Real Love

Secure | Journey of Faith | Security in Christ alone | Real Love and 50 Shades of GreyDear Young Girls,

You’ve no doubt seen or at least heard of the upcoming movie 50 Shades of Grey.  Maybe you even sneaked a few peeks at the book when it came out.

But even before this wildly popular novel was introduced to the general populace, a variety of romance novels were everywhere (though not many quite like this one, I do believe).  Movies and advertisements, especially around Valentine’s Day, have portrayed “love” in so many ways, luring many into ridiculous notions about what it means to love and to be in love.

Can I tell you something?  Listen, listen: real love is so much better.

I’m not telling you this because I was never in your position, but precisely because I was.  I sat in your shoes and I dreamed of love that would take away all my fears and fill my every need, a love that would affirm me and create a wild sense of adventure in my fear-ravaged heart.  I looked for this kind of love in men, and I was greatly disappointed by what I found.

Instead of being met with love that soothed my fears, “male crushes” simply caused me to fear their rejection and to desperately try to win their approval.

Instead of being satisfied in the throws of some guy’s affection for me, I was met with ordinary human beings who are just like me: broken, in need of grace, and in need of a love greater than what humanity can offer to meet one’s needs.

But then, that day, oh glorious day!  I was at the end of my rope.  I felt unloved and insignificant.  On that day, as I searched the Scriptures, real love met me where I was at and began to satisfy this yearning soul.

I learned that real love is not about my performance.  It cannot be earned by my own efforts.  Real love, instead, came down and did what I could not do to give me what I could not earn: forgiveness.  redemption.  healing.  satisfaction.  adoption into the eternal family of the Eternal One.  Real love is a heavenly gift.

I learned that real love is sacrificial and others-focused.  Real love gave up the glories of heaven to rescue lost souls.  Real love washed me clean by giving Himself for me when He died on the cross.  Real love did not come to be served, though He deserved this; rather, real love served others and gave Himself up for His Bride (Phil. 2:1-8; Matt. 20:28).  Real love is not about what one can get from another, but rather is concerned with what one can give for the good of another.

I also learned that real love produces in me the greatest sense of security I could ever know, while also removing my fear by taking me on a risk-filled, adventurous journey.  I’m safest in real love’s arms, because I know that He who gave Himself up for me will stop at nothing to keep me as His own and usher me into eternal glory (John 10:28-30; Psalm 138:8; Phil. 1:6).  And because I am so safe, I am free to do risky things (like marry, and start a family, and try new things, and sacrifice so my husband can finish seminary).  Real love produces security {and} adventure.

Real Love | Journey of Faith | Real love and 50 shades of grey and the gospel

On that day, that glorious day, I beheld real love in the pages of Scripture.  I beheld Jesus Christ.  He is real love, dear hearts, and He is so much better than anything else!

In fact, it is this love of Christ in me that allows me to have real love with my husband and best friend, and this love with my husband, rooted in the gospel, is so much better than anything that this world could offer.

As we look to Christ, our Savior, Lord and Teacher, we’re learning that when we go to bed together, it’s not about “what I can get, but rather what I can give to my beloved”, that makes sex so satisfying.  It’s knowing that we’re our only mates, “till death do us part”, that creates security within our marriage and between the sheets.  It’s recognizing that in each other, we have received a good gift from the Father of heavenly lights (James 1:17).  It’s the everyday sacrifices given for the benefit of the other that creates such simultaneous contentment and adventure.  It’s “growing in grace and the knowledge of Christ (2 Pet. 3:18)”  that allows both my husband and I to accept one another for who we are, as well as acknowledge our enormous need for our Savior to shape us more and more into His likeness, that we might love one another well and display His gospel to fellow needy souls.

Oh, my young friends, this world has so much to offer you and yet nothing that will fully satisfy you.  I pray that you will see beyond all the rubbish, and behold the beauty and sufficiency of Christ.  He is so much better than everything else, and only from Him comes real love that will give you what you need and satisfy your soul.   We can trust Him!

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.   -1 John 3:16