“Love never fails…”
When I was younger, I found great hope in this verse. Love never fails. It sounds good, doesn’t it? A love that never failed to show up, to give me what I needed, and that never let me down. As I got older and I watched relationships fall apart, I began to question this love. If love never fails, then how could this be?
There is a clear distinction between romantic love and Biblical love. Romantic love was given to us by God as a good gift meant for our enjoyment that will (hopefully) lead to Biblical love and marriage. Romantic love comes easiest to us, but Biblical love is on a whole other level.
Biblical love is unnatural to us but is always made possible in us by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit. No one can love like God without God’s help.
Romantic love only scratches the surface of the love that God desires for us to feel for each other. Biblical love at its core is:
- Committed to truth
- Driven by a divine work within us
The kind of love that God has for us is pure and untainted. God’s love never fails but human love does. We are flawed creatures, shameless in the pursuit of self-fulfillment and enjoyment, and we are selfish in love. How we give love to others is tainted and entwined with our own desires, fantasies, and selfish ambitions.
So, our love fails.
Fortunately for us, we have a God whose love never fails, because His love is perfect.
The Biblical love of God is (or should be) the anchor in a relationship or marriage that keeps the boat steady as it rides the waves of romantic love throughout the union. Without this solid grounding in Biblical love, continual seeking of God’s will, and the daily act of dying to one’s self for the sake of their partner’s joy, romantic love will crumble.
The love God calls us to (Biblical love) is not instantaneous. It’s a journey that spans years, decades, and many seasons of life. It goes well beyond “love at first sight” and focuses ahead to eternity.
This love is a choice, filled and fueled only by God’s grace.
Biblical love is about going long distances whereas romantic love is more like a sprint.
If you’ve ever questioned love as I have–I hope this post is an encouragement and gentle reminder to you that while our human love is flawed and tainted with selfishness, the love that God desires for us is not and will never be.
Perhaps a better way to phrase the title of this post is:
Romantic love fails but God does not.