1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is Patient…………….
Remember the last blog I posted where I decided to take up the challenge of choosing to love people in spite of? Nearing the end of that post I wrote “This is going to be one of those challenges where I’m only going to understand it entails after I’ve begun but I’m not going to let that deter me” Talk about hitting the nail on the head! I’ve learned so many lessons in love these past weeks it’s a bit mind blowing.
Reflecting on my experiences, I realize that the messages in the lessons I’ve learned aren’t entirely new to me, the actuality of living through them has given me a greater appreciation for their meanings. Having to put action to advice I’ve given to many people has proved to be a painful task but one which I embraced and appreciated.
I recently got into a relationship ~ yay me 🙂 ~and as expected I was completely lost in the feeling of loving and falling in love. You know what I’m talking about right? That feeling you feel at the beginning of a new relationship, where everything (even the mini fights) make you smile and everything is somehow cute, gorgeous or awesome? Well that’s where I was; I was enjoying the start of my new relationship (enjoying it even now) and not taking note of any tell tale signs along the way which should have indicated that I was getting into some trouble.
Let me add a bit of background here so I don’t confuse you later down in this post.
When I gave my life to Christ one of first and hardest decisions I had to make was to leave a relationship I was in for three years. I was madly in love with my boyfriend at the time and we had plans to get married, have kids and do all the wonderful things married couples do. The problem I faced at that time was being in a relationship which was extremely intimate was getting in the way of my life of worship unto God. My boyfriend and I tried to continue our relationship without having sex but that was impossible, especially because I was a Christian and he was an Atheist (yes I fell in love with an atheist). He couldn’t comprehend my love for God and desire to please Him and I couldn’t come to terms with his inability to believe in God. Our breakup was such that we both agreed to go our separate ways, remain friends while understanding the love we had for each other but respecting the boundaries set. When I left that relationship I left all things sexual behind me. I took a radical stance to keep my temple holy and acceptable before God and I never looked back.
Now that we have the history of my celibacy down I can continue with the point I was making.
Before I got into the relationship I’m currently in it was very easy for me to honor the decision I made to keep my temple pure, holy and acceptable before God. I had my blinders on for about a year or so and I wasn’t allowing anyone into my space. I’ll admit, I did entertain some random conversations during that time but there wasn’t any serious interactions or commitment to be had. During that period I managed to convince myself that I had overcome having sexual desires outside of marriage and I would never struggle in that area ever again. Boy was I wrong! The wave of emotions I felt once I started spending more time with my boyfriend was enough to cause a catastrophic turn of events in my life if not for God’s grace.
Imagine me; a woman who turned her back on all things sexual for the love of her God having to face the reality that her body knew what sex was and having to make a conscious decision on a regular basis not to give in to temptation; mental or otherwise. When the realization hit me I immediately went into panic mode. I bought a promise ring, I gave him “the speech”, I started researching ways to maintain my purity while in a relationship as well as other crazy things. I did everything possible except talk to God. For some reason I didn’t take the emotions that were overwhelming me at the time to the God that I love and trust. Isn’t it amazing how the first step we should take in any situation is somehow the last one taken after we’ve tried everything else that fails? For some reason that escapes me I thought I needed to deal with this on my own. I thought I had to figure out a way to fight my emotions and somehow get rid of them, when all the while what I really needed to do was lay my cares upon God and let Him be my guide. Thankfully in my foolishness God still kept me and I didn’t succumb to temptation ( and I really do me THANK GOD, because he knows it was a hard fight).
Reflecting on my experiences I know that I would not have had to battle so terribly from the beginning if I had asked God to take control. You see, when I realized I was sinking and it was becoming harder to overcome the tide of emotions within me, it was only then that I went to my Father and asked Him for His wisdom to continue pleasing Him especially in my relationship. Only then was I able to listen to his voice as he reminded me of the patience of love.
Patient love; as it relates to intimacy in relationships, isn’t about waiting on the other person to be ready for the next move, it’s about loving each other enough to wait until marriage to enjoy each other intimately. Being in a Christian relationship isn’t supposed to void you of being sexually attracted to your partner, it’s supposed to strengthen your relationship with God and teach you self control, self respect and the meaning of true love. Loving someone enough to wait until marriage, especially when you already know what sex feels like, is a true test of patience. Wanting to share passionate kisses and tight hugs with your intended husband or wife but choosing not to, because of the relationship you have with God is a choice you have to make. Making that choice isn’t always going to be easy but at the end of it all you have to decide if one moment of lustful pleasure is worth disappointing your heavenly Father and forsaking the blessings he has in store for you.For every time I’ve had to deny flesh and not give in to sensual feelings I felt a slight pain but I rejoice a little more with each right decision made because continual denial gets me closer to God and a blessing is added to my relationship.
I can’t say that it’s always going to be smooth sailing, but I can declare that I will not give in! If I truly love this man as much as I think and if he truly loves me as much as he says, we won’t lead each other to sin. Along with our desire to kill flesh and the various decisions we’ve made such as “not liming in the car alone, not hanging out in lonely areas, choosing to socialize in places where there are lots of people and as much as possible go out in groups” we have decided to put the patience of love into practice.
People always say that True Love Waits. I’m testing that theory and I look forward to writing a blog the night before my wedding testifying of the truth of that statement in my life. Keep me in your prayers and where ever possible remember to put into practice the principles of love as outlined in 1 Corinthians 13:4