True love is not something that suddenly comes to us like we think. Instead, it is something that is built inside of us.
With every surrendered dream, every sacrifice we make to put Christ first, with every bold letting go of our own desires to pursue His desires, we begin to get a glimpse of what Calvary love was all about.
As a single woman, so many of us are looking to someday find that guy who will love us with the true love that we have waited for our whole lives. But, what we don’t fully understand is that in order to have a mutual true love in marriage, we have to be the first to practice that kind of death to self and submission to Christ that is required for true love to be fully born in us.
I was thinking last week about the pain found in relationships. All my life I have tried to protect myself from the pain found in relationships. Somehow pain meant that something was wrong. But, over the past two months, God has shown me that there is pain found in relationships when we love people, and it is GOOD. To think that pain can be good was breaking boxes for me. It may for you, too. There is a pain found in laying down our lives for others, in allowing ourselves to be stretched outside our comfort zone, in finally facing our weaknesses through the eyes of another life we truly care about. This kind of pain is actually GOOD because when we encounter it, we know that something is being changed in us for GOOD. We shouldn’t shrink back from it, we shouldn’t try to run from it. We need to rejoice in it, by simply taking it all to the feet of Jesus and spending time with Him, talking to Him about it. He knows why He allows GOOD pain in our lives. He faced pain, too, when He was practicing true love. He knows how to help us experience the JOY found in the moments of crucifixion that is required in true love.
This weekend was one of those moments for me. Because of some my childhood brokenness that I now realize God is still healing in me, sometimes when it comes to relationships, I either cocoon myself from them, or I just expect them to be pain-free and all joy. But, but, but…the reality is that some of the best relationships are ones that help us grow in Truth and Love. They stretch us. They force us to rely on God. When we rely on God, then we get Truth in our inward members, and it’s that Truth that builds our lives in love toward God and others.
That is the true love we are waiting for. It’s this amazing ability to suffer as Christ suffered by laying down our lives for the sake of others. When a man and a woman learn this practice in their own lives led by the Holy Spirit, they are better prepared for the marriage that reflects Jesus and His Bride.
So, be willing to be built by True Love.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16