather—I think she's an acts of service type of person. She would rather you just do something; like the fact that he cooked dinner or the fact that he, you know, cleaned the house before she got home or something like that. And I think that was my first introduction to seeing it in action.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Right. And I think with people older than us, you know our parents' age, I think they didn't talk about these things as much. I think these things are more popular now a days, 'cause I've seen the same disconnect in my parents as well.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yeah

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: With that particular topic, I'm actually not very fond of surprises either. Receiving gifts, I think that's my lowest one and I would be pretty upset if someone threw a surprise party for me on my birthday and that's not what I wanted.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yeah, yeah. I took the test and receiving gifts is actually one of my lower ones too. I think I tied for quality time and acts of service.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: OK

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: When I thought about, like. how I treat other people, I was like "oh that's true." If I like people, whether it's like friends or you know like romantically, if I take the time to, like, spend time with you, or I don't... I'm not like "I can talk to you, but I got to be gone in like 30 minutes," then that means it's a special person. 'Cause I typically value time the most, and of course everyone likes when somebody just does something unexpected for them. Did you figure out what yours was? You said it wasn't gifts.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah, so my top two are definitely physical touch and quality time. And I think they've been pretty 50/50, like they're equally tied with one another. And that everything and beyond that just sort of jumps off. I think my third one was words of affirmation, and then followed by acts of service and receiving gifts. I don't really... I don't need the gifts. I think it's because, if I want something I'll buy it for myself—

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: True

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: and I usually handle everything that I need to take care of. But when I'm interested in someone I definitely want to spend time with them and just interact with them. That's the way I express myself.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: That totally makes sense. As I started thinking about—sorry bubbles just crawled into my lap.[3]

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: 😂

Does God Have A Love Language? (00:07:24)

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Apparently hers is physical touch and quality time. As I was looking at love languages one of the questions that came to me is that, since love is one of the fruits of the spirit[4] it's something that, you know, we read about God being love,[5] and we're supposed to be expressing love because God is love and things like that, I wondered if God has a love language and what that love language would be. Like, have you ever thought of that? Do you have any guesses?

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: I never thought of that. So I thought about love from the perspective of God. How God shows us His love, and I would say that the way I think about is a God loves us in a sense of that He accepts us for who we are, no matter what, and that He gives us unlimited forgiveness, in a sense. If you thought about somebody, if you tried to love as God loved, I mean it would be pretty hard. If you imagine loving someone no matter what they did to you or how they treated you, that could be pretty hard.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yes. It can, yeah. We as people, we we struggle hard with that. But I went digging, and I was like let me look at you know the love languages and see if I can figure out if God has a love language or if he speaks all of them—'cause it makes sense God is the ultimate, you know He is the definition of love. And I actually found that he speaks all five of the love languages to us. So we have acts of service, right. In, I think, it's Exodus 14[6] there's a verse where God talks about how He fights our battles. Right, so that would be an act of service; it's something we don't have to do because He's willing to do it for us.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: And then of course giving gifts. God gives us spiritual gifts.[7] He gives us talents. He gave us life, all of these things. Quality time: God gave us the ability to pray and to, you know, He desires us to come spend time with Him, obviously that would be quality time.[8] There plenty of words of affirmation within the Bible where God—like "we are fearfully and wonderfully made,"[9] you know, "God loves [us]," "for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son"[10]—I guess that's also a gift. The hardest one for me to understand was physical touch. But He did send Jesus in the flesh. So some people did get the touch Jesus, and then He sent us the Holy Spirit, Who is supposed to dwell within us, which is a form of physical touch, right? And I thought that was really cool, that even when you try to translate it, it's still like He's speaking the language that nobody gets left out, like everybody can feel loved, perfectly when speaking to God. Which I thought was really cool.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah, thats makes a lot of sense, and I never thought about that. I mean, it would make sense that God is a symbol of the perfect love, so of course He should be able to speak to everyone and all 5 of the languages.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yeah, it's so amazing, and it kind of made me wonder how often, like you know, I went to all the effort to figure out if what God's love language was, but then I was like I ever take the time to think of my friends, my family, people I'm dating—you said you actually take the test, but I feel like, I've never actually taken one of those tests with someone—

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: 😂

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: It's just kinda going through it, winging, it hoping for the best. 😂

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah

Loving Other People Better(00:11:18)

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: How is that working out for you? Like has it improved your relationships, would you say?

