One of the classic themes in young adult literature is the awakening of sexuality. I don't mean having sex (at least I hope not!), but rather the awakening of a young women's body and her discovery of her own femininity and all the giggles, angst, and confusion that go along with that. Often, young adult novels deal with the first stirrings of love. And in historical romance books like mine set in times when girls married young, they might even be heading toward matrimony.
But what to do with all of these feelings? We certainly don't want hormones and lust running the show. On the other hand, God has given us love and romance as a beautiful picture of the relationship He longs to have with his bride, the church. And these feelings aren't wrong. They are natural. Within the proper boundaries, they are very beautiful. Personally, I'm not a fan of marriage decisions based 100% on practical considerations with no feelings involved. Marriage is hard enough when you are in love, and those positive feelings can be very helpful when rough patches come along. Plus, add the expectation of physical intimacy into the mix--yeah, some good feelings are pretty much necessary at that point.
My post last week had me asking myself the question, how can I describe the right kind of feelings that actually point to the sort of love that becomes a verb and not just a noun? Which brings my mental meandering back to...you guessed it...cappuccino, champagne, and crack.
Cappuccino Relationships - Cappuccino is warm, sweet (at least the way I drink it), and comforting with a touch of froth. You can have it caffeinated to energize you and start your day off right, or a decaf version to lull you to sleep. Cappuccino even has some good stuff in there that you need, like protein and antioxidants. This reflects the relationship that began as friendship and slowly morphed into something more. Or perhaps the relationship that started out in the bubbly champagne type state, but mellowed and deepened with time. It's like a cozy fleece blanket that brings you peace and comfort. Your favorite pjs or slippers. Cappuccino and slippers and pjs and blankets are like best friends, they encourage you and minister to you after a long day. Who ever really gets tired of them? Although you could conceivably live without them, you would never want to. You miss them when they're gone. You anticipate seeing them again, perhaps even long and yearn for them. If you neglect a cappuccino relationship, it might turn cold, stale, even bitter and black, but with a bit of TLC, you can doctor it back to something delicious. Love feels a lot like cappuccino. And cappuccino relationships are built to last last. By all means, enjoy the cappuccino!
Champagne Relationships - Champagne is bubbly, delightful, tingly, and something quite special. But it's not an everyday drink. If over imbibed, it could quickly begin to cloud your judgement and leave you dizzy. Champagne reflects the sort of feelings that take you by surprise. The guy you are instantly attracted to, and in some sort of magical serendipity, he feels the same way. There seem to be little magnets in your finger tips and lips that keep pulling you toward him even though you've only begun to develop any real sort of relationship. This feeling could best be described as romance, crush, or infatuation. Much like champagne, these sensations in and of themselves are not bad. But they can easily throw you off course. You could even become addicted to the champagne feeling to the degree that a nice warm cup of cappuccino just won't do it for you anymore, and that's a problem. Scientists say that the infatuation feeling generally only lasts about six months. If a champagne relationship comes into your life, proceed with caution. Remember, cappuccino relationships are the ones that stand the test of time. Champagne feelings might or might not lead to true love in the end. Don't make any life altering decisions while under the influence of champagne!
Crack Relationships - Crack is an artificial high. It is dangerous, addictive, disorienting, and leads to self-destruction. It's an escape from reality. It's illegal and immoral. I can only imagine it must feel pretty good, in a weird sort of way, or people wouldn't do it. But it grabs you by the throat and won't let go. You grow desperate, willing to do just about anything--no matter how wrong or dangerous--to continue your relationship with crack. Some people seem to think love should be like crack. Bella and Edward in Twilight are a good example of a crack relationship. Or Taylor Swift's song "Blank Space." But crack relationships aren't really love. Certainly not any godly sort of love. Crack relationships are unhealthy, twisted, desperate versions of love. If you find yourself prone to crack relationships, you might want to seek counseling, or at least read a good self-help book like Love is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships. Crack relationships might look cool from a distance, they might seem exciting in the beginning. But crack relationships are destined for destruction. Stay far, far, away!!!!
If you're still in that place of discovering and understanding love, keep these three important words in mind: cappuccino, champagne, crack. If you're long past all of this and snugly settled into your own cappuccino style marriage, consider sharing this post with a special young lady in your life.
So that's my summary on lovey dovey, ooey gooey feelings. Did I forget any? What do you think of my analogies?