“I don’t know if I’m in love with this person…” some Christian singles sometimes wonder when they develop a deep friendship. They’ve been used to the standards of the world, but what about the children of God?
In our libertine societies, questions are minimal in choosing a partner because the goal is rarely serious or long-term. Two singles meet, and they are attracted to each other. They will flirt for a while, get to know a little bit about each other, and soon they will be in the same bed. That is usually the big test. If the experience was not pleasant, they will turn the page and move on! If, on the contrary, the experience was satisfactory, they will meet again. After months of physical attachment, there will also be some emotional attachment, and many will then call themselves in love.
But in the Christian world, we don’t do it the same way. And this is quite normal: the children of God should not behave like the world! “As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.‘” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NKJV). Those who have only experienced relationships in the world may feel helpless when it comes to testing their hearts once they are Christians. A good relationship with the Holy Spirit can help us clarify our emotions. But the Word of God, while not very talkative when it comes to romantic relationships, can also give us precious signs of a loving state.
There is a physical attraction
Even though we are Christians, holy, and filled with the Spirit of God, we will still feel a physical attraction. We only have to read the Song of Songs to know that physical attraction and admiration for another’s body is not a sin! God will never force us to marry someone who physically disgusts us! But the other’s body shouldn’t be our only motivation to know them. Lust is to seek to “acquire” a person for what they will give us, and lust is sin in the sight of God (1 John 2:16). Of course, in a married couple, there is a good dose of sexual desire towards the partner. These desires are there before we are officially in a relationship too. The difference between a Christian and a carnal person is that the child of God will recognize his desires, but he is not going to follow through on them until there is a commitment before God (marriage).
We want to spend time with the person
Once again, the Song of Songs shows us that when we are in love, we want to spend a lot of time with that person. It is not a chore to plan time together, on the contrary, we must remember not to spend all our time with this person (Song of Solomon 2:7). The Bible describes marriage as the union of two companions (Proverbs 2:17). If we marry to be in constant company with this person, this need of course begins before the wedding.
We want to make the other happy
In a healthy relationship, according to God, each partner wants to take care of the other. Man seeks to protect and provide for woman’s needs (Ephesians 5:25), and the wife wants to help her husband be successful at all levels (Genesis 2:18). Even though a man may be chivalrous with all women, he will have an even higher sense of protection towards the woman he is in love with. And although a woman can be helpful to everyone around her, she will have an even greater interest in caring for the man she is in love with. If a person is looking for a partner just to meet their own needs, if they are evaluating a partner based on what they get out of that relationship. That is not love. The definition of love, according to 1 Corinthians 13, is to be ready to make sacrifices, compromises, for the good of the other.
We work well as a team
When God encouraged the relationship between a man and a woman it was for the purpose of building something together (Genesis 1:22). If you are already good teammates in various pre-wedding tasks and desire to make plans with your best friend, then there may be another sign that you are in love.
Remember, marriage is the union of two best friends of the opposite sex. If you are drawn to another person’s body, money, or title, but you are not yet good friends, it is not love that you feel. It is a strong interest or maybe lust. But if you are great friends, if you start to become each other’s best friends, you already have the essential foundation for a romantic relationship. And what should you do when you think you are in love? Keep communicating with God about it, make sure you are in love with a good “candidate”, protect your heart, and take a few steps!