Since I operate a blog devoted to ANRs, it’s fair to say I think of this special relationship a bit more than the average person.
The purpose of founding this blog is to glorify Christ by seeing deeper, stronger, godly marriages.
Over the years, however, my thoughts have deviated. I know the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, but somehow, I end up rationalizing my idolatrous desires.
Elder T once counseled me with these wise words inspired by the passage on fruit of the Spirit: when a thief steals, what he really lacks is immaterial. He truly lacks in, perhaps joy and contentment. When a spouse cheats, the deeper need isn’t sex, but likely faithfulness. When someone loses their temper, it really is a sign of a lack of self-control, and so on. Likewise, when I occasionally begin to imagine strangers from an ANR perspective, I stray from said vision of bringing godly joy to couples. My underlying problem may be a lack of trust in God.
Ask yourself why you want an ANR. Why do you think of it so often? Perhaps some honest introspection would reveal a deficiency in certain Spiritual fruit, masking as an innocuous physical need. We all play the game of attempting to replace the spiritual with the physical.
May the Lord meet our spiritual needs first, then our earthly longings.