One night shift last week, as my coworker and I were cleaning up the dish room, she asked if I have ever been in love. After a small pause and a chuckle, I explained how I have had only two romantic relationships in life and hadn’t experienced such a thing. “I believe true love comes from Him(God)”, I said, pointing up above our heads.
In my opinion, writer Ellen G. White had it right in her book The Adventist Home when she said, “Love is a precious gift from Jesus. Pure and holy affection is not a feeling, but a principle. Those who are actuated by true love are neither unreasonable nor blind. (White, 50)
We’re told often that love is blind and that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. It is good to be attracted to someone’s appearance, but not so much that you’re excusing any negative aspects of their personality. Is this person arrogant, defiant, insensitive, unreliable, inconsiderate, irritating, uncaring, a bad listener, etc.?
White writes on to say that true love is rare, and I have to agree. Too often I see courtships fade away within weeks or months, as well as marriages crumble with a couple of years of what was supposed to be till death. Early in the relationship, I hear at least one of the partners profess that they’re in love with the other partner. In regards to some of these relationships, one has to wonder if that supposed true love felt by one or both partners was merely passion.
Passion, as White describes, is stubborn; hasty; “unreasonable; defiant of all restraint”; and worshiping someone like an idol (White, 50). All my life I have been led to believe that true love is a strong feeling that makes you do crazy things, such as spend all your earnings; degrade yourself; sacrifice your dreams and goals; put up with cruelty; or ignore the counsel of your parents. But it is the exact opposite.
“True Love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion,” says White. “On the contrary, it is calm and deep in nature. It looks beyond mere externals, and is attracted by qualities alone. It is wise and discriminating, and its devotion is real and abiding”(White, 51).
By discriminating, I believe this means that you are taking notice of the good qualities and the bad in a person of interest. If the bad qualities will be an issue for you, then it may be best to turn away from this person. Why deal with those unchanging red flags just for the sake of hearing someone say they love you?
Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with experiencing passion. After all you’re not going to find true love the first time you hit it off with someone. I believe the passion comes first. Then with both partners getting to know one another, along with letting the Holy Spirit inside the relationship, that fiery passion can transform into a pure, true love.
White, Ellen Gould Harmon. The Adventist home: counsels to Seventh-Day Adventist families. Review and Herald Pub. Association, 2001.