I flipped open my cell phone to call her, and then I closed it again, my heart was beating so fast. I decided to write down the thoughts and questions I had for her. (Please tell me that I am not the only one who writes out what I am going to say before I say it.) I simply wanted to know—after close to three months of talking on the phone—did she think this relationship was going to go anywhere beyond "just friends?" Should I move on or keep pursuing her?
By this point I cared about her a lot, maybe I started to fall in love with her; all I know is that when she told me that I needed to move on, I felt the sting. It became another story I would tell about how I fell in love with a young lady who didn’t fall in love with me.
The more I journey to understand love I keep running into God, and the more I journey to understand God I keep running into love. Love makes sense in a lot ways, as far as how to love and what love looks like, but I always take a step further where love boggles my mind. It is the place where love makes no sense at all—the place where facts and scripture can’t explain it anymore than they can explain God.
God makes sense in a lot of the factual, scientific proofs that he did what he said he did, and he is who he says he is. However, I always come to a place just beyond the facts where He is unexplainable, where my vocabulary ends, and I am forever searching for words to describe the indescribable.
I guess we are all on this journey to figure out love, or maybe the feelings of love. As far as the facts and actions of love and what it is supposed to look like, it’s spelled out pretty clear in the Bible. I think the confusing part for most, if not all, of us is what it is supposed to feel like.
I tell people all the time in counseling and discipleship moments that love is a choice and an action; if we told them that love was a feeling or only a feeling, imagine the warped views on love that would arise and the lack of commitment that would come of it.
Over 50% of marriages in the church end in divorce. Did they all just not find “the one?" You know, the person that was planned for them since before the creation of the world? Or did they not understand love? Most of us focus our attention on finding the right one instead of becoming the right one. The fact is that God cares more about who I am and who I become than who I end up with.
I think the feelings of love are vital, and need to be there, but what if you wake up next to your spouse someday and you don’t feel “in love” that day? The firework moments happen, but that’s not what gets you through the seemingly unbearable situations.
What about when a child dies, or one or both of you loses a job?When that happens, we need the “for better or worse, till death do us part, 1 Corinthians chapter 13, love never fails type of love” to be what we hold on to.
Maybe where we go wrong with love and romance is trying to figure it out. We try to find answers and in doing so we boil love down to a formula or a mathematical equation. There just comes a point where logic ends and risk takes over, where it doesn’t have to make sense because it probably never will.
Remember the times where you have experienced God? You know, the times where you really encountered Him? You try to explain it to someone and the words seem almost elementary. Nothing can change the fact that you experienced what you experienced. Experience reinforces the facts we believe in.
That’s why I believe so strongly that people need to encounter God, because if they just believe the convincing arguments that we give them they will fall flat on their face when life happens and they realize for the first time that they have been holding on to facts about God instead of the experience of a relationship with Him. It is also why experiencing love is supposed to reinforce the foundational truths of love.
At the same time, most people experience the emotions of love, but have no frame work for what love really is. Does it seem like we’re going in circles yet? Do you get the idea that there is no formula to this whole thing?
We can’t just do away with the experiential part of love. We need both the understandable and the unexplainable. I never want to just be convincing when it comes to love; I also want the part of love that doesn’t make any sense. I want the adventure of not knowing what’s around the corner, but the security of knowing I’ll hold her hand, and we’ll get there together. Encountering love may be as scary and exciting as encountering God.
I think I still have more questions than answers about love, but I think that’s ok; after all, the Bible says that “God is love,” and I haven’t quite figured Him out yet. So, do I have the corner market on love? Not even close. As I closed my cell phone again and as I crumbled the paper with my thoughts and questions on it, I realized my story is still being written.