Bonnie Raitt has a song called, I Can’t Make You Love Me (if you don’t.)
It’s something we, as women, find hard to grasp, especially when we seem to have control over every aspect of our lives. “What do you mean he doesn’t love me? I’m a good woman! I’m an entrepreneur, I have great credit, drive a 2018 Benz, own my own home, and am Saks Fifth Avenue down to the socks. Surely I can convince the guy I want that he loves me and wants to be with me.”
Except, love is not ours to control.
The Making of Love
First off, love, the 1 Corinthians 13 version, is the blueprint of great friendships, relationships, and marriages. It is orchestrated by God. Everything else, therefore, is play-play. Which is why we can be sweet, sassy, and more saved than that lady who falls out on cue at every service, but if a man does not love you (even by the other definitions of love), there is nothing you can do about it.
And, if we’re being honest, we know when we aren’t being loved properly, don’t we? If we’re even more honest, sometimes our marriage plans don’t fall in line with our time schedule, so we end up settling for less than what God had in mind. And then, we sometimes compromise our values by sleeping with him because we think he’ll leave. Deep down inside we know: “If he was living for Christ and truly loved me, he would want to honor and preserve intimacy until marriage.”
When it doesn’t work out, we say we should have known better and we’ll never do that again. We promise God we will be faithful in our walk. If we haven’t repented, though, let Lauryn Hill tell it: “If you did it then, then you’ll probably do it again. Talkin’ out your neck saying you’re a Christian…” (Doo Wop, 1995)
So are you, Christian woman? Talking out your neck, thinking you have to make a way and then ask God to bless it? Or do you really believe, like Travis Greene, that God Himself will make a way?
Love by God’s Spirit
The Word says in Mark 10:9, “Therefore WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER, let no one separate.” No one. Not him, you, or his mama can tear it apart. Why? Because what God has done BY HIS SPIRIT will last. It’s what we try to build (by our might and power) on a pile of sand that crumbles when the waves hit.
The Message Bible says, “You can’t force these things. They only come about by my Spirit.” Love abounds by God’s Spirit because God is love (1 John 4:16)! So the sooner we stop trying to orchestrate our “love lives” and getting in God’s way, the easier it will be for God to lead us to this Promised Land – where there’s not a wave strong enough to wash away what the Sure Foundation has built.
So, What’s the Play Call?
WAIT ON THE LORD.
“I waited patiently for the Lord and He heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1, NIV)
Often when a new iPhone or iPhone update comes out, there are kinks. It’s only over a matter of time that those kinks can be worked out and then the 2.0 version is released to the public.
Time reveals the kinks. To put it in relationship terms, let’s use the ungodly theory of the 90-day rule. Waiting 90-days to fornicate is said to be designed to help women see a man through clear eyes, not through I-done-did-it-and-now-I’m-sprung eyes. But even better, if a potential Boaz appears, waiting on the Lord will help you identify if he is truly your man. Kinks happen, and dating God’s way will facilitate working any issues out. You’ll have confidence enough to freely love who He’s sent because surely God won’t send you junk.
EXAMINE YOUR HEART.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.” (2 Corinthians 13:5, NIV)
Questions to ponder:
- How’s your relationship with Jesus? Y’all tight or merely acquaintances? Is it based on what He does for you? And, if He doesn’t do what you want, do you climb out of His fishing boat?
- Will your relationship be encouraged or discouraged by the mate of your dreams?
- Do you want a mate or a roommate to split bills with?
- Have you overlooked who God has chosen for you?
GUARD YOUR HEART.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)
Be careful of the images you’re taking in. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22 NIV) What your eyes take in is what your soul takes on. If all you’re taking in are love stories, all you’re doing is reminding yourself of what you don’t have. Take a breather. Watch Law and Order. Watch the cooking channel – unless of course you’re like me and fantasize about cooking the best meal ever for your boo one day. Nevermind. Girl, just focus on Jesus.
God loves us. He wants to give us the desires of our hearts. BUT He wants our hearts. The Word doesn’t say dabble in the Lord a lil bit, it says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will grant you the desires of your heart.” Delight – have joy and take pleasure in seeking Him – only then will He do His part.
And by His Spirit, that man you so desire will be yours to love. For-evaaaaaaaah!