So this month at my youth ministry we’ve been doing a series. A staff member asked me what it was gonna be about and I said, “Love and stuff.” I was so unsure on what else to name it, so that stuck.
Why is love important? Because it’s from God.
I love what I John 4 says,
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
The innate attitude of love within is so much greater than ourselves. It is from God. Now some might go into talking about the deeper types of love and their meanings but I’m going to leave it at that. We know what love is. We love. That ability is God given.
Now if God is the creator and author of love, who else should we ever want to learn it from?
Who has a better take on it?
Who understands it most?
He created us.
Now the Bible might not have a word for word manual type instructions for our love lives, but it is a guide and does give us many insightful tips.
First things first, let me say this: relationships aren’t for you.
You read that right.
Relationships aren’t for you. They’re for HIM.
He created you, He has a plan for you and that plan might include a spouse.
Matthew 22:30 says,
At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.
If in heaven there will be no marriage or being given in marriage, then why does the spec of 80 years in comparison to eternity matter so much.
I’m not at all downplaying the importance of marriage.
I’m 23. I’m single. I was raised in a loving household by the Godliest humans I know.
In order of importance. Our relationship with Jesus should be our priority.
Matthew 10:37 says
Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Come on. You can’t tell me that you read a verse like that and can carry on like that’s not the harshest thing anyone has ever said.
I’m a Justin Bieber fan. If I saw him in concert and he said something like that, I’d leave him because I would assume that he’s out his beaver’s house mind (forgive the language).
But Jesus said that and, believe it or not, he meant it.
So that means that relationships can’t take His place.
Whatever we do should be for the sole purpose of bringing us closer to Him. It should help us love Him. Live for Him. Be like Him. Him is Jesus. It’s always been about Jesus. It always will be.
I explained this to my students when I shared a few weeks ago and followed it by saying that once your priorities are in order, dumb questions vanish. It no longer is about, “How far can me and my girlfriend go?” But it becomes about, How can I live for HIM? What can I do to love HIM more? Is the person I’m with helping me accomplish my purpose?
Late last year, my African dad suggested I read a book called Waiting and Dating, by Miles Munroe. I told him, “Hey, I’m crushing the ‘Waiting’ part. It’s the dating that I’m struggling with.” I digress. Mr Munroe had many great points from the take-off of the book. The best one was most likely this,
If you feel that you “need” a date in order to be complete or fulfilled personally, you are not ready for dating. Need involves demand and implies that there is something lacking in life. The opposite of need is choice, which allows for a decision.
– Excerpt From: Dr. Myles Munroe. “Waiting and Dating.” Destiny Image Publishers, 2004. iBooks. (This material may be protected by copyright.)
That’s the most profound thing I’ve ever read in my dating endeavors. “Need involves demand and implies that there is something lacking in life.”
Whatever need we have in our lives should be filled by God first and foremost. Whoever happens to come alongside us, as we’re running this race, should be let in by a choice that isn’t clouded by our physical need.
That’s dumb, Shama.
I know it sounds like it
Do you remember the last time you were super hungry at your house and there was “nothing to eat?”
What did you eat?
I’ve smeared grape jelly on crackers before.
I’ve also made milk out of powdered sugar for cereal’s sake.
If we don’t have a clear thought to make a choice, then we’re probably gonna just go for anything.
When it comes to love and stuff you can do things your way or God’s way.
Our way is hitched to a trailer of unavoidable stress, regrets, and consequences.
God’s way is best and the BEST IS BLESSED.
Blessed means it has God’s approval.
So you can have a can of spam now or you can have filet mignon later.
As much as I’d love to leave you with that tasty analogy, I’m not done.
King Solomon said it best in Ecclesiastes 2:24-26.
If you ever feel like God’s way is boring and is just setting you up for disappointment, remember his words. Solomon had it all. Women. Fame. Money. Power.
He concluded the second chapter of his book with this,
24 So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.25 For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him? 26 God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
Don’t chase wind. If I was preaching this, I’d scream the last portion of this.
It comes from a real place from within and I wish I could transplant my passion.
Friends, I’ve tried things my own way.
I’ve “seriously dated.”
I’ve messed up.
Apart from HIM there is no lasting enjoyment like Solomon deducted.
Love and Stuff begins with Him and ends with Him.
God rewards those who please Him.
It’s worth it.
How worth it?
Really worth it.
How do I know?
The Bible tells me so.
You read that old book?
You mean that ETERNAL book?
Yes and I trust it.
Because the God who created me also created it.
I’m done taking relationship advice from “bros” with peach fuzz, cheeto fingers and 2 three month relationships in their resume.
I’m also done reading magazines and blogs from people who’ve had mediocre love lives and a few divorces under their belt.
What do you want then, Shama?
Well, I want God.
His Word guarantees that if I put Him first, He won’t leave me hanging.
So I don’t scroll through dating websites, I don’t hustle for 10 digits, and I don’t sweat that cute hostess at that one place.
I focus. My Love & Stuff will work out however He wants it to.