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As humans, we’ve all been created to need love and acceptance. The challenge we face is living in a world that knows nothing about God’s love, and therefore doesn’t even know how to define it. If we accept the secular definition of this word, the search to fill our basic need to be loved and accepted can lead us down blind alleys and result in loneliness and pain. However, God offers us perfect, unwavering love, which is something not found in the world.
God knows all about us, but still accepts us just the way we are. Unlike humans, His love is unconditional and His feelings for us never end. “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you’” (Jeremiah 31:3, NKJV). It’s refreshing to know that we can let our guard down with God and be ourselves. He won’t reject us.
Too often, the love we find in others is flawed. People can let selfishness, insecurity, or fear get in the way. Learning to love another person the way the Bible tells us to is impossible without divine help, but God is love, and there’s no better teacher than the Master. “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” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV). We stay solidly grounded when we remember God’s definition of this often-misunderstood word.
Finding these qualities in another person can seem like a tall order, but the Holy Spirit always honors our requests when we ask for His guidance. God never intended for us to go through life alone; one way He expresses His love for us is to match us up with another Christian. There are all kinds of people in the world, but when we find one that seems to be set aside for us, our spirits will recognize what God is doing in our lives. “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’” (Genesis 2:18, NIV).
Establishing that relationship we’ve been waiting for is great, but love is a deliberate decision we make, not simply an emotion we feel. Some couples are fooled into thinking it’s a feeling, and they wonder what’s wrong when they face emotional challenges as a couple. Whether dating or married, every relationship has rocky times as well as trouble-free times. A godly relationship becomes stronger when the couple allows God’s peace and love, rather than their emotions, to guide them. “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts...” (Colossians 3:15, NLT).
When we’ve got stars in our eyes and we’re looking for “true love,” we should look first to God’s Word for instructions on building a lasting relationship. Feelings can run hot and cold almost daily, but God wants to give us something greater, deeper, and more permanent— Himself. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him... Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:9, 11). A relationship based on Him is rock solid.