The Need to Love and Be Loved
Deep within us, there seems to be this need to love and to be loved. And of course, as cute as puppies and kittens are, the love we usually want the most is human love, especially love from someone we hope to marry and stay married to for life.
But the question often can ring in the minds of those that have not found their spouse is: “Does God promise us a spouse?” Rob Eagar, (who ministers to singles throughout the U.S.) claims, “Yes.” He writes:
“The Bible says ‘yes’ by describing Christians as the spiritual bride of Christ. Our true spouse is Jesus. Yet, many of us say, ‘I’m glad to be spiritually married to Christ, but I can’t feel Him. Wouldn’t it be better if I could enjoy God’s love with someone else? I want Jesus with skin on.’ So, we pray for God to bring us an earthly mate” (Rob Eagar, from Growthtrac.com article, “Does God Promise You a Spouse?).
And that seems to be the way that a majority of singles approach this issue. With that being so, obviously the “search” is on, because “the need to be love and accepted is huge.” Dr Jim Rives puts it this way:
“It is my understanding and belief that this is one of the primary forces that God placed into us at our birth. What a wonderful world this would be if every single Christian could find this love and acceptance.
“I realize that I am opening up a huge area when I address this with Christian singles. However, it is something that is very real and cannot be neglected… Are you tempted to take matters into your own hands and find a mate? Has the force to find a mate grown so huge that you are willing to pay any price to find one?” (Dr Jim Rives, from article “Advice for Christian Singles: take on ‘The Biggest Challenge to Face Single Christians'”)
In all honesty, the need to love and be loved can sometimes blind people to overlook important issues that should be taken into consideration, especially when a person begins to find him or herself attracted to someone, thinking it will develop into something more someday.
Sometimes a person can either gloss over, overlook, or even lie to themselves that this person is better for them than they really are. If this is the case, wouldn’t it be good to consider some “truths” that might help to reveal truth and possibly help to avoid an “empty marriage and shattered dreams” in the future?
Author Julie Ferwerda writes on this issue and says,
“I learned some valuable lessons in my singles days. There are many people who call themselves Christians but don’t really live any differently than the rest of the world. When you date one of them, they are good at telling you what you want to hear, instead of being honest and upfront about their intentions and values. Afraid of being alone or not getting what they want (like sex), they pretend to be something they’re not.
“And that is exactly what’s wrong with many “Christian” marriages these days. We don’t take the time to really get to know the people we’re dating, but instead rely on what they tell us about who they are instead of deciding the truth by how they actually live their lives.”
To help you to better look at your own dating relationship (either one you are in at this time or in the future), please click onto the following Crosswalk.com articles to read:
And then click onto the following Crosswalk.com web site link to read something Meg Wilson asks, that you may not have thought about. Are you:
No one wants to marry someone who will make their lives miserable. And yet the gnawing hunger of wanting to love and be loved sometimes ushers in the temptation to look for love in the wrong places and in the wrong people.
“Why did God create Christian singles the way He did? 1 Corinthians 1:9 ‘God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.‘ I know that it is ‘preacher’ type, but I find the single source of our being created the way we are is to have ‘fellowship’ with God and His Son. God did not NEED to create us. He wanted to do so in order to have fellowship.
“The fellowship within us also needs to be in connection with others. Paul gave some interesting instructions in 1 Peter 1:22 (The Message) ‘Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it.’ Now that would change the world for Christian singles, as well as everyone. I have counted at least 19 times in the New Testament where the Bible states that brothers and sisters in Christ are to ‘love one another.‘ One such reference is in Ephesians 4:2 ‘And mark that you do this with humility and discipline —not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love.‘
“Can you imagine a world where Christian brothers and sisters poured themselves out in acts of love for each other?” (Dr Jim Rives)
That’s a good question. Dr Rives goes on to give advice to those that are single, yet preparing, that you might find helpful. Please click onto the article below to read:
To go along with the advice Dr Rives gives, Dr Gary wrote a book titled, The Five Love Languages Singles Edition. In it he writes,
“Clearly, single adults are a very diverse group of people. However, they are still united by those factors that hold all of us together as humans. Everyone wrestles with values, morals, relationships, and meaning. If you are a single adult, just like everyone else, you’re seeking to understand yourself and your place in the world. At the heart of these pursuits is the need as an unmarried person to give and receive emotional love.”
To learn more of what Dr Chapman says on this within his book, please click onto the following Crosswalk.com web site link to read:
No matter what, though, keep in mind that it is better to go through life single, than to marry someone who cannot love you and live with you in a way that reflects the heart of Christ.
“‘Your relational status is just another way you go through life fulfilling your God-given purpose,'” Andrea Phillips reasons, likening marriage and singlehood to taking a trip from landlocked Colorado to Hawaii. ‘Too many singles will sit in the airport of life, obsessed with getting on the marriage plane, as if that’s the only way to go. They don’t think about the goal of Hawaii (Heaven) as their purpose in life. They only think about the mode of transport. And sometimes, they’ll get so distraught, they’ll hop on a plane to Fargo just so they can be on a plane, missing their destination altogether.’
“…Phillips says she’s learned that marital status exists simply as another factor with which we need to trust God. Although it can occasionally ‘stink,’ and marriage remains something she’d welcome, she professes a richer faith in the One to whom she already belongs. ‘He strengthens me, and reminds me that his plan is perfect. He wants good things for me, but he’s willing to deny me good things so he might produce other good things in my life …for his glory.” (Tim Laitinen, from Crosswalk.com article, “Hindsight Helps Clarify Marital Status”)
In closing, I want to share a portion of what Margaret Feinberg wrote concerning what she learned about love and marriage. She wrote:
“Recently, I enjoyed a fabulous dinner date with a Christian man. The conversation was fun, interesting and enjoyable. After being dropped off, I went on a walk to spend time with the Lord. I heard the quietest voice inside my being whisper, ‘He will never love you as much as I will.’ No man will ever fill the void in my heart. No man will ever be able to love me as much as God does —it’s humanly impossible.
“Ephesians 3:17-18 says, ‘And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.‘
“Your true value and identity are found only in God.” (From the Growthtrac.com article A Single Woman’s Guide to Guarding Her Heart).
I hope you take the above words to heart, because it applies to you as well. As much as you desire to love and be loved, no one can love you as much as God does. No matter what happens in life and love to you, don’t ever, ever, ever, forget that. The enemy of our faith will try to convince you otherwise, (and some humans may attempt the same deceit), but God loves you in ways that no one else ever could or ever will, as your Heavenly Father.
This article was written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.
If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.