Rediscover the value of working for love

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One of the things about Parker and the Parker Strip that doesn’t get talked about very often is the romance that goes on around here. By this I do not mean the romance of being under the open sky with the stars shining brightly and the coyotes yip, yip, yipping under a full moon.

Instead I’m talking about romance in the traditional sense of men and women who are busy looking for Mr. or Ms. (Miss, Mrs.?) right. That age-old and never ending search for love, romance and good old-fashioned, baby-making fun that happens wherever men and women are.

The Parker area is unique in many ways, but one way it’s exactly the same as everywhere else is romance. It happens. You can’t stop it and can rarely even slow it down (parents take note).

Whether or not it’s wise or foolish, people are going to seek out others to ‘have and to hold’ and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.

Love Heart in Sand

What? You don’t think of Parker and the Strip as Romance Central? This isn’t Mecca for Match Makers everywhere? You mean E-Harmony didn’t start here? Seriously?

Well don’t tell anyone, but I totally agree with you. As a long-term single person as well as a pastor I speak from both personal and professional experience. What’s fascinating to me is how our local situation seems to echo what I hear from people I know all over the country.

To sum up the romance situation briefly here it is: I think I know what I want but I’m pretty sure I can’t find it here. Basically everyone wants to be loved but it’s really hard to get people to agree on how that should work. So I try dating online and meet people from all over the country and the world. And guess what? I still can’t find someone who agrees with me on how this romance thing is supposed to work!

There are a lot of reasons why people have such a hard time finding ‘the right person’ today and I can’t cover all of them here. So I’ll just pick one issue that keeps on popping up in a lot of conversations I have or overhear.

I think most people (both married and single) have either forgotten or ignore the fact that relationships of any type or kind take one thing above all else to make them really work. No it’s not love. You need love of course, but that’s not what I’m thinking of. It’s not chemistry or compatibility or approval by friends and family.

What is it? Hard work, that’s what it is. Not what you were hoping for? Too bad!

In our digital world of instant communication and microwaved meals we sometimes forget this. You can text your friend in a second and microwave her a snack in less than a minute but you can’t build a deep and meaningful relationship that quickly. Nope, that takes time and lots of it. I’m fascinated by new 3D printing technology. It’s amazing and eventually will change how we do just about everything. From printing out cars, trucks and tanks to printing out organs, the future seems limitless.

But you can’t push a button, come back in an hour to two and have a great relationship waiting for you.

It takes time and lots of hard work. You have to work at loving the unlovable parts of your partner (whether that’s a friend, husband or wife, this still holds true). It helps if you choose the right person who is compatible with you on the major issues of life. But don’t think that will make things go easily because it won’t.

I often tell people there’s no substitute for time. Well there’s no substitute for hard work either. Most great marriages are the result of lots of loving hard work. Ditto for friendships as well. After all, what do you think loving someone means? It means I’m willing and eager to work and sacrifice to make our relationship strong.

The same willingness to put your nose to the grindstone and work hard that made America great can also build good relationships. There’s no guarantee of course but it certainly puts the odds more in your favor.

We often hear today that America needs to rediscover the value of working hard. I agree and especially in the area of romance. Stop watching those sappy, stupid movies and get to work on being a better friend or spouse and then watch what’ll happen.

What about me? I’ll be working hard at helping others make their relationships work while simultaneously avoiding any ‘senior romance’ that might come my way. Sorry man, but I just can’t…

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Louie Marsh is pastor of Christ’s Church on the River on the Parker Strip. Visit the website HERE.

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