HOW TO FIND TRUE LOVE by Pastor Shah (Clearview Church, Henderson)
(This article was published in the local newspaper The Daily Dispatch on 2/28/17)
“I have found the one whom my soul loves…” Song of Solomon 4:4
Spring is around the corner. Wedding invitations are in the mailboxes. Relationship statuses are changing on Facebook. Love is in the air. This is a joyful time of the year for some but it is also a depressing time for others. While some seem to be on the love boat, others feel doomed to be the lonesome dove. The goal of this article is to bring hope to those who desire true love. Except for the first one, the rest are simply recommendations not rules.
- Follow God’s guidelines – It wasn’t Cupid but God who noticed the loneliness of Adam and crafted Eve for him. He brought her to him and pronounced the first marital blessing – “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) Any relationship that fails to follow God’s parameter of true love cannot expect God’s blessing.
- Become the right person, internally – Many people are waiting for the right person to come along. How about you becoming the right person? Start working on your bad attitudes, habits, and behaviors while you wait.
- Become the right person, externally – Work on your hygiene, attire, and manners. For starters, consider investing in nose hair trimmers, laundry detergents, and breath mints. That’s under $10 but will pay high dividends!
- Step out of your comfort zone – Many years ago a wise person told me – “You can have whatever you really want.” How badly do you want to meet someone? Then stop hiding behind your smartphone and start looking up. You never know whom you might run into.
- Look for common convictions – Don’t go by sports teams and TV shows. Look below the surface for beliefs and values that you have in common. My wife Nicole and I came from two different worlds. She watched baseball growing up; I watched cricket. She ate fried chicken; I grew up on chicken curry. But, the reason we’ve made it is because fundamentally we believe the same way.
- Don’t have unreasonable expectations – It’s okay to have a list but don’t become unrealistic. I am not suggesting that you lower your standards but just that you stick to what really matters. A good test is – “Can you pass your own demands?”
- Don’t have false hopes – Is there something that really bothers you about the other person? If you think that marriage will change him/her, think again. As a pastor for twenty years I have seen things get worse not better.
- Receive the input of parents and mature adults – Someone once said, “Experience is a comb which nature gives us when we are bald!” The adults in your life may not have it altogether but life has taught them certain truths that may be worth heeding.
- Pray and Believe – You may have to face rejection and at times it may seem very discouraging but don’t give up. Talk to God, trust his guiding hand, and wait on him. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you…If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:7, 11)