Missing the point in love and romance

We tend to get the whole quest for love all wrong and look for that special someone to fulfill our deepest needs, so we date, go steady, experiment with other people, and test them to see if they work for us.

Unfortunately, the lovers we seek have the same agenda, and like sailors in a shipwreck, we cling to each other and drown. Only when we have sufficiency in Christ can we hope to really love anyone. Otherwise, we are basically using people, and that is sin in the first degree.

I never intended to use anyone, but from the start, my relationships were self-centered. The summer after seventh grade, my first “real” girlfriend met me at the local elementary school playground where we’d hang out, talk, and generally waste summer evenings.

Once we stopped walking around, looked at each other for a seemingly interminable moment, and kissed. We liked it enough to give it another try and wound up having a major make out session.

That evening I went home feeling like I had come into a new territory, a place where I was someone different. The realization that I wanted to kiss someone who also wanted to kiss me back was a major boost to my ego. No longer was I a loser without a girlfriend.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized this truth: much of what passes for love is merely our need to be affirmed by someone else. True love, however, is always focused outward because it is a gift from God in Christ, the one through whom we all can find true acceptance.