When I was young, I dreamt of the day that I would be married to a tall, dark and handsome beau. I had dreams of being swept away by a well-off gentleman who was Christian, intelligent, and strong in mind, body and heart.
I had no idea that finding someone like that would be so hard.
Over 20 years later, I am still waiting for this knight in shining armour to arrive. But to be honest I’ve stopped expecting that he will be the man of my dreams from when I was young.
With that said, I should start by saying that it took me a while to write this blog post, because my ‘love life’ is something that I’ve decided to put on hold. In the past, I’ve had a lot of failed relationships…and …well… to be honest, I didn’t want to write something from a place of hurt or hopelessness…feelings that are still sometimes present when I survey my past experiences and my present options.
However, as I was praying about how to write this series of blogs, I felt I should start with this topic…”Falling in Love”. I began by asking God some tough questions. I wanted Him to reveal to me what it was that I was looking for, why had I felt like I had fallen in love so many times, only to realize that those experiences were not love at all. These are hard questions for me to ask. But sooner or later we have to come face to face with ourselves and ask the hard questions especially when it seems as if our prayers are not being answered. To my surprise, the Holy Spirit did answer. I think He was just waiting for me to bring up the topic. He said to me “It’s cuz you’ve been falling in love with the wrong person”.
I knew exactly where He was coming from. But before I go there, I think I need to put some things in context. Two days ago, my friend asked me how many ‘boyfriends’, I’ve had. It took me a while to count, but it was less than 10 (in my short 30 something years of life). Only two of these relationships were longer than a year, but they all ended in pain. The first three boys I dated cheated. The fourth was abusive and cheated, the fifth betrayed me, the sixth …God knows what exactly went wrong… I just came home one day during the Christmas season and he had my bags packed in his car and ended our 2 year relationship, the seventh was sleeping with over 20 women at one time, engaged to two and still thought we could be together, the eight was messed up from a 7 year marriage that ended in divorce and the 9th got me pregnant and then ‘flipped switch’.
In a jovial manner, that would summarize some of the pain I experienced. But really, when I think of all of these relationships, it makes me wonder if I will ever get it right. The problem however, is not that I can’t get it right. It’s not that I am incapable of finding the love that God has for me. It’s that I’ve been trying to fall in love with the wrong person.
What does it mean to fall in love?
It’s not a snippet of a Harlequin or Danielle Steele book, or an episode of Mistresses’ or ‘Young and the Restless’. Falling in love does not look like any of the Lifetime Crappy Sappies. It doesn’t look like constant drama, and it doesn’t look two people arguing all the time and then having hot makeup sex, only to argue again 2 days later about the same topic. I feel like Hollywood has been painting this picture for us for a long time and it has become the expectation for many that love equates to pain. It does not.
And to be honest, I feel as though falling in love can’t truly be understood unless we first experience it with God.
When the Holy Spirit told me that I was falling in love with the wrong people, it became clear to me that I had truly missed out on falling in love with Him. I had talked the talk. I said “I love you God”many times. But every time I started to get close to Him…every time I started to get a glimpse of what love really is, someone else came along and pulled me away.
In Revelations 4, We are encouraged to go back to our ‘first love’ i.e. God. There is a reason for this I think. Loving God and receiving His love, sets the tone for what real love should be like. So I’ve been spending a little time over the last few months being in a relationship with Him. With no hidden agendas. I just really wanted to know him more.
Based on that, I think falling in love should be a constant hunger for the other person where you can’t get enough of them. It should be a continuous desire to get to know them more and more. It should be a knowing that you can go to the other person with anything and they will hear you. It is the feeling that doesn’t want anything in return, but yet wants to give everything. It’s a feeling that doesn’t see what the other person is doing wrong. But celebrates the things that s/he actually does right and looks at him or her from the perspective of grace. This is the kind of love that will last. When you fall in love with God, it is truly the best thing you’ll ever experience. And when you have it, you will truly understand what real love looks like.
So with that said, I want to end with this:
If you’re single, I would like to encourage you to stop trying so hard to find love. Rather, focus on loving God. Focus on falling in love with Him and come to a place where you fully get what real love is.
If you’re married, it’s not too late. I encourage you to reconnect with God in a way that you’ve never done before. When you do, you will learn how to love your spouse or partner and you will come to a place of feeling complete, not because your relationship is better with your partner. But because your relationship with God is phenomenal.