The giving of oneself over to another person, though an incredibly difficult and sometimes painful experience, is a daily occurrence for each of us.
We all long for those connections which affirm us as human beings, and lift us up as sons, daughters, and lovers. Each of us has a need for security in our relationships that will take on differing forms. The young girl may resort to the giving of herself physically in order to appease the pressure of her boyfriend, while the older man might seek to control the actions of those around him through bullying, coercion, or manipulation. No matter the format, when our goal is to extract affirmation from another person by any means other than their freely giving of it, we tread dangerously upon a line of sin.
In the case of the aforementioned examples, sin against ourselves (the young girl) and sin against others (the older man).
At the root of this matter is security, but it could more easily be stated as worry. In and of itself, worry is not a bad thing, notwithstanding that many reference Matthew 6:25-34 as a proper rebuttal against it, though it is often misunderstood or taken to a certain extreme.
The worry of a mother concerning her son who has recently been shipped off to war VS the worry of a husband who is certain his wife has been cheating, despite all evidence to the contrary.
One is grounded in good reason while the other is borne out of a deep-rooted insecurity that has not been properly addressed. Though we should never wish worry upon anyone for any reason, it is only natural to become preoccupied with certain thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and all things natural we must accept, though we are not to give ourselves over to.
The trouble comes when we allow our worry to dictate our interactions with others. Since community is essential to our human “being-ness”, anything that serves as a detriment to the forging of a communal experience is, I believe, in direct violation to what our spirit and nature craves.
And therein lies the rub; for in community and relationships, there is no room for insecurity/worry, yet we must create that space for the other person to express their insecurities in order to build truly authentic community. This is a complex mechanism, to be sure!
As with nearly all things in the life of the Christian, there is a deeply profound paradox to be navigated. Freely address your insecurities while allowing others to freely express theirs, yet try your damnedest to dispel all notions of fear, for this is what perfect love does.
And as always, there is hope.