What is Love?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Love. A simple word. A simple meaning. Why then do so many people express that they have a hard time finding it?

This is my first time writing for a blog, and my first time publicly sharing my story of finding love.

In my search, I use to compare love to a fantasy. Everything that the media depicted it to be I so desired. Why? Because most women in the movies or television shows found their happy ending. These women were successful in getting the guy to fall in love with her and then..BAM! Just like that, their lives were perfect. Or at least they did a good job of convincing me of just that.

Growing up I never really paid any attention to men. I was the kind of the girl who loved sports, and being a kid at heart. I was always a down to earth girl and was not really all that aware of my emotions and how to handle them until end of elementary school and beginning of high school.

My situation was quite unique because I went to an ‘all girls high school’. Crazy right? Now how in the world would I find love there? Surprisingly, I learned a lot about myself during those four years. I went through the usual things that teenagers go through. I dated a few guys here and there, quickly realized that they were not for me. Grade 9 passed and Grade 10 couldn’t come sooner. At times, I would attend a bible study at a Christian church, I would learn about the word of God, but then soon forget it. However, I would still attend. One night when I was there, I noticed a guy that I had never seen before. My first thought was “wow he is so handsome”. My second thought was, “I'm not really looking, I'm over trying”. Oddly enough, he noticed me and approached me. He said “Hi my name is Josh”. My heart is now pounding, feeling like it was about to come out of my chest, I responded, “Hi my name is Anita”. Would you believe me if I told you that this was all it took? Now because at the time I was in a confused state of trying to find myself, it made me realize even more that I was not interested in dating. He did not stop trying though! He got my number, and we started talking, and as much as I wanted to avoid him, there was always that “ping” in the back of my mind telling me to give him a chance. So, 8 months later of just talking, I gave him a chance.

Forwarding 8 years…he is now my husband.

I realize that I failed to explain everything in between, but If I did, I would have to write a novel. Let me explain the most important parts. Our relationship started out ‘worldly’ but ended up ‘Godly’. You see, the world fails to tell you that love is more than just an emotion. It is more than just your feelings. It is a beautiful thing, and is meant for so much more, but this world is convincing you otherwise by telling you that ‘love Is blind’, and ‘men are all the same’. How many books are out there to help you find love? How many shows are out there trying to match make? How many dating websites are out there trying to find you love? There is more to a relationship then to just simply find one and to be in one. The media has destroyed the meaning of love and all that comes with it. Relationships take work and effort. Couples now are more concerned with showing off their ‘great’ relationships and how ‘happy’ they are, instead of prioritizing the focus on the relationship itself without feeling the need to convince people of just that. Most people that are guilty of this are not truly happy. They may look like they have the best relationship on earth, but behind those poses together, and the wonderful places they go and things they buy for each other…you find emptiness, shallowness, no connection, dissatisfaction, insecurity and no real love for one another.

The world’s definition of what a man or woman should be is based on a fairy tale, and someone’s impossible list of expectations. They tell you to find a man/woman that is established, rich, knows how to treat a woman and ways to prove that is by buying her ‘things’, taking her out, and following the trends. We must stop judging our men and women based on these unrealistic criteria that they would never meet.

I was once that type of shallow woman. After being broken down in my own relationship many times through various arguments I finally realized that there had to be much more than this. I constantly compared my significant other to how a man is depicted in a magazine, or a movie. Filling my mind with garbage such as the “10 things a successful relationship has”, then you find a list based on sex, flirting, jealousy, fitness, and lacking any values such as patience, sacrifice and trust. At that rate, by constantly comparing him to those unrealistic expectations I realized that I was doing nothing more then discouraging him, putting him down, getting upset at him for not doing anything “special” for our anniversary, or for not taking me out. Basically, pointless things. I would question his goals, and in turn, it got us nowhere.

After a huge fight that at the time ended our relationship, after being broken, after realizing that all the strategies of the world on ‘how to keep a good relationship going’ let me down, I had nothing left to turn to but God.

It was in my weakness that God was my strength. I opened the bible and began to read it. It was by reading scripture that my life changed for the better, that my outlook on love changed, and my understanding of love changed. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God is love and Gods love in unconditional. He sent his only Son to die on the cross for unworthy sinners like us. No love is greater, and that is the kind of example I learned to follow, that we all should follow.

Learning to love someone is more then basing it all on your feelings. The hard truth about feelings is they come and go, they are inconsistent, and you cannot depend on them. The world’s love comes with its conditions. God’s love doesn’t. If you understand God’s love, you will understand real love. God’s provision of what a woman needs is a Godly man. In your relationships you are guaranteed to fight, disagree, sin against one another, and many other things.

The world tells you: When it gets tough, you are not bound by anything, and you can leave the relationship and find another.

God tells you: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” -1 Cor. 13

The world teaches us just the exact opposite of what God says. God’s love requires sacrifice, but the world has taught us and conditioned us to think about ourselves. If it doesn’t please YOU then just leave and find better, if YOU are not happy then get out and find another. The objective of God’s love is to put your man before yourself with the confidence that he will put you before himself. This is why God’s provision of what a man or woman needs is a Christ-like man or woman. It is not about counting the amount of times my husband has hurt me, but to always forgive and expect that both him and I will make mistakes and learning from them comes the greatest lessons.

Many men and women do not realize how important the fear of God is in their relationships. I am not referring to fear in the wrong sense. But to encourage couples to obey God and to be obedient. Today’s relationships are filled with cheating, and lying. What will stop a worldly man or woman from cheating on you if they get the opportunity? Our world is filled with temptation, what will keep you strong enough from giving in?

As much as we like to think that we are in control, we have a great deceiver who rules the earth- Satan. He likes to see you fall; he enjoys seeing you sin, he likes to make you think that you are you are your own God and that you have the ultimate control. The truth is, you are being deceived because we cannot do anything apart from God. Humans will always disappoint us; the closest people to you will always disappoint you. God on the other hand, never will. He has a perfect plan for you and for whom you’re meant to love. We can get impatient and doubt in the midst of waiting for our love to come, but just remember, Gods timing is not the same as our own. We may have the “ideal plan” for ourselves, but God is in control. When you allow God into your life, you are accepting his will for you. God is so amazing, that he gives you the choice to love him or not. We are so naïve to limit God to our own understanding that we forget how great he is, and how limitless he is. He created the heavens and the earth. He decides to give you the breathe of life everyday when you wake up in the morning. God is calling on you. Take his hand, love him wholeheartedly because he should always be our first love. Live for him, and let him find you the Godly man that is somewhere out there, waiting to meet you. More importantly, the one that God has intended you to be with to share the rest of your life with.

Just remember, you can find a worldly man who will attempt to give you everything, and may take you everywhere, but without real love- God’s love, you have nothing.

Finding love begins with our relationship with God. If you are looking for true love, open your heart to the One who loves you more than anyone will love you. He loves you unconditionally. Reach out to those around you, family, friends, neighbours and those in need, this way you will show the love you received to others.  Finally, pray and ask God to fill you with a new understanding of true love, and in his time and if you are called to marriage, he will send you true love.

“Father, I believe You love me. Help me to understand how much you love me and how to show others your love. Help me understand the true meaning of love and to recognize it when it comes my way. Fill my heart with your love and Holy Spirit in a way that I haven’t experienced before. Help me to be patient in waiting. Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”