I was browsing my twitter feed the other day and I came across a quote that said “Love when you’re ready not when you’re lonely”. Now, I had seen this quote numerous times before but this time I thought about it more than usual. I began to think about what it meant to be ready for love.
As a single person, how does one possibly prepare themselves for something as unpredictable and abstract as love? Is there like a secret night class that no one is telling me about… like the fight club of love? (WHATS THE NUMBER ONE RULE ABOUT LOVE CLUB?! DON’T TALK ABOUT LOVE CLUB!) …But actually, how does one prepare for love?
I think the best place to start would be the source of love. 1 John 4:8 says “God is love.” So not only is he the source of love, he is love itself. Bingo. If we think about love in terms of God, I think that we will discover something more about our creator’s plan for it.
One way we can see love and the process of loving is that it is like walking. No one that I have ever met was born with the ability to walk. However, as we grow, we gain this desire to do so. Babies are always moving and kicking. They want to walk but they don’t know how to yet. It is the same way with love. We hit a point where we realize our desire for it but we have no clue what we are doing. So what do we do? We start by crawling. We begin to learn by dragging ourselves and falling.
Picture how babies pull themselves up to stand using a couch or a chair. They get this far on their own but the second they let go of their support, they fall. This is how we are when we try to love on our own. We start off fine but then things pull us back down. In the case of the baby it would be gravity, but in our own lives, the downward forces would be things like impurity and selfishness.
Now picture a baby holding onto its parent’s fingers as it walks. As long as the baby holds on, it is not in danger of falling. Even when the baby stumbles, the parent is right there. In the same way, if we wish to learn how to love, we need to rely on our heavenly father and let him hold our hands. He alone can teach us how to love perfectly.
1 John 4:19 says “We love because he first loved us.” What does this mean? It means that the only reason that we know how to love at all is because he taught us. HE loved US first.
How does God teach us you might ask? Well let’s look at God in human form, namely Jesus Christ. How did Jesus love? Jesus loved by giving everything. When he was preaching he gave his time and knowledge, when he healed people he gave them his attention and assistance, when he instituted the Eucharist he gave us his body and blood, and when we faced him with death he gave us his very life.
This is what love is. To be ready for love we have to be ready to give everything from our time and our help to our very being and lives. When St Paul wrote “love is not self seeking” he was serious.
When we consider the importance of selflessness in love, it is easy to get overwhelmed…This is not something that comes naturally to us. Love and selflessness are choices. They are divine gifts offered to us by our father and we can choose to walk with him or we can choose to rely on ourselves.
So if you are entering a relationship, you want to enter into a relationship, or if you are already in one, the best thing you can do for yourself and that other person is be selfless the way that Jesus was and hold tightly onto the fingers of your father. Ask God to give you the grace to love the way that he does. Stay with your father and grow in love with him.
I am praying for all of you as you strive to love Christ and one another.
God loves you so much and so do I.
1 Corinthians 13