I’m an electronics engineer and I am working on the installation of equipment in a new Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT). Let me begin by saying I am always awake on the job. And that includes seeing parallels in my work with the theme of Good Love. I will attempt to share some of those recent observations, without boring either the non-engineers out there, or the engineers. Bear with me for one or two paragraphs on electronics, I promise to then share my parallels with Good Love.
There is a standard developed in the 1960’s for data communications called RS-232. One end is usually designated DTE (Data Terminal Equipment) and the other DCE (Data circuit-terminating Equipment). Usually the DTE end is the master, a computer or terminal, and the standard says that the signal names are from the point of reference of the DTE device. When two devices are connected to be able to transfer data back and forth, there is one wire that carries data from the DTE to the DCE, called transmit data, and it is on pin 2 of a 25 pin connector. A second wire, on pin 3, gets data at the DTE from the DCE, and is called receive data.
Sometimes the engineer who designs and builds a piece of DCE, when he names the signals on “his” piece of equipment, changes the point of reference to “his” end and swaps the names of the signals on pins 2 and 3 (and other pins as well). Because his equipment gets data into it on pin 2, he calls pin 2 received data, not transmitted data as the standard defines it. Some of the equipment I am installing follows the standard and some doesn’t. I resolved the mystery of which equipment followed the standard and which didn’t by looking at schematics for which one actually got data from the other end and called it “transmitted data” as per the standard, even though it was receiving the data on that pin.
When we say “I love you” to another person, our reference point is our self, from the standpoint that we are giving, or transmitting, love from ourselves to the other person. And I have shared in previous posts that actions are more important that words, and that showing gratitude and giving encouragement are two ways to move Good Love into Better Love. But our hearts have both a pin 2 and a pin3 – we need to transmit love on pin 2, and hope to receive love back on pin 3. Good Love is usually, and Better Love is always shared, bidirectional. But if you have a relationship with someone who is always taking, and not giving what you need, what do you do? Do you swap your point of reference and swap your heart pin 2 with heart pin 3?
One thing we have to be careful with in the flow of love, is that the total package is what really counts. Maybe a person is willing to give affection, in order to get sex. Or maybe a person is willing to give affection in order to get financial support and be provided for. You see, the person doing the transmitting says they are giving, giving, giving, and they want to receive as well. But the other person, the taker, keeps saying “I am giving too,” I am transmitting. But in reality they are not following the standard, they use their own point of reference and their focus is only on what they can get. They enjoy all they receive, but with the reference swapped, they say they are transmitting, when everything actually revolves around receiving.
When I love someone, I want to meet their needs, transmit my love to them. And I want the other person to not only receive my love, but respond in kind. Because I love them, I want to meet their needs as best I am able, even when they are partially blind to their real needs. The model I have is Best Love, the love God demonstrated through His Son. God says He loves me (and you), but to really have a love relationship with Him, I need to transmit love back to Him as well. I have shared in the past, in talking about the heart, that both the Old Testament and New Testament command us to love God with everything. We do that through praise and worship, but more importantly, through obedience. How did I feel when one of my kids was disobedient, or didn’t listen to clear direction and good advice? What can I do better that would reduce those feelings by God in respect to what I do or don’t do?