Love is more than romance

I’m falling in love.

But it’s not what you think.


“I fall in love a little with everyone I meet.”
— A wise friend of a wise friend.

The beauty of that potential is starting to sink in. And as I sat across the table from some new friends this past weekend, my heart experienced something I’ve been looking for. Love. I just didn’t know I could find it there.

God made us to love one another. Most of us who have grown up in the Christian world know that, and have heard it countless times before. But I’m not sure we understand the depth of it. We often get a little uncomfortable when we start talking about loving one another deeply.

Because it’s OK if we love deep in a romantic way, but back-up if we’re just friends.

Love. We only have one word for it. We love mom, and we love Jesus; we love pizza, and that new song on the radio. But the kind of love we have for pizza doesn’t run deep; I wonder if our shallow understanding of love is because we’ve lumped friendship in with the pizza.

We seem to believe that romantic love is the deepest of all, or perhaps even the only deep love, but I think we’re wrong.

So many of us struggle in our singleness. We’re craving to be known and to be loved. We use words of encouragement, saying “God is enough.” And while I believe He is ultimately enough, I think there’s more to it.

We are designed to do life with people. Plural. And somewhere along the line, a whole pile of us bought into the idea that we’re supposed to find just one person. And so that is what we’re looking for to fulfill the desire for love.

Consequently, if we don’t find Mr. or Mrs. Right, we are disappointed.

And even if we do, we still are disappointed. We not only lose out on the God of the universe when we seek to be fulfilled through a romantic relationship, we also lose out on the people around us, and the profound richness that comes from loving one another.

I’m starting to wonder if my desire for community is somewhat lurking behind my desire for romance.

Friends have a greater capacity for deep, loving relationships than we realize. God has designed families, and has said things about “where two or more are gathered, I’m there,” for a reason. He doesn’t want us to be exclusive.

So here is the beautiful paradox: God is enough, and yet we are designed —  and destined — to love other people.


Photo (Flickr CC) by Ciaran McGuiggan.