It’s that time of year again.
When February 1st hits, you know you’ll be seeing hearts EVERYWHERE and you might want to spray Lysol like Sheldon Cooper when you hear that “love is in the air.”
For some, this time of year is full of joy, fun, and excitement. But for others, this time of year can open up the wound of heartbreak, loneliness, and hopelessness. No matter which end of the spectrum you fall, I’m here to bring you some perspective on what real love is. Spoiler alert: It’s not one of the 5 love languages, a boyfriend, a wife, or a child.
Love has a name, and His name is Jesus.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 (NIV)
We might have heard this many times: “God is love.” But have we let that truth rest in our hearts and truly transform us from the inside out? Many times we try to define love by what people do for us or by how someone makes us feel. But real love - the kind that is perfect, selfless, patient, and kind - is only found in Jesus Christ. He made the ultimate sacrifice for you and me. He laid down his life to set us free so we can live with Him for eternity.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)
I’m going to speak to a few different groups of people. Whichever one you identify with, I pray it encourages you and brings you closer to the Father. He loves you more than you could ever imagine.
To the single man or woman
I know how you feel because I’m right there with you! Waiting for months, years, or decades for God to bring the right person into your life can be so difficult. You try to not lose hope, but you see your friends getting engaged, having babies, and building their lives with their life-long partner. As hard as it can be to wait, let me ask you this: Do you trust God with your life? If you’ve already experienced the heartbreak of a past relationship, you know how much healing that requires. Could it be that God is protecting you? A loving Father protects his children from harm. He won’t give them everything they want because He knows what is best for them. His timing is perfect. You are not running out of time. That is a lie from the pit of hell. Instead of thinking of singleness as a burden, see it as a blessing. Take advantage of this time God has given you! You have so much time to do the work of the Lord in ways you wouldn’t be able to do if you were married and had kids. Above all else, delight yourself in the Lord. He is enough. He is more than enough. No man or woman could ever fill that empty space in your heart. Only God can.
To the married man or woman
Based on what I just wrote, hopefully you have realized that your partner is not in charge of your happiness or fulfillment in life. When God created marriage, it is not one half of one person and another half of a person coming together to become one. It’s two whole people coming together to become one flesh (Mark 10:8-9). Your spouse does not “complete you.” Only God can make you whole.
The only way you can truly love your spouse is to accept how you are loved by your Father in Heaven. Because you love the way you receive and perceive what love is. This is crucial to all your relationships. Including your children and future children. Always keep Christ at the center of your marriage. Serve and give to each other wholeheartedly. Let your marriage be a beautiful representation of how Christ loves the church. That is what will change the culture of our nation. God-centered marriages and families can truly change the world.
To the dating man or woman
Many of the things that have already been said apply to you, as well. However, remember that this person you are dating is not your husband or wife. You are not in a covenant with them, so don’t treat the relationship like you are already married. You’re not. Don’t compromise your convictions because “we’re going to get married anyway…” That is also a lie from the pit of hell. God honors purity - purity of heart, body, and spirit. Don’t throw away God’s blessing on your future marriage by sabotaging it with actions only meant within the covenant of marriage.
A true man and a true woman of God will protect your purity.
Remember who you are and whose you are. Participating in sinful acts to prove you “love” someone is not love. There is no manipulation in love. There is no fear in love. True love protects, honors, and respects you. Do not accept anything less. You are priceless to God. So boyfriends and girlfriends: treat your significant other like you would a brother or sister in Christ. They are first and foremost a child of God. Give your relationship to God and allow Him to be the center of everything you say and do. This is the best way to honor and please Him!
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19 (NIV)
Whoever you are and whatever stage of life you are in, know that there is always more of God’s love. His love is deeper, wider, and higher than the heavens. There is no end to His love for you. He died for you. He wants to reveal more of His love for you today. He is the author of the greatest love story ever told: His love for humanity. His love for you.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1 (NIV)
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