Yes, there is a formula to a great relationship. Don't believe me? It's called the "Love Dare."
This past weekend some of my friends and I went to see the new movie, Fireproof. Wow, what an amazing movie! Now, I don't want to spoil the ending just in case you haven't seen in, but I am going to give you a little background! Fireproof is about a marriage that is failing--literally. The entire movie depicts the struggle for this relationship to work out. I mean, they had been in love, yet now they couldn't stand each other. Is it possible to fall out of love with someone? I thought love lasted forever.
Not quite. "Love" doesn't last forever with no effort. Remember, love is not that gooey thing that comes in the shape of roses and chocolate! Love is defined as this: "Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always me first, doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end." (1 Corinthians 13) OK, that definition is pretty hard--no, it's not pretty hard, it is very hard! It is not easy to put up with anything, care for others more than myself, and see the best in every situation! But this is the kind of love that is needed to make a relationship "fireproof." With effort and work invested in a relationship, according to this definition of love, you cannot "fall out of love with someone." But if your love is rooted upon how your boyfriend looks or how much he buys you, then yep, you can "fall out of love" (because you aren't really loving--you are buying a small glimpse of what love can be!).
In the movie, Caleb (the man struggling in his marriage) was challenged by his dad to take this 40-day "Love Dare." This dare required him to do certain things everyday for 40 days for his wife and see how it goes. Well, in the first few days, he did not like it one bit, but as he continued working at it, his love for his wife grew stronger than it have ever been. (OK, I am stopping there in the plot of the movie--you need to go see it! I promise you this is an awesome chick flick!!!) Love according to 1 Corinthians 13 isn't easy. It takes work. It takes investment. It takes time. In your first day of being a "true lover" it won't be a walk in the park, but as you keep walking in the light of what real love is, it will become easier.
There is just one thing. You cannot demonstrate this true definition of love if you have never received it before. Hold up, you are probably thinking! No, you do not have to go find someone to act this way towards you before you can truly love others! Someone is begging to be allowed into your heart. Someone who has loved you unconditionally regardless of how you treat Him. His name is Jesus. Jesus created this true love that we are even talking about. He came to earth and died for you. He loved you even though you didn't send one glance His way. He knew you before you were born and loves you SO much more than your boyfriend ever can. He rose back to life because of His love for you. Death could not defeat Him! If you just accept His love and receive Him as your Saviour and Lord, He can fill your heart with this genuine love. All you have to do is accept Him. Go ahead, talk to Him right now. All you have to do is say something along these lines, "Jesus, I know that I have messed up a lot in my life. I have made so many mistakes. I am so sorry for how I have sinned against you. Will you please forgive me? Will you please come into my life and be my Lord and Savior? I want to show true love to those around me. But most of all, I want to experience the love that you have been trying to give to me. Thank you for saving me. Please help me to live for you. Amen." If you just asked Jesus into your heart, tell someone! Spread that love! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell someone close to you!
Once you have the love of Jesus running through you, you can love others. You have experienced the true love of Jesus Christ. That is what a "formula" for this thing called dating is all about. Genuinely taking the dare to love others more than yourself only by the grace of God.
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