Next to choosing Jesus, one of the most important decisions we’ll ever make, that can have one of the most significant impact on our destinies – is the person we choose to love and marry! That’s why it’s important to pursue and encounter love from God first; before pursuing and awakening romantic or sexual love from another person.
King Solomon, who was considered one of the wisest kings, wrote the Song of Solomon, the most romantic and sexual book in the Bible.
“Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is ripe—and you’re ready. Song of Solomon 8:3-4 MSG.
In this passage, the word love is not referring to brotherly love that Christians practice towards each other, nor the love that a parent may have towards a child. It is not referring to unconditional love that God has towards humanity. It’s referring to a more passionate, romantic or sexual type of love that can exist between two people (also known as eros – in Greek).
WHAT IS LOVE?
As human beings, we’re all designed to need love, as it relates to validation, acceptance, honesty, commitment, connection, significance, and communication. When our needs are not getting met from not having a correct understanding of what love is, or the different versions of love and where love originates. We are highly susceptible to awaken love (eros) prematurely in unhealthy ways or in unhealthy relationships to fill a void. Which will lead to us outsourcing our needs to humanity that can only be met by divinity.
I was someone who pursued love (eros), romance, and sex before getting to know God and myself; so much so that I started to focus on and pursue who I thought was or could be “the one” and began to misplace and replace “the only one” who can love me completely and perfectly “Jesus!”
At best, my version of love, absent of a relationship with Jesus was still flawed, incorrect, misguided, partial, and ultimately led me into bondage. Although I was sincere, the love that I thought was pure was perverted; because it was inconsistent with the word of God. It was performance-based, manipulative, and self-seeking.
I put my relationships above God, which led me to compromise my values and convictions. The truth I eventually learned the hard way was that, “What you compromise to keep, you’ll eventually lose.”
SHOULD WE BE BONDED TO LOVE BEFORE WE AWAKEN LOVE?
We must be rooted in God and bonded to non-romantic relationships before we awaken and honestly know how to love in romantic relationships. In Mark 12:30-31, Jesus is essentially telling us to love God so we can know how to love ourselves and then others.
Before we start dating or pursuing someone, we should allow ourselves to go through a season of encountering love from parents, pastors, mentors, siblings, friends, and community. It’s in those seasons that God uses those non-romantic relationships to shape us, affirm us, and help us to discover who we are in Him. When we don’t follow that divine process, we often hear the phrase that has led many to make poor relational, dating, or marital decisions, “I’m just following my heart.”
When we fail to acknowledge God as the source of love and that willful obedience to His word is what true love is. It becomes easier to reduce love to just an emotion or feelings. Although experiencing certain emotions and feelings are good and not wrong to have. They can still be misleading. Ultimately love is a choice!
Love is and comes from God, which is expressed through a relationship where we choose to follow His son, Jesus. Once where in a close relationship with Jesus, we begin to understand what love is and how to live out love in our relationships.
Without us knowing Jesus and allowing His words to live in our hearts, we are easily deceived into making up our own version of what we think love is.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” – Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV
WHEN IS IT OKAY TO FOLLOW OUR HEARTS?
It’s not that we can’t listen to our hearts or that God won’t use them. Our hearts are just not as trustworthy until we allow Jesus, the living word of God, to live, speak, and guide our hearts!
He does this through the power of the Holy Spirit, creating in us a new heart– a heart that will respond and yield to Him. When we begin to delight ourselves in Him, He will deposit desires in our hearts that can be trusted and fulfilled at the right time.
BEFORE LOVE & ROMANCE, GOD GAVE US WHAT?
Before God gave Adam (who represents all of humanity) a love (eros) relationship with Eve. God gave Adam (humanity) His Image, Presence, and Purpose. (Gen 1:26, Gen 2:8, Gen 2:15)
God made us in His image. The word image can mean a variety of things, but within this text, it means that we resemble, reflect, and represent Him. When we truly bear the image of God, people should be able to see Christ-like character and behavior within our relationships and decisions.
When we learn how to live and abide in the presence of God, our lives will bear much fruit. pursue love and romance from destiny and wholeness instead of desperation and brokenness.
Without the presence of God in our lives, we’ll begin to malfunction in life. We’ll put creation or the created things above the Creator. We will exalt romance above holiness. Without holiness (wholeness), the Bible says no one will see the Lord or in other words see or experience His love- true love.
Our purpose in life is to protect the presence of God in our lives! It’s in His presence we discover who we are, and why we were created, and what we’re made to do!
We become the best version of ourselves so that God can present us (if we so desire) to someone who is the best version of themselves. Not just to have an ordinary, mediocre, or average life with; but someone we can do destiny with! Someone who’s kingdom-minded and wants to live a godly life. The life Jesus purchased back for us to have!
If you’re reading this and you feel like you’ve already awoken love too early; it’s never too late to repent, set some new boundaries, and become accountable to someone (pastor, mentor, community leader, or friend) who will hold you to a higher standard and can speak life into your relationship.
True love is discovered and awakened when relationships keep God first, no matter the sacrifice and inconvenience. When we pursue that level of commitment to God within our relationships, it will always produce and awaken love at the right time with the right person.