I Love Him….I Love Him Not

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It’s happened to all of us.  At least once.  By the time we are young women, we’ve all had it happen:  He stands out in a crowd.  You enjoy almost everything about him.  His sudden presence gives you butterflies.  You desire to know his preferences, his dislikes, his opinion.  You didn’t plan it, but every time he’s there, you find yourself talking to him or being near him, and when that wasn’t an option, you were talking about him.

As Christians with high moral standards, it’s easy to wonder at ourselves after experiencing these feelings.  Where in the world did our common sense go?  Don’t we know better than this?  And we end up apologizing to God, making commitments or resolutions, reprimanding our lustful flesh, and failing the very next time we come in contact with the guy.  And so begins the bang-your-head-against-the-wall-routine.
True love doesn’t have to be void of these emotions…”

It’s inevitable to have these “moments” come up sometimes.  You look up and he’s smiling at you.  He walks into the room and you get butterflies.  You notice when he compliments you.  You like him and it’s just a plain fact.  Nothing in the world could change it.

 Love doesn’t deny the existence of these real feelings.  True love doesn’t have to be void of these emotions before it can be true love.  But we have to realize that emotions and feelings in-and-of -themselves are NOT love. They are feelings, and emotions. (Profound, I know!). And if we accept them as such and continue on in our life we can rest assured — we haven’t sinned and haven’t done anyone a disservice.

 If we take that emotion and dwell on it and invest ourselves into it, and allow it to dictate us, then we are obsessing in an emotion and allowing it to ferment into infatuation and that certainly is, in the very least, a disservice to ourselves. It’s also taking advantage of someone at the expense of our fleshly satisfaction. Doesn’t really sound like love. It can’t be. It’s the opposite of love, because love seeks not her own. Enjoying someone purely for our fulfillment is selfishness. Which is a sin.

Conclusion: If we like someone and have these feelings, it is not a sin.

What we do with these feelings is imperative.

If we truly love this man we will be so concerned for his best, his purity, and God’s will for him, it will trump our emotions.

If we “love him not”, we will unregrettably choose to revel in these emotions and satisfy our lusts at his expense.

The question of whether these emotions are okay or not really shouldn’t haunt us.  We should be more concerned of whether we “love him, or love him not”.

 “So, God, here I am. Here’s my heart. Here’s the emotions and feelings. Here’s my love. So baby and immature. Temptation shows me who I am. And I’m a selfish human being. But you in your love will not allow it to exceed your strength in me. I am open to the ministry of Jesus. Here I am, open and bare. Be my Love, be my all. You over anyone else. I’m renouncing me and my self, and my infatuation…even when it’s just a tiny root and bud. No, I won’t accept it. It’s wrong. But I am not condemned in the fact when I notice. I’m not even afraid to smile at the fact. But there I stop. I give it to you. I refuse to pamper the thrill it gives me. I lay it down to rest. You do what you will.”

What to do With a Helpless Heart?

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Feelings: I love him! I know I do. There’s times when I look up and he’s smiling at me I feel the world move. He is sweet, and kind…

Conscience: Whoa! Okay, you need to put on the brakes. Think of your purity. Take every thought captive, remember?

Feelings: Yes! But I can’t help it! I go to bed and I lay there and he comes to mind. I pray, and he comes to mind. I wake up, and he comes to mind. I sing, talk, watch movies, work….and he comes to mind.

Conscience: Okay, take a deep breath, you can get through this. Focus on other stuff, something worth doing. Run after Jesus, and someday the right man will come knocking at your heart’s door.

Feelings: But what do I do with myself? When we’re together I want to enjoy him. I enjoy his friendship. What about the times I get butterflies?

What to do when you find yourself attracted to someone? There is a constant war between the rational conscientious side of you, and the powerful emotional side. What if that someone isn’t just a nice guy you happened to feel a twinge of attraction for. What about the godly young man you’d actually consider marrying?

I just wanted to encourage you, that you can remain pure, while still having those feelings and appreciating the godly young man. Someday God will equip this young man with a helpmeet. In His timing. And if God hasn’t opened that door for you, it means this young man doesn’t need you. Not now, not yet, and perhaps never. Be content to be this young man’s friend! That’s exactly all you should be, and all He has thus far allowed you to be. We are doing our brothers in Christ a disservice when we try to move forward in a deeper relationship. Love doesn’t vaunt herself, doesn’t seek her own.

Can we enjoy this person’s company? Certainly! It’s actually inevitable. When you are attracted to someone, everything about them is enjoyable. And it’s okay. You can enjoy them in purity. But any closeness, learning of their heart, fellowship, even friendship must be directed by Jesus. We don’t need to initiate anything. If our future includes this man, Jesus wills see to it. Love doesn’t give to get. So next time we interact, we should be alert to our motives. Do we tell them we respect them to encourage or to spark a fire? What is behind the smile we give them?

But what about those times when we innocently look up and find him smiling at us? What about those moments you feel “butterflies”? The moments when you feel you could wrap your heart up in a box and give it away…what then?

To react with guilt is only self inflicted abuse. But then to swing to the other extreme and revel in it and look for, or initiate, that experience again is taking matters into our own hands and reacting selfishly. To decide to ignore their existence or your emotion’s existence is foolish and impractical, but then to focus on that person to the point that our duties and friendships are neglected or halfheartedly invested in, is also wrong.

There is a balance! There is a way to love this person, even with all the emotions, the right way. We humbly accept the feelings and give it to Jesus, by letting Him know, and letting Him dictate. To deny ourselves the reveling in the feelings is to think highly of him, and a lesson in love. We respect him too much to give in to our emotions. Do we honestly want to gain attraction by mere flirtatious acts? Of course not! We want him to fall in love with us for who we are, not what we give.

He isn’t ours. Even if somehow Jesus promised him to us, he still isn’t ours. We know this, but what do our actions show? We might not think we are being possessive, but we should act with this young man, how we’d hope other girls would treat him. Why? He doesn’t belong to them either! If we stirred up desires in a man that were more than brotherly, we have caused him to lust! It doesn’t matter if he will someday be your man. Today isn’t someday – he isn’t yours anymore than the other girls in his life.

The emotions will be there. Don’t ignore or embrace. Acknowledge them but give them to Someone who can deal with them in righteousness. It does work. It can be done. And if that other person is also trying to treat you with all purity it becomes a mutual respect and love that goes beyond feelings and emotions.

This is something I recently felt encouraged in, and I hope I was able to convey it to you clearly so your heart might also be blessed.