How to have a friendship with a guy in a godly manner

pexels-photo-1Lately, I’ve been thinking about how so many young ladies want to know how to have a godly friendship with a young man. I once asked these same questions. So, when I developed a friendship with a guy,  I got on a site for Christian teenage girls called GirlDefined and read every single post they had on the topic. That, mixed with the talks I had with my mom, helped me to make wise decisions concerning just being friends with this guy. Here’s some of what I learned:

1: Have a TMI (too much information) line you don’t cross. Example: Talk as much as you like about what’s going on in the world; politics, movies, music, and things like that are up for discussion as long as you both are interested. When it comes to personal issues, though, you want to be careful. What I mean is, don’t share your heart too much. Don’t allow everything to hang out to dry, so to speak.  Also, don’t share anything that is strictly a female concern. Don’t talk about your bedroom, about how long it took you to put on makeup that day, or any personal female problem. This just puts both of you into an awkward situation. And don’t pry too much. This isn’t a rule I’m trying to shove off on you, just some advice from one girl to another.

2: Ask your Mom or Dad to keep you accountable. This might sound like the worst idea ever to some of you, but it really works. In my case, this means that my mom reads my texts to my guy friends or that when I do hang out with him, we’re chaperoned. This is just to make sure we’re both pure in the way we talk and act. Your situation might be different so you’d have to talk with your parents to see what works for you.

3: Let your main focus of your friendship be to seek to build him up in Christ. As Christians, that should be our main focus on everything in life. Not only is this good for you, but it leaves a lot less room for misunderstandings to take hold. Ways you can easily do this is to pray for him daily (I asked my friend what ways I could pray for         him). Ask him how his Bible study is going and what God is teaching him, or maybe have a Bible study together. My friend and I had one weekly before school started back and that’s a great way to learn and grow. Also, you can bring up important subjects and discuss them from a biblical point of view or just talk about some biblical subject that are important to you.

4: Read some good books on godly womanhood. There are some really great ones out there. If you work on growing into the kind of young woman you ought to be, you will be a blessing to any guy you are friends with.

5: Don’t read anything into anything. This is one of the easiest ways misunderstandings can arise. A friend of mine said, “Guys mean what they say and say what they mean.” If he says you look nice, he just means you look nice and nothing more. Don’t think he’s trying to flirt with you or to give you hidden messages when he says something kind; he’s most likely simply trying to be a gentleman.

6: Last, be not least: Be ready for the fact that your friendship might not last forever. He very well could meet a young lady and end up in a serious relationship and any close friendships he has with anyone else would then need to end. If and when that time comes, don’t complain or get onto him like he is doing something horrible to you. Respond with grace, with care, and with all the support you can give him and let it be. Remember whatever happens to this friendship is God’s will. He has a plan for you that you might not understand just yet.

These are just a few tips that I found helpful. Maybe my readers can add more?

God bless,

Tatiana

Imperishable Beauty (Timothy Shay Arthur, 1858)

