Did you ever have dreams of being the knight (or damsel) of a beautiful love story when you were a little kid? Did you ever have thoughts of a perfect outcome where good overcomes evil and the hero rescues the princess? Did you ever used to think that they were possible in real life? How about now? Do you still believe that good can overcome evil and the hero can rescue the princess? Now how about this one: Do you believe that YOU could overcome evil and YOU could be the hero or princess? I’ll let you in on something that God’s shown me over the past year. The most romantic and perfect fairy tale ever written is NOTHING compared to what’s possible if you let God completely rule your life, take the pen, and write your love story.
The Perfect Love Story?
Almost everyone has seen “the perfect love story.” Most of the time it’s in Disney movies or fairy tales. They usually include love at first sight, tragedy, romance, unequaled heroism, and to-die-for beauty. As kids, we just love that stuff. Well, girls at least (Boys are usually more interested in dirt and guns than love at age 5). But hey, who doesn’t like the idea of a perfect love story? You’ve probably pictured the perfect knight or princess in your mind before.
He would have a shining silver helmet, blonde curls, deep blue eyes, and a muscular build to himself. His armor would clink and rattle while he walked, and his arms would be as strong as a bull. He would wield his sword with precision, and bring it down on a foe in seconds. He could take out an entire army just for you, his princess. Then sweep you off your feet and onto his gleaming white horse and ride you off into the beautiful sunset.
She would have a long flowing white dress with scarlet ribbon. Her voice would be as quiet as a dove’s, and her eyes as innocent as a child’s. Her cry for help would be like a song to your ears as you’d ride to rescue her. She’d watch from her stone tower as you’d wipe out the enemy forces and burst into the castle to rush up the stairs. You’d save her from the cold prison and pull her up on your horse. Her smile would be like a fire lit in your heart, and she’d lovingly embrace you as the light would fade.
So appealing, so innocent, so perfect… yet sadly, these expectations for our love stories usually don’t last very long after age 12. As kids approaching adulthood in today’s world, we are bound to be exposed to the deadly mental ideas of “adolescence” and “teenagers” that can quickly destroy our dreams. Why do I say deadly? Because I want every “teen” reading this to understand something. There are countless examples of people who became real men and women at the ages of 9-16 and younger, and they didn’t let their circumstances influence what they attempted in life. George Washington’s dad died when he was 11, leaving him with his father’s whole farm. By age 17, he had a job as official surveyor of an entire county in Virginia (about 382 square miles); a well-paid job for his time. Did he let others define what he thought he could accomplish? No, he stuck to his expectations of himself and of what was really possible, and did great things in life. Josiah in the Bible was 8 years old when he became king. Eight years old! His mother helped him make decisions for a while, yes, but still… a king at 8? That’s pretty amazing. Josiah went on to be really sold out for his King at around age 16, and he reigned for 37 years. Of course, these men didn’t have the invisible walls of “teenage years” and “adolescence” to stop them. But why do those ideas stop us now? Why do we give up on dreams of a perfect love story and “that one princess or knight that’s bound to be mine someday?” I believe the answer is simply pressure. Almost EVERYONE expects teens to be stupid and get into “little relationships” from time to time. Everyone expects us teens to make dumb choices, mess up, and then settle for a much less perfect love story than what we dreamed of in our childhood. When the world hits us in the face with “reality” like a bucket of cold water, we all of the sudden feel like we need to accept mediocre and perverted love stories as normal and just “go along with it.” BUT WE DON’T. There’s a better way. A much more difficult and less traveled path, but with a reward that’s more amazing than prince charming could ever hope for. There are real “knights and princesses” of Jesus Christ. Believe me, I’ve seen and met some of them, and they are just waiting for another true follower of God to take heart and rise to a better standard of love and truth as they have. Are you ready for a better path?
The Better Path
So how is this possible? Where is this path? Well, I must first warn you that this path is not easy. It is VERY hard. Also, there are an extremely small amount of other people on this earth who travel this path. I’m not talking about “Christians” here. I’m talking about a very small percentage of even Christians that have chosen this direction. You will not be appreciated or liked for your choice to walk this path. If you truly follow this path well, you’ll be disrespected, “weird,” and to say it bluntly, hated. But while there is a very extreme shortage of those who choose to walk this path, that tiny percentage still exists, and like I said, true knights and princesses are definitely out there. The odds are against anyone who embarks on this journey, but I believe it is one of the most satisfying choices that anyone could make in this life.
