Romans 12:9 | Sincere Love
Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I noticed that I speak so much about my faith as an individual and the struggles that I face and blessings I receive. What I have lacked to touch on is the topic of being in a relationship and surrendering your life to Christ over and over again.
One thing that attracted me the most about my boyfriend was his drive and passion for Christ. It's actually a funny story because several years ago we attempted to date, but because of our different paths, it didn't go very far. This time around, we both were on a personal journey that was very similar. We each wanted more of God and desired to live righteously. So, years later, we began our courtship. I never dated anyone who was a devout believer in Christ, while myself transitioning into one also; so this was and is different.
In any normal relationship that you are in, many things are not second guessed. Kissing. Touching. Sex. Night-Caps. Spending The Night Together and more.
Romans 8:20-21 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result. You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom.
Well, little did I know that once this relationship began, those once minor things would become major temptations and major obstacles to jump over. You are not only being mindful of your actions as an individual, but also trying to hinder your sins from intertwining and becoming mutually shared sins. Love must be sincere and genuine. I won't lie and sit here trying to preach the good word like I am in a perfect world. No, because I am human and I mess up. It's hard as heck being in a relationship. But even more, being in a relationship when you are partially still in the world and trying to please God. I never understood that phrase when people said it. I've said before, this is still all fairly new to me. My boyfriend mentioned recently that he realized that he is still a "baby Christian". I certainly relate to that. We have grown a lot, but also the enemy has tried to make us weak and break us. But, there is nothing like a love that has been tested time and time again but only gets stronger. God knows, we have been through many tests and still are anxiously watching the clock as I type this. The mission is to be one under God. The purpose is to Love, have faith and hope for brighter days as the dark days pass. Relationships without Christ and Gods word at the center are more likely to fall apart and crumble, be full of dissatisfaction.
Wanting More and Giving Less.
Building a relationship requires two main things. A foundation and faith; among many other things. You must build a foundation where you know that Christ will always be at the center of your relationship. What does that mean? It means that you and your partner have accepted Christ in your life as individuals, but especially as a unit. Keeping your individuality as well as managing your relationship can be difficult to balance and juggle.
It also means that you have prayer time together, you read your bibles together, you serve together if possible; do things with the idea in mind of pleasing God which secures your relationship. And Faith; it takes knowing and believing that when things are great and perfect in your relationship, that it is not permanent and that when tough times strike and you are constantly being tested, you will soon overcome it. Faith that you will be together---"forever". This is applicable with any relationship. Be it romantic, friendship, family or work.
It's also easy to become dependent on a person for a certain type of love or attention when in a relationship. I never used to want the clingy type of guy, but when I am in a relationship, I can be a bit needy for attention. We must embed it into our hearts and minds that we need to work on having that vertical relationship and strengthening that before we can think about having a horizontal relationship and expecting it to be perfect. Everything has to be given to God.
Wanting More and Giving Less.
What I will mention though, is the idea of wanting more and giving less. Sometimes, when we are in a relationship, we tend to give more of our time to our BF/GF, that we give less of that quality time to God. It happens, it's a part of life. ( and extracurricular activities but we're talking relationship right now). God put it on my heart this past week when I had been going through some struggles internally. I wanted my boyfriend to be the perfect fixer, without informing him of this. I wanted to be at peace and if he wasn't doing something that was pleasing to me, I had a problem with it. I wanted a perfect day with no disagreements, but I had issues going on with myself that I hadn't spoke to God about, yet I wanted my BF to automatically know what was going on.
We humans can be very selfish and greedy. We always want more. We always want for something when we have all that we need. How is it that we fail at giving the time, well deserved time, to God and expect to have a sincere, perfect-like earthly relationship?
Romans 12:10 says Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
I've learned that you can not give more to another human or expect more love if you are lacking in giving your all to God. Sincere love comes from within. It is reflected from the love you receive from God and praises you give to Him.
To serve up the point, I believe that true Love will always be a fight that is worthy to engage in. Everyday, as believers, we fight the enemy who whispers in our ears that God doesn't really love us or forgives us. We fight those thoughts that our relationship isn't going to work out and result in marriage.
We may have these brawls, but in the end the tough times build character and make us much stronger than we were before.