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“It was a very plain face. My eye rested upon it for a moment or two, and then wandered away to the countenance of another maiden, whose beauty ravished the eyes of every beholder; and as I gazed with a feeling of delight, upon its transcendent loveliness, an impulse of thankfulness stirred in my heart — thankfulness to the Creator of beauty.
The first maiden sat alone; around the other stood a group of admirers. So marked a contrast between the two, as well in features as in the impression made thereby, excited, first, something like pity for her whom nature had endowed so poorly; and I turned to look at her again with a kinder feeling in my heart.
There she sat all alone. Yes, her face was very, very plain; but it did not strike me as repulsive. The mouth, which had nothing of the ripe fullness that gave such an enamoring grace to the other maiden, was placid; and though not encircled by a perpetual wreath of smiles, calmly enthroned the gentle spirit of contentment. Her eyes were small, the lashes thin, and the arch above them faintly visible. Arch? I can scarcely give it that graceful designation. I had not yet seen the expression of those eyes.
As I looked towards her, with that strange consciousness of observation which all have remarked, but which few can explain, she turned her eyes from another part of the room, and looked at me. They did not flash brilliantly, nor strike me, at the first glance, as having in them anything peculiar. They were the common eyes we meet at every turn — no soul in them. I give my first impression.
My second was different. I had turned my eyes away; but something I had seen, caused them almost involuntarily to wander back to the maiden’s face. A friend whom I highly regarded — a young man of more than common worth — had crossed the room, and was standing before her. She had lifted her eyes to his face, and there was a new light in them — not a dazzling, but a soft, winning light, which purity and love made almost beautiful.
They were conversing, and I watched, for some time, the play of that unattractive countenance — unattractive no longer.
“Ah!” said I, “there is a “beautiful soul within that casket!”
And as I spoke thus, in the silence of my own thoughts, I looked towards the other maiden, who was still surrounded by a crowd of admirers.
“Her beauty is wonderful!” I could not help the utterance of this tribute to her charms. Yet scarcely had I spoken the words, when she turned to one of the group which had gathered about her, a slight curl of unlovely scorn upon her lips, and threw at him an arrowy word that wounded as it struck. She saw that it hurt — and a gleam of pleasure went forth from her brilliant eyes.
A filmy veil came between me and that countenance, which, a little while before, had shone with a loveliness that was absolutely enchanting. I turned again to the other maiden. My friend still stood before her, and her eyes were lifted to his face. She was uttering some sentiments — what, I did not hear — but they must have been good and beautiful in conception, to have filled every lineament with such a winning grace.
“Ah!” said I, the real truth dawning upon my mind, “here is the inner, imperishable beauty. The beauty, which, instead of losing its springtime freshness, forever advances towards eternal youth.”
A few weeks later, and my friend communicated to me the intelligence, that his heart had been won by the charms of this unattractive maiden. Once he had been a worshiper at the other shrine — the shrine of beauty; and I knew that, only a few months before, hand and heart were ready to be offered. Accepted they would have been, for he had personal handsomeness, attractive manners, wealth, and above all, a manly, honorable spirit.
For all I had seen, I was scarcely prepared for this. The maiden might be good — I did not question that — but she was so homely; and this homeliness would be only the more apparent in contrast with his elegant exterior. It was almost on my lip to remonstrate — to suggest this thought to his mind. But I prudently forbore.
“You know her well, I hope.” I could not help the utterance of this caution.
“She is not thought to be beautiful,” he replied, seeming to perceive my thoughts, “indeed, as to features, she is plain; yet, in person, she is tall, graceful, dignified, and with a carriage that a queen might envy.”
This was true to the letter. I had not thought of it before. Nature had given at least this compensation.
“But the higher beauty,” he added, “is of the soul. All else, is soon diminished. Scarcely has the blushing girl stepped forward through the opening door of womanhood, before we see the luster of her blossoming cheek beginning to tarnish in the social atmosphere, or to pale from disease. But the soul’s beauty dims not, wanes not, dies not. It is as imperishable as the soul itself. Our bodies die, but the soul is immortal.”
“Does she possesses this beauty?”
“I know that she possesses it,” he answered, warmly. “I have seen it looking forth from her eyes, wreathing about her lips, and giving to every lineament a heavenly charm. It is musical in every tone of her voice.”
“Goodness alone, is beautiful,” I said.
“And she is good,” he replied. “I never met one who so rarely spoke of herself, or who seemed to take so loving an interest in humanity.”
“That is God-like.”
“Is not God the very source of all beauty? To be God-like, then, is to be beautiful. Ah!” he added, “I have found, indeed, a treasure! Morning and evening I thank the good Giver, that He opened my eyes to see deeper than the unalluring surface. I was dazzled, once, by a glittering exterior; but have a clearer vision now.”
“Win her and wear her, then,” I replied, “and may she be to you all your imagination pictures.”
“She is won,” he answered, “and I shall wear her proudly in the eyes of all men.”
There was a world of surprise when it became known that my handsome friend was about leading his chosen bride to the marriage altar.
