My Dear Children,
Love between a man and woman is an amazing gift. It is something the God created before the curse of sin took hold. It is something that remains even though we are soaked in the curse itself. It is beautiful and pure and indescribable when God’s Hand is in it.
I really, truly hope that your father and I have given you a good example in regards to how to be a married couple. We’ve shown you the ups and downs, because we want you to have a realistic view of marriage. We laugh, we cry. We agree and sometimes disagree. But at the end of the day, we love each other very much. When done right, done God’s way, this love we have is a fantastic journey.
The culture around us has really skewed not only what marriage should look like, but love itself. They use phrases like, “Falling in” and “falling out” of love. We love everything, from our favorite ice cream to our pet. We think love is a physical act instead of a lifetime commitment. Love has become cheap today. The funny thing is true love is one of the rarest treasures on the earth.
What it comes down to is this: we confuse “love” with “lust”. Fervent desire is not a bad thing when put in the right context. I think of Amnon and Tamar. Amnon had developed lustful feelings toward his half-sister, Tamar. (Ew, I know.) He confused these feelings with love. The feelings were not appropriate and yet he acted on them. He not only abused and damaged his own sister, but after he got “what he wanted”, he despised her. He used Tamar.
That is not love, my children.
Love doesn’t “use” people; it wants to be useful to the person loved. Real love follows God’s original design. It isn’t something that we fall into and out of as our feelings or hormones or moods change. It’s a commitment.
I look back to all the crushes I had as a girl. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a hundred. They came and went as my preferences changed. We can be fickle creatures.
These crushes were fleeting feelings with no roots. There was no substance, but a lot of time wasted on dreaming of a future that would never happen. Most of them were people I was only acquainted with… I didn’t really know their personalities or character. We call crushes “Puppy Love” but it really isn’t love at all.
When we make the commitment to love one person and they reciprocate, there are benefits. There comes an emotional attachment. The physical act of love – which, by the way, is meant for marriage alone- is awesome. And something else happens that I have a hard time explaining. There is a union of souls. Two become one. It really is a thing. It’s beautiful.
Why am I talking about this? What’s the point?
Don’t settle. Don’t settle for just one part of that love. Keep your desire for the whole package because that is the only way you will be satisfied in a love relationship. When we focus on just one aspect, we miss out on all the blessings God intended for us in marriage.
Settling can look like many things. Bouncing from one boyfriend/girlfriend to another. Sex outside of marriage. Obsessing over celebrities or people you cannot have. Marrying someone you have no love or respect for, or doing so for reasons that make them simply useful instead of cherished. Thinking that you always have the option of divorce in marriage. Acting out on a feeling in the moment.
Love is so much more than a feeling. It is even more than a decision. In its right place, love is the perfect intentions of a loving Father who desires His best in our lives. My prayer, and your dad’s as well, is that each of you will find that love when the time is right.