Are you engaging in need exchanges and calling it love?

Approaching someone looking for something in return is not a relationship—it’s a transaction.

Mark Manson

I can just hear the arguments coming that all relationships are transactional in some way. I don’t disagree—to an extent. At some point, however, the relationship should evolve into something beyond needs being met. At some point, intimate relationships should become I love you because I love you, not because of what you do.

When someone only offers you love for doing something for them, it was not a Love transaction—it was a “need” exchange. As soon as you stop the exchange, the love is withdrawn. You are left hungry, bereft, empty, and looking for someone else to help you get your next “fix”.

Love don’t operate like that.

Love “seeks not her own” (I Corinthians 13:5). Another translation says, “Love doesn’t demand its own way (NLT).

Anybody in your life constantly demanding their own way without regard to others is not moving in love. They are moving in need—and UNBELIEF. Because if you believe that God is and is a rewarder? You don’t worry about yourself anymore. You just love. (Inspired by Nichole Huff)

Love transforms the environment, the culture. Look at your relationships closely. I don’t doubt that quite a few will be transactional—I mean, business is business and there are some people who actually do not have the capacity to give more than that. However: if the number of transactional relationships you have supersede the number of truly intimate ones? Adjustments need to be made. How much more pouring are you doing than being poured into? Who does things for you simply out of loving and caring for you without expecting a favor later?

I keep coming back to the sound and song of reciprocity because so many of us have failed to take the time to teach our children, model for our families the gift of reciprocity. Our culture teaches us how to get at all costs without teaching us how to pour back into, leaving us in the long run holding a bunch of things that satisfy momentarily while depriving us of the main thing we truly need to survive well: fulfilling relationships.

God is all and all to me, and God also designed me and you to be in intimate fellowship with each other in the ways we are also in fellowship with Him. Without this our hearts become broken sometimes bitter spaces often compromised and ever lonely.

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