Skip to content

God’s Presence in Romantic Love

I have to say, I’m a little new to this whole “romantic love” thing. My girlfriend and I have been dating for about a year and a half now. She and I can both attest to it—the relationship is not 100% joy and sweeping each other off our feet all the time. The relationship is not constantly filled with exciting conversations, burning attraction, and romantic starlit evenings together. The relationship is not even always positive or easy. But we still have those moments—or at least, I do—where I understand the meaning of deep connection that people seek when they say they are looking for “love.” When people yearn for being known by someone and not just employed for physical or sexual desire. I’ve experienced those simple stretches of a couple seconds where we just gaze at each other in silence and feel totally comfortable and content.

And it’s no surprise that I haven’t experienced that before. Sure, I’ve dated before. But if I’m honest, the dating that I did in high school or college was mostly centered around shared locality—we were in the same dorm, or enjoyed the same interests, or participated in the same activities, making it very convenient to see each other often. It wasn’t until it was difficult to be in a relationship, where I had to fight past the long distance, miscommunication, and inconvenience of being committed to another human being that I understood the fruit of sacrifice. We felt closer and more attached to each other because we were willing (and knew the other was willing) to remain with each other, regardless of inconvenience or difficulty.

God is precisely like this to us. He has demonstrated that he is committed to us regardless of our posture—ignorant, aloof, or even kicking and screaming in protest. It’s a powerful sacrifice to die for someone who doesn’t want anything to do with you. And yet, that’s the kind of love that God offers. In the Old Testament, Israel disobeys God flagrantly and turns to other gods and idols, only for God to forgive again and again and to remain despite their stubbornness. He remains with them.

So what is my response to this God of love? Well, I want to learn to love this God back.

All my life, the loving relationships in my life have primarily been from either my family or my friends. There is a way that I can relate to God and love God like I love my family—deep loyalty simply because we are of the same blood. Love that is expressed as obedience or gratitude to my parents because they’ve raised me, nurtured and protected me.

There is a way that I can relate to God like the ways I relate to my friends—I take interest in who they are and what they say. I enjoy participating in activities that are fun, interesting, or enjoyable to me. I share things that I trust them with.

And now, I’m sure there are ways that this type of romantic love I’m experiencing will open me up to experiencing God’s love in much different ways. With my girlfriend, we no longer just hang out because it’s convenient, easy, or fun in the moment—sometimes, it’s very not fun. And yet we are choosing to because we are committed to the long term relationship between us. We don’t yet have the bonds of permanent love and care for each other that gets expressed through family, yet we find fascination in getting to know each other better and better.

That moment that I spoke of, a moment of deep contentedness between my girlfriend and I, just hanging out on the couch… I wonder how I can practice that kind of connection and relationship with God. God, whom I’ve only seen as Heavenly Father up until now or Jesus, whom I’ve only seen as Advocate and Friend. How do I be present to God just as much as He is present to me? How do I find deep joy and comfort in being simply known? How do I build up the relationship through all the difficult seasons to get to a space where I feel totally comfortable and safe?

A relationship is work. But a relationship is also to be enjoyed and savored. It was a sweet and tender moment that my girlfriend and I have been able to share together. No words needed to impress, no activity needed to occupy… simple presence and gaze was enough. Not only do I believe that God see us that way, but I believe he invites us to enjoy relationship with him in that way as well. No lengthy prayers or confessions needed, no active “work” in reading Scripture or attempting to learn and adopt more of Jesus’ characteristics… just simple, sweet time together. And the desire to be in greater relationship.

Question: what are the different kinds of “love” that you distinguish between in your relationships?

Do you want a FREE eBook?


Unsubscribe or manage subscription anytime!

Published in#article

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *