Relationship Corner: Learning to Love Others Deeply as Christ Loves Us
Maneuvering through relationships beyond expectations to reality
by Joanne Troppello
I’m a big fan of William Shakespeare’s work. One of my favorite works by him is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is a comedy he wrote in 1595-1596. He set this play in Athens, the woods, and Babylon (which is a story within this play) and there are several different subplots, which all center around the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta.
I wrote the following poem called “Oberon and Titania”, which shares a glimpse of the conflict between the faerie King and Queen. In the YouTube video, I share more about this play and read my poem.
Oberon and Titania
William Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night's Dream
Faerie King and Queen, divinities
dancers in the night woods.
Come tell why there is strife
over the Indian babe.
She to nurture as a babe should be,
he to raise him for a henchman.
Faerie King and Queen, gods of wood,
rise above petty struggle
join ye in married love.
Oberon dark, move not to Puck
for the flower’s potion.
Pour not on Titania’s sweet lids.
Would thou, Oberon have Titania
thy lady faire fall madly
in love with a wild creature
whence she wakes.
No, good Oberon make up with
your lady faire lest your
strife ruin your sport and
raise up the wind and the rain.
© Joanne Troppello
According to Monica Sedore in Study.com, “The world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is no doubt magical. Our characters move swiftly between illusion and reality, sometimes without even realizing it.”
After reading Ms. Sedore’s analysis, it reminded me about relationships—whether with you and your spouse, your kids, siblings, and your parents, friends, and other people. We can sometimes live in that in between area “between illusion and reality”.
We may not own up to the truth of the health of our relationships. We may be in denial that there are issues with someone close to us and they keep crossing emotional or physical boundary lines that they shouldn’t cross.
As a Christian, we should be living out our relationships in a different way than the world lives them out. The following passage from I Peter is very clear on how we should be living our lives; especially concerning our relationships with others.
For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. – I Peter 4:6-9 (NIV)
I love the part reminding us that “the end of all things is near.” We are encouraged to be of “sober mind” and continue praying—and “love each other deeply”. Sometimes, we are focused on ourselves and our own needs and forget to love others deeply. I’m guilty of this as well.
However, with God, all things are possible as we see in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” I’m thankful for God’s grace, peace, and strength that get me through each day.
How do you deal with maintaining positive and healthy relationships with others?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.
Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel.