… You are in a roomful of friends and acquaintances, and a guy walks in, the most charming that you have ever seen. You look in his direction and he, in yours; your eyes meet and for a minute, all in the room fade and it seems it’s just you two. What’s this guy’s name? He for sure is your soulmate! He walks in your directions, says something witty and you giggle a little. As he extends his hand for you to shake, sparks fly, and all notice the evident chemistry between you two.
If this is how you imagine meeting your future husband, you are most likely mistaken. Not that this can’t happen at all, but the chances are minimal to non-existent. And my dear friend, you might not feel any chemistry at all when you meet for the first time.
My single friend, love is not something that comes with a big boom. It’s not something that will make your toes curl, or your knees go weak, or give you butterflies in your stomach, and it’s not something that will come all of sudden. That’s not to say that you won’t feel anything for a guy that shows interest in you, but for many and most cases of true Christian love, it doesn’t happen in this way.
As the title of the classic book by Janette Oak suggests: “Love comes Softly.” Sometimes, love comes just like this, slowly, softly and before you realize, you love the person not because of something superficial, but because of something meaningful and profound. At times, by co-existing, spending time together, your interests and goals align and you can end up realizing that you have more in common than what you thought when you first met. Love is a decision. We cannot forget this fact. Passion and falling in love are feelings and emotions. This chemistry that is talked about and well-illustrated in movies, fairy tales, books and series is not lasting and definitely not sufficient to build a marriage on.
“But Lydia, a couple, friends of mine, met and fell in love and they have a story-book romance.” My response: have you asked them how long the sparks lasted? How hard it is to wake up every day and still be married to the same person? And when their spouse does something to hurt them, are there still sparks then? What about the constant struggle to decide to love their spouse even though they did hurt them? These cases that began with chemistry, that big boom, rarely last in the same way. As time passes, with every day life, mundane things, and disagreements that are always present when two sinners get together, the chemistry and sparks will disappear. This chemistry is not love, it’s passion.
It’s useless to fall in love with someone because of the chemistry between you, for the charm or romance, or because he is intelligent, rich, studious, good at conversation or funny. Instead, what if we fell in love because we realize that the future we could have together would bring honor and glory to God. What if we fell in love because we realize that we serve in the same ministries, that we have the same aspirations and desires, the same interests and life goals? We can decide to love a person because we see that we enjoy spending time together, that we have similar life objectives, desires, and when we decide to commit to each other, then our emotions might follow or might not.
The lack of chemistry should not be a reason to reject someone. If a guy that you know shows interest in you, and he is a faithful Christian servant, hard worker, and you simply refuse him because you don’t feel butterflies in your stomach, then my dear sister, you might be making a terrible mistake. You need a better excuse than the “lack of chemistry”. As a wise friend of mine said once:
you can’t reject someone because you don’t have the initial feelings, you have to evaluate, you have to have pre-defined criteria. Especially because, the initial feeling can deceive us and can make us decide without criteria…
For this, I encourage all of us to have a list of our goals and aspirations, as well as a list of qualities that we desire to have in a future husband. This will serve as a way to give base for our decisions when someone asks us why we aren’t interested in a certain Christian guy. It will also protect ourselves from “falling in love” with someone whom we aren’t truly wanting or waiting for.
Many times, there won’t be those initial sparks. But as time goes by, we get to know the person better, when our perspectives, journeys and life purposes align, sparks may appear, or they might not. But don’t close the door before evaluating if they would be a good life partner or not.