{Love}

{Love} Romantic Love

Written By: Hannah Kittle

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore can

Nat King Cole “L-O-V-E”

Romantic love is the kind of love that we most often think about and hear about in this world.  We see it in movies, TV shows, songs, books, magazines, apparel, and everything in-between. We imagine love as a cute guy handing us a bundle of roses, box of chocolates, and a hundred dollars of worth of gift cards, apparel, and shoes.  Nat King Coles’ song describes each letter of love as a different quality like a person’s physical appearance and how someone views that person and appreciates that quality about them.  While it is true that love does look like that, love also looks like loving a guy enough to let him go because you know it’s best not to be together.  Love looks like apologizing to your spouse first even when your pride doesn’t want too.  Love looks like waiting and trusting God that He does have a better plan for you than that cute guy who isn’t texting you back.

Sweet sister reading this, I’m not sure what stage of life you’re in.  You may be like me and single with absolutely no prospects on the horizon or you may be entering a relationship, in the middle of it, transitioning into an engagement, already engaged, or in whatever stage of marriage.  Whatever stage you’re in, know that while being in a relationship is an incredibly wonderful thing it often means living out tough love all the time.  Love doesn’t always mean that it’s a bed of roses, sometimes it simply means biting the bullet, swallowing our pride, and doing what God wants us to do.  Romantic love has clouded our definition of what love should really be.

Matthew 7:12 says, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them…” How does this apply to love? Sometimes loving someone means that we need to do what we know is best for them.  Sometimes that means breaking up with the guy that we think we love, but we know deep down that it isn’t right or best for both of us.  Sometimes that means saying “no” to that guy who asked you out because you know that, as wonderful as he is, he’s not the one that God has for you.  Other times it means loving your future husband enough to say “no” to the pressure of dating someone else now, of going out to “just have fun”, or to that friend who says she knows a guy she’s sure is right for you.

Romans 13:10 says, “Love does no harm to a neighbor.  Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.” To add to that, the famous passage about love that says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, 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.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a) Wow.  Reading these two passages together is really, really powerful, sobering, and moving.  Not only does love seek to do the best thing for others it also exhibits patience, kindness, humility, honesty, and forgiveness.

How does this apply to romantic relationships? It may seem especially inapplicable if you’re single like me.  However, let’s unpack this.  As a single young woman, for me that means that I’m showing my love for my future husband right now by praying for him and resisting the temptation to simply give up because it’s too hard to wait.  It means that I’m honest with myself that it isn’t God’s timing or will for me to get into a relationship right now and honest with others that I’m not looking for a guy and thus not lead a guy on and give him false hope. It also means that from the beginning of our relationship, we will agree to have God as the first love of our lives and the foundation of our relationship and will challenge each other to keep that commitment.  We will also agree that our love for each other will come second to our love to God.

Is staying faithful to that commitment easy?  No. But in my life I know I’m loved by God Who gave everything for me, therefore I can love my future husband enough to make that commitment now and begin living it out now in this season of singleness.  Being faithful in any situation, single or in a relationship, is so hard. If we can trust that God will bless us for our love, then may God give us the right love for our guy so that we can truly love him as he deserves.  May God give us hearts filled with love and also wisdom so that we can “discern the times for the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16) and listen to the those who God has placed in our lives to give us honest counsel (making sure it is in agreement with scripture) about things we may not see and need to evaluate.  May God give us the love to love all people He places in our lives as we ought too, no matter the circumstances.

IMPORTANT NOTE: By saying that we need to love our guy even when it seems like he may have been unfaithful, I am by no means advocating that you sit back passively.  By all means, if you suspect this, please pray about this and talk to the appropriate people in your life to sort this issue out. I pray for each of you that you never have to experience this, but while you love this guy, you do need to do what is best for you and your relationship with God.

5-15-16-011Hannah Kittle is best described as a sinner saved by grace.  She currently is a high school senior taking dual-enrollment classes at two different colleges and is headed to nursing. She has a heart for the unsaved, seeks to serve God by serving others, and desires to shine as a light to others to draw them closer to God.  Her two life Bible verses are Joshua 1:9 and Jeremiah 29:11-14a

Hannah loves reading, shopping, and being with people whether it be young or old people. She has a calling upon her heart to serve others and to love others even when it’s tough. She believes that God is calling her into nursing or the medical field in general to best accomplish this purpose. She is waiting and praying for the man that God has for her and her heart’s prayer for her life is that others would see Christ through her, her words, and her actions.

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