So This Is Love?
I have observed so many girls and women, young and old alike, who seem to be involved in love relationships that are mediocre, at best. I wanted something much better than that for my children, and now, for my grandchildren, as well. My intention is to share my observations of romance among females of all ages, but mostly the young and inexperienced.
No matter who you are, or what your background may have been, opening up to romance can leave you exhilarated and overwhelmed, confused and discouraged, or any combination thereof. I will strive to share how to live as a Christ-honoring teen or young person through the dating experience. I also want to address navigating through some of the unavoidable things that boy-girl relationships bring. These things would better be described as “bumps in the road.” Said bumps come unexpectedly because they are the result of new thoughts and experiences that young people would not have encountered before. They may be thought of as predictable and completely expected among the older set, because they've already been around the love merry-go-round. By definition, those new to the interworking of romance are new to its pitfalls also. That’s why this book is written mainly to them.
There’s a strong case to be made that teens need guidance about these issues, simply because they’re new to them. The accompanying feelings that go with dating can truly be bombarding and confusing. While these feelings could be described as “organic” and spontaneous, they are not completely unpredictable. As such, there are truths and principles that can be applied that will give some clarity and maybe even a little confidence.
Nothing would sadden me more than to hear that my granddaughters went the same path that I see so many heartsick people trudge. On the other hand, what great joy would be mine to hear that my grandchildren went the route of their parents, who ALL married very well. I’m so grateful to God for all my children and their spouses. They’ve all made commitments to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and are living out their faith in Him. Now they are raising their own children in that faith. All praise be to the Lord!
Now, back to this very common occurrence that seems to describe so many unfulfilling dating relationships. Why are so many Christians having the very same dissatisfying experiences as their lost neighbors in things pertaining to love? Do we really not know any better? As Christians, we SHOULD know better. Having said that, our Christianity doesn’t seem to be enough reason for us to treat those we love with grace. It should be, mind you, but it’s not. Why?
One reason we act the same as those without Christ is that we don’t obey the Word of the God we say we serve. If we did, we wouldn’t have all this pain and estrangement between people who supposedly love each other. Maybe we don’t even KNOW the Word of our God. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you,” Eph. 4:32, should be our mantra. Instead, it’s read, maybe memorized in Sunday school as a child, and then forgotten when needed most.
Another reason is we don’t have a healthy view of ourselves. If we did, we’d establish boundaries, so to speak, from the outset. Those boundaries would both give freedom and set parameters. They would, by definition, have stopping points in a number of areas inside the new romance. Your first thought may be physical stopping points. While that is certainly part of it, and we’ll discuss it more later, there are many others.
First off, how you actually treat each other should have boundaries. Many girls have tolerated bad treatment at the hands of their boyfriends for so long, they don’t even realize it’s happening. They’ve grown to accept it, and maybe even think they deserve no better. It could be they didn’t grow up seeing their father treat their mother with kindness. Without seeing it modeled before them, it might seem completely foreign to expect it.
We need to show others that we value ourselves, and that we’re worthy of respect. In the matters of love we need go no further than the Bible to see God’s view. I John 4:7-8 says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Many people use the word “love” to describe how they feel for their boyfriend or girlfriend. I would argue that calling it “love” might be like calling a sand castle a “beach” or calling a rock a “mountain”. Not to completely discount their strong feelings of affection, I propose we try to see “love” in more of a spiritual light as referred to in I John 4:7. Can we really know “love” without God? Can we feel the depths of something God calls “love” as a teenager? After all, He is the Creator of “love”.
It could be said that if what this world needs now is love, sweet love, (lyrics from an old song) then at least the Christians should start looking and living like it. After all, if there’s no hope or example in Christians for the world to see, then there is no hope for anyone. I believe there IS hope for Christians. There is hope in much more than just the area of love. Jesus is our Hope in love AND life. Without Him, we have no real life much less “love”. So rejoice, sisters, we have Jesus Christ who comes to us, and never leaves us or forsakes us. And He desires that we show the world what love looks like.
I write this to mothers and daughters alike. You’ll notice I go back and forth between the young and the not-so-young. That’s intentional on my part. I write to mothers, because they realize how critical it is to marry the right man. They know this because they either did or didn’t do this themselves. If these mothers are like me they want all the help they can find to steer their daughter correctly. I would truly love it if this were read by young people/daughters as I mentioned already that I desire to shed some light on this subject. Even if that light is a small illumination. Young girls need this info to make prayerful decisions if no one is offering them guidance. I hope that by the time you finish this book, you will say, “Anything I can do to help my daughter find her true love, with God’s help and leading, I will do.” Or, if you are a young girl, I’m praying you’ll realize your worth in God’s economy. He says you are worth dying for.