(Photo by Natalie [Baugh] Reed)
What It Means To Be Deeply Loved
By Hannah Darrow
The fall season brings us the changing colors of the leaves, pumpkin spiced lattes, cold nights, and big sweaters. When most teenagers and young adults picture the changing of the seasons, they often picture it with a special someone there too.
You’ve seen it. The pictures of couples smiling wide at pumpkin patches, Instagram seems to flood with couples in matching costumes, you watch friends meet people and go on cute dates.
There’s something about fall that seems to make people think about relationships more. School starts back up again and the possibility of meeting someone can seem to consume your thoughts.
“If I could only find someone to go on these picture-perfect dates with.”
“This hole in my heart will be filled once I meet that perfect guy/girl.”
Well, here’s the thing – we claim that we are putting God first, especially in what only seems like wishful thinking. However, it is easier to put something above God when it becomes one of the biggest desires of your heart. Something as simple as wanting a relationship can become an idol.
I know it because I have firsthand experienced it. I found myself in the past putting a boy above the Lord. Trust me, I was the biggest daydreamer you’d ever meet. I imagined someone coming into my life, sweeping me off my feet, and taking me on these extravagant, Instagram worthy dates for years. My heart did not seem full. When I looked around me, I saw couples on cute dates that seemed like they had everything.
Boy, was I wrong. What Jesus has taught me in dating is that putting all your energy and hope into another human will definitely not fill your heart up. In fact, it will drain you even more, as well as the other person. When you yearn for a relationship more than anything, and then finally get it, do you expect you’ll then put Jesus first when you didn’t do that in your season of singleness?
I learned the hard way what it looks like to try to find joy and contentment in another person. It does not work like that – because your significant other is not God! They cannot give you what your heart desires – the deep, close, eternal love of Jesus. If your heart dwells too much on wanting a boyfriend or girlfriend, it can lead to a very lonely place. The enemy can lie to you and tell you that you don’t deserve to be loved, will never be loved, or that you need to date to feel content. These are lies. Sadly, this leads people to an empty state of loneliness and possibly depression. Don’t let him win. Put your heart and mind on Jesus; let it be Him that shows you what true love is.
In this past season of my life, God filled me up through His Word and taught me that His love is greater than any a boy could give me. Preparing my heart and getting right with the Lord in my season of singleness has significantly affected my relationship with my boyfriend today. Jesus is easier to put first in our relationship when He was put first before our relationship.
So as this fall season approaches, I encourage you to not just yearn for a special someone to go on these dates with. Seek the Lord, grow close to Him, and let Him show you what it means to be fully and deeply loved.