I know a thing or two about Christian dating–I've been on my fair share of awkward coffee dates. I have to say, I got pretty good at them. Actually, the last coffee date I was on was with my now husband, John.
After my college boyfriend broke up with me, I remember thinking, "I love Jesus, he loves Jesus. Why can't things just work!" It isn't that easy I guess. I graduated from college with five bridesmaid's dresses, twenty wedding invitations, two horrible breakups, and a Bible degree. I totally get it. I was there.
I would search the Bible twenty times over for something that could give me some direction in my dating life...what was I doing wrong?
Dating can be messy and confusing: Christian dating: even more weird, messy, and confusing. Not only are we trying to honor the other person, but we are also trying to honor God with our relationships. When they end, we ask, "What was the purpose of that three-month relationship?", "Why did I waste my time?", or "Why didn't it work out?" All of those questions are totally valid, and we may never know the answers to them.
When I was single and going through a breakup, I started to write down all the ways God has shown His love to me. When our dating relationships go south, we could take away some notes on what love is, and what love is not. Allow the 'love' of this broken world to be contrasted with the love of God by permitting Him to illuminate his wisdom.
Take a camera for example. I had a friend who had an old camera. The lens and the body of the camera were five years old. That doesn't seem like a long time, but technology has grown so much in the past ten years that a five-year-old camera can't even compare to those made today. The photos from my friend's old camera couldn't even compare to images from a new camera. The difference was remarkable. Five years ago, I would have had no idea that the images this camera's lens produced were a little blurry; now, the pictures on my screen appear a little clearer thanks to a new camera.
The same goes for God's love. When we contrast worldly love with God's love, the two can't even compare. Here are a few examples:
God wants us to know Him. Unlike a closed off significant other who does not want you to know their life, who lets you into only "select" areas of their life, or who does not allow you to "touch" their vulnerabilities, God wants you to know and experience life with Him–in all authenticity and transparency. "This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (John 17:3).
God's love doesn't end. A boyfriend or girlfriend may not "love" you because of worldly concerns such as family, friends, a job status, distance, or because of another person's opinion. Dating relationships may end; however, in the Bible, we read that there is nothing that will separate us from God's love. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35-39). Our hope can rest on this truth, and trust in the Lord, despite what our circumstances might look like.
God's love doesn't require you us to do anything. There is nothing you have to do for God in order to receive His love. Romans 10:9 says, "… because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." God is not like the worldly significant other who you worked so hard to impress. "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the proposition of our sins" (1 John 4:10).
Are you going through a breakup? Ask God to teach you more about His Love. Run to Jesus with your whole heart, because there is nothing in this world that can even compare to His love.
Hannah Lynn hosts Moody Radio’s That’s Real and is an engineer for Karl and Crew mornings. She grew up as a homeschooler on a tree farm, plays the harp (ask her about harp camp), drives a Prius (don’t judge), and started a fashion blog while a student at Moody Bible Institute (yes, that’s possible). Hannah loves to tell people about Jesus—as a seven-year-old she witnessed to her ballet teacher, then she started a Young Life club while in high school. Now she mentors teens with her husband, John, who serves as a youth pastor.
That’s Real with Hannah Lynn gives a one-minute dose of encouragement and advice to young adults who want to love and live God’s Word. Her fast-paced mix of storytelling and Bible truth helps create understanding between young believers and anyone who wants to follow Jesus one day at a time.