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah, I think it definitely helps. Back when I was in college, I had a pretty big disconnect with someone that I was dating for a long time. You know I said that my top love languages were physical touching and quality time. I think that hers would have been words of affirmation and quality time and probably acts of service somewhere in there. So we were kind of flip-flopped in the way that we communicated, and we never talked about it. So we would get into situations where she would want me to say things to help her feel better about it, but I didn't understand that's what we needed to do. Like we just, the communication was off. Even if I thought I was saying the right thing, it just wasn't communicating what she needed at that time.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yeah I could definitely see how that would happen. I feel like when I was younger—when I was in college—I feel like I didn't know my own love languages. So I don't think I would have even been able to verbalize what I needed, if that makes any sense. You're just like, "I don't feel loved and I don't know why I don't feel loved but I don't." 😂

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Right. I think it's one of those things where we have to learn ourselves overtime and learn to be aware of it with everyone else that we're going to take with us in the throughout our lives, that we're going to interact with for a long time.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Definitely. I remember I was in a group having a conversation with people and they were talking about how easy love is. They were like "oh love is so easy, all we have to do is love each other," and in my mind I was like "but it so hard!" Like it sounds easy, but it doesn't feel easy.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah, so there are some books that I was reading—I don't have this specific title of one that I'm trying to reference in my head, but if I get it I'll send it to you—and it speaks about love as an action instead of being a feeling. I think something that we're taught when we're young and growing up—you see all these movies and shows and it looks like everyone is in love. Or we see a couple and they just feel the love, that maybe it was love at first sight and they just felt this amazing connection, and we're sort of sold a dream, when really love, what I think of it as and what this book is explaining is that it's something, it's an action that you have to make a choice to give to someone.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yes. I definitely agree with that. The whole of that! Like I remember when I first, I don't know, I guess when you first start getting like crushes on people. I remember in the beginning, like you know there were the guys that had crushes on that like I couldn't even talk to them. I was like so nervous, because you know it's this feeling. It's the butterflies and the excitement. But then as I got older and you actually start to process that you know what Disney has sold us is a lie—

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: 😂

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: I realized that the strongest relationships I had, were the guys that I was friends with first, and it was really like you said it was a choice to go from being friends, to being in a relationship, or liking that person, because it's not just like the feeling of being in love or like the butterflies or whatever. It's based on both people choosing to love each other. It's definitely a different thing to get used to, 'cause it's not what's shown on TV at all.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Right, and I think what you just said about being friends is important to think about. If you think about the love triangle that people have. So that butterfly and you know crush and sparks, that's just one part of this triangle. So, that would be like the romance, romantic feelings. And then you have I think the other parts are in intimacy or like being friends like you said, and then there's the commitment. And if you have a relationship, like a romantic relationship, without either of those three, then you sort of are missing something, in a sense.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Right and that's when things get a little messy... One of the other things, that I guess you know, we talked about a little bit when we talked about like acts of service, I guess. But how things are, I don't know how to word this. When you love someone, whether it be romantically or even if it's just like a friend, family member, any type of love—how things become easier, like to do things that you wouldn't necessarily do, it's easier. Like for instance, say you have like a sibling and it's 1 o'clock in the morning and they're stranded and they need you to come pick them up. Like usually you're like "nah, bruh I am in the middle of some good sleep! I ain't got time for this foolishness." But you know if you love that person, you will be worried about them, so you will rush to their aid, right. I noticed this even in myself, like say I've been having a conversation with someone, like a co-worker that—I don't want to say I don't love them, but you know like you don't really have like a relationship with them. They're just like an acquaintance, and they can be talking about something and I'm just sitting there like "I really wish you would shut up. I don't want to hear any more of this." But then I can talk to somebody who is like a friend or you know somebody that I'm interested in, and they can be saying the exact same thing and you're just like "Yes, tell me more! Tell me more! I can sit here and listen to you all day." Have you noticed that like shift in your personality around the people that you love?

