True Love…? Give Me A Sign!
By Michelle Schonken
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.
– Ephesians 5:25 (NLT)
True love is a concept that we get introduced to relatively early in life. In fact, the idea is hard to escape unless you’ve lived under a rock and haven’t seen a Disney princess film. We love the idea of true love because it is supposed to be a love that is destined and will last. The struggles, of course, are finding your true love, and knowing if the love you are experiencing is in fact true.
True love these days seems elusive, and many give up entirely on finding that kind of love with someone. For the rest of us, it merely becomes a high target to aim for, but they expect that they will have to settle for less. If only there were obvious signs like white stallions and beams of light from heaven! Wouldn’t our love lives be so much easier? Sadly, we don’t get signals like that, but we do get some hints from the Bible about what real love is.
In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT), Paul tells us that, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
That kind of love sounds like a tall order! But is finding true love any easier? In fact, I believe that for true love to be as “destined” and “lasting” as it claims to be, it needs to be all those things Paul mentions. God’s truth and love are still the same today as when that verse was written. Can you imagine experiencing that kind of love with someone else and receiving it in return? At this point some of you might be wondering whether or not I’ve actually talked to another living person or live on a cloud. Of course, we are not perfect. We are human and even the most mature and Christ-centered relationships are not going to portray this kind of love 24/7. But, when both parties actively want to show God’s kind of love to each other, then it happens more often than not. In a relationship, I want my significant other and I to be able to bring out the best in each other. If you think about it, the best parts about our selves are the traits that are most like Jesus.
Now that we have seen a snapshot of what God’s version of true love can be like, I want to mention what true love should not be. It is not selfish, controlling, or intimidating. Shakespeare and Hollywood have glamorized and popularized the idea of love being “us against the world.” This is the kind of love between couples that dramatically defies parents and family concerns or overcomes obstacles like inconvenient girlfriends or spouses. They make money-making plots but in real life, that kind of love can get pretty exhausting and lonely – not to mention potentially damaging. Honestly, girls, there will be times when you have absolutely no idea what is going on inside your significant other’s brain, and you will need a supportive, listening ear from a friend or family member. Who doesn’t occasionally need some wisdom and advice, especially from someone with a clear head and Godly council?
So, can true love exist? I think it can. With God’s leading, I know that we can be in relationships where each of us shows the kind of love that is always patient, always kind, and doesn’t find fault in the other. That sounds like a pretty great recipe for love that lasts forever if you ask me! So hold out, girls, true love can be awesome when God is the one writing your love story.