“Sometimes I get the feeling that I’m stranded in the wrong time, where love is just a lyric in a children’s rhyme.” – (Keane) Everybody dreams of true love. Everybody dreams of loving someone and being loved or falling in true love. And though the aim of this post isn’t to define true love, I’d like to point out a few things about love. If we say that it’s impossible for anyone to find true love, we are saying that either nowadays love has lost something it once possessed, or that it never existed at all. For the sake of time and space, I’m going to skip a few arguments and just say that that true love does exist, since it is born of God and God is infinite and eternal. If love is one of his attributes, it is part of his character, and if he is immutable then love hasn’t just evaporated like November mist at nine o’clock in the morning.
But then why do so many people end up unhappy? (On the radio today the morning show on all stations was on this topic: “Is it better to marry safe, or sexy?” Some people went as far to say that if you marry a sexy man then you’re always going to worry about him cheating on you. All right people. Human nature is human nature, and it’s found in both sexy and un-sexy humans, both male and female. The best thing to do is to go-godly and marry someone filled with the spirit of God.)
The reason so many people end up unhappy is because they marry or enter into some kind of “romantic” relationship based on the vibes that person gives them, whether it’s his/her looks, personality traits, or the way he/she loves that person. For example, I could fall in love with someone simply because of how fiercely they loved me. Or that could completely turn me away. But essentially, love is demanding—it demands reciprocation. God loves us relentlessly. No matter how far we stray he is on our heels chasing us down, and we cannot outrun him. He brings us back into the fire of his love, that all-consuming and all-sanctifying fire. “Is Ephraim my son? Is he my darling child? For as often as I speak against him, I remember him still.” God is faithful, and he demands our love—our entire love.
Attraction. I think it’s safe to say that everybody is attracted to some kind of look or some kind of laugh or some kind of movement about another human being multiple times during the day. Physical attraction, intellectual attraction, emotional attraction. But how satisfying would it be to know someone to be attracted to you not by your own merit or any of your personality traits or looks but because that person saw God’s Spirit in you, flowing out of you into everything you said and did? What if you found someone so passionate about God that nothing except the Spirit of God would attract them to you in such a way that would make them want to marry you? What if you were so passionate about God, what if your life was no longer about making yourself happy but about discovering the mystery of God’s will, and laying down your life to become his servant—what if you were such a bondservant of God that no one except someone who spoke that same language would approach you?
Maybe you want to be loved for you. Maybe you wanted to be loved for your looks or your mind or the way you can make good love. Let me tell you—that might last for some time, but in the end it’s going to disappoint. “Behold, in the morning it was Leah.” Just as you will be disappointed, you in your essence will disappoint. But you in God’s essence?
God is unchanging. God does not disappoint. He is the all-consuming fire. He is the faithful lover. He is the one who hears us when we call, who has never left us or forsaken us. Even if he has seemed silent for a time, we discover that he has been working in us. He is the one who has punished us for our own benefit, who has blessed us out of his goodness, and who has shown continual mercy and grace to us day after day. He has sustained us, he has filled us when we were bereft and empty, he has picked us up when we have fallen, and he has steered us on to the right way when we have strayed. He has not disappointed! Do you want to be happy? Or better yet, do you want to have endless joy? Pursue God. Let his Spirit enter you. Let it penetrate you. Let it shoot out your fingers and your eyes and your toes, and touch every person you encounter. If his Spirit is in you, you cannot fail to impress. If his Spirit is in you, you cannot disappoint. And nothing but a Spirit-filled man/woman is going to satisfy you, because guess what? Only God satisfies.
This raises the standards in so many ways. If you’re the kind of person who makes up lists for the kind of soul-mate you want, you’ve replaced so many qualities with just one: Let him be a man of God. Let her be a woman of God. Of course I realize that there are also practical sides to this—your visions for life should probably complement or coincide, and I am not totally botching that electric vibe you might get from someone, but what will your foundation be? Someone who makes you feel good, or someone who is striving after God, the God you’re both going to spend eternity with?
And what a glorious thought! Here we are, trapped in a world cubed into hours and minutes and seconds, struggling with our flesh and waiting and yearning for God, for our empty, black souls to become purged and filled, we are waiting, waiting, w a i t i n g for the morning, for that day when we will be delivered from our hourglass bodies that die the moment our time has run out, and exploding into eternity, living infinitely with the Husband who will not ever, in all eternity, give one moment of disappointment, but who rather gives an eternity of joy and love and satisfaction? How can we not worship such a glorious God? How can we not eagerly anticipate the day when we can worship him undistracted, and without sin?
We are on earth to fight a battle, to pursue God, or pursue ourselves. It perhaps sounds like a dramatic choice but think—every little decision we make every day has to do with ourselves. Think about that every time you decide to do something. See how many decisions you make for yourself.
I ache for my Lord. I ache and feel bereft because I know that I am a disappointment to him. But then I think that when he looks at me, and sees the righteousness of Christ instead of my own guilt and sin, he is glorified! God is glorified in me. He is rejoicing over me. How could I want anything more than that?
If you want to truly fall in love, pursue God, and study the way he loves you, and imitate his love. If you want to be truly loved by someone (and I mean in a marriage relationship) then find someone who is filled with the Holy Spirit. Yes we will fail sometimes, yes we will stumble. But once saved, always saved, and that means sanctification. And sanctification means uphill, always uphill, with some backsliding, but eventually, we reach the top—though not in this life. That is God’s purpose and desire for you. Find someone who is being sanctified just as you are, whose heart is hot with the refining fire, whose soul you will find, not filled with fruitless loves and ambitions and mediocre thoughts, but with God.
And you will be blown away by them, just as they will be with you.