I was speaking with a friend earlier on the topic of relationships. We talked about how sometimes we have set expectations for a relationship or the person we are in the relationship with and they later find ourselves disappointed. As they were sharing with me it made me reflect on few things.
In 1 Corinthians 7:1, the Apostle Paul wrote “It is good for a man not to touch a woman”. For a long time I thought this was verse was describing a physical touch of a woman but when I looked up the word touch, it meant “to ignite”. When I thought about “ignite”, I immediately correlated it to fire or a match.
In order to ignite a match, it has to make friction with another surface. It is then able to release the phosphate and chlorate chemicals in the match creating a flame. Now I know some of you may be wondering where I am headed with this on, but I’d ask that you at least humor me by reading to the end. I’m not trying to convert or change your thought process, but rather just give you something to think about.
- The fire that the match released was already there, it just needed to be ignited.
Oftentimes, we don’t realize what we are igniting when we are dealing with people. Men we may think we are just talking. Perhaps our motives are not always revealed when we meet a woman. When we begin a relationship, we need to be mindful (men and women) about what we release through our conversations. If we are not ready for the fire –do not light the match. As harmless as a conversation may appear- we never know exactly what is truly transpiring in another’s mind. In times past, when I started a conversation with a woman, I did not necessarily think the interaction all the way through- but more so just for the moment. I never really counted the cost of igniting the flame with my conversation or friendly gestures. I hadn’t considered or took the time to think about what happens when you ignite her emotional connection to you. I’m not trying to say this is all our fault men but I think it deserves credence to ponder the thought of why so many women are frustrated with a relationship or a conversation that has not led anywhere productive after the fire is ignited.
- If the flame does not connect to another source it will not fulfill purpose.
I listened to my friend talk about how, in the beginning, the relationship made her feel. She described an “immediate connection” from their initial interaction. Interestingly enough, after a few weeks of spending time together the initial high (if you will) began to fade due to something that she allowed to happen. There was a connection at first but then the reality of their compatibility began to be in question. Instead of having a conversation about the issue with my friend – the brother just began to fall back. So here she is left with feelings that have been ignited. Emotions that have begun to attach themselves from the interaction between the two, as barnacles on a boat. You see the flame was ignited when he said “I think I want to marry you” and told her other warm and fuzzy statements that are good- but only when they are really true. We have to be careful about what we say to others if we are not sincere, men. Now my friend is left with emotions that are just burning. They were ignited (her emotions) but have nothing to attach to. If you have ever been exposed to a match you know after a few seconds it will fade out. So her emotions are not connected to anything and she is just stuck.
Ladies, if this is true say amen: once a woman has a connection with a man it is hard to just remove those feelings. This is why we see bitterness, hurt or resentment when relationships end and there was no true peace. The flame that was initially ignited never had anywhere to go so it just leaves an empty hole with no purpose to fulfill. We must be careful of how and what we connect to or more importantly we must be sure that our initial connection with the person is truly what we want to ignite because just like a match-once the flame is lit it must go somewhere or it will perish.
- A match that is controlled brings warmth but one ignited in the wrong place will bring devastation.
It is amazing how one little match can do so much in two different scenarios. Growing up we had a fireplace in the house. I can remember my dad making these, seemingly perfect fires and the house being filled with warmth and contentment. I was fascinated by the fact that a three inch slim stick was able to bring so much warmth to our home. However, it can also be a source of pain and devastation when not controlled or ignited in the right place.
What do I mean by the right place? Well, if we do not use wisdom in making a decision of whether to pursue a person or leave them alone, there is opportunity for devastation. Only you know if you are sincere with a person and what you are looking for. Oftentimes, feelings can change when one partner feels that the relationship has become one sided or the relationship is overwhelming their ability to be who they are. This is where communication needs to take place. But far too many people don’t say a word and just allow the issues to grow. The flame that once was ignited for good becomes out of control. We now have a full blown 4 alarm fire.
My friend was devastated by her relationship ending as it did- no closure, no explanation, no truth. Even as I am writing this I feel a sense of conviction overshadowing me. I too have been that man- where I opened a woman up to the flame and then let it die without purpose. Family when we take responsibility for our actions and become NAKED to the point where we admit “I was wrong” –this is when FREEDOM is able to reign in our lives. Reflecting on my own mistakes and 4 alarm fires that I have created (yes I said created), it was almost if I was a pyromaniac-setting blazes everywhere and then not taking responsibility for that which I set. The worst part was doing it in secret. This makes me sad and allows me to have compassion for those who have been burned or had their flame ignited and then blown out.
Lord allow us to see ourselves on either end of this perspective, forgive us of our mistakes and then free us so that we can fulfill the purpose that you have for us.