Eloise was approaching a milestone birthday and was planning for it a month in advance. She was excited because this year, she had someone new in her life. Eloise had been single way longer than she wanted to be, and she had done what many singles do, and that’s put certain aspects of their lives on hold until marriage. She didn’t go to certain functions because she didn’t like not having someone by her side, and there were also vacation spots, like Hawaii, that she put on hold so she could share them with her future spouse. She even put off purchasing a home, because again, in her mind this is something you do with your husband. Wanting and waiting to share special memories with a spouse is beautiful, but living life to the fullest is something we should do whether we’re married or not.
As the days grew closer to her birthday, Eloise noticed that the man in her life hadn’t mentioned any plans. She hoped this was because he had been planning to surprise her. She looked for subtle hints in their conversations, but nothing surfaced, and she began to get nervous. Finally, a couple of days before her big day, he called during her lunch break at work. Before their conversation ended, she casually reminded him of her birthday and asked if they’d be doing anything together. In a very matter of fact manner, he replied, “It’s up to you. If you want to go out, we can.” Not quite the response she was looking for.
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, the one aspect of our lives that you and I have to get right is the commitment and action of love. One day, an expert in Jewish law asked Jesus Christ which of the commandments is most important. In Mark 12:30-31(NLT), Jesus responded, “30 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Not only is it important that we love in the way that Christ has commanded, but it is important that we love ourselves this way as well. When we love ourselves, there are certain things we simply won’t accept. This increases our faith and causes the same quality self-love to boomerang back to us.
Romans 5:8(NLT) tells us, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” This verse tells us of God’s unconditional, unlimited love. When we become born-again, and receive the Spirit of Christ, we then have God’s love deposited within. The more we learn about Heavenly Father, the more we are able to love like Christ. This is God’s goal for each of us. He wants us to love Him, to love others, and to love ourselves through the love of Jesus Christ.
So, God doesn’t just tell us to love Him and others, through Jesus Christ, He actually showed us how to get this done. He sent His only begotten Son to earth to show us the way. As women who love God, many of us have taken this and ran with it. We are committed to continue learning to love like Christ. We practice this in our relationships, because we love like we want to be loved. We’re thoughtful and considerate, and we go out of our way to make sure the special person in our lives feels appreciated. If we’re not getting this back, that should be a wake-up call.
You see, Heavenly Father knows that when we are confident in our understanding of the love of Christ, we are then better able to set boundaries and wisely define our expectations. We understand our worth to God, and therefore, we won’t accept treatment that isn’t in alignment with God’s love for us. This isn’t about ego. When you are confident in your own ability to love like Christ, you can then recognize and look for the exit sign when someone isn’t loving you that way in return.
Eloise shared with her boyfriend from the very beginning that her desire was to be married. He didn’t run from it, but he hadn’t done anything to lead her to believe he wanted marriage as well. When her birthday finally arrived, her boyfriend took her out for a nice dinner. After dinning, she told him how much she enjoyed their evening. She also said she hoped it was the start of their future together. His response was, “I hear what you’re saying, but you don’t have to constantly remind me!”
She was crushed by his words. She hadn’t nagged him, but sometimes the tension of desperation doesn’t need to be spoken in order to be felt. It was clear that he wouldn’t be as thrilled to share those special moments with her as she had always dreamed. So, the question she found herself facing was should she stay in the relationship and continue to hope, or does she cut all ties and move on with her life, committed to live it to the fullest.
It takes some of us a while to learn that seeking and pursuing God’s Will first is the best way to love ourselves and to live a fulfilling life. A caring and supportive spouse is one of God’s sweet rewards, but just because a man is interested, it doesn’t mean he’s the reward. We must continue to have faith and trust in Heavenly Father that the right one will come. God knows what is best, and at the end of the day, we should only want what He wants for us. It will be a person who mirrors His love and adds to the fullness we already have in Christ.■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“Do I Stay or Do I Go?” written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2021. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.