We will learn a few attributes of romantic love in the hope that we can become more skilled in the art of discerning true love.
1. Love is a decision.
Songs of Solomon 2: 7b: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires (until it so desires=until the appropriate time- Holman Christian Standard Bible, until the time is right- NLT).
The very fact that the Bible admonishes us NOT to awaken (stir up) love suggests that we are not helpless and we can control our romantic feelings.
1 Kings 11: 2: “The LORD had clearly instructed the people of Israel, ‘You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods. Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway.” NLT
What if the promising person you have met, the one who, at first sight, appears to be your dream of a life partner, turns out to be someone who is not worthy of you or your romantic feelings towards him or her? Would you be willing to control your feelings and to move on?
A few wise sayings to support this point:
I. Beauty is only skin deep-External attractiveness has no relationship to the quality of a person or thing.
II. All that glitters is not gold: Not everything that looks precious or genuine would eventually turn out to be so.
III. Do not judge a book by its cover: The fact that a book has an attractive cover does not indicate that it will contain information that is of value.
2. Love is like a plant. If you nurture it, it will grow. If you don’t nurture it, it will die.
Love can decrease: Matthew 24: 12, Revelation 2: 4,5, 10.
Love can increase: Philippians 1: 9, 1 Thessalonians 3:12, 2 Thessalonians 1: 3.
There are these 2 wise sayings: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” and “Out of sight is out of mind,” which appear to be exact opposites but are both true.
Research has shown that even though separation for brief periods is beneficial to a relationship, prolonged absence would lead to the death of the relationship. Relationships are built by fellowship.
Couples who don’t spend time together to nurture their relationship will find that their love would die off at some point. However, even while they are physically present with each other, married people have learned the value of giving their spouses’ some space to pursue their individual interests.
Proverbs 25: 16-17-“When you find honey, eat only what is sufficient for you, or else, you will become stuffed with it, you will fall sick and you will start vomiting.
Don’t set foot too frequently in your neighbor’s house, lest he become weary of you and hate you.”
In a dating relationship, when you are too much in your partner’s face, you call too often, you visit too often, you are said to be “coming on too strong” and that alone can damage the relationship.
If you have determined that you have no plans for someone of the opposite sex, you should not be found spending a lot of time with them. You can develop feelings for someone that you ought not to be with, just because you are constantly with them.
If you have just walked away from an unhealthy relationship, keeping your distance from the person you were with is one sure way to help you tone down the romantic feelings that you have.
3. Love is a verb- Love is something that you do.
A verb is a word which expresses action or something that is done.
1 John 3: 18: “Little children, let us love not in word and speech, but in action and truth.”
In other words, actions speak louder than words. As a matter of fact, love is not love until it is shown by an action
John 3: 16- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.”
Love always gives. There is no one who doesn’t have anything to give. If you don’t have money to give, you should have time, energy, and support to offer.