I have 4 sons between the ages of 15-20, and with that comes high grocery bills, endless sports equipment, more Fortnite knowledge than I want, and plenty of opportunities for me to influence their hearts. They are on the brink of many major decisions about school and their futures, and among those decisions are with who will they date/share their life?
I have been talking about love and dating with Hope Program students and interns for more than 20 years, and have honed my “I promise, this is true” list. Compelled to remind them of the following biblical truths, I am more convicted than ever, if we don’t share what real love is, the world they live in never will.
1. Love is fierce, and strong.
This is how God intended it. It’s not lukewarm, and it’s not defined on social media. You can tell when a guy is in love, if it isn’t obvious to you, then don’t lead her on.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 “… for love is strong as death… Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
2. Love isn’t drama.
It doesn’t look for reasons to create conflict. If you aren’t having fun now, you won’t have fun later. Be gentle, patient, and eager to maintain unity (and look for someone who feels the same!)
Ephesians 4:2-3 “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
3. There’s a fine line between protection and possession.
If you, (or her) feel jealous, that’s not a sign of love, it’s a sign of control. It’s unhealthy and destructive and smothers what’s good between you.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
4. Forgiveness comes easily when you love someone.
It doesn’t remind you over and over of past mistakes. If you (or her) can’t let something go, it’s time to move on. Letting go of an offense is a practice you’ll both need to be comfortable with.
1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
5. It should feel overwhelming.
No one should be reminding anyone of how good it ‘used’ to be. Love grows, it gets better and deeper. If you have to keep talking yourself into it, it’s died along the way.
Proverbs 30:18-19 “There are three things that amaze me—no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.”
6. Honor her.
Honoring a woman means many things – listening to her and her boundaries, looking at her with respect, and not taking from her physically what’s not yours before marriage. In most cases, crossing physical lines is the beginning of the end of a relationship.
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Let’s keep reminding ourselves, our children, and our friends – God knows how love grows. If we live by His way, it only gets better.