Loving someone requires vulnerability. Sometimes, that leads to something beautiful, but it can also end in anguish. However, we can’t allow our past to dictate how we will love in our future. We can solidify this in a few ways: by acknowledging the past as the past, by not allowing failed relationships to have a voice in our future, by allowing ourselves to love without restraint, and by unveiling our eyes to see God’s intention of love to be a beautiful pursuit, not a stifled one because of fear.
1. Love With Hope
Failed relationships from the past may have instilled doubt, pessimism, fear, anxiety, worthlessness and a distorted view of romantic relationships. If we bring in this turmoil into a future relationship, we are already drowning something that could have set sail smoothly. Instead, we never even gave it sails. By doing this, we are preventing ourselves from even having the chance to fall in love because we are already casting the anchor down in a place that isn’t even established by God, but by our fleshly fear. We simply can’t allow what happened in the past, to forcibly reflect something that hasn’t even happened yet in our future. God desires us to get through to the promise land, not to stay behind.
2. Love Without Dwelling On The Past
We need to surrender the past; we need to acknowledge that what happened then will always be behind us. The Lord tells us to not dwell on the past, either. He tells us this because our God knows that nothing healthy can come from it. But by keeping our gaze fixated on Christ, and smiling toward our future (Prov. 31:25), God will be able to unveil our eyes to the holy pursuit of a godly relationship and eventually, a sacred marriage.
3. Love Without Restraint
By surrendering from the past, we will be able to love without restraint – to allow ourselves to love freely, boldly, gently and patiently. We need to allow our walls to fall, to allow the Spirit of our Father to rush in, to fill in the gaps of hopelessness and fear, and to wash us over with a renewed hope in Him and in our future relationship. It can happen. God is evident in His working through people who have fully trusted in Him for the relationship, and have also trusted their partner without being overly guarded.
The beautiful reality is that one day, you will get married, and it won’t be because you were guarded, looked to your past and wrestled with trusting another human being. It will be because you drew upon the strength of our ever-present Savior to guide you through a promising relationship. It will be because you anchored yourself in God, and not your fleshly fear.
4. Love With Courage
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” —1 John 4:18
It will be because you allowed God’s breath to blow your ship’s sails and give you courage. You will be joyously married because you allowed yourself to love without fear, and allowed God’s hands to tear away the veil of pessimism, so that you could see how pure, how genuine and how beautiful the depth of another’s love can be.
“There are three things that amaze me – no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.” —Proverbs 18-19
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