I was just reflecting on how many people talk about their “needs” in relationships.
As I discern my own calling, I realize more and more that love is never about my needs. I and we all have needs, but it is only Christ that could or does fills all the hopes of my heart. My life is about how that wholeness that Christ creates in me allows me to freely give the gift of myself to others however they need me and not need anything in return.
Dante, the author of the famous books Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, was madly, and for most of his life, in love with a woman who scolded him that he needed to have full love for God before love of her. One cannot love, enter a vocation, or marriage until one is free to live without it as well. Real loving is a gift of self that pours out from abundance, not need or obligation. If we do not get to love someone or something with this understanding (because circumstances prohibit it) it may hurt, but not more than just disappointment that you are not able to give yourself in that way. Paul tells us that love never seeks itself or its own interests. But to love in this way requires that we are totally rooted and free of ‘needing’ something from others – that all our identity is already fulfilled in following Christ.