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[updated: 10/23/18]

Love is not something you find. It’s something you share.

But what if you don’t have any love to share? What if your need for love is the very force that’s driving your desire to date?

Then you need to go to the source of love. Which isn’t an internet dating site, or a bar, or a club, or even the biggest young adult Bible study in town.

As we discovered last week, the only source of love – the well of living water – is Jesus.

Always the last place you look, right?

But why is that?

Despite our desperate longing for love, why are we so reticent to come to Jesus? Here’s one reason: we can’t earn God’s love.

Can’t earn God’s love?! Well where’s the challenge in that?

Where’s the glory?

Isn’t that one of the things that makes the “game of love” so fun and exciting?

  • Caught their eye! (1 point)
  • Got them to smile back at me (2 points)
  • Had a flirtatious conversation (10 points)
  • Scored a first date (100 points)
  • Scored a second date (200 points)
  • Scored a goodnight kiss (500 points)

Look how well you’re doing! Soon you’ll be able to cash in those points at the prize counter for bragging rights or the ultimate score: a relationship status change on Facebook!, Twitter or Instagram!

You see, we like to earn our love. It makes us feel good about ourselves.

The trick is, not only can we not earn God’s love, we can’t actually earn love at all. You can earn attention, acceptance, approval, affection, trust, respect, fear, even sex, but you can’t earn love.

Love that is earned is no love at all. Love by its nature must be freely given and freely received. That’s what makes it so extraordinary, so wonderful, and so humbling.

Do you understand that? And if so, do you believe it?

Is the God of the universe really the kind of God that Jesus described? Would He really leave the 99 to find one lost lamb? Would He truly sweep His whole house to find one lost coin? Would he actually sit on the front porch, scanning the horizon until His prodigal son returned, not so He could say, “I told you so,” but so that He might say, “My beloved has returned”? (Luke 15)

If you believe in the love of that kind of God then simply receive it!

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. – John 15:9 (ESV)

Then having learned to abide wholeheartedly in that love, go ye therefore and date, my good friend! Follow the wisdom laid down in His good book. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left that it might go well with your dating life, even if things don’t turn out like you hoped!

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. – John 15:10 (ESV)

Risk hurt, knowing that as surely as the recklessness of the fool leads to ruin, risk for the kingdom is always rewarded. In time.

Enjoy the process of dating, knowing God works all things for our good! And all means all.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. – John 15:11 (ESV)

No longer date to earn love, but to freely share what was freely given to you!

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. – John 15:12 (ESV)

Rest in God’s love – completely – knowing He has already proven His love for you once and for all!

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13 (ESV)

Love is not something you find. It’s something that finds you, so you can then share it with others.

Love is not something you earn. It’s something that can never be earned, but only freely given and received.

But there’s one more thing love is not, and it’s the thing that enables us to rest completely in God’s love. So check out the next and final post in our series: TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date.

Date Night Advice (DNA) series: TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date
#1: To Find Love
Click here for the next post in the series.

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE you fall in love!

It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.

Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!

[originally posted: 12/4/13]