“How could he throw himself away upon such an ugly creature?” said one, coarsely.
“He might have taken his choice from the loveliest,” remarked another.
“He will tire of that face in a month. All the gold of Ophir would not bribe me to sit opposite to it for a year.”
And so the comments rang.
But my friend knew what he was doing. I was present at the wedding.
“If she were not so homely!” I heard a lady remark, as she stood beside her handsome young husband. “What can he see in her to love?”
I turned and looked at the speaker. Nature had been kind in giving her an attractive face; but the slight curl of contempt which was on her lip marred everything. I glanced back to the young bride’s countenance; her pure soul was shining through it, like light through a veil. To me, she seemed at that moment, more beautiful than the other; and far more worthy to be loved.
The brilliantly beautiful maiden of whom I have spoken, gave her hand in marriage about the same time. Her husband was a young man of good character, kind feelings, and with sufficient income to enable them to live in a style of imposing elegance. A series of mirthful parties was the social welcome given to the lovely bride. But such honor did not attend the nuptials of the plainer wife.
A few years later, and the spiritual qualities of each were more apparent in their faces. I remember meeting both, in company, ten years after their marriage. I was standing at one end of the room, when an over-dressed woman, with a showy face, came in, accompanied by a gentleman whom I knew not as an acquaintance, but as a man of business and the husband of the beauty. I should scarcely have recognized the latter, but for him. What a change was there! At a distance, the face struck you as still beautiful, but, on a closer view, the illusion vanished. The mouth had grown sensual, peevish, and ill-natured; the eyes were bright, but the brightness repelled rather than attracted.
After a while, wondering at the change, I drew near and entered into conversation with her. The music of her voice I remembered. There was no music in it now; at least none for my ears. A certain abruptness in her manners, born of pride, or superciliousness, was to me particularly offensive. I tried her on various subjects, in order to bring out some better aspects of her character. The Swedish Nightingale had just been here, and had sung to my heart as no living man or woman had ever sung — I spoke of her. “Too artificial,” was the reply, with an air of critical vanity, which gave to my feelings a ripple of indignation. I referred to a new poem, admirable for its purity of style; she coldly remarked with depreciation on some of its special beauties, merely repeating, as I knew, a certain captious reviewer. I was in doubt whether she had read even a page of the book. Then I spoke of a lady present. She tossed her head, and arched her lip, saying, “She’s too fond of gentlemen’s attentions.”
I varied still my efforts, but to no good purpose. The more I conversed with her, the less beautiful became her face, for the unloveliness of her true character was perpetually gleaming through and spoiling the already sadly-marred features. I left her side, on the first good opportunity, glad to get away. Ten years ago, in all companies, she was the center of attention of every eye. The praise of her beauty was on every lip. But so changed was she now, that none bent to do her reverence. I noticed her sitting alone, with a discontented look, long after I had left my place by her side. Her husband, for all the attentions he paid her during the evening, might have been unconscious of her presence.
But there was another lady in the room, who was, all the while, the center of an admiring circle. None, perhaps, considered her face beautiful; yet to every one who looked upon it, came a perception of beauty that associated itself with her individuality. In repose, her features were plain, yet not repulsive in the slightest particular. But, when thought and feeling flowed into them, every eye was charmed. There was a nameless grace in her manner which gave additional power to the attractions of her countenance.
I was half in doubt, at first, of her identity, as I gazed upon her from a distant part of the room; she looked, in my eyes, so really beautiful. But the presence of my old friend in the group, my old friend who had been wise enough to prefer beauty of soul to beauty of face, removed all questions, and passing over, I added another to the circle which had gathered around her.
There was nothing obtrusive in her conversation; nothing of conscious pride; but a calm, and, at times, earnest utterance of true sentiments. Not once during the evening did I hear a word from her lips that jarred the better feelings.
“The good are beautiful!” Many times did this sentiment find spontaneous utterance in my thoughts as I looked upon her; and then turned my eyes to the discontented face of another, who, a few years before, carried off, in every company, the palm of loveliness.
Yes, here was the imperishable beauty!
Maiden! would you find this beauty? No matter if your features were not cast in classic mold — this higher, truer beauty may be yours, if you will seek for it in the denial of selfishness, and the repression of discontent. “The good are beautiful.” Lay that up in your thoughts. Treasure it as the most sublime wisdom.
Gather into the store-house of your minds, sentiments of regard for others; and let your hands engage in gentle charities. “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” If tempted to murmur — think of your many blessings. If tempted to repine — think of the thousands who are sick and in suffering. Be humble, gentle, forgiving, and above all — useful. These are the graces which shine through the outer coverings of the soul, and reveal themselves in light and loveliness to all eyes.
The good never grow homely, as they grow old. The outer eye may become dim, and the cheek loose its freshness — but in the place of earthly charms, will come a spiritual beauty, as unfading as eternity.”

