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How to make love grow stronger

  • March 1st, 2010 by Pastor Darryl Curtis   |  1 Comment

This blog entry is answering a question about my fourteenth sermon on the Biblical Design of Gender that Renee asked me, which was: “People want all this luvyduby stuff without the cost of conflict, but if you can come through the conflict, the love can and will grow stronger. Of course it has to be reasonable, not no dumb stuff like he punching me in the face or cheating on me. What are your thoughts on that for staying in the crucible??”

Renee – I believe that the Bible is an owner’s manual for interpersonal relationships. So let me try to explain that which I think God is saying.

God’s prime directive is for fruitful multiplication. That’s the first thing He tells us to do. (Genesis 1:28) God created men, and then He created women to facilitate multiplication (Genesis 2:22-23).

Women function differently than men, by God’s design. Women have a hormone in their endocrine systems called oxytocin. Oxytocin creates a psychological bond between a woman and the man with whom she has intimate physical (sexual) contact. Incidentally, oxytocin also creates a similar bond between a mother and her baby by the baby’s contact with the mother’s breasts.

God created this chemical bonding mechanism in women because He intends that each woman only be chemically bonded to one intimate (sexual) partner during her life. So God commands men and women to have monogamous relationships. God tells us that we are to become one flesh with one another (Genesis 2:24) in a relationship which we call marriage.

Everything that God says about the relationship between a man and a woman presumes marriage. All this lovie-dovie stuff is supposed to come after the marital relationship is established, because, once a woman has sex with a man, she loses her ability to be emotionally objective about him. The oxytocin takes it away from her. Men have oxytocin, but not in nearly the same concentration as do women; men don’t bond hormonally to women with whom they have sex. A man bonds to a woman because of his decision to do so rather than because of a hormonal reaction.

So God instructs a man to make a commitment to a woman (marry her) before he has sex with her, and God instructs a woman to get a commitment from a man (marry him) before she has sex with him. Once the commitment (marriage) is in place, then the sexual relationship is designed to bond the man and woman to one another exclusively (monogamy).

Now, after the man and woman make the commitment to marry one another and begin the bonding process, they still have to learn to live with one another outside of the bedroom. The two rules God gives married couples to live with one another after marriage are:

  1. Husbands, love your wives.
  2. Wives submit to your husbands. (Ephesians 5:22-33)

And God gives us challenges in life so that we can grow together. As I said in my sermon, love does not exist in a vacuum; infatuation may, but not love. Love is developed in the crucible of adversity. Love develops by a shared experience of overcoming the circumstances of life. So my job as a husband is to live my wife monogamously with my wife in order to learn to love her. If I do so, the oxytocin in her veins will make her love me.

When I first started going to Sam Horton’s class to learn how to ballroom dance, I looked at the women in the room. There were more women than men, and all the women wanted someone with whom to dance. Sam tried to convince me that I would become a better dancer if took turns dancing with all of the women. But, understanding that which the Bible says about marriage, I decided to maintain my monogamous relationship with my wife Marie and to dance exclusively with her. (Husbands, love your wives.) To keep myself only to her does two things:

  1. Physical contact with me causes Marie’s oxytocin to flow; our physical proximity reinforces our commitment to one another, and makes our bond stronger.
  2. My monogamy gives Marie security, and provides a demonstration to the other men and women in the room as to the godly way to carry on a commitment.

Marie and I become emotionally closer to one another each time we go dancing. Marie sees “all the single ladies” sitting on the sidelines or dancing with a fellow and then wistfully going back to their seats by themselves. But my monogamy with Marie on the dance floor reinforces her intellectual knowledge that we have a bond and our contact stimulates the flow of her oxytocin. Marie can dance whenever she wants, she doesn’t have to dance anytime she doesn’t, and she doesn’t have to worry about competing with other women for my attention on the dance floor. (I may get distracted if the game is on the TV. I have been known to sneak a peek.)

Marie is secure in our relationship, and security is the number one requirement to make a woman happy. And other women love to see us dance, because, unlike the fellows that are just dancing with the ladies as an activity, our monogamous dancing is a practical, public expression of our love for one another.

Since the man is the head, and the man bonds with a woman by his decision to do so rather than hormonally, it becomes the man’s job to make the woman feel secure after he decides to bond to her. And if the man knows what he is doing, all the woman has to do is follow his lead, or, as the Bible says, submit to him.

So, interpersonal relationships are like dancing. The better the man can dance, the better the woman can dance. The woman can‘t out dance the man, because the man is leading. The woman can’t fix a male/female relationship as easily as can a man, except by following the man’s leadership, because the man is leading. That’s also why the man has to pursue the woman, and not vice versa. A woman can signal a man that she is available, but should she pursue the man, she will have a difficult time getting either his agreement to lead or his commitment later in the relationship.

So the key thing to strengthen love in any male/female (marital) relationship is

  1. A man must decide to lead his woman monogamously, meaning, leading her and only her.
  2. A woman must respond  to the man that is leading her by following him.

And that’s the junk.

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One Response for "How to make love grow stronger"

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