“The task we have to face is the same, whether we are married or single: To live a fulfilled life in spite of many unfulfilled desires.” —Walter Trobisch
Recently, I finished reading the book Loves Me, Loves Me Not: The Ethics of Unrequited Love, by Dr. Laura A. Smit (Baker, 2005). She is giving me a lot to chew on as I think about my own journey of crushes, love, loss, and friendship.
One section which stands out to me addresses whether to tell someone you love them. Dr. Smit says:
You should not tell of your love when it would be wrong to enter into a relationship with the person to whom you are attracted. Keith Clark suggests that when we make a decision to express our feelings, we are stepping into the arena of personal responsibility. We may not be responsible for the feelings themselves, but we are certainly responsible for choosing to share them, which is a first step toward deciding to act on them.
Therefore, you should not share your feelings if you have fallen in love with a non-Christian or someone you know you could not marry…or if you convinced that God has called you to a celibate life.Loves Me: Loves Me Not (2005), 219
Dr. Smit goes on to say that sharing the feelings with anyone else is inadvisable unless they are willing to hold you to your convictions. Therefore, only having one “trusted confidant” to share the feelings with is the wiser course.
I want to tell people. I especially want to tell them. They mean a lot to me…shouldn’t I tell them?
And yet, if my life commitments are to lifelong chastity/celibacy, does telling them something which won’t be going anywhere show that I value them?
This is a hard saying; who can accept it?
I want to want to value others the way I say I do. And I’m not there yet. But a fulfilled life will likely be elusive if I’m treating people as less than valuable. Some things are just better kept between me and Jesus, I suppose.