The Reasoning And Importance Of Modesty

photo-1444920275954-9dddec6b714e (1)Modesty. I find that to be such a lovely word, one that stands for purity of heart, mind and dress, yet also so hated among many (even Christians). Those who embrace modesty are so often accused of embracing legalism and violating individualism. Modesty is seen as belonging to a less enlightened time, a past when people only abided by stricter standards because that was the way life worked and they didn’t know any better.

The modern church sees those who embrace modesty as belonging to one of four camps: 1) The ones who think modesty is old-fashioned and should be tossed out the window along with other “stupid” rules. 2) The ones who like to be “modest” to a point, believing that they can be satisfactorily modest while still following the world’s definition for the word. 3) Those who truly want to be modest but are made fun of for having such silly standards. 4) The legalist  who follows strict rules about what type, manner, and style of dress is or isn’t modest. Nearly every Christian falls into one of these categories.

Today the world as a whole, including the church, has lost sight  of the great importance of being modest. It seems that everyone thinks that the less clothes you have on the better. We are encouraged to believe that going around in nearly nothing proves that you’re grown up and know what you want out of life. Conversely, it seems that if you do believe that you ought to cover yourself up, you’re a legalist  of some kind.

None of this has to do with what the Bible says on the subject, mostly the world overlooks what God has to say about the way we dress and argues that one simply has to make up one’s mind up about it. People no longer see the wonderful beauty in modesty, and that goes both ways. I tend to have a good deal more respect for a young man when I see him actively trying to dress modestly in order to represent Christ and to respect the young ladies around him by covering up, than I do for a young man who walks around at the pool/beach without a shirt, or who wears tight shirts with plunging necklines and shorts that should’ve died with the 60’s.

Why I Chose To Be Modest.  

1 Timothy 2:9-10  Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

 I have been asked many times as to why I’m so old-fashioned, (even though I often wear slacks, jeans, and shorts that come to the knee). I am asked why I follow these  strict rules; who am I trying to please?  I’ve even been accused by extended family members of “dressing like the Amish” (an accusation I’m sure the Amish would strongly disagree with). One of the most important things to me is that when people see me I want them to see a young lady after God’s own heart, a young lady who reflects Christ in the way I dress and act. I don’t want them to see just another girl who walks around in whatever she pleases, or who looks and acts like everyone else. Another reason modesty is important to me is because one day I hope to get married and I want to be as pure as I can be when I do. I don’t want to carry along the baggage of knowing that guys I don’t even know have looked at me with lust in their hearts and that came about because I insisted upon dressing a certain way. I want to know that I kept myself for my future husband and him alone. I’m not saying that guys aren’t to blame for lusting after girls, I do think that they should work to control themselves, but we as their sisters in Christ should help them, just as guys should work to cover themselves in order to help us as our brothers in Christ.

Why Is Modesty Important For Every Christian?

1 Peter 3:3-4 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

As children of God we’re called to be Christlike in all ways and to reflect Christ in all aspects of our lives. That means that instead of looking like your every day Joe you look different, act different and want different things; in fact, everything about you is different. Modesty should be a reflection of our hearts, the way we dress should be a perfect picture to all who see us that we’re not defined by the world but defined by one very important Book. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 it states that our bodies are temples of the holy spirit, so why then should we not treat something that is holy with dignity? Since our bodies are and are used to the glory of God then we should treat ourselves with some respect. Proverbs 31:12 says “She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”Proverbs 31 gives men the picture of what they are to look for in a wife, but this verse rings true for both guys and girls as to how we’re to act before we’re married, the applies to the way we live, act, think and believe it or not the very way we dress. When you showcase yourself for others, then you are tempting them towards lust and allowing them to comment adultery with you in his or her heart without you even knowing it. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to get to my wedding day wondering how many guys I caused to stumble along the way.

Modesty From The Beginning Of Time. 

I consider myself to well read when it comes to modesty but must be honest and say that I turned to some of my books and my Bible for more insight and understanding as to how to present this to you without seeming a legalist. I was reading a book called The Beauty of Modesty by David and Diane Vaughan and they pointed out that when Adam and Eve were created they had no shame and thus had no clothes to speak of, but after sinning and bringing sin into the world they were filled with shame and tried to cover themselves. And when God came and asked where they were, Adam said they were naked and ashamed so they hid from Him, knowing what they had done. Adam and Eve made themselves coverings of fig leaves but God saw that as insufficient. God killed an animal (the first death in history) and made them long robes that came past their knees. So, as a result of sin we now cover as protection for ourselves and others.

What About Legalism? Can We Really Be Totally Modest Without Taking Legalism In Our Lives? 

Those who desire to be modest can hardly breath without the word legalist being shoved down their throats. The best way to understand how to be modest without also being a legalist is to understand what legalism really is and I think the best explanation of that is found in the book The Beauty of Modesty by David and Diane Vaughan, “It (Legalism) emphasises rituals over morals. Therefor, its primary focus is the external rather than the internal.”  When you place everything on how you look on the outside, when you push everything else aside (such as the reason for even being modest in the first place) you lose all meaning and its worthless~that’s legalism. Thus when it comes to modesty, modesty must first come from a pure heart and because of a pure heart you will want to cover up for the glory of God and out of respect for your husband (or wife if you’re a guy).

