True confession: I’m a sap when it comes to love stories, and I admit I love a happily ever after ending.
Falling in love can be magnificent.
It can awaken our senses to beauty. Suddenly, we notice the twittering of birds, the colors in the sky, the quiet creaking of trees, or the quirky sense of humor of that difficult coworker.
Falling in love stirs desire in us. It draws us like a magnet toward another person and intoxicates us at the thought that he or she could be drawn toward us.
Falling in love stokes courage in us—to walk across the room, to ask a question, to say out loud what’s in our hearts, to risk looking the fool.
And to be clear, falling in love isn’t just about courtship and marriage. We can experience a version of it in friendships, church fellowships, and parenting, too.
But the good of falling in love becomes a threat when we fall in love with falling in love. And I’m afraid we have. In fact, falling in love is often upheld as the goal of love, the way love is supposed to be, the reference point for a “good” marriage or relationship.
Turn on the radio and you’ll hear it or watch an evening of television and you’ll see it.
In reality, falling in love is only a sliver of love, only a chapter in what otherwise could become an epic tale.
Those who keep trying to get back to the original feelings they had when they first fell in love end up hopping from relationship to relationship, blaming their own lack of intimacy on others’ lack of “depth,” settling for the false intimacy of pornography or one night stands, or settling into relational routines with their spouse that demand little if any real relating.
In the end, the obsession with falling in love means pursuing one’s own personal pleasure over pursuing the good of another. And, to put it plainly, that’s anything but love.
Love in Scripture, the love that Jesus reveals to us, includes the magic of falling in love and so much more. Sometimes love means being wounded and remaining faithful or blessing when you have reason to curse.
Love means doing the hard work of knowing another intimately and taking the risks of being known. Love is both a gift and a service, a delight and a sacrifice. Maturing in love means learning to seek the other person’s well-being for their sake, not so they can do something for you. It means seeking to become more whole not for personal gain, but so you can become a better gift.
When this kind of love is freely given, it creates a place to be truly naked (in the fullest sense of the word), without shame.
Christ demonstrated this kind of love toward us on the Cross. It didn’t feel good, it didn’t look good, but it was good. It was love.
I’d love to hear from you. Beyond falling in love, what are some other pictures that convey what love is? What does love look like? Or what are some other descriptors of love.
Growing in love,
I have been dealing with exactly what you just wrote, trying to get back to the original feelings of love. I have been married 58 years to my teenage husband. We were 18 when we married. There were great difficulties in our marriage, with breaking of the marriage vowels. It has taken many years for me to realize that I needed to give my husband freedom to be who he is without me trying to make him who I want him to be. I a still a work in process but through a lot of perseverance and listening to the Lord I have determined in my heart to do just that and learn to love him the way he is and to be as honest as possible with him and to realize he has rights in this marriage. The Lord told me early in my walk with him to be flexible and I need to be flexible with my husband. I am learning to now be defensive with him and to see the things that he does for me as his way of showing his love and faithfulness to me. By the way God was faithful in keeping his word to me and my husband is now a born again Christian serving the Lord. His becoming a Christian did help me but didn’t take away the feelings I had from many years of verbal abuse and unfaithfulness. I like what you said about as you love deeply, your heart will be broken more and more but you will rejoice in the abundance of the fruit it will bear. I truly believe as I surrender my heart to the Lord he is planting seeds of love in it and they are growing. It encourages me to know that my love is still there and it is deep but broken. God is the fixer of broken things. Thank you for this article. I needed to hear this. It is encouraging.
Not only is falling in love relevant to marriage, church and friendships in general, but it also applies to our relationship with the Trinity. As I fall deeper in love with Him, who is Perfect Love, I am more filled with His love and am better equipped to share His love with others I encounter here on Earth. May God show us how to receive more of Him, so we can have more love to share with others in this world.
This is a good article! It’s helps me some. I fell in love with a new friend about 3 years ago.. it was life changing and awakening for absolute sure! I didn’t even know there was such a real thing as falling in love until it happened to me. What an amazing thing falling in love is too. But dear Lord since that time the relationship has been quite a challenge and I have so many questions about this subject. Did God draw me to this person to be in love with them? Once you fall in love with someone what if they didn’t experience the same thing? How do you charter this amazing adventure of love? Are there stages to know about that relationships go through after falling in love? Could falling in love be a delusion of attraction? Why is ‘Fallin in love’ called that? Why does it happen when you least expect it? Do people fall in love with people when there’s no sexual attraction involved? Why does it seem like such adventure? I think I need some counseling honestly. Pray for me! : ) Many Thanks for this artice. It’s a piece in the puzzle in my journey. This ministry too.
Falling in love is the “Turkish Delight” in “Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” Doesn’t have to become addicting and ultimately lead to Edmund’s treachery that caused Aslan to die. Can instead elevate and get us outside ourselves as we share all our pleasures rather than hoarding them.
We can regurgitate the experience of falling in love many times, leading to an empty addiction. Like visiting pornography over and over, we can use our imaginations to transport ourselves to the place where we once were with another, and immerse ourselves in delusion.
This is so beautiful. Thank you
I ran Accross you by accident.
Love is the energy of God ..in all of us in every moment.
Sometimes love looks like exposing sin and letting someone reap the consequences of that sin. Why would we want to see someone we truly love never change or grow into more maturity.
Thank you for this article. I have been reading many of them all morning!