"What if you had to prove your love to an immigration officer?"  That's the opening question in a side article entitled, "How well do you know each other?" (pg. 114) in this month's Glamour magazine (yes, I read my wife's Glamour mag this week...hey, I was bored.  DON'T JUDGE ME!!! :) 
The article posed 10 questions that test one's love for his/her partner.  The directions are for each person to answer the questions in private, and then compare answers.

1)   When did you meet?
2)   Which side of the bed does your partner sleep on?
3)   How does he/she get from home to work? How long is his/her commute?
4)   What color is his/her toothbrush?
5)   Where does he/she keep his/her pajamas?
6)   What's his/her mother's full name?
7)   What's his/her best friend's name?
8)   What's his/her favorite way to spend a Sunday?
9)   Who cooked dinner last?
10) What was the last present he/she bought you?

If you're like me, you probably could answer just about all of them correctly.  But is this really a good gauge of a solid relationship?  I think not.  I'd like to propose a list of questions of my own:

1)   How do you talk about your mate to your friends and co-workers?
2)   How concerned are you with the events in your mate's day?
3)   Who do you and your mate seek for wise counsel in marital matters?
4)   Would you defend your mate if she was being accosted by another man, even if he was much larger than you?
5)   Related to #5: Would you cheerfully step in and take a beating for her in defense of her honor?
6)   Also related to #5: Would you literally die in defense of her honor?
7)   In what ways do you demonstrate leadership to her?
8)   Does she trust you?  No, does she REALLY trust you?
9)   Related to #8: could she leave you alone with her girlfriend and completely trust nothing would happen between the two of you?
10) Would you fight to save your marriage if it was broken?  Or would you easily throw in the towel?  (Don't forget, while you were still a sinner, Jesus Christ died for you.)

The point is this: To assume one "knows" or "loves" one's partner because he can answer a few simple questions is as superficial as one boasting he knows the contents of a book because he read the cover; It's as shallow as suggesting he knows the in's and out's of flying a 747 because he played the simulator.  I have a hunch that's why so many relationships are entirely unstable today: We don't know the true meanings of love, friendship, honor, dependability, trustworthiness, etc. 

As an aside, I think we can apply these same principles to the friendships we keep.  According to a list similar to the first one, I wouldn't be much of a friend to they guys I consider 2 best friends.  However, with Mike and Eric, I know we could go months without talking, and if either called me needing help (financially, physically, or spiritually) I'd be there in a drip of  the oil pan.  True love or friendship is not determined by whether or not you know what color his/her toothbrush is, or what her favorite cereal is, or the color of her nailpolish. 

I think the issue is much deeper, and the depth or shallowness of your relationships hinges largely on the depth or shallowness of your personal character.  How would others describe your integrity?  Would their opinion be in concert with your mate's opinion?  How about your trustworthiness?  Your honor?  Would others point to failure of your relationships because your own character is the weak link in the chain?

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts Mike.

    Although I was feeling smugly like a winner on Glamour's question list, I think yours speaks more clearly to what really matters. I agree that we've become rather shallow in our culture. I'm so grateful that God's blessed me with a husband who, although he's just as imperfect as I am, we both can receive our God's love to extend to one another.