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Love and Letdowns: Faith isn't Character

Love and Letdowns

Deborah M. Jackson, MDiv

Recently, I’ve been engaged in intensive conversations with singles about love and letdowns. The Lord has allowed some interesting relational experiences in my life. Each situation has taught me different things, and the romantic relational disappointments are no different. What I can assure you however, is that the Lord is actively involved no matter the relationship or situation. Usually, the lessons are more a boomerang than a dart.

It's hard to believe we are only months away from another holiday season. Holidays are some of the loneliest times for people no matter what the media may tell you. Listen, love is more than feelings. I know it may be hard to hear this but it is some of the richest enlightenment I can begin to offer. Seldom, are we teaching about how to reflect on our relationships and relational experiences. Not one time I went through a disappointment in this area, did God not have an incredible revelation about myself He also intended me to soak into. Whether someone else caused the heartache or not, I learned there was a crucial lesson in the situation for me. Relationships must go beyond our feelings in order to reach a place of clear discernment and revelation about tangible things. Feelings don’t go the distance and they often change. Feelings are important, yet because our feelings evolve and often change abruptly the truest measurement of substance is character.

This may sound something like: “I see this person through life’s ups and downs, make hard, sacrificial decisions even though the cost to them is high.” (This is just a small example) Yes, that means we also need to see how people respond to crisis and pressure.

Even when it comes to Spiritual beliefs it’s a mistake to meet someone aligned with your spiritual beliefs and conclude it’s enough to make a fulfilling and enduring marriage. I do believe and God’s word confirms love is the entry point for marriage. We know from the Song of Solomon how beautiful and intoxicating love can be for the soul. This is good. However, we must put the scriptures in context and seek guidance through the realities of today. God’s presence in a relationship must not be reduced to an atmosphere or feeling. Similarly, the atmosphere of being in the presence of God is unique and necessary, but relationship with Him deepens outside of the church experience. In relationships God’s presence must reach deep into tangible experiences demonstrated in one’s character. This includes a deep dive into your character and theirs.


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