As relationships mature they go through at least two hurdles: infatuation and posturing. If you and I were in a relationship, I would be infatuated with you if I thought you were perfect and I refused to consider any possible downside to the relationship. Infatuation is when I am unsure of my love for you.
Infatuation can’t afford to believe anything negative about the relationship, ever. I’ll protect an infatuation fiercely because my love is actually pretty fragile. I have to get over that to the point that I can honestly evaluate my love for you in spite of things that might annoy or even hurt me.
Posturing is when I’m unsure of your love for me. I have to present my best image to you all the time because I fear you will reject me if I’m less than perfect. I strive to look nice, smell nice, be outrageously polite, and laugh at all your little jokes, even if they’re not funny. I’ll kill myself to do all this because I’m afraid your love for me is actually quite fragile. I have to get beyond that to the point that I have a quiet confidence in your love for me even though I’m not perfect.
Infatuation is when I am unsure of my love for you
Posturing is when I am unsure of your love for me
The opposite of both is simple trust
People who have just recently, “got religion” are often infatuated with God. Their relationship hasn’t been tested by trials yet, and they’re not sure what they would do if there turned out to be a downside to believing in God. We have to get beyond our immature infatuation with God to arrive at the realization Peter had in John 6:68, that even though there are problems in the Christian life, there’s really no good alternative. Then our love will be resilient, not fragile.
Posturing in our relationship with God is called legalism. We doubt God could truly love us unless we act perfect. And we beat ourselves (and anyone else) up when we don’t toe the line. We have to get beyond this point to realize that God loves us because of what Jesus did, not because of what we do or fail to do (John 3:16). God’s love is not fragile.
The opposite of both infatuation and posturing is simple trust. We trust that God is worth it even if things don’t go 100% our way, and we trust that God will never abandon us even though we don’t meet even our own standards of goodness. A mature relationship is loving beyond infatuation and without the need for posturing.
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