It can be easy to see what is considered normal and to ask yourself why you hold yourself to such views, to ask yourself why you’re going through the troubles of covering yourself when everyone else is having it easy by wearing what the fashion magazines, blogs and sites such as Pinterest and Instagram claim to be the “latest”, “hottest” or “cutest” styles. Having people call you a granny or grandpa can get a little old very quickly. As the world pressures you to give up your standards I suppose it can be very tempting, after all showing off a little can’t be too bad…Right? Even Churches seem to be falling into this deep dark almost endless pit.

I attended one church where nearly every young lady there walked around in dresses the length of some of my T-shirts and showed up in leggings and other assortments of clothing that would have been thought to be disgraceful back in the day. We attended this Church for a few months and not once did they ever mention the word “Modesty”. It seemed as if it was the black plague that everyone very carefully stepped over any time you would think it would come up. Every Sunday these young ladies were showing off leaving little to the imagination. Some of the young men at the church were not much better, dressing in tight jeans and rather form-fitting shirts.

The Bible makes it very clear that our body is the Holy Spirit’s temple. As such, we should dress in a way that honors God at all times–that means whether we are at the beach, walking around the grocery store, at church and any other place where we’d be out and about where people can see us. It even applies at home as we should be modest around our family and neighbors.

To end this post I thought I’d ask some three guys who are friends of mine some modesty related questions.

These first questions and answers are from a good friend of mine (He’s had a guest post one here before, you can read that -> Here) Josh A  of  Guitar With Arms Blog.

Tatiana: What is one items of clothing that causes you to struggle the most?                        Josh: Probably short shorts. Since when did it become okay for girls to wear shorts that are shorter than guy’s boxers?

TatianaDo designs on the back of skirts/pants present a problem?                                           Josh: Yeah! It’s just like saying “hey, look at my rear in these swirly pattern thingies!”. It just seems like they’re designed to attract the eye to a place the eye shouldn’t be staring at.

Tatiana Are knee-length skirts/shorts okay or do you prefer for ladies to wear longer ones?    Josh: Knee-length skirts are fine, same with shorts. If you’re wearing shorts or skirts to your knee, you will be so much more modest than the average person that it will most likely be totally fine. Sometimes it’s being more modest than those around you that’s important (unless you’re in an Amish community or something😉 ). Like if you’re on a college campus where no one has any concept of modesty and you wear knee-length stuff then you’ll be totally fine. 

 

Now my friend Daniel J. who is from the land of Cornwall England. (I was able to ask Daniel more questions than I was able to ask Josh, as I didn’t have all the questions in mind when asking Josh and Josh is busy with work and thus has been unable to answer these for me as of yet.)

Tatiana: What is one items of clothing that causes you to struggle the most?      Daniel: Strapless dresses/shirts. 

Tatiana: Do designs on the back of skirts/pants present a problem?                                                   Daniel: Not really for me but I know guys who struggle with that.

Tatiana: Are knee-length skirts/shorts okay or do you prefer for ladies to wear longer ones?
Daniel: No, as long as skirts are to the knee, I don’t see a problem.
 
Tatiana: Do tight/see through clothing cause a problem? 
Daniel: Yeah, definitely no see through stuff.
 

Tatiana: What are your thoughts on modesty and why is it important to you?                                  Daniel: I believe that it’s really important not just for girls but guys as well to dress with modesty, because it’s what God wants and it makes us different from the rest of the world, and when girls or guys dress with modesty it helps the opposite gender.

 

And my friend Nathan J. also of Cornwall England. He blogs at  God at the Centre of Our Lives

 

Tatiana: What is one items of clothing that causes you to struggle the most?                                   Nathan: A top with a low neckline, with no arms.

Tatiana: Do  designs on the back of skirts/pants present a problem
Nathan: No
 

Tatiana: Are knee-length skirts/shorts okay or do you prefer for ladies to wear longer ones?Nathan: There OK to the knee or just above.

TatianaWhat do you think about skinny jeans and leggings? 

Nathan: Leggings are not OK. Skinny jeans don’t cause me to struggle, but I really don’t think girls should wear them.

Tatiana: What about bikini’s and regular one piece swimsuits? 

Nathan: No, they’re not. A girl should keep her legs covered at least almost down to her knees. And also keep the neckline high enough that it doesn’t show any thing. Also they should have some arms even if they are short
 
Tatiana: Do tight/translucent clothes cause a problem? 
Nathan: Yes.
 
