LOVE. Now there is a loaded word. It all starts with that feeling in your stomach. some people refer to it as "butterflies", i think mine is closer to the "man, I'm craving a burrito" feeling, but food is my love language so i'm guessing it's the same thing.
Then there is inevitably the movie date. PS when you are dating someone movie never means movie. Move is code for, "I want to hold your hand, or snuggle", if we're all honest, no one is really interested in the movie itself.
The first movie date is always marvelously awkward. You glance over...where is their hand? If it's just sitting there on their lap, open palm, that's a blatant green flag that it's missing something... YOUR hand. In it. If you play fight over the arm rest..that is always another green flag. hold my hand silly. now. not later, now.
We have skipped a critical step though. Before the hand holding is the "knee touch". This one is my favorite. It's the step when you sit close enough to eachother to...whooops, OH! our knees are touching! Weird, neither of us are moving. mmm. i like it.
New relationships are just plain fun.
From here on out though relationships get slightly more complicated, okay a lot more complicated. Our nation is plagued with divorce. Marriage vows are broken left and right. So where do we go wrong? Now seeing that I am a 25 year old newlywed I am not claiming to be a relationship expert. This is simply my two cents about some things that I do know.
A lot of people think love is a feeling. Wrong.. on so many different levels. That love-sick, hungry feeling in your stomach is a feeling, feelings are incredibly real but not something to be trusted.
Love is a commitment, not a feeling.
Say someone commits to train for a marathon. Maybe in the beginning they feel motivated and are out of their mind excited to train for this race. There is inevitably going to be a day, or weeks, where they do not feel like running. Running becomes zero fun, maybe even negative ten fun. But however rough it gets you are committed to running that marathon and you better dang well keep going. Download new running music for your ipod, find running buddies, get accountability, get new running shoes, but whatever the heck you do..KEEP RUNNING. It's the same way with love, and marriage.
Alot of people get into relationships because they feel they are missing something. The best relationships are the ones where our love for each other exceeds our need for each other. We are created for relationship, but make sure that God is filling your needs first so that we are free to love others instead of demanding love from them. This goes for all of our relationships, not just dating. Our family, our friends, our roommates. Commit to loving them not just when you feel like it but always.
So I realize i skipped a lot of stages from "knee touching" to marriage, but this is a blog, not a novel :) I just want to encourage people to take their words and relationships seriously. Love is a commitment, not a feeling... For some more thoughts on love... from someone a lot smarter than me!
1 Corinthians 13
Love is patient, love is kind, love doesn't envy or boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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 and always preserves. Love never fails.
I'm guilty of loving only when it's easy. I'm guilty of loving selfishly- for my own benefit instead of theirs.
It says in the word that "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8) God didn't love us because we were doing something right, or deserved his love. He sent his son to die for us because he genuinely loves us.
I want to love with Christ's love. I want to love people not because anyone "deserves" it, but regardless.
When I say I love you, whether it's to my parents, my friends or my husband, I want to truly mean it and show it in the fullness of Christ's love.
If you're struggling to genuinely love others today, hold on...
we can't do this on our own power we have to rely on Christ's power, ask him to fill you up with his love so we can pour his love, life and truth into other people's lives.