I know this is probably pretty random and doesn’t rank very high on a priority list. But I don’t know any who seems to know, and I’ve asked. No one in my family has ever had a successful marriage. So I don’t really have a frame of reference. I have paid careful attention to your example, but I just had a quick question.
How do you know when you love a girl?
Subject: Re: Love
Great to hear from you. I’m sure you know this is pretty much a million-dollar question that’s been debated for centuries and if you could come up with the answer and publish it, you’d be a wealthy man indeed.
Let me ask you this. When you say you don’t know anyone who seems to know, does that mean you’ve talked to your community group? If they didn’t have a clear-cut answer did they at least point you toward some relevant scripture? If so, which passages?
Please share that with me, cc your community guys, and I will gladly send my response with all of you.
Can’t wait to hear what you collectively came up with. Once I get that I’ll send you my thoughts.
To: Community Group Men, Todd
As you well know I’m tracking with a girl. Which is significant for 2 reasons: I haven’t dated in X years and I’ve never had a relationship built on Christ alone. I have enjoyed pulling you men in this process and I need you yet again. Many of you have told me how God as blessed you through my pursuit of XXX. And you all know that my heart is to honor God in every decision “leaning not on my own desire,” but using you men as a reminder God’s grace and wisdom in my life. I want my relationship to be a picture of the Gospel. As it has already provided some great opportunity to share our Christ.
Which brings my to the matter at hand..Love. How did you know when you love a girl?
I have asked around and no one, including my Dad could give me answer that could be tracked back to God’s word. All I have received is long drawn out explanations built in the elementary elements of this world; that frankly left me with the impression that there is some part of the “Gut,” that produces wisdom on love. Wanting an answer with more of God’s word and less opinion, I asked our pastor Todd. He asked if I would cc him on this email to you men. He brought it to my attention that you men have been put in my life sovereignty for this moment. So, there two things: first, I want to ask your forgiveness for not asking you guys first. Will you for give me? And secondly, how do you know if you love a girl?
Co-laborer in Christ,
Subject: Re: Love
Thanks for patiently waiting for me to respond. I’ve been on the road a bit, which has created a bit of an email backlog. So here is what I’d answer the question, “How do you know when you love a girl?”
- 1. Let’s talk about what you mean by “love.” You can tell from even a quick reading that 1 Cor 13:4-7 has nothing to do with feelings. I’d put it this way: “Love is a decision that leads to a commitment, that at times is accompanied by emotions.” I would strongly encourage you (or anyone) not to use the “L” word until you/they are ready to make a selfless, life-long commitment (ie: are ready to put a ring on a lady’s finger and ask her to marry him). This would be a great message for you and your guys to check out as you wrestle through this question: (http://www.watermark.org/media/re-engage-with-your-marriage-part-1/579/)
- Related to my second question, a lot of times when folks talk about love, that conversation is usually leading to another question: “Is this the person I should marry?” As I mentioned a few Sundays (http://www.watermark.org/media/come-commune-connect-change-for-the glory-of-christ/2691/) I would urge you before you even get to that question to ask, “Am I already married well?” What I mean by this is that before a person can engage in a healthy marriage and before a husband can love and lead a wife, he must first be able to lead himself well and be “married” well to Christ. He must also ask if his potential love interest has done the same. I would not answer those questions with a resounding “yes” easily. I would invite other faithful men to speak in to your life and your relationships to confirm that you are indeed “married well” and ready to explore a commitment to someone else.
- When I search the Scripture, it seems like “love” most appropriately, means “sacrificial commitment”. Don’t take my word for it though. Search the Scripture for yourself! Look up each of the following verses and come up with your own wording to describe what the Bible says about love and see if it matches what you are processing. This is an exercise that has blessed me in the past to remind me of how God loves me and how I am called to love others. Lev 19:18, Deut 6:4-5, 1 Sam 18:1-4, Pr 3:3-4, 10:12, 17:9, Matt 10:37, 25:34-36, John 8:42, John 15:9-13, Rom 8:35-39, 12:9-10, 13:8-10, Gal 5:13-15, Eph 3:17-19, Phil 2:3-5; 1 Thess 4:9 10, 1 Tim 1:5, Heb 10:24-25, 1 Pet 4:8, 1 John 2:15-17, 3:11-20, 4:7-21, 5:3.
On another note, if you are thinking about heading toward marriage, XXX, I urge you to connect with our Watermark marriage team and attend a Merge class for those engaged or seriously dating. More info here (http://www.watermark.org/ministries/merge—premarital/) This class will help you and this young lady process well and will introduce a mature couple in to your lives to help guide you in your relationship.
Trust this is helpful, XXX – both to you and the guys you’re living life with! Let us know if we can serve you any further.
Readers may also be interested in the following short Real Truth. Real Quick. episodes:
- How Far Is Too Far In A Dating Relationship?
- What Do I Do If I’m A Christian In A Premarital, Sexual Relationship?
- Is It Ok For Christians To Use Online Dating Websites?
How have you known if you’ve “loved” someone? Leave a comment below and chime in!