Tatiana: What are your thoughts on modesty and why is it important to you? 
Nathan: Lots of girls that are Christians need to cover up more. They wouldn’t know how hard it is unless they are a guy. Modesty is important to me because I want to be pure. It would really help if girls could cover up a bit more. I can like girls for what I see in them more than how much skin they’re showing.
That’s their thoughts. What are yours?

Thank you for stopping by and reading my post.

God bless,

Tatiana

True Love?

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There is one form of “love” that is pushed through the popular culture of movies, books, TV shows and songs. This version of love is built on passions and emotions. It’s built on living in the moment and having no regrets. It’s built on one night stands and dating different people till you find “The One!” whom you may or may not love “’til death do you part”. Our culture starts pushing such thinking on people at a young age, attempting to make us think falling in love over and over again is perfectly normal.

Even in mainstream Christian circles people encourage such thinking. Youth and young adults are encouraged to be in some kind of a relationship in order to be considered normal. We’re encouraged to “fall into” something I call “Fake Love” which is better known as a crush. Dating ensues and break-ups and heartaches follow. Over and over again we ride this crazy unstable ride until we finally commit what’s left of our heart, minds and bodies to someone who has probably been giving away themselves to others also (emotionally if not physically).

Crushes develop when we find a person of the opposite sex attractive in some way and, rather than just thinking they look nice, we start focusing all of our energy on them. We might like the way they look or how they make us feel. Crushes come on easily and to one who has not been taught better, it’s easy to start thinking that the feelings they are feeling are real and they are actually in love. Finding someone attractive is normal and as long as you leave it at that, you’re not sinning. But if you take it to the next level then you are sinning by lusting.

Matthew 5:28, ”But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.,”

Exodus 20:17, ”Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour’s. ” 

God tells us that He is to be the only God in our life. Crushes can cause immature Christians to sin by putting their focus on someone else, rather than on the Lord thus displacing Him in our affections. God tells us in Proverbs 4: 23 to “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.” When we are crushing on someone we are not keeping our heart with any diligence at all.

I haven’t experienced thinking that I was “in love” but I’ve seen it happen to girls and guys that I know many, many times. It rarely ends well, often with broken hearts and broken friendships and, many times, with the birth of a child to parents relationally, spiritually, financially and emotionally unprepared to be parents. What started out with a crush, ends up with an 18-year investment.

Our young people (and everyone else) needs to know that love is not made up of butterfly emotions, of holding hands, of dreams or of anything popular romantic movies or books tell you it is. Those feelings don’t last, they fade away like a puff of smoke. What popular culture convinces us is love is a figment of imagination, something you dream about but will never be able to grasp in real life. I like what Josh Harris had to say on this subject“The world takes us to a silver screen on which flickering images of passion and romance play, and as we watch, the world says, “This is love.” God takes us to the foot of a tree on which a naked and bloodied man hangs and says, “This is love.”

What Is True Love?

Some say love is so powerful that it can never be fully explained and understood; I don’t agree with that. I believe that the Bible very clearly shows us what true love is all about. A long time ago a Child was born of a virgin, lived a perfect sinless life as a poor Man. He was looked down upon and talked about and laughed at. He healed the poor and weak, and preached to all those who listened and those who didn’t. He performed unimaginable miracles, and went on to obey His Father by dying a painful death to save His people from a punishment they all deserved. Why? Why would this Man, this King, give up everything for a people that are not worthy? Love. He did it out of love.

John 15:13 , ” Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

But can His example be applied to our lives? Of course it can. You see love is being willing to give up everything for someone else even when you won’t be getting anything in return. Concerning human love between a man and a woman, it means putting someone else’s needs before your own, loving this person more then any other person in this world (though not more than God), being willing to put down your life for this person if need be, it’s honoring and be faithful to this person for the rest of your life (even if you haven’t met him or her yet). Loving someone means sticking by this person’s side even when times are hard and having compassion and mercy towards him or her every day – just like Christ has towards us.

Love as presented in popular culture doesn’t come close to presenting what love really is. They never show love at its full power because, being without Christ, the writers and creators simply don’t understand what love really is. As long as we look to the world to find the answers about love or anything else, we’ll never find it.

The best way we can find “true love” isn’t by thinking about love, looking for love or searching for someone who makes us feel all squishy inside. The wise person prepares to love someone else by loving God first. And in the meantime, we can prepare for loving and being loved by working on being “the one” who knows how to love as Christ Himself loves.

God bless,

Tatiana