This blog is Part 2 to this blog, so read that first!
We always say that every girl dreams of that special day. The day that they are walking down the aisle toward the one they love to live their happily ever after.
We grow up watching the movies where falling in love is like a fairy tale. The man is a night in shining armor ready to fight for the love of his life. The stories like the one above where the romance is comical and heart wrenching at the same time. The type of love story that in the chaos still seems all together perfect.
Two people. Man. Woman. Head over heels in love.
I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for a good romcom. I may or may not have cried my eyes out while I was alone in a hotel room watching the newest Nicolas Sparks on my recent trip in Greece.
There’s something inside of me that just loves a good love story.
I didn’t grow up like the typical girl though. I didn’t dream of my wedding day or even spend much time wondering what my new last name would be. As much as I love the idea of true love, I always seemed to have other things that I prioritized over “romance.”
At 16 I met Jesus.
Met seems too shallow for the way He came in and in one swoop devastated my plans and captivated my attention. I began this journey of getting to know Him, but I still didn’t have a grid for what it meant to “fall in love” with Him.
I think there’s probably a few reasons for this.
One- “falling in love” wasn’t really a term I had even heard at that time in my walk with Christ, even though it seems to be a buzz phrase used among ministers and Christian circles these days. And yes I’ll admit, I’m definitely in that crowd as well, it just wasn’t so common then.
Two- I hadn’t fallen in love with a man yet. You know one who had a first and last name, social security number, or more accurately had two parents, one male, one female and was conceived by a sexual union. I had dated some after being saved, but had only had two rather serious boyfriends. Though I cared for them and loved them both deeply, I never could quite say that I had fallen in love with them and was ready to commit my life to either of them.
The reason I’m being raw about my love life is because sometimes when we hear the phrase “fall in love with Jesus” we automatically begin to compare our relationship with Jesus to whatever view of “falling in love” we already have cultivated.
Maybe your view is from falling in love with your boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse.
Maybe your view is from one of the hundreds of romance movies you’ve watched or other media you’ve read, seen, or listened to.
Maybe it’s from your parents relationship or others you’ve experienced in your life.
With all of these variables falling in love could look like a fairy tale or honestly it could look like a horror film.
How do we explain to someone the necessity to fall in love with Jesus when what they’ve seen of “falling in love” actually has been riddled with manipulation, control, sexual/physical abuse, and other unhealthy characteristics of what people have deceptively and incorrectly labeled as LOVE?
If that’s you, it’s okay if the phrase “falling in love with Jesus” has completely caused you to change the channel. In fact, I don’t blame you and you’re not the first one to have that reaction.
I’ve seen similar responses in other areas of our walk with God. One simple place is from people who have had abusive fathers. When they get saved there is a massive struggle with calling God, Father.
Like it or not our experiences with fathers, mothers, romantic partners, relationships in general often carry over into our relationship with the Trinity. I could write a whole blog on that alone, but for now I’ll shelf it.
What if someone’s main point of context for “falling in love” looks like a fairy tale? What if it’s supposed to be the man who swoops in, saves the day, and carries you off into the sunset on his horse? Jesus definitely comes in and saves the day, but a relationship with Him hardly looks like some miraculous fairy tale where “happily ever after” becomes your theme.
I first heard the phrase of being “in love” with God from God Himself. If it had been from some other source I imagine I would have had quite the battle with even the idea of falling “in love” also. I believed fairy tales were just that, fairy tales. And I often had the view that to gain anything in life or in the Kingdom meant work, lots and lots of hard work. So comparing it to falling in love pretty much made me want to vomit.
However, when He spoke it was so clear that not only did I know it was Him, it pierced my heart with a deep hunger for what He spoke of. I had to cast off my views of falling in love, but their were still plenty of struggles to overcome. The biggest struggle for me was still:
I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO FALL IN LOVE.
I didn’t know how to fall in love with a man standing in front of me, much less, JESUS! It didn’t matter how appealing it sounded, it seemed distant and far off reserved for I don’t know the nun types that married themselves to Him.
I wrote this entire blog not to restate everything I’d already said in the first blog, but to reassure those of you who have an issue with the diction used in this phrase. Unaware of your personal circumstance I can’t point out why that phrase rubs you the wrong way, frustrates you, saddens you, or just doesn’t sit well but that’s where we need to start.
Jesus needs to clean that slate for you.
Find out why it doesn’t feel right. Ask Holy Spirit to help you.
I love that when David was dismayed he cried out, “why are you downcast oh my soul?”
He took time to engage with his inner self and find out what was going on inside of him.
Take a short journey with Holy Spirit.
Start by pin pointing why you don’t like the idea of falling in love with Jesus. (For some men it’s simply because Jesus is a man and well… that can feel awkward at first)
Once you figure out why, start asking Him to heal you of any past hurt, trauma, or even just disillusionment. Be honest with Him. Be real. He’s not afraid of your hurts, your fears, or even your disagreement.
For me I had to come face to face with my fears of falling in love. I realized I had trust issues (sometimes I still do), I realized I had control issues, and overall I felt lacking in my ability to whole heartedly love someone intimately whether that be God or others.
Imagine if your own faults are the first things you see when you start pursuing falling in love. For most it’ll just make you want to quit and go back to where you were comfortable, but don’t give up, you’re on a journey that will change your life.
In the next blog we’ll start looking at some practical steps to take as we walk through this journey of falling in love.