Do you know what the difference between love and infatuation is? I thought that I knew the difference, but I really did NOT. This is an important thing to know. You will think many times that you really are “in love,” but I am afraid to tell you that it is just an infatuation. I know… I once was there. But I want to make sure that all of you know the true difference between love versus infatuation. I don’t want you to fall into the same trap that I feel in a couple years ago.
I am going to use a lot of my mother’s book, “Young Ladies for God’s Glory,” (pp. 14-16). She has lovingly allowed me to use it.
Love Versus Infatuation
What is true love? “True love reflects God’s love. It is a love that lets Christ have full control of your life as we learn in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live. Yet not I, but Christ lives in me. And the life, which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
It is a love that is not selfish but willingly gives to help others. It demonstrates the characteristics of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, “Love suffers long [is patient], and is kind. Love vaunts not itself [is not jealous]. It is not puffed up [does not brag and is not arrogant]. It does not behave itself unseemly [or rude], seeks not her own, and is not easily provoked. Love thinks no evil [does not take into account a wrong suffered]. It rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails….”
We find a Biblical example of true love in Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24. Rebekah was chosen for Isaac because of the Lord’s leading and because she had excellent inner qualities. She had her parent’s approval in marrying Isaac. When Isaac saw Rebekah he “brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, … and she became his wife; and he loved her…” Genesis 24:67.”
What really is infatuation? According to Webster’s dictionary ‘infatuation’ means, “to inspire or possess with a foolish, irrational, or blind passion as of love, admiration, enthusiasm.”
1 John 2:15-17 describes this false love as well, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof. But he that does the will of God abides for ever.”
We find a Biblical example of infatuation in Sampson and the three different women that he played around with in Judges 14-16. Another example in Scripture is found in 2 Samuel 13 when Ammon, King David’s son, was “sick” with “love” for his sister, Tamar. Read these two passages, as well as Genesis 24.
Now we have seen the biblical difference of love versus infatuation. Let us now look at the differences on a day-to-day level. We are going to see what love thinks in a relationship versus what infatuation thinks:
True Love Versus Infatuation
• True Love: Has a priority to maintain a close walk with God and desires to please the Lord above pleasing a guy.
• Infatuation: Thinks more about pleasing self and a guy than about pleasing God.
• True Love: Desires to please her parents and seeks their approval in a relationship with a guy (whether your parents are Christians or not).
• Infatuation: Desires to please a guy no matter what her parents think.
• True Love: Desires the approval of godly friends and spiritual authorities (Pastor, youth leader, Sunday School teacher) in her friendship with a guy.
• Infatuation: Develops a friendship with a guy no matter what others think and does not seek the approval of godly friends or spiritual leaders.
• True Love: Is more attracted to a guy’s godly character than to his looks or popularity, and dresses to bring out her own godly character and keep from sinning.
• Infatuation: Is attracted to the attention a guy gives and to his good looks and popularity, rather than looking for godly character. The guy is more concerned about your shape and bodily features, ad you tend to want to dress for his attention.
• True Love: Desires to wait for any touching from a guy until the wedding day. Seeks to get to know her special guy as a person.
• Infatuation: Desires to be touched by a guy without taking time to really get to know him first. Is not willing to wait for marriage for a physical relationship with a guy.
• True Love: Willing to wait for God’s timing for marriage.
• Infatuation: Wants to be married NOW.
• True Love: Unselfish —thinks more about how to help others and gives oneself for others.
• Infatuation: Selfish —thinks only about “myself and I” and what I can get out of this relationship.
• True Love: Encourages one another in the Lord, reads God’s Word privately and together, memorizes Scripture together, and attends church faithfully. Desires to grow in the Lord and serve the Lord.
• Infatuation: Not too concerned about reading God’s Word privately or together, memorizing Scripture, or faithfully going to church. Is more concerned of being with a guy and thinking about him than desiring to grow in the Lord and serve the Lord.
• True Love: Works out disagreements with God’s help.
• Infatuation: Quarrels often and makes up to each other mainly for the hugs and kisses.
• True Love: Wants to obey regulations set down by parents or guardians, so are only together when and where the parents or guardians approve.
• Infatuation: Pushes regulations set by parents or guardians such as when to be home, where to go, and not to be alone. Desires to do her own thing. Plans ways in which they can be together or talk or pass notes when parents do not approve or know.
• True Love: Does not seek a friendship with anyone who has glaring faults.
• Infatuation: Overlooks faults because, “He loves me and that is all that matters.”
The following comparisons are taken from “Design for Christian Marriage” by Dwight Hervey Small:
• True Love: Love grows, and all growth takes time.
• Infatuation: Romantic infatuation may arise suddenly and without warning.
• True Love: Love knows the other person more thoroughly and accepts both the positive and negative characteristics.
• Infatuation: Romantic infatuation may arise from an acquaintance with only one, or at the best, a few characteristics of the other person.
• True Love: Love is other-centered and sacrifices to meet the needs of others.
• Infatuation: Romantic infatuation is self-centered and looks at the other as a means to an end.
• True Love: A person in love centers his attentions in one person only.
• Infatuation: An infatuated person may be “in love” with two or more persons simultaneously.
• True Love: A person in love feels a true identification with the other.
• Infatuation: An infatuated person tends to think of the other person as strangely separate from himself despite their strong emotional unity.
• True Love: A person in love tends to have a true sense of security in his relationship based on a growing range of trust and affection and mutual concerns.
• Infatuation: An infatuated person tends to have a false sense of security about his love affair. which is based on wishful thinking, or sometimes upon a compulsive need for reassurance.
• True Love: When in love this idealization is not so grandiose and it is checked against reality continually, and without fear or self-deception.
• Infatuation: An individual who is infatuated sustains a mental picture of the object of his attention.
• True Love: In love physical attraction plays a relatively less important role in the total relationship.
• Infatuation: In infatuation physical attraction plays a more relatively more important role in the total relationship of the two persons.
“If only one word could be said about how to recognize true love as opposed to romantic infatuation, it would have to be the common-sense word: ‘WAIT!’ Time clarifies most of life’s issues. And certainly the important issues can afford the test of time.” (Quoted from “Design for Christian Marriage” by Dwight Hervey Small)
Infatuation: Old Trick
Infatuation is a trick of the old devil. He has ruined good Christian lives by convincing them that they are “in love” with a person. But they are really just infatuated with them. They find out too late that it was infatuation. Watch yourself when you think that you are “in love.”
I would highly suggest that you go through the list above. See how you feel about your present relationship. If you could say that the “infatuation” line stated what you thought, then you better hurry and get out of that relationship. If you go through this list and can check off some ways that you have true love and in other ways you have infatuation, then I am sorry to say, but you are in a relationship of infatuation.
Love Mixed In
I know you will say, “But there is true love mixed in. Maybe it is something that we have to work out.” NO WAY. It is not something that you need to work out. You need to GET OUT. I know, I have felt the same way. I thought that I really loved him even though I could say that I thought some of the infatuation lines. BE CAREFUL. The devil has SO many tricks that he can play on you. I want to warn you away from the road down infatuation. It is a VERY hard road.
I pray that this is a help to you. Please do not harden your heart to the Lord tugging on you. Please open your heart up to what He has you to do. He will give both grace and strength to obey His commands. He helped me through it and He can help you, if you are in an infatuation relationship.
This article was written by Sarah Ann E. Excerpts are taken from her mother’s book, “Young Ladies for God’s Glory.” It was formerly posted on the web site, Ladiesinwaiting.net, which we can no longer find on the Internet.