Alright, so what exactly is this path? What does it look like? Well, here are some ideas of what I think the better path of love should be.
1. The Better Path Does Not Flirt.
Just like the title says, if you want to embark on a greater journey of love, one of the things you must do is to stop flirting. You know you’re guilty of this on some degree. I’d say that at least 97.2% of living Americans have flirted and/or are addicted to flirting. Well, I was one of them. A year ago, you could catch me flirting (or trying to) with a girl practically every day I was in public (I’m a homeschooler for those of you who don’t know). It was what everyone did, so I did it too. Of course, I didn’t call it flirting. And sadly, no-one really questioned my actions because it was what everyone did. If I ever did question my actions, I just rationalized them away with a bit of help from Satan’s lies. Now don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t a creepy ladies’ man wanna-be. Almost no-one could get away with that in the atmosphere I was in. If you were going to flirt, you had to hide it. It pains me to say this, but a year ago, I was a student in the art of disguised flirting. I knew exactly how to act around girls without appearing too un-Christian to the more Godly people I knew. And while I was pretty good at hiding it, I was not good at flirting. I’m actually very thankful to God that I was a terrible flirter and looked pretty stupid trying to impress girls, because if I was good at it, I might be stuck in a God-dishonoring relationship right now. Anyways, the point is that flirting is WRONG. By flirting with a girl (or guy) you are also doing the following actions: 1. You are destroying that person’s purity. By trying to attract a girl or guy, you are desensitizing them to the world’s idea of Love. If you are successful in your attempts for affection, then you very well could hold their heart in your hands. This gets very dangerous. When you reject them, they reject themselves. When you talk to them, they perk up their ears like a puppy dog. And when you decide that you are getting bored of playing this game, then guess what? You leave them in the dust with a smashed heart; not from a broken relationship, but from a relationship that never happened. They weep not from a “breakup,” but from the false hope of having a little romance. And you are very much to blame. 2. God hates it. When you flirt, you are really placing your pleasure above God. Have you honestly ever been praising Jesus within a flirting session? You have serious problems if your answer is yes. You simply can’t flirt while still having God as your number one priority in life, and that is why it is wrong.
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matthew 5:28
Think about that verse for a minute. Have you ever looked at a woman (or man) with lustful intent? Then you have committed adultery with her in your heart. But wait… isn’t that where Jesus lives? God lives inside your heart, right? He is supposed to rule there! By flirting with (or staring at) that girl or guy over there, you are not only committing adultery with her, you’re doing it in God’s house. God said, “My temple shall be called a house of prayer”(Matthew 21:13). You are God’s “temple.” Have you made it a house of prayer? No. You’ve brought a random girl into God’s very living space and committed adultery with her while God watches! Let this be a reminder to us all of how wrong it is to lust after the opposite sex.
2. The Better Path Does Not Chase
“Chase what?” you may be asking. The answer is love; or at least Satan’s twisted version of it. You’ve seen it, believe me. If you live in the modern world, you see people chase love ALL THE TIME. They flirt, say the right things, spend “innocent” time with a certain someone, and live happily ever after. Well, not quite. Let’s just say that a HUGE number of modern Americans have chased love and failed. Why? Well, for one, love almost never works out like the movies. Reality is painful at times, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. And one of the most painful areas is love. Deep down inside every one of us is a longing for true love. Even when we know that finding love isn’t as easy as Hollywood makes it out to be, we still seemingly never give up on finding true love! But the thing is, once we get deep enough into the reality of this world, we start accepting more and more pathetic and dull chapters in our love stories. And then we end up with a much less than magical ending to a hard and fruitless search for that one princess or knight that turned out to be a jerk or a hag. On top of that, God tells us not to. I’m not making this whole thing up. It’s clearly written in the Bible!
