Love imagined in a fairytale way creates unrealistic expectations in a relationship. During the honeymoon stage, we often don’t think about the challenges, obstacles and the “unexpected” things that could occur later on. We also don’t consider the true personality, behavior, habits and pet peeves that come out once the comfort level settles in. Typically, the “representative” doesn’t stick around after a successful pitch. God spoke the reality of love and marriage into existence. The paradigm of marriage is holy and divine by design because God is holy. Marriage was created out of the holiness, bosom, beauty, and perfection of God between a man and a woman. Unfortunately, when sin entered paradise, walked its way through the sacred doors of marriage, it gave life to unfaithfulness, arguments & quarrels, competition, insecurities, wandering eyes, haughtiness, arrogance, envy, murder, keeping records of wrongs, boasting, etc. There are costs to experience love and a Christ-centered relationship the way God intended. I want to note a few.
The cost of love is denying your emotions. Emotions are a persuasive force that can dictate the forecast of your perspective and commitment to someone. Emotions tell you when, where and how to “love”. It needs a feeling to justify itself to act in the name of “love.” There is a subsequent danger here. Love is not emotional and if you thought it was, you’re in for a constant deep disappointment. Your emotions will have you mistaken sex for love. Emotions could cause you to skip every step and foundation it takes to build something godly, which is a relationship that stands on the word of God. The ground that God wants to establish a marriage is the word of God, which is a rock. A God-like relationship is faithful, concrete, substantial and long-lasting. Your emotions will also cause you to be so enthralled and enamored with the beauty of a person that you’ll stop on the surface and overlook the depth to discover what’s really inside a person. When someone is interested in you, they will engage you by asking questions. When the attraction is physical and emotional, the interest wouldn’t be fully there. I’m a man who wants to meet the depth of a godly woman to appreciate her surface (external beauty). In my earlier years of dating, I would associate beauty with God’s confirmation. I would think, she’s so beautiful, she has to be the one. I was immature and inexperienced. I never sought the understanding and wisdom of God to receive a confirmation on relationships. I ignored what was in the mind, heart, and spirit of a person that I missed the red flags. I didn’t see the toxic behaviors that thrived on brokenness and insecurity. I accepted, selfishness and self-centeredness, manipulation, indecisiveness, and immaturity. When I was immature and broken, I was a lot of things too. The difference of me now is that I seek the Lord every day and pray that I become more like Christ. I didn’t know that was a certain level of commitment behind physical attraction and finding a God-fearing woman was nowhere on the radar. I wasn’t in a place with God to pursue a Proverbs 31 woman. I wasn’t fully surrendered and living a consecrated life in Christ. I’ve learned, if you’re not submitted to Christ, your eyes will continue to wonder, “like” and scroll, searching and looking something you wouldn’t recognize even if God sent it your way. Relationships end quickly when it stands on 100 % emotion. You have to ask yourself what’s there once all the emotion fizzles out? What do you have to talk about when the honeymoon stage passes? Or, are you able to forgive and work things through when it’s challenging and difficult? Can you come together and pray through tough times? Can you choose to love when you don’t feel like it? When two are committed to each other their heart will remain with each other. If not, they list all the reasons why it can’t work. I strongly believe God prepares a man for his wife by helping Him understand the way Christ loves the church, which is spiritual. God love for us is a choice.
The other cost of love is spending time with God. How is this a cost? Well, you could have plenty of things to do to occupy your time. Sunday could be only your only day of praise & worship, praying and opening the word of God. This is evidence of a relationship with God. A relationship encompasses commitment, devotion, and sacrifice. It also entails time. Intimacy with God costs time. Quality time with God develops spiritual maturity. It’s the time you spend with God that your definition of love matures, you began to see marriage from His perspective, and your former ways of loving someone and going about relationships passes away. So many Christians want a godly relationship but don’t have a relationship with God. To ask for something you haven’t prepared for wouldn’t end well. Embracing and living a secular life would clash with someone who’s committed to living a holy and consecrated life. The holiness about someone brings conviction–not condemnation. In other words, when someone is walking with God and have set their self apart from the world, their lifestyle speaks. Women walked away from me due to my commitment to celibacy or for the simple fact that I talk about God. When I was devoted to God, I was no longer interested in a woman who didn’t want to have sex. Just facts.
The other cost of love is walking away from your old self. Dysfunctional family upbringing and past toxic relationships are what I’m hinting to. Many of us never had positive examples of love and what a healthy, godly relationship looks like. We may have heard our parents argue or show little or no affection that you question what is love and what is marriage. You may have been exposed to infidelity. You may have been in so many disappointing, physically and verbally abusive, self-centered and sex-grounded relationships. All of these experiences will undoubtedly distort your perception of what love and a relationship look like. You have every right to fear to give your all to someone. Have you ever realized it’s easier to give someone your body than it is to give your heart? There are no risks in involved giving your heart to someone. Jesus said in Matthew 9:14, “No one puts new wine into old wineskins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both will be preserved. What is Jesus saying?
Inserting your former self, as in your old/secular ways of thinking, who you were before you gave your life to Christ, and all your past hurts into something new, would cause you to ruin it. Recreating the past in the present would take the life out of the new. Spending quality time with God, so your mind can be renewed, your definition of love could be redefined, and healing can take place makes you a suitable and godly partner for someone. A new mind in Christ qualifies you to have a godly relationship. Amos 3:3 reads, “How can two walks together unless they agree? In 2 Corinthians 6:14, Paul points the truth that fellowship or any kind of relationship with an unbeliever wouldn’t work.
Walking in the spirit is pivotal to meeting the love of your life. You have to know what God is saying when you come across someone. Discerning if you met someone for a season, reason/ purpose could save you disappointment. In my last relationship, I knew I was preparing her for another man. The thought of that reality crossing my mind killed me and hurt to articulate that to her, but it was the truth. It’s a feeling I never want to encounter again.
Spend time with God. You’re not missing out on life by doing so. Your relationship