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It’s great when we can express love through mutual interests. But love often calls us to places we wouldn’t naturally visit ourselves in order to bring goodness and joy to others for their sake.

It’s often through our mutual interests that we connect with others and cultivate a meaningful relationship.

In fact, a large part of our relational joy is doing the things we love together. However, we’re each unique and no two people have the exact same interest in every area.

Inevitably, there will be certain things one likes that the other doesn’t care for.

And it’s tempting for some to ignore their desires in order to appease the other – faking the peace. Still others will selfishly refuse anything that’s not to their liking.

Neither of these is an expression of true love.

Of course, there are reasonable boundaries in any relationship and we shouldn’t be expected to go against the grain of God’s design for us. To be sure, the gift of No is often the best gift we can give.

At the same time, love calls us to give what is needed even when it’s inconvenient. And sometime this simply means doing what the other likes even when we don’t care for it ourselves.

For instance, we watch a movie or attend an event simply for their benefit. While it’s not something we would naturally enjoy ourselves, we know it brings them joy and so our love compels us to give them this gift.

This is easy to see in rising young children. Parents willingly endure many silly games, shows, and toys all to bring delight to their child.

But this expression of love is not reserved just for children. Throughout our life and relationships we’re regularly called to love by entering the world of another.

Relationships stagnate when they’re just about what we can get out of them. On the other hand, they flourish when we commit to being faithful servants of each other’s joy.

Enjoy your mutual interests to the full. And be willing to love and bring joy to the other simply for their sake.

Photo by Chermiti Mohamed on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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