6 Ways To Know It Is True Love
Whitney Houston sang her pop sensation song “How will I Know?” in 1985. This song epitomizes our cultural trend of examining whether someone truly loves us or not. However, a believer in Jesus Christ should rather ask the question: How do I know if it’s true love in my own heart?
Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize true love within ourselves that’s directed towards another person. Mainly because we are accustomed to Hollywood’s definition of love which is usually based on infatuation or lust. The love that flows out deep within our souls for another person is a gift from God. There are six ways to know if it’s true love:
#1) Trust in God and not your feelings
“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal” (Isaiah 26:4).
Let’s face it…feelings are fickle. We can feel like we’re really in love one day and the next we are over it. When a relationship becomes more serious, it’s time to focus more attention on God than on the other person. The Lord is faithful to show us truth when we are willing to hear from Him. We can trust in the Holy Spirit’s revelation of love because of His great love for us.
#2) Listen to godly advice from wise and mature Christians
“The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice” (Proverbs 12:15).
It’s much easier to ignore the opinions and advice of those we don’t agree with. However, it’s not that we must heed every single counsel given. If so, we would never land anywhere because everyone has a conflicting idea. Be willing to pray and seek the Lord even when receiving an insight that doesn’t support your loving feeling. God will bring wise people across your path as you seek His grace in knowing if it’s real love.
#3) Set aside time for prayer and reflection
“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer” (Psalm 17:6).
Sometimes you will need to tune out distractions such as TV and social media to pray and ask God for clarity about your feelings of love. It’s in those quiet times with God that the Scriptures can speak volumes to your spirit. A constant ongoing conversation with the Lord will bring you peace when you find yourself at an emotional impasse.
#4) Allow for a time of separation
“Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever” (Philemon 15).
When involved in a relationship that seems to be moving quickly towards love, it is good to take a couple’s time out. This would be an agreed amount of time that your significant other and you focus your attentions on God and not on each other. A time of separation also allows an emotional break from the relationship so that you will be able to look at it more clearly without the influence of the other person.
#5) Take an honest look at your motives in the relationship
“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord” (Lamentations 3:40).
Even the most spiritual among believers can deceive themselves. As humans we are especially prone to self-deception in our relationships. Discernment is available to those who are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction on their hearts. If you honestly consider your motives with prayer, you will be more ready to step in or step out of a relationship that isn’t about love.
#6) Use 1 Corinthians 13 as your guide.
“Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8).
1 Corinthians 13 gives all believers insight into the truest of loves—that is, unconditional love. Love that is based on what you look like, what you wear, where you work, or where you go to school or church—really isn’t love. That type of love is based on selfishness and not godly love driven towards patience, kindness, slow to anger, always hopes, trusts, and believes. This type of love never fails.
How do you know?
The key to all six steps is rooted in your love relationship with God. The more you spend time in that relationship, the more you will be acquainted and recognize true unconditional love. Your love for God will be reflected in the love you have for your significant other. God’s grace is sufficient to give you the peace to move forward in His timing.
Article by Crystal McDowell
Crystal McDowell is a writer, speaker, and teacher with a passion to encourage believers to know and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through practical application of God’s word.
Crystal and her husband, Marshall, raise their five children in the Bloomington, IL. As a freelance writer and editor for over 13 years, Crystal has published numerous Christian curriculums for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She’s a weekly staff writer for www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com as well as writing her own blog at http://crystalmcdowellspeaks.blogspot.com.