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah, definitely. I think you spend some time with someone that you're interested in you know in a romantic way... Like if they have a hobby, for example, that you're don't really interested in—something you would never do on your own—you'd definitely be more willing to try it just because they're doing it

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yes I definitely 😂... So the first time I ever went to a Starbucks. I think it was the first time okay maybe it was the second time, I'm not sure but I went for a coffee date. Because you know they were like "oh let's go get coffee." I don't drink coffee, but I was like sure let's go try this, anyway. 😂 So you definitely find yourself doing things that you wouldn't normally do.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Right. Yeah I was gonna say, I was just taking that thought and applying it outside of the romantic love, since it like you were talking about a co-worker. If you take that same thought and apply it to your neighbors and those around you, you know I think the Bible says that you should love your neighbor.[11] If you think about everyone else around us in the road, if we try to open our hearts and minds to them and just treat them with a little bit of love, it would allow us to connect with people that we might otherwise be closed off to.

God’s Love Manifesting (00:18:39)

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Absolutely, that's definitely where my train of thought was going. When I first, I don't know, I guess when I was younger and when I first started believing in God, I didn't really think of what God likes or like what He's interested in. Kind of how we said, like if you were interested in a friend, in a romantic partner, whatever, suddenly you start doing things you wouldn't normally have done. I was like "oh so like as you get closer to God, and as you start to love God, you should start to love the things God loves." So you should start to love people more. You should start to have compassion for, you know, the homeless, for the poor, like the less-fortunate, whomever, and want to give time to the things that God values, essentially. Right?

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Right. I agree with that. That's definitely, that's what you should get from it.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yeah, and I don't know. I mean, I felt changes in myself. I think I used to be—I feel like I wasn't really a compassionate person to people that I didn't know like personally. And now I found that when I see other people cry, I be bawling. I mean, I cannot watch somebody else cry. It doesn't matter if it's like on a movie. It doesn't matter if it's like I'm just passing by and I see somebody standing on the side of the street crying. I'mma start crying too. And it was like a really interesting shift for me personally 'cause I'm like "what's going on with me? Why am I crying? I don't know why they're crying, so why am I crying?" And I just, I don't know, I thought I was interesting—like an interesting manifestation of love. 'Cause I mean the only reason—I feel like the only way you can feel somebody else's pain is if you love them.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: And yeah. Have you have you ever had any weird experiences like that?

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: So, I was going to ask you, what do you think you being closer with the Lord led you to be able to have that kind of connection with people?

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: I think it is, because it didn't start until maybe like two or three years ago. I feel like before that—I don't want to say I was like I had a cold heart, but I mean certain things just didn't bother me. I was like "oh they're having a bad day, I'm sorry." And it's like in a way, I feel bad for you, but it wasn't anything that would make me like stop and be like "hey are you okay," like "do you want to talk," or anything like that. I probably would have just kept going and I'm like "oh I hope they feel better," and I probably wouldn't have thought twice about it. But slowly, as I started digging deeper, like I started reading the Bible more—things like that—praying more, all of a sudden I noticed like every time I'm seeing people crying or something, like I feel compelled to go ask them like, "Are you okay? Do you need anything? Would you like to talk?" And like, I'll start crying and I'm like why am I crying? I'm not a crier. 😂

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: That's really beautiful. I think that I'm still in the phase that you describe yourself at before.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: 😂

