By Donald P. Ames
Recently I ran across the above quote, and think it deserves our consideration. Love has often been described as a “two-way street,” as well it should be. We have two different individuals coming from two different backgrounds, and meeting on the same territory. This is true in friendships, as well as marriage. To survive as “love,” it must be “without hypocrisy” (Rom. 12:9). Many a friendship and/or marriage has ended in disaster when one of the parties forgot it was a “two-way street,” and assumed it had become a “one-way highway” instead (in other words, and did not give in return). True love “does not seek its own” (1 Cor. 13:5; see also Jn. 3:16; 15:13).
As on any highway, sometimes we have dangers, with warning signs posted along the way. We may not heed or even notice those signs, but that does not minimize any of the dangers we may be approaching. It may be a “narrow bridge,” in which case we may be facing irritations or conflicts. In such cases, we may have to “yield the right of way” to avoid a real collision. Many make the mistake of assuming they can remake the other person (“we can make it there is plenty of room”), only to find out they had miscalculated. Rather than trying to remake, we ought to understand and cooperate. A “scratched fender” can leave a scar!
Others may be distracted and not notice the dangerous “curves” on the road. Paul warns us to “flee fornication” (1 Cor. 6:18), as well as to be sure we keep on the road (Heb. 13:4, 1 Cor. 7:3). When we become careless, we are headed for a wreck! We expect the other “car” to stay in its lane, and must remember the same also goes for us!
“Dead end streets” and “head-ons” may be found by those who do not realize that driving is a serious business and demand all our attention. Love does not just “happen,” but is something we learn (Tit. 2:4), and we need to study “the rules of the road” (1 Cor. 13) frequently to be good drivers. A good driver abides by these “rules,” and expects other “cars” to do the same. This is what makes our highways safe and travelable, and gives us the confidence we can travel them. Yet, we need to drive “defensively” (taking care of our loved ones), and not over-reacting if others sometimes do become careless and goof off. Imitating their example will not help us establish good “driving” habits!
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 24, p. 743
December 17, 1992