Monday

How to Find the Love of Your Life

An online dating service promises to help men and women "find the love of their life." I'm glad I don't need a service like that. I've already found the love of my life.

And it's not my husband.

When I was 16 years old, I read a book that suggested singles should make a list of the traits they felt were most important in a mate. Actually writing down the important qualities in a future husband or wife was supposed to help focus and direct one's dating life.

My list went something like this:

I WANT TO MARRY A MAN WHO IS:

1. Patient

2. Kind

3. Unselfish

4. Loving

5. Even-tempered

6. Brave

7. Faithful

8. Tender

9. Musical

10. Protective

11. Generous

12. Forgiving

13. Compassionate

14. Sacrificial

And did I mention good looking? Well, you get the message. It was a tall order. I tucked the list in a drawer, and every now and then I'd pull it out and compare it to my latest boyfriend. Most of them had several of the characteristics I listed as important. A few had over half, but no one quite measured up to my description of what Mr. Wonderful should be like.

And then it happened.

I met THE LOVE OF MY LIFE.

I was 18 years old.

It was the summer before my freshman year in college. By all outward appearances, I was on top of the world. I had a steady boyfriend, had graduated fourth in my high school class, and was headed to the college of my choice with a full-tuition scholarship. Life was good.

And I was miserable.

I would wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and sob. I thought I was having a nervous break down. It was the only way I could explain the fact that I had everything I needed to make me happy, yet I was a wreck.

Since I couldn't afford to see a psychiatrist, I did the next best thing. I called my pastor and asked to meet with him. Little did I know, on that hot day in the summer of 1982, that my pastor would introduce me to the love of my life, and I would begin a romance that continues to this day.

As I talked with my pastor, I poured out my emptiness, fears for the future, inability to make important decisions with confidence, my deep-down-inside loneliness, and guilt over the way I had been living. In return, he told me about someone who knew all about me and loved me anyway.

He introduced me to Jesus, the lover of my soul.

This is what he said about Him:

He is:

  
Patient "The Lord is. . . patient with you" (2 Pe 3:9).

Kind "I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them" (Hosea 11:4).

Unselfish "uphold me by Your generous Spirit" (Ps. 51:12).


Loving "But I trust in your unfailing love" (Ps. 13:5).


Even-tempered "The LORD is slow to anger" (Nahum 1:3).



Brave & Strong  "You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble" (Ps. 59:16).

Faithful  "Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands" (Deuteronomy 7:9).


Tender "I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul" (Ps. 31:7).

Musical "By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me-- a prayer to the God of my life" (Psalm 42:8).

Generous "He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land-- your grain, new wine and oil-- the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land" (Deut. 7:13).
  
Forgiving "You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you" (Ps. 86:5).

Compassionate  "The LORD, the compassionate and gracious God" (Ex. 34:6).

Sacrificial "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

As my pastor described Jesus, I knew I could throw my list away. I had found the love of my life. 

Have you met the love of your life, the Lover of your soul? If you haven't, I invite you to join me in this prayer.

"Lord Jesus, I thank you for loving me so much that you died on the cross to pay for my sins. You lived a perfect and holy life and had no sin of your own, so you were able to take the punishment for all the wrong I have done. I confess my sins to you and ask you to cleanse me, come live inside my heart, and make me a new person. I want to live for you for the rest of my life. In Jesus name I pray, Amen."

If you prayed this prayer, welcome to the family of God. If you already know Christ as the Lover of your soul, this is my prayer for you.


"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Eph. 3:17-19).



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