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: I, well, first I would say I don't think I cried very often. I can probably count how many times I've cried in the past five years, but I've definitely stopped and talk to someone that I know if they were crying, but I do get that feeling like it doesn't—I feel like I don't have as much empathy as I should.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yeah, I definitely know that feeling. 'Cause I didn't really think about it until afterwards, 'cause I would think back and be like "Oh man! I was kind of like cold-hearted," but you don't in the moment, it was just like "oh I'm sorry" but like, I'm happy. 😂 I just thought it was interesting, 'cause it was a new way of looking at love, for me. 'Cause like we talked about in the beginning, that's definitely not what they show you on TV. Like when I think of love. I don't associate sadness or like feeling the other person's pain with the act of love, and I guess that goes back to the whole choice, like you're choosing to experience their highs and lows.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Um hmm. Right, yeah.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: And that was a very unexpected shift in my perspective of love, I guess.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah I guess that puts flesh to the phrase, "Good, bad, happy, and sad." We have to go through all of it together if you’re gonna to make that choice to truly love someone.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yeah, yeah. I thought it was interesting 'cause I feel like as we get older we—I guess we hone in on love more and it becomes more prominent in our lives or something, just as we're like navigating our way through the water or something.

Our Childhood Affects Our Love (00:23:49)

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah. I think it's interesting that we, like you said, we started focusing more on love as we get older. And I think it's interesting. For me it seems that we all come from different starting places. Like the things that happen to us when we were children have a large impact on how we can love later on in our lives and how we were supposed to show love.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yes, it's interesting, because I read a study—I'll have to look it up to cite it—but I read a study about how for men and women who grow up in abusive homes. So, like men who had an abusive father and women who had an abusive father are more likely to end up in those situations. Like a woman who grows up with a mother who was abused is more likely to end up in an abusive relationship and a man who witnessed his mother being abused is more likely to become an abuser.[12][13] And it didn't seem intuitive because I was like oh I would think that you would want the exact opposite, like you would know what you don't want. But I feel like the article was talking about how you internalize that as a way of love, of expressing love or expressing anger in a love context. And because that's what they've been taught, that's what they act out as they grow up. And I thought that was really interesting. It made me kind of stop and think like, oh what have my parents taught me about love? Or like, what what have I picked up just by watching the adults that I grew up around? Maybe not even your parents, but maybe your grandparents or your aunts and uncles, cousins, whatever. It was pretty interesting.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah, I've been seeing examples of that in my own life too. And I think over the past couple of years, I've been experiencing that first hand and feeling the effects of or maybe realizing the effects that my parents had on me as I grew up.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yeah, when I took the love languages test and I saw my results, I was like I actually think my mom would have similar results. And then I wondered like are these my result because I learned how to love from my mom, you know? Or is it unique to me as a person or is this strictly like because this is what I grew up seeing. I don't necessarily know if those would be the same for my dad, but I've definitely seen that the way my Dad shows love to my mom is primarily through acts of service. He does give a lot of gifts, too, but it is primarily through acts of service and quality time. So I was like, oh. 'Cause I grew up in a house where—I don't really, like, people don't really throw around like, "I love you," a lot in my house. So like the whole words of affirmation that wasn't really like a thing. In fact I don't actually remember my mom telling me she loved me until I went to college—I'm sure she did. I'm sure she told me that at some point, but it wasn't just like a big thing, where you know like some families like you know every time they're on the phone they're "I love you," you know blah blah blah. Like that wasn't really a thing in my family. And I've noticed, like you know, when I talk to people or if I'm in a relationship that's not really like an inclination for me to like tell people things, and it doesn't… Like when people say it to me, like yes it has meaning but I'm just like "okay." Like it's not really, like the big deal that some people make it out to be, like in the way I feel. And I was just like I wonder if that's solely correlated to how I was brought up?

