Bond or Bondage

Lauren has always rushed into relationships. When she met Tyler, she ignored his controlling behavior and the way he isolated her from family and friends. Soon, she was trapped in a vicious cycle of manipulation and emotional abuse followed by profuse apologies and showers of affection. In the past three years, Lauren has broken up with Tyler more than five times, but can’t seem to stay away. Tyler’s charm always convinces her that he has changed.

The power of romance is strong enough to block all reason. Romance trumps reason because it can be deceptive.

“Tyler was so attentive in the beginning,” she said. “I fell in love almost immediately. By the time I started to notice how controlling he was, it was too late. Besides, I was certain he would change.”

I was certain he would change. How many times have you heard that come out of the mouth of one of your girlfriends? Or out of your own mouth? Women are nurturers. We long to help, especially when we think it is within our power to change someone. The power of romance is strong enough to block all reason. Romance trumps reason because it can be deceptive.

The apostle Paul warns us: “I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people” (Romans 16:17).

Lauren was deceived by Tyler’s flattery. She recognized that he did things that bothered her, but since she was already emotionally connected, her discernment was compromised and she lacked the resolve to do the right thing—run away.

Lauren made the mistake that a lot of women make—jumping in emotionally way too soon. She was looking for intimacy, but that’s not what she got. Her emotions blinded her ability to judge and perceive. As Shannon Ethridge writes, “Be careful not to mistake intensity for intimacy. Intensity fades as the newness wears off, but intimacy continues to blossom the longer you know a person.”5

Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” If our heart is beyond cure, how can we succeed in love? If our heart will deceive us, how can we ever make wise choices with romance?

Idealistic wisdom tells us to follow our heart, but is that what Scripture tells us? Does Scripture advocate making decisions about our life with our emotions and passions? Do we make choices concerning our future with our own understanding? If so, why do we need the wisdom contained in the Word of God if we can make intuitive decisions?

Because we can’t make wise decisions with our emotions and our own reasoning. Jeremiah 17:7 tells us that “blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” The more we make decisions based on wisdom instead of our emotions, the more successful our relationships will be. Emotions waiver and change, but the wisdom of God is our anchor.

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