As we enter February, there’s another occasion that’s arguably closer to a young man or woman’s heart. No prizes for guessing what it is: Valentine’s Day.
Rather than shy away from romantic love, let’s take the opportunity to set it in its place as one of God’s great gifts to us. Young adults like me often come to church with questions like the four I’ll share below, and there may not be a better time all year to address them.
1. Why am I not attached yet?
To many young adults who are still single and have been trying to find companionship for a long time, this is perhaps the most pertinent question that they want answered in a Valentine’s day sermon.
In my own discipleship journey, I have counseled several young adults who expressed this struggle and I am sure you might have experienced the same too. I’ve had young men believe God had given up on them when He did not ‘give’ them the ladies they liked. Young women have also wondered to me why young men refused to pursue them.
All of this makes finding love more confusing than it has to be. If you’ve answers and encouragement on this issue, that’s what we need.
2.What can I do to find the love of my life?
This inevitably leads to the next question: what can I do then? I was no different before I met the girl who is now my wife.
Unfortunately, I took my share of well-meaning (but simplistic) ‘Christian’ advice. You might have heard of the “well principle”—the idea that just as Isaac and Moses found their wives at the wells where they watered their animals, young men can do so by joining various church ministries and interacting with women there.
But it may not be the right way to go. It creates people who’ll come and go with their desires, not because they’re called to serve. It also ignores the reality of what truly attracts people, and assumes that God will always act in a certain way.
How we can approach this search for a life partner in a way that honors God, and might actually have a chance of success?
3.Is he or she really the one for me?
Some of us already have eyes on a potential life partner. But is that person really someone we want to spend the rest of our lives with? When our human flaws surface (and they will), the question will certainly come up.
I know I asked it many times when my wife and I were dating, and sometimes wondered if I was destined for someone else instead. And then we feel bad for asking that question, and feel bad about feeling bad!
It’s a vicious cycle, but one that preachers and teachers have the power to break as they help us understand each other as flawed human beings.
4.What can I do to keep the love of my life?
Courtship can be a time of great insecurity. Young adults who are already in this stage often wonder how they can keep their partners from leaving them.
Some may feel that they can sustain their relationships if they work hard in their jobs to prove their worth to their partners. Some, especially the women, may think that they need to prove their love by getting more intimate with one another. The key issue is avoiding undue pressure and heartache, and building realistic expectations.
The Heart of It All
I realize now that each of the four issues arises from our imperfect understanding of who we are in God’s love, and our incredible worth in Jesus Christ—regardless of singleness or marriage. We don’t court or marry to ‘complete’ ourselves, for we are complete in Christ.
We can do a lot to help young people in their quest for true love, and there’s no better time to do it than just before Valentine’s Day. Let’s make it not about shallow sentimentalism, but a reminder to love others and listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our own lives. That is what empowers young people to live full and dynamic lives for Him—and attract potential life partners if that is what He wills.
I can’t speak to every issue, so comment and let me know if there’re any I’ve missed out.
And if the Lord has helped you through them by bringing that special teacher or partner into your life, I’d love to know how He did it.
Have a blessed Valentine’s Day!