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah, I think so. That makes a lot of sense. I take the same line of thought from my own life. I would say I took parts from both of my parents my dad definitely maybe similar to yours, he communicates through acts of service. He feels like if he does things for the family thats his way of showing love. My mom is definitely a physical touch and quality time type of person. I was an only child, so we were like best friends and we would just spend time together and basically play. And now I think about how that influenced me, even in the types of women that I'm attracted to. I've noticed that, I used to say I don't have a type—like all the women that I've liked look completely different but when I think about their personalities they're are very strong-willed or strong-minded women, which definitely comes from my mother.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yeah, that makes sense. I think there's a saying that men fall in love with their mothers and women fall in love with their dads.[14]

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: OK

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: And I could see some truth in that. Like I'm definitely attracted to guys who also communicate through acts of service, which is how my dad communicate. So yeah I guess, yeah 'cause I think we learn the expression of love from what we see. And then I guess we we imitate the parent that is I guess the same gender as us or something? I don't know it's like a really complex thing, but it's kind of cool when you look at it. You're like oh I turned into like a little mini person of my mom or a mini person of my dad. But then at the same time it's scary 'cause you're kind of repeating—

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Yeah

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: And you're just like "oh um..." I guess that's one of the things that I thought was really cool when I discovered love languages, because I feel like it's a way to help us not make the same mistakes. You know, like taking the effort to figure out other people's love language and to know our own love language to be able to communicate better and to show love better. I think that's like a revolutionary thing.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Right. I think that also stresses the importance of been having some relationship with God or the church when you're young so that you had been exposed to know God's love and having felt His perfect love in some way. So when you grow up you can be able to express that to others.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: There's a verse that talks about loving others because Christ loved us first, or us loving God because God loved us first and then in turn loving others[15] and I just, like you said, I think you have to feel perfect love before you can express any love. 'Cause we tend to kind of screw things up, unintentionally. And I don't know, like both of us in the beginning said, we didn’t feel like love experts. I don't really know if anyone feels like an expert.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: Right

Love in Marriage (00:31:30)

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Maybe if we go find somebody's grandmother who has been married for like 70 years. 😂 They they may claim to be an expert, but I don't know. Even when I talk to my parents, you know. My parents have been married I think it'll to be 36 years—actually it might be 38 years. I don't know. I'm sorry, parents. I don't remember how long they've been married. They've been married for a long time.😂

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: 😂 I don't know how long my parents have been married either.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: They've been married for a very, very long time, and even then sometimes like I'll hear them say like "I don't know, I just don't know what's going on." And you, it's weird 'cause as a kid I thought they had everything figured out. I was like yeah when I get older and I get ready to get married, I'm going to be able to ask my mom and dad and they're going to tell me everything I need to know about marriage, and now I'm like oh so y'all don't actually know. Y'all just winging it?

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: My parents are still going through it. I feel like I've had better relationship success—I mean they've made the choice to stay together a long time, but I feel like when it comes to solving an argument, I feel like I'm better at that than my parents are. 😂

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: 😂Yeah, you just like oh okay so everybody's just winging it. Cool, cool. OK, we're winging this stuff together, but I think it's kind of beautiful, in a way. I feel like if there was an absolute like manual, like do this do that do that, it wouldn't be so magical. That might be a little bit of the hopeless romantic in me coming out. Little bit of Disney creeping back in.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: 😂Yeah

Love Untainted By Sin? (00:33:22)

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: So I did have another thought that was really interesting. So I read this book, actually is a series of books. It's called The Circle:[16] it's 4 books. And the premise of the book is way too much to explain, but essentially there's a part of the book in the beginning where the author envisions like a perfect world. Like the world if the fall had not happened, and people had still multiplied. So there is like, a whole community of people who live in unfallen world, and in this world people fall in love with anybody. Like, basically, the main character who appears in this world, who's from our world, his first contact is with a woman, and she chooses him. And the people there are like "Oh, now you have to pursue her!" He's like "But I don't know her! How do I know that I would love her?" And they're like "Of course you love her. Why wouldn't you love her? She chose you, now you choose her and it's so simple." And when I first read it, it sounded bizarre. It's kind of like, they have the show "Married at First Sight" and stuff like that like. It sounded like that. It was like oh so you, like you just walked up to somebody at random and you're just like that's the person I'm going to love, and it and it just goes. But the more I read the book, and the more I thought about it, in a perfect world I actually think we could fall in love with anyone.

