By Kenneth Stepp
Today has been a day full of more deep thoughts than usual. I have so many friends that are single. So many battered and bruised people that just get up every day and try again. I think about the stories I’ve heard about their life on the singles journey. I hear so many “complaints”. But falling for someone who was unfaithful seems to be the most hurtful for them. What causes this? We can postulate so many answers, or just say times have changed. I was married for decades and never cheated. She didn’t either. It just wasn’t a thought. But when I became single again I felt I was thrust into some kind of a fast lane I had never known existed. The energy level was thrilling.
So, can we blame it on the thrilling nature of the hunt? I don’t think so. There are still those in this arena that will just never be unfaithful. They want only one person in their life, and one is enough. A singular focus, building an honest relationship, a relationship that leaves both of them never wondering about the other. What an awesome concept. But not as attainable today as it once was. Have you ever thought about why dating is so different these days? Although I believe the use of social media and online dating sites can be a big part of the problem. I think I would be a lazy writer if I stopped there. Morality is something this generation is in short supply of. Under Parenting and bad role models can take some of the blame too. Maybe a little blame can move to the failed school systems. I guess it can be said that this is simply a different world with a much different set of standards than the last generation had.
Respect… I believe having respect for others would change so much of the being unfaithful issues. If you respect another as a basic human concept you would guard against bringing an STD home to them. If you respect your mate as a romantic entanglement that you want to grow, then you will remain faithful to guard the relationship in general. If you respect the way they love you and honor that by returning that love. Being with someone else will simply not be an option to you. So you see, a little seven letter word can change your future and the future of someone you care about. Respect seems in short supply these days though, I’m not sure why. But I have seen first hand the lack of it. Now there is even a word for vanishing without a trace. Ghosting. You are going out with someone, there seems to be potential, then BOOM! Nothing. You are blocked and they have vanished. The ultimate digital disrespect…
So. What is the answer? Maybe it’s a simple as recognizing the value in others. I own and run a nonprofit that helps the homeless, single moms, and a few others that need a little help. When I am approached by a homeless man I don’t see a wasted life in smelly clothes. I see a fellow human that took a wrong turn along the way. And before you think it couldn’t happen to you. Think again. When this man was a child, he was the apple of someone’s eye. He meant everything to them. Think of how you felt when your child was placed in your arms in the hospital, how valuable that baby was to you. Someone loved him that much and would have laid their life down for them. Now, see his worth. God loves him the way God loves you. He is as important as any of us.
If on a basic level you can see what I see in him, it will be easier to see what you should be looking at in your mate. Much easier. Respect is a two way street that will take us where we need to go. Decide distractions are just that, distractions. Look into your mates eyes and see a soul worth all of your attention and more. This person has set aside a great deal of their life to share time with you. Respect their effort, their time, their body, and their heart. I’m betting they are doing that for you. We need to learn to love again. Love demands respect. Love is what we were intended to share with our forever love, accept that. Embrace the new you. If you can’t remember what that looks like get out a black and white movie about the life of a couple in love. Love like it’s 1950 again.
“Respect, faithfulness, and commitment are what love is, not feelings and butterflies, but it’s always nice when they come along for the ride” – k stepp