When I was growing up, I use to fantasize about love and what it would be like. I would plan my wedding and create this storybook image of what the perfect guy would look like and all the qualities he would have. I dreamed of having a Prince Charming that would come and sweep me up off of my feet. My life was centered around romantic books and romanticized television shows/ movies. Love seemed so simple and attainable that as I got older and began dating, I expected it to be easy to achieve. The distortion that I had about love put me in some bad relationships, and it had me hanging on to empty promises that I could no longer make happen or fantasize about.
Being that I am 23 years old and single, I sometimes question why I couldn’t achieve the one thing that I always wanted: to be married and have children. I use to blame others for my shortcomings because, for me, it was their fault that they couldn’t get things together. However, I soon realized that it wasn’t just their fault; It was my fault for believing in a dead love that didn’t hold any value. I thought that love was supposed to be the image that I saw when reading books and watching television. Love was supposed to fix and repair and make that person into the individual I longed for them to be. Stepping into reality, I realized that love isn’t that simple, and it is not just about making someone into the image you want them to be. I learned this simple saying that says,
You like because, and you love despite…
You like someone because of all of their qualities (i.e., outgoing, smart, educated, trusting, etc.). Still, you love someone despite some of their qualities (i.e., telling corny jokes, have a different love language than you, chew with their mouth open, snort when they laugh, etc.). Love isn’t romanticized the way we see it on television or the way we read about it in books. When we rely on the worldly view of love, we miss important components that are important to have in relationships, such as compromising.
Sometimes we have to give up parts of ourselves, which can be hard and can be tiring at times. I have gotten to the point that I am done looking at how the world loves because it is a fantasy. Real love is depicted by the greatest man of all time, and that is Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate example of someone who likes us because of the qualities that we have but loves us despite some of our qualities. I am learning now that the love I need to understand is “God’s love.”
The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
The best way to know this kind of love is to know the originator of Love. Spending time in prayer and reading the word of God is fulfilling every need and desire I have ever had. I am learning to Love God, and in the same sense, I know He loves me.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…it always protects, always trust, always hopes, always preserves. -1 Corinthians 13:4-8
God can look at me and love me despite my shortcomings because He is a God that can take something imperfect and make it perfect in His image. Love isn’t lost, nor is it dead, but it can be reimagined in a way that brings about God’s plan and desire for our lives.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – Ephesians 2:4-5