What if you’ll never find it until you grasp the truth that love is not something you find in the first place?
That’s why the award for the #1 dumbest reason to date goes to…
To find love.
Perhaps you’re thinking…
“How could love be a dumb reason for anything, much less dating? If you’re not dating for love, then what are you dating for? For hate? For like? Lust? The environment? Your Mom?”
Admittedly, love should be the motive of a Christ follower in each and every life endeavor. But that motive should be to share love… not find it.
If you’re dating to share love; to show love; to demonstrate love, then your dating life should be one where you bless everyone you date, while blessing your own life in the process. However…
If you’re dating to find love you’re going to get hurt. Over and over again.
Because it’s a cold world out there where lonely hearts are preyed upon by scam artists with no intention of giving anyone anything of worth; much less love. They just want to get: get a free meal or a self-image makeover, get your attention or your money, or get in your pants and get you in bed.
Still others have no evil intentions. In fact, they’re just as desperate to find love as those they date. Two people looking for love which neither of them have, like two beggars trying to bum change off each other.
I’m not trying to be over dramatic. I’m not even trying to protect you from hurt. However, I would love to see you spared senseless hurt.
Even when you date to share love you will likely be hurt. As CS Lewis is famous for saying:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.”
This is why I hate that cutesy little saying, “Love like you’ve never been hurt.” No!
Love like it’s worth hurt!
Now to clarify, I’m not encouraging anyone to suck it up and endure abuse from their partner, all in the name of love. Abuse is not love.
To the contrary, it is dishonorable, dishonoring both the abused as it does the abuser. In other words, when you tolerate abuse, you enable your abuser to continue in a lifestyle that isn’t good for you or them. True love may forgive offenses (and in fact it must), but it can never excuse them.
Sound hard? You better believe it! It’s why we have dysfunctional marriages and divorce. However, loving in spite of the pain involved is precisely what Jesus asks of us. More pointedly, it’s what He did for us.
Which brings me to this point: you, my dear reader, are already loved profoundly more than you ever will be on any date with anyone.
Because, love is not something you find.
True love can’t be hidden.
True love seeks.
The too-wonderful-to-be-true reality is that “the one” you’ve been looking for has already found YOU!
Only once you live in the center of that certainty can you date to share love instead of find it. Only then can enter the dating scene not to complete yourself, but to care about others. Only then can your pursue a serious relationship not out of a need for healing, but out of the joy of the healing your First Love is already working in you.
We sing of a love like that in church, but only once you believe it, can it transform you and your relationships. Until then your search for love will be in vain, because your deepest longing for love can only be satisfied in Jesus. The prophet Jeremiah said as much.
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” – Jer 2:13
Then when speaking to a Samaritan woman He met by a well, Jesus actually claimed to be the source of that living water.
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” – John 4:10
Later in their conversation we discover what Jesus knew all along, that this woman was also looking for love.
“I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” – John 4:17
How many lovers will have to disappoint you before you stop looking for love and allow the love of Jesus which has already found you to flow into and through your life?
Love is not something you find. Love has already found you.
But what if you don’t feel it? What if you simply don’t feel loved? Or what if you couldn’t imagine being worthy of such a love even if it did find you? That’s what we talk about in the next post in this series!
Until then, consider asking yourself the questions below. Even better, consider asking someone who knows you best and loves you most to give you their insight:
- Do I truly believe God loves me with the undying love that I so long for in an earthly soul mate?
- Am I truly driven to share the love I’ve already received from God with someone else in the bonds of marriage or has my desire for an earthly love become an idol?
- Am I dating to compensate for a lack of love I feel from God, or a parent or someone else important in my life?
- How does my behavior support my answers to the previous questions?
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
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 published: 11/27/13]