It’s Valentine’s Day and tis the season of love, right? That word “love” is misused so often in our generation. It’s tossed back and forth to describe certain bursts of emotions in an instant, rather than describing the actions of our lives. Love is not a noun, it’s a verb. It’s an action that we may or may not always understand. The greatest act of love that I will never fully comprehend is when Jesus died for me.
John 15:13 (NLT) says…
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) says…
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Referencing Jesus being the closet friend we have.)
Putting these two verses together… we have a friend, who knows us better than anybody else. This friend (Jesus) laid down his life for us, showing the greatest form of love that there is. Let’s notice the diction in the first verse. John uses the phrase “lay down one’s life.” In order to “lay down” your life, you have to purposefully give it up. I have never witnessed someone who accidently laid down their life! Jesus purposefully laid down his life for you and I, so that we could experience the greatest form of love for eternity. Many people refer to Christianity as just some religion. I’m here to tell you that it’s not about religion. It’s about a relationship with Jesus Christ, the one who did/does/and will forever love you more than any girl/guy ever could.
Some of you may be single, and some of you may be in the dating realm of life. Regardless of which category you fall into, God has a plan for your personal relationships. He lays out the model for how all this looks in His word very clearly!
Gentlemen: Having a girl by your side, hanging all over you, and blowing in your ear 24/7 does NOT make you a man. What makes you a real man is treating women with the upmost respect. A real man knows how to hold the door open for a lady. Being a real man is to go against the status quo of society and not degrade women with words, but rather build them up in edification and encouragement. To treat them like the precious jewels that they are. Men, in looking for that “special someone” we need to look for the qualities that God looks for in us. Proverbs 31 describes what a virtuous woman looks like. The word virtuous means “righteous” or “to walk upright.” That’s what we need to pursue fellas.
Ladies: Stop chasing after guys who obviously don’t have your best interest in mind. If they continually pressure you into situations that make you feel uncomfortable, then it’s time to move on. The bible says that we are to live pure and that oh so scary word “holy.” What does that word “holy” actually mean? The Greek translation of the word holy is “hagios” (hag'-ee-os) which essentially means “To be different” or “Set apart.”
John 17:16 (ESV) says…
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
We are in the world, but we’re not of the world. People are supposed to notice something different about us. You can’t be “set apart” if you’re not different.
Dating: If you are dating someone, I assume it is because you are searching for the one whom you’d like to eventually marry. If that is not the case, then why are you even dating? The most important thing whenever it comes to dating is this…God first. If God is not the top priority for both of you, the relationship will more than likely dissipate.
This pyramid is a good illustration of a relationship road map. The closer that you and the other person get to God, the closer you will get to each other. It is as simple as that. The cool thing about this picture is that it can describe any relationship (family, friends, etc.). In dating it is also important to be pure. Just to throw a bone in right here, premarital sex is a sin (Y’all thought this was a “rated PG” blog). The world will try and convince you that it’s not, and as a matter of fact, they will try to encourage you to do so in your dating relationship. If that girl/guy tries to convince you that love is having sex, that is a lie. That is not love; that is lust. Don’t get those two words confused ladies and gentlemen.
Romans 12:2 (ESV) says…
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Here are some tips to help keep you stable while pursuing a relationship within Gods boundaries…
1.) Never put yourself in a situation to be tempted
- If you give Satan an inch, he’ll take five miles.
- Never be alone with a guy/girl in his or her apartment.
2.) Know that God’s timing is better than ours.
- We live in a microwave society, where we can have pizza rolls in 45 seconds. As you may have already discovered, relationships are not pizza rolls! Don’t rush into any relationship. Wait on God, because in the end it’ll be worth it.
3.) Have a special prayer time with that special someone
- Set apart a special time throughout the week to prayer WITH that special someone, or pray FOR that special someone (You can do this if you’re single, too!)
4.) Try “Group Dating”
- If you feel like you struggle being one on one with a girl/guy, try going out in groups with mutual friends.
One last thing:
1 John 4:8 (NIV) says…
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
If you use the phrase “I’m in love with someone” and if God is love, you’re essentially saying “I’m in God with someone”. That phrase alone not only describes the content of your #RelationshipStatus, but also the status of our lives.
Colossians 3:3 (ESV) says…
“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
To be in Christ is to pursue those things which are pure and holy and righteous. I’ll never claim to have life figured out, but know that God has a plan for your life. Know that his timing is better than our timing. Know that God is in control of every situation, and rest in that. Know that His love is the greatest Valentine’s Day gift we could ever receive.
John Sidwell, VP of Outreach, Impact Christian Fellowship at IUPUI