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: I actually agree with you. I've had this argument with people over many years. I agree. I believe that's true because we said love is a choice. So if two people made the choice to be open enough to love one another, I don't know what would pull them apart. If they were open to fixing all the problems that they ran into, and they took the time to learn one another's love language, and they worked on building their lives together, I don't really know what would be stopping them—besides insecurity or doubt about the future or some external influence. And I think that's what plagues us nowadays, in a sense, you know, if you're with someone and we have any social media, and you're seeing all these other couples. And all these other what ifs. You get all these ideas in your head—what else you could do with your life, and who else could you be with. And I think that hurts a lot of love and relationships these days.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Yeah, that's basically the same thing that I came away with. I leaned heavy towards insecurities and like, faults that we have. So for instance like you mentioned with social media, not just seeing other relationships and comparing your relationship to their relationship, but I feel we live in a society that is very concerned with physical appearance. And that goes—I mean it's a two-way thing in you know being attracted to people because of physical appearance, but also feeling insecure about our own physical appearance. And I feel like those things play heavily into how we seek out relationships, but of course in a perfect world you know, everyone would think everyone was beautiful. Like and so, there would be no insecurities. It wouldn't that wouldn't be like "Oh I'm not going to approach him because he might think that I'm too skinny" or "he might think I'm too fat" or you know like "he might not like the texture of my hair." Like all of these like tiny things that keep us from approaching certain people or whatever; like those wouldn't be factors. And I mean even beyond physical things, like monetary things. You wouldn't have, you know, gold digging. People wouldn't be searching out people solely for monetary purposes or whatever. But it like, kind of blew my mind, you know. We live in a society where we, you know, you date for extended periods of time. Most people date, you know, a good like year or two years before they are engaged and they're like engaged for a year, and then they get married. So like the idea of just like randomly selecting somebody, and being like that's going to be the person that I'm going to love. Yeah like, when I was reading in the book, I was like that’s crazy! And of course the first thing on my mind was this whole "Married at First Sight" thing, which I still haven't seen—I kind of want to watch it now that I realize that's not quite as crazy as I thought it was, but—

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: I think that it—I have watched that show in particular, but I think that, given that we talked about physical appearance, if we somehow equate that so physical appearance is going to be OK and that's checked off, or it's not a factor, I think the relationships could probably work out.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: 😂Yeah yeah

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: I've been watching another show. Have you heard of "90 Day Fiancé?"

