Faith Friday: Love That's Unchanging

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Though this isn't my favourite "holiday" ever, I wanted to send each and every one of you lots of love today! I certainly don't think showing love for people should be reserved for one day but since we've got the chance, why not turn this hallmark moment into something special. Truthfully, I've been thinking and thinking about what I'd write about for today's Faith Friday post. I was unsure what angle to take..... love is in everything. Sure, Valentine's Day is marketed towards couples and making a day when people have to show that they still care, at least for a day. But love is something you can share everyday in all things. If you can buy someone some chocolates but can't even show love in the way that you actually care for them, what good does that serve? So today I'm gonna share what love is to me right now; not what love will mean when I'm dating someone. Because the truth is, your definition of what love is shouldn't change depending on if you have a significant other - love is eternal and will remain the same no matter what. If you can't learn to love right now in your singleness, how do you expect to love a future spouse?

God is love. See how easy that was? If you think of what God is, you have the perfect example of what love should be. Cliche as it may be, 1 Corinthians 13 gives you the key. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
 It does not dishonor others, 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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

So you might be thinking, "I haven't learned to love like this yet!" which may lead to the thought that "I want to love someone like this some day". Ok, hold it. I'm stoping you right there. I know these verses are used very often when it comes to romantic affection, but love isn't bound to those situations! Remember the Bible says to "Love thy neighbour as yourself" (Mark 12:31) and neighbour isn't just a boyfriend or husband. We should want to love those around us in a way that exemplifies patience, kindness, a lack of envy, boasting, pride. Don't aspire to learn to love for a particular person only - learn to love now! There's nothing stopping you! The kind of love that we receive from God is unchanging; it'll be the same today as it will be tomorrow. He is completely in love with you. He didn't wait to love you, He's loved you since even before you were born. If His perfect love isn't exclusive, what makes you so special that yours should be?

Today I was speaking with someone and I said, "Girls should learn to love right now... prepare your love skills so they're perfected." To this I got the response "Love will never be perfected." Now, let me explain how I formulated my response to that. Love that is being perfected doesn't mean that it is perfect. Love that is being perfected means that you love others through God's love, which thankfully is perfect. We may not execute it with the perfection that God does but the love that we share, if it is derived from God's love, is perfect. So no, you won't love perfectly, but you will offer up a love that comes from perfect love! 

I'm gonna transition this to the single women reading this now... although girls who are in relationships definitely need to know this as well. This period of singleness is beautiful! For a long time my thoughts were just centred on waiting for a man to come into my life. That to me would be the finishing touch. But if you haven't understand what love should be, how can you expect to love someone else well? This is your time to fall in love with Christ. He's your Valentine. This brings to mind lyrics from a song by Tenth Avenue North that I love: Why are you looking for love? Why are you still searching, as if I'm not enough? Think about that. Have you been looking for love because God's love isn't enough for you? I've said this for months now and it's something that I've learned as I walk through my singleness. If you are waiting for a man to complete you, stop searching! No man will ever fill whatever void you have. The man God has for you will compliment you but never complete you. You can't live life without God! He is your completing factor and nothing or anyone else! How many times have I fund girls who say they aren't who they are because they don't have a guy?1 It hurts me so much because I used to be that girl. I was in a relationship thinking that because he was with me, I was all good. But in the end, after I was left alone, I realized that I'd lost sight of the love that completed me. The love that makes my whole existence. I was now single but God hadn't left. So again I say, if you are apparently "alone" and think you're missing something when you already have Jesus, reevaluate your situation. This isn't the time to be looking for love in the wrong places when you haven't grasped the love that is eternal and perfect in Christ. 

"Dear friends; let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God"
- 1 John 4:7

I'm not encouraging any single girl to become bitter about Valentine's Day! It's actually so horrible to see a girl be angry and unhappy because she doesn't have a man in her life, yet she can't take the time to thank God for the love she receives from the people near her. Remember that it's better to be single than to be in the wrong relationship! Love is beautiful. From my position in life right now, love is amazing and because I know that God is love, I know love will be just as beautiful when I have my person! Whenever that is, I'm not sure but I'm grateful to the Lord for these moments. Moments when I can search for His heart and find out what love is. Knowing that love is unchanging and that it is not bound by a relationship status. Look to complete yourself through Christ's perfect love! More and more I have found that I am absolutely nothing without Him. I'm a speck of dust in the universe, yet He chooses to give me love and care for me.  I love this quote from Lauren DeMoss: "When you give everything to God, when you find your very identity in Him, He becomes the completer piece to every part of you." Whatever void you want to fill, God is that completer piece! 

Know that this time won't be forever but don't let it pass you by without enjoying every second of it! God gives you singleness as a time of discovery. A time to discover His love, to know that it is constant, to give love without asking for anything in return and to know that He is what you are missing! When you figure these things out, a relationship will be that much more meaningful. And you'll know who you are, with or without that person, because you will know that God made you you long ago! Because truthfully, without knowing your identity in Christ, being in a relationship will likely make things worse. 

Know that you are loved beyond measure today, and everyday! Have a beautiful day everyone!
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