“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” – Song of Songs 8:4
Like I explain in “Love Unawakened,” this verse (and others like it in Song of Songs) simply tells us to wait for love. And there are countless places in the Bible about “giving our life to God.” We can’t give Him everything except love. We can’t just say, “I’ll let you control my life, God… but I get to keep my love life for myself!” Chasing love simply doesn’t work unless you’re willing to sacrifice a firm belief in God for a pale and shallow love story. Maybe you’ve chased love. I know I have. Let me tell you, there is no better way to waste your valuable existence away than trying to be as attractive to girls as every other person around you. About a year ago, much of my time, actions, and thoughts were devoted to attracting girls (or at least trying to). I never really thought much about God… oh, He was nice… but [insert female name here] was much more inviting to think about and dream of saying nice things to. Basically, I was focused on impressing girls, not God. I’m quite ashamed to say that I pretty much never considered God’s amazing creation, His plan for me, or how I should be serving Him. I focused on that girl’s looks, the plans I had to talk with her later, and how I could serve my own desires. Then God tapped on my shoulder. And I’ll never forget His amazing mercy and kindness in doing so.
3. The Better Path Is Courageous
After that last part you’re probably thinking, “Ok, so I know what NOT to do… but what SHOULD I do?” Well, here’s the part you’ve been waiting for; courageousness. Now, while there is a long list of “don’ts” in the Better Path, there are many things we must DO. A warrior (or princess) doesn’t just go around being miserable all day because they have to wait 4-10 years to have God start their love story. We should use this time of singleness in our lives while it lasts and view it as a blessing. I know this is sounding a bit wacko. “Be grateful for being single?! This guy is crazy!” Yup. That’s what I’m saying. Think about it. If you wait until you’re married to tell others about God’s true plan for love, do you think it’ll be much help to your friends around you now? You and I have an important influence on our young generation right now, and if we don’t take this opportunity that God has given us to spread the news of The Better Path, we will be held accountable. God doesn’t want us to sit around while he prepares our future spouse for us. He wants to prepare US for our future spouse too, and we have to let Him! We have to do great things for our God NOW. What does that look like? Well, one part of it is letting others know that God’s plan for love is so much more than what the world says it is! Spread the word! If someone asks you if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, take that as a chance to shine for God. Say something like, “No, I’m going to let God control that area of my life” or “I’m waiting for God to lead me to my wife, because I think He can do a lot better job than me.” Let the world know where you stand! Don’t be a jerk about it or anything, but let them know in a kind but sure voice that you are giving this part of your life into God’s hands, and that you aren’t going to pursue a love relationship until God says it’s time. Another part is living for God to the best of our ability. We need to be working on our lives to make sure we are a good example to those who look up to us and are around us. Some of those live in our home, and some are our friends. How do we set a good example? By living as true followers of the holy God. We can’t let God have our love life and then go on living a mediocre spiritual existence in every other area of our walk. See my “A Personal Call” series for my thoughts on how to be a genuine servant of the Most High God. “Part 2” will give you some practical steps for truly living as a maturing disciple of the Lord. “The Covenant Life” will give you a commitment to God by Eric Ludy that really helps to remind me of what I stand for, and I hope will have the same effect for you. “Part 3” gives a battle plan for standing up to Satan’s constant attacks on our soul, and how to never back down from our calling to fight for our Lord. In case you’re wondering, “Part 1” is my calling unto all who read it to truly live out what we say we believe as Christians; to try to give you a better perspective on Christianity. That it’s not just a hobby, a belief, or a lifestyle. It’s the Truth. It should be the very essence of our existence, and it should always be our highest desire to serve our Lord.
So, this is The Better Path. You may have questions, such as, “If I wait for love and let God control it, then how am I going to every find a wife (or husband)?” or “How do I wait on love when everyone else is NOT waiting?” These are good questions (and yes, they do have answers), but for now I will leave you with this choice. To either continue pursuing love and suffer the results of rejecting God’s control for your heart, or to stop “liking” people, stop chasing love, and live for your Lord to the best of your ability RIGHT NOW while He prepares a glorious future for you. So, what shall it be? As it often seems in life, there are two paths that lay before you. One is lovely and wide, with room to travel it however you like. But this path gets worse and worse until you realize that it was an all too clever trap laid my Satan himself. The other path is much less traveled and very narrow, but it leads to a beautiful castle with the King of Truth in command. The only thing about this path is that it is very dangerous, and you must take a sword with you if you are to survive the journey. Will you take up your sword, charge into battle, and fight for your King, Christian?