Do you think we care too much about love?
I want to marry a godly man someday, and I want to be in love when I do. I want to stay in love. I want to love my kids, and I want them to love me back. I love my parents and my sister and my relatives and friends.
But if experiencing those loves is the end goal of my life, I will be sorely disappointed.
Love on Earth serves one purpose: to roughly illustrate the deep love of Christ and point us to holiness. Earthly marriage illustrates our coming marriage to Christ. Parents and children illustrate how God is our Father. Friends and siblings illustrate how Jesus sticks more closely than a brother. And in all these relationships, God uses each person to sharpen the other and spur them on to know Him more.
But we rarely view love this way, really. We don’t often begin friendships hoping to experience the friendship of Christ or have a child in order to relate to God more. We do those things because we love love. We love the feeling of being wanted and being special, and we love the feeling that comes from making other people feel loved as well. It brings us satisfaction and happiness to the point where we elevate “love” as the ultimate achievement in life.
Many want abortions because a baby would be inconvenient—it could ruin a loving relationship or a family. Marriage has become less about starting a family and raising godly children and more about maintaining passionate, romantic love with your spouse.
Romance movies and books flood our minds with lies about how we will not be happy until we find a certain man or woman to love us. And even well-meaning Christian articles rant and rave about love—advice for it, waiting for it, praying for it, preparing for it.
We Christians even fall into the trap of pouring all our attention on how much Jesus loves us. And He DOES. Immensely. But there’s more to Him than just hugs and kisses and pats on the head. There’s more to experiencing Him and knowing Him and growing in Him.
For many of us (including me), love is a desire of our hearts…and a good one at that! God wants us to give love and receive it, and He says this many times in the Bible. (Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised. -Song of Solomon 8:7). But the greatest desire of my heart should be to glorify God. Glorifying Him will include loving Him and loving others, but I believe we miss the mark if we view that love as the finish line.
As I mentioned in another post, God cares more about our holiness than about our happiness. He wants us to be holy. THAT is the end goal. And yes, that always includes heavenly love because Jesus loves us more than we will ever know. But it may or may not include the kind of earthly love we want.
The reality is that you maybe won’t have children. You might never get married. You could have a friendship that ends. You might never date again because you choose to not date people of your own gender. You might break up with your boyfriend because you decide to keep your baby.
And you will be ok. I promise you will, if you cling to the One who loves you completely. We need to shift our culture away from its idolization of earthly love and onto the worship of the One who fully loves us.
Love is a command, not a dream.
It is a blessing, not a right.
Love is a sweet gift along this journey of glorifying God and telling others about Him. It’s a precursor to the complete and utter gladness we will experience someday. But let’s never set love on an end-all-be-all pedestal—let’s never let it overshadow the fullness of joy that God has prepared for us.