Many girls have dreamed of having their own fairy tale endings. You know the ones I’m talking about: meeting the right guy and hitting it off right then and there, a whirlwind romance and then riding off into the sunset with Prince Charming on the back of a white horse.
Or growing up with a best friend that, as you got older, you discover you just can’t live without, so your friendship blossoms into this beautiful romance that leads to marriage and a happily ever after.
In some cases, that last scenario can actually happen. Rarely, but it does.
Yet, these days, love can be seen as a convenience and something that doesn’t include commitment to the other person. Couples can stay together for as long as they want and, when they get bored or tired of each other, they can just move on. Yes, it will hurt for a little while, but they’ll get over it the minute they find someone else to latch onto for fulfillment.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, I’ve been thinking what real love is supposed to look like. I know it’s so much more than just a feeling and it can be hard to distinguish true love from the twisted view of love that the world keeps feeding us.
We’re constantly being bombarded by mixed messages from the media, peers and society in general when it comes to what love should look like. Messages such as:
– having sex before marriage is okay as long as you use the correct protection
– love should be completely physical and based on your feelings of passion and lust
– if you’re bored, you can get out of it by just leaving or through divorce.
Just go with the flow. You’ll get the hang of it and pretty soon you’ll be a “love expert” who can pick up and drop relationships just like that.
That doesn’t sound like it could emotionally scar people for life, right? Wrong!
Created by a relational God, we naturally look for relationships, romantic or otherwise. But, as Christians, we shouldn’t look for love as the world does. We should…
“… love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Ok, I got that, but what does that look like?
Paul describes it a little better in the “love chapter” of the Bible: 1 Corinthians 13, where verses 4-8 say something like this:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude,
it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Now that’s something I can work with!
Love is patient, love is kind – That’s pretty self-explanatory. Maybe a little hard to put into practice at times when the patience is running a little thin, but something to strive for.
It does not envy – Envy is when you want or desire something that another person has. That’s not what love is based off of. If we’re talking true love here, we should be happy for the other person instead of plotting how to get what they’ve got.
It does not boast, it is not proud – There are certain stages of pride. You should be proud of your friends or boyfriend/girlfriend for what they accomplish, yet you have to be careful to not let that pride get to the point where it’s not uplifting others and its only aim is to make you feel better about yourself.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking – Love should drive us want the best for the other person and not twist situations around so that they benefit us and us alone. Going out of our way to do something for someone else is one of the best ways to demonstrate how you feel towards the other person.
It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs – There will be times when your “fairy tale romance” won’t go as planned and this is why our fulfillment shouldn’t be based completely on another person, but totally on God. That way, when relationships hit a bump in the road or encounter an obstacle, the grace of God can shine through and begin the healing process in order to make the relationship stronger.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth – Again, self-explanatory. We should not hope for bad things to happen to others and be happy when things do go right for someone.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres – What’s the one word that is repeated over and over in this line? Always, always, always! People should never give up on other people. Yeah, there may be times when they need to step back and let them figure things out for themselves, but in the end, we all need each other. No matter what happens.
So, the bottom line is, forget what the world is telling us.
Yes, the romance part of relationships is awesome, but that’s not the whole point. Basing a relationship off of friendship, being open with each other and striving to honor God in all things is really the only way to go.
I’m no love expert.. far from it. But from what I can tell, true love based on the design God has given us in His Word is definitely a love worth waiting for and working toward once you find it.
Because that kind of love never fails 🙂