Randal’s and my one year anniversary of dating passed on Wednesday and I thought I would take the opportunity to share with you what I’ve learned about love in this past year. I don’t claim to have much experience with relationships, but I believe God has taught me amazing things directly and through the words of my loving parents and pastors. Please enjoy! 🌻🌻🌻
- The only perfect love is that of Jesus. There is no perfect earthly relationship; the only perfect love we will ever know is the love that Jesus has for us. Our love for Him will never be perf ect, just as our love for each other will never be perfect… But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try! Jesus is delighted when we love each other in crazy, sweet, and whimsical ways. Love intentionally and freely, just as He first loved us. You won’t always get it right, but it makes Jesus (and those you are loving) smile.
- He/she won’t be able to cater to your every need. You know yourself better than anyone else, so don’t expect him or her to know exactly what’s up the minute you start talking. Chances are good that he/she will soon catch on to your uncharacteristic gloominess and ask if you’ve had a bad day. While he/she might not be able to fix your day, you can certainly allow yourself to be consoled. The same goes for a joy or accomplishment- while he or she can celebrate with you, he/she might not understand how much it really means to you. Be gentle and accept the fact that he/she can’t meet your every need because you’re both human.
- It is as much about loving as it is about being loved. Relationships fall apart when couples individually meditate on whether “he/she is loving me well enough” instead of whether “I am loving him/her well enough.” Your significant other should invest time, energy, and love in you, and it is just as important that you do the same for him/her. Celebrate his/her accomplishments and make time to invest in his/her hobbies. Make time for one another and make sure you both have time to speak about your hearts and your lives. Genuinely listen when it isn’t your turn! Mutual love is what allows a relationship to endure.
- Settling and accepting are two different things. Settling is when you suffer through a relationship with someone who makes you feel less than the person God made you to be. Accepting is when you work through a relationship with someone who has flaws and shortcomings (aka a human). You SHOULD NEVER settle for anyone you couldn’t see yourself married to. You SHOULD accept the flaws and shortcomings of some one you could. It is one hundred percent okay to accept your significant other for who he/she is- that is what love is about!
- Cut him/her some slack. We all have good days and bad days, am I right? It is guaranteed that some days you will mess up and some days your significant other will. What isn’t guaranteed is how you respond to such a situation. I would HIGHLY recommend forgiveness, as it brings us closer to one another and closer to our God. It’s okay to be hurt when he/she does something you don’t like, but make certain to talk about it, forgive, and move on. If you’re the one who did something hurtful, humble yourself and ask for forgiveness; I know it’s SO hard to admit you aren’t right about everything, but it’s really worth it in the end.
- Idolatry is real and it does happen. Jesus says in Exodus 20:3 and again in Deuteronomy 5:7, “You shall have no other gods before me.” I guess that means it’s pretty important if He says it twice! It is easy to get so wrapped up in a relationship that we start to put our hopes, dreams, and identity in that person. Here’s the problem: that person isn’t Jesus. When he/she slips up, the hopes and dreams we’ve placed in him/her will come crashing down and we’ll start feeling lost and unfulfilled. You should love that person as genuinely and intentionally as you can, just don’t elevate them to a level they will never be able to sustain.
- Sexual temptation is just as real. Satan likes to use relationships, one of the things God gave to us to bring us closer to Him, to instead lead us farther from Him. When you start to feel it, take a deep breath and read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Remind yourself that you are precious in God’s eyes and He wants you to save yourself for your husband/wife. Don’t yourself in a situation that might lead to compromise- be strong and play a fun board game instead. 🙂
- Honesty is so, so important. Talk about things like numbers 1-7 above! You can mutually overcome temptation, anger, disappointment, and idolatry when you share your feelings about them. Honesty is often difficult, especially when you need to bring something up that isn’t pleasant. Take a deep breath and pray for discernment. Be gentle and know that you aren’t any less of a sinner than your significant other. If you are the one listening to this honesty, respond in an equally honest and loving way. Conflict is overcome when two people humble themselves and honestly discuss their feelings.
- Couples that pray together stay together. Along with honesty between the people in a relationship comes honesty with God. Make time to pray with your girl/boyfriend. Pray for each other’s lives, attitudes, and relationship with Jesus. Pray for your future together, that you both would have discernment and the ability to trust God’s will above your own. God delights in a couple that is firmly rooted in Him!
- Your identity should always be found in God. No matter what happens, you are first a foremost a child of God- nothing will ever change that. Trust that He has a remarkable plan for you and He will carry you through times of sunshine and times of tempest. He has the perfect person picked out for you, whether it is who you currently love or someone completely different! Your earthly love story will be beautiful and unique, just like the love story God has written the world since before its creation.
🌻🌻🌻 I really hope this was easy to read and understand. I don’t claim to be an expert in any of this… Heck, Randal and I are 18-year-old college students who are trying as hard as the next kids to figure this all out! We’re continuing to work toward a 1 Corinthians kind of love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Let me know if you have any questions/comments/ideas for future posts. I love you all dearly and I hope you have a wonderful day! You bless me. 🙂 -Megan
P.S. Randal, I love you a lot. You are a blessing! 😍 •Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise•