Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions
- See also: What is Love all About Anyway? Part 1
Another important factor in a relationship is common life goals. If the relationship is going to be long term, we need to be going in the same general direction as the other person.
If his dream is to travel as an international businessman and she wants to be a realtor in a single location, conflict could arise. If she wants to live in the countryside with nature and he likes the hustle and bustle of a big city, there are potentially serious problems with the direction of the couple’s lives.
Love isn’t sex.
That statement alone goes against a lot of what the entertainment industry feeds us. Whenever two people hook up in pop culture, they have sex. Without showing some of the unpleasant realities of premarital and extramarital sex, it is drawn up to be a wonderful, fun recreational activity.
But there is another view which is not always spoken about. Sex is created for marriage–a long-lasting commitment between a couple. Outside of marriage, sex can have harsh consequences. Pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, guilt, insecurity, and shame can follow. A relationship based on lust can only last as long as the two are physically close and find each other sexually attractive.
But love is a choice. It’s a commitment. Although feelings will accompany love, and although sex will be a part of marriage, a lasting, healthy relationship cannot be based on these things.
Love is a choice I make – a choice of my will. I may not like certain things about you, but I love you – I’m committed to not harming you, and see you as a valued person made in the image of God. Problem is, sometimes we are more interested in our own happiness, rather than someone else’s interest. It becomes very selfish. But remember this – love without commitment is not love at all. It is just a fantasy.
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Here we need to be honest with each other – accepting each other’s feelings as legitimate without being judgmental. Admitting our own weakness and failures.
Accepting One Another As We Are
And what about acceptance? Love does not set out to change other people and make them what I want. That’s called ‘conditional’ love. It’s not real love at all. The only person I can really change is myself.
Love accepts people as they are. Problem is some of us feel we have nothing to give – or we are ‘unlovable – I can’t reach out in love. I’ve got nothing worthwhile to give’ We only want to receive love and end up driving others away from us by our attitude or hostility. But the reality is this. No matter who you are, or how unlovable you feel, we ALL have some love to give.
If we give what little we have, we will receive, and in return have more love to give.
God’s Love the Greatest Love of All
The Bible says that God is love. 1 John 4:8 simply says ‘God is love”; three significant words. God, as our designer and creator, made us with needs for love. Do you ever wonder why we constantly seek love from others but never feel completely satisfied? It’s because God designed us for an unconditional love, and we, as people, are flawed.
Romans 5:8 says “God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful”.
Unfortunately, friends, family, or your significant other, will invariably let you down at some point. God wants us to find our need for love and acceptance in him first. One person cannot meet all our needs, even if he’s funny or she’s thoughtful.
We were made for God’s love, and God’s love alone can fill that need. Only after experiencing and knowing the unconditional love that God has for us, the love that drove God to send his Son to die for us on earth, can we begin to love others with the same quality of unconditional love.
We find love and acceptance through a divine experience – knowing God’s love for ourselves.
There is no greater way to find love and acceptance than to realize just how much God the Heavenly Father loves us. 1 John 4:19 says “we love Him because he first loved us”.