Thursday, August 12, 2010
Ron Nydam on Romantic Radar
According to Ron Nydam, from Calvin Theological Seminary, we all have romantic radar—a disposition, directed by the Holy Spirit, that attracts us to some people and not to others. Psychologically speaking, this radar is reflective of our pasts, and romantic relationships may be our minds’ way of working out some of the hurts we have experienced in our lives. But Ron believes that something greater is at work with romance. Love is Spirit-directed, and the dynamics of marriage might just serve as an ultimate road to forgiveness.
We read from Genesis: “For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh”
“You got to Leave well in order to Cleave well,” Ron said. Meaning successful relationships can only work from properly addressing (and often forgiving) pains from our past. To illustrate this point, Ron told us a story.
We heard about a couple whose marriage was in trouble. Through counsel, the couple realized that pain in their lives had led to the problems they were facing, and this past pain may have also led them to each other. We listened as Ron described some of the details of the couple’s past and began to see how the Holy Spirit works in love and uses marriage, even this troubled one, to allow those in it to do the deep forgiving necessary to honor their covenantal marriage and to honor God. We were encouraged to consider our own lives. If forgiveness is necessary, as it may be in some cases, we have to be willing to do the work necessary to forgive. You got to leave well in order to cleave well.
Ron provided, in sum, this quote from David Worster: “The [Holy Spirit] directs people to choose partners who have the potential for bringing them to face some of their central life fears so that these fears can be worked through for further growth and mastery…people recreate in marriage their central life dilemma for themselves in order to work it through and this time to come out better. In this process only the person we really love and who touches our very roots has the capacity to drive us crazy as well as help us find our deepest strengths.”