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: No I haven't

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: So the premise of that show is sort of similar; the don't get married at first sight but they have to get married quickly because it's usually they pair an American with a foreigner. And then they have—basically it's based on the 90 day K-1 Visa, so once the international person comes to America they have 90 days to get married before they have to be deported. So it's a lot of pressure to fall in love with this person. I mean they've been dating for years, but now that they're there in person it just gets really tense and sort of the same thing.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Oh my goodness! Yeah that's, that's a whole 'nother level of pressure though, 'cause you know getting deported doesn't sound fun at all. That's some steep stakes right there. And I know it's crazy, but the more I thought about it and the more I think about these types of situations where people are just kind of thrown together, and expected to fall in love with each other over short periods of time and form relationships. I started to think about how this should play out in terms of other types of love and in terms of other types of relationships like friendships. Specifically the Bible tells us that we should love our neighbor, and I always thought of loving your neighbor as being like love a stranger, which I guess is really weird 'cause growing up all of my neighbors are family, so I don't know why I associate the word neighbor with stranger, but I did. And so I always thought that meant like oh you just, you're supposed to have some sort of passive love for these people that you don't know, but as I started thinking about this concept and as we talked about, you know, love being a choice and being able to love anyone, I started to realize that neighbor and friend should be synonymous. Because you should be able to choose to love anybody you come into contact with, and so I thought that was really interesting because I never really fully comprehended the concept of love your neighbor in that manner. Not just like oh you know sure I should love them in this general sense of love where it's like I don't hate you, but like actually bestowing the same type of love and compassion and making the same choices toward those people that you may not know as well or that you just met, that you would make towards people who you just naturally became friends with. And I think that's pretty cool. I think that's something we can all work towards And of course, like I said, we don't live in a perfect world so this little bit more difficult because those people always have the choice to not love us back, which makes it more difficult to carry out that action. Sometimes you just don't get along with people, but I think that's where it comes down to it being a fruit of the spirit. It's the Holy Spirit in us that gives us that ability to love. Without the Holy Spirit, we're unable to love those people, Particularly when they don't love us back. So I just wanted to throw that out there 'cause I thought that was an interesting thing too. Well before I let you go do you have any closing thoughts, or any other things that you wanted to add to the conversation?

Wrap Up (00:42:08)

👨🏾‍🦱 DEVIN: I would encourage everyone that listens to this to challenge your own views on love, and keep an open mind to the way that other people think about that love as well. I think that having a clothed mind to everyone's different expenses that we talked about in this podcast, that everyone's coming from a different background. So keeping an open mind to everyone else will help us all become closer.

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: Absolutely! That's, I think that's perfect advice! So thank you so much for joining me for the podcast. I really appreciate you being here and helping me do this topic. So thanks for tuning in listeners, and I will talk to you guys next time.

Post Recording Thoughts (00:43:00)

🙎🏽‍♀️ REE: So as I was editing this episode and listening to it and having my little mini panic attacks about whether or not I said the right things or you know whether it was good enough to be released, I realize that it just felt very incomplete. And I think the reason that it felt incomplete to me is because at no point in the discussion did I ever bring up 1 Corinthians 13—and I didn't do it on purpose, because I feel like it's such an obvious chapter. I feel like everyone knows 1 Corinthians 13. I feel like even non-believers probably know passages from this chapter, because it's quoted so often. You see it in decorations and it's just so prominent, I felt like I would be wasting people's time to like spend time on it or to talk about it, but after I read it I just felt like it was so incomplete because that chapter really defines what God thinks of love and how perfect love that comes from God is supposed to be. So I decided that I was going to add it back in. So, 1 Corinthians 13. (This is the Christian Standard Bible version)

1 If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, 5 is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. 6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. 13 Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—but the greatest of these is love.

References and Footnotes

  1. Which is everyone except the other person in the group chat.
  2. Gary Chapman. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts®. 2015
  3. We were using a video call to do the episode, so at this point Devin was just seeing a cat's tail in the camera.
  4. Galatians 5:22-23
  5. 1 John 4:8
  6. Exodus 14:14
  7. Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-10
  8. James 4:8 and Matthew 6:6
  9. Psalms 139:14
  10. John 3:16
  11. Leviticus 19:18 and Matthew 22:39
  12. "People who were abused as children are more likely to be abused as an adult". Office for National Statistics. September 27, 2017
  13. "Effects of domestic violence on children". Office on Women's Health. January 30, 2019
  14. I know it's a weird saying. But they mean personality wise not literally or physically.
  15. 1 John 4:18-21
  16. Ted Dekker. The Circle. 2011
PSALMS to God is a blog, podcast, and YouTube channel that discusses many topics and issues, always keeping YHWH as the anchor. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”—here, the aim is to always ask questions and study to find the answers. You can keep up with new content by signing up for the weekly newsletter.