Step #1 in Dating
In the beginning, God officiated the first union between a man and a woman. Against the backdrop of a newly-born universe, God declared marriage a lifelong union, holy and sacred. But in the spectacle of this first relationship between a man and woman, God was preparing the world for something greater, the gospel. In the shadow of marriage, he was ushering in the indescribable beauty of the perfect model for all relationships, Christ and His bride the church.
It’s in the glory of this mismatch between the perfect groom, Jesus, laying down His life for an unworthy bride, the church, that we see the essence of love. A sacrificial love that makes the salvation plan of God the ultimate love letter to the world. A love that unravels the counterfeit loves of this world, which gift wraps movie romance, sexual promiscuity, momentary loyalty and immature affections into the status quo.
“Therefore be imitators of God…walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us…” (Eph. 5:1-2). For those who are unmarried, dating, or seeking a relationship, the search for a life partner is not the pursuit of a perfect someone. But it’s in the pursuit of the perfect person, Jesus, that we find God’s vision for the right life partner. Too often in our longing for emotional intimacy, we make the costly compromise on God’s standard exampled in His Son. Marriage isn’t the end to loneliness and hunger for intimacy. After all, what success can two sinners born with spiritual and moral defects hope to find in making each other the object of love? Even in marriage, desires can run rampant and when the spouse fails (and they will), the focus needs to be to reprioritize to a superior desire for Jesus’ all-satisfying person.
God wants us to know that another human being can never be all we need for unconditional love, intimacy and belonging. He has given us the gospel, so our pursuit for love will not be self-centred but rather Christ-centred. As we delight ourselves in seeking hard after Christ, we will begin to experience the life change we need in our vision for earthly love.