Happy Valentine's Day! I wrote this post a while back for an online Christian magazine called BLINC and couldn't think of a better day to re-share the work for you guys here on my blog. Featuring an old poem and some personal reflections on love, I hope you enjoy!
Falling in love by Faith Olajuyigbe
When I first told you that
I love you
I never understood what it meant.
Everything felt right and so the words slipped out.
I love you
I freely said,
never truly considering the weight of the task.
Nor contemplating the gravity of the act.
Instead, what I should have said
Because I fell,
For the flowers, the feelings, the fantasies
You gave to me.
Innocently thinking that was all love could be.
I confused the falling for the force.
Falling was all about me
Loving is all about you.
See I'm no longer just falling
But to you, I promise, I'll always be loving.
I wrote the above a year or so into my relationship when my views on love were changing. What is love? I thought. How can I love someone? And what makes me confident that I actually love my partner? These were just some of the questions that ran through my mind.
My searching led me to one of the most widely quoted scriptures in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
That’s what I was after.
You see, I didn’t desire a superficial relationship. I didn’t want to settle for a mediocre sort of love. No. I wanted a passionate, God-ordained and fruitful courtship. Who wouldn’t?
I just needed the how. I knew it was important to keep Christ at the centre, seek counsel and devote time to prayer consistently. But what else?
Through much trial and error, I’ve learnt (and am still learning) what it takes to cultivate and maintain a beautiful relationship. Now, as I eagerly look towards marriage, here are some of the things that helped me.
Love is an intentional choice
A beautiful, godly relationship doesn’t just exist accidentally. It’s built intentionally. Carefully and lovingly nurtured by the two individuals who choose to partner with one another. Because, as with most things in life, relationships and successful dating is about choice.
You’ve got to choose faithfulness, forgiveness and patience. Silence instead of bickering. Asking instead of assuming. Time and time again. When tension and ego rise, it’s important to commit to behaviours that will strengthen a relationship in the long run.
That being said, clarity of intention is essential. If your visions for the future don’t align, then it may be time to part ways. Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? (Amos 3:3). Simply put, no. Eventually internal divisions will manifest externally which is more detrimental in the long run when emotions are heavily invested.
Love is not solely about the dreams and fantasies
A light from heaven shouldn’t have to shine on someone for you to recognise and appreciate their value. In fact, it takes more faith to see the potential in your partner and believe that your relationship is in line with God’s will.
Some have dreams and visions where God speaks to them about who to date. Others don’t. Every love story is completely different and that’s the beauty of it.
Dream or no dream, you’ll still have to put in work to maintain a godly partnership.
Love shouldn't be compared
When seeking to conduct your relationship in line with God’s word, it’s important to remember that restrictions will be put in place. It’s knowing that your courtship will look very different to those around you. Don’t let this discourage you, because what you’re building is completely different.
I see how the world fills our feeds with perfectly curated baecation and Valentine’s day shots. We’re sold expensive fantasies of #RelationshipGoals. The exquisite dinner dates. Elaborate flowers. Extravagant gifts. And more!
With all of this, it can be easy to fall into the trap of comparison if we view our Christian dating the same way. But it isn’t a free-for-all style of dating. We’re building our foundations on Christ and that means everything won’t be acceptable. It’s important not to be disheartened with the sacrifices made because of your faith.
Love should be a beautiful, safe experience
When it comes to relationships, there is always more to be said and I’ve merely scratched the surface with these few points. I will conclude by saying that all in all, love is beautiful thing.
As a follower of Christ, it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that God cares about every aspect of our lives. He wants the best for us and will always give us just that, in His time. As a Christian, you should feel confident about dating, knowing that God is in complete control helping you through each step. He’ll give you the wisdom, strength, support and counsel, allowing you to lead a beautiful relationship.
- Faithful xoxo
About the Author:
Faith Olajuyigbe is a Birmingham based writer. She has a background in drama with a focus on writing poetry, blogs and more.
Through her work, she explores themes such as love, life, faith, passion and purpose. Faith is a true creative at heart and also enjoys videography and editing.
YouTube: Faith Olajuyigbe
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