Part II of the “Green Christian” series
Krinda Joy Carlson
Jessica was falling in love with Him.
Dane was falling in love with her.
Together they fell in love.
Then, they F
L OUT of love…
Jessica and Dane didn’t mean to.
It just happened.
The world is searching the planet over for “the one” to fall in love with. Many think that when they find that perfect one, that they will fall and stay in love forever. But, with a 50% divorce rate in America, in both non-Christian relationships and Christian, statistics show our approach to love is not working. LOVE is not working! At least not the “love” as defined by our society. And yet everyone keeps looking, because everyone desires a sustainable, unending love!
Before you stop reading in fear that I am going to bust into the chorus “Lookin’ for love in all the wrong places…” I want to let you know that I’m going to say the opposite:
STOP LOOKING FOR LOVE!
You heard me right! If you want to experience a sustainable love, then STOP looking for love.
The problem with Jessica and Dane, and much of the world’s hunt for love, is that they spend so much time and energy looking for love, when instead they should be learning to love – NOW. Don’t wait to fall in love, love now! Because love is not about falling into anything, it’s about choosing patience when you’re frustrated, putting another’s good above your pride, forgiving even when you’ve been wronged, persevering through difficulties, and never, ever, ever, failing. Now, I look at that list and get intimidated (and yes, in case you haven’t caught on I’m taking the aspects of love from 1 Corinthians 13). And get this, there’s more: Love also is choosing to be kind, not to envy, not to boast, not to be rude, not to seek self-pleasure, choosing to let no evil in your heart, to protect, to trust, and to hope. This is the only sustainable love. In fact, it is the most sustainable thing in the entire universe, for when everything else fades away, three things remain: faith, hope, and love…but the greatest is this amazing, never-failing love (1 Corinthians 13:8-13).
Such a regenerate love is impossible! For us. Alone. Us who fall in and out of love so fast; then say, “We didn’t mean for it to happen.”
But not impossible for a God who has loved forever, and has loved YOU before birth. With Him, there’s not “oops” or “falling,” but there’s intentionality, action and choice.
This God, who is love and who created love, says:
You did not choose me, but I chose you, dear one, to love. And I assigned you so that you might show the fruits of this love (like patience, kindness, hope)…so, my command for you remains: Love each other. (John 15:16-17, my paraphrase)
That’s why I say stop looking for love, because we’re never told to find love in the Bible. God always tells us to act out love. The beautiful thing is, we don’t even have to go looking for how to act in love, for it’s as simple as getting to know God and letting His work in our hearts come out in action…
Let us love each other, for we can since love comes from God. Everyone who loves has let God renew his or her heart, and knows God, really knows God (1 John 4:7)
The reason we don’t see this love – which is already inside us FROM God – is that we’re still looking. Love doesn’t just happen. We first allow ourselves to be loved and known by God. And then, we choose to stop looking and just start loving.
I can hear you saying, “But wait! This is not the same as the romantic love I’m looking and longing for.” I’m getting to that. First, I want to really get the point across that to “find” love is not the issue, but loving really is. We have love. We are loved. Our hearts, if surrendered to God, are created as solar panels to regenerate a sustainable love that never loses power – but it has to be exposed to the right source. It must be energized throughout our lives. We cannot expect to hide our hearts from loving until “the one” comes along, and suddenly we’ll know how to keep love alive. No, every day we must allow our hearts to be exposed to the light of Jesus’ love, and to allow His love to recharge others through us as well, which in turn keeps love alive and continually growing within our hearts. Outside of the Bible, some people who knew a whole lot about love had this to say:
“It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing that matters.” ~Mother Teresa
“You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.” ~Amy Carmichael
“Love is unselfishly choosing for another’s highest good.” ~C.S. Lewis
This has nothing to do with a F
but everything to do with a unFAILING love that works itself out in action.
The answer to one day experiencing a romantic relationship that has a sustainable love that survives past the “falling in love”/warm fuzzy stage is learning to love with a regenerating love now. Jessica and Dane fell out of love because they never learned to love with a love beyond themselves.
We can learn to love from the Source that never ceases to be patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud or rude, not easily angered, never holding onto wrongs, ever rejoicing in truth (not evil), and is always protecting, trusting, hoping, and persevering, then your love will never grow cold. When we learn this, we will have found the Source of Sustaining Love: allowing the Son’s light to charge our hearts each day to produce these characteristics in our actions.
When two people focus on trying (I highlight trying because we aren’t perfect like God), and learning, to love from the Source, even when hormones fade…love will REMAIN.