Falling in love is one of the most precious gifts that God has granted to humanity. There is nothing anti-spiritual or inherently sinful about it provided it is subordinated to the higher pursuit of glorifying God. At the end of the day emotions (in and of themselves) are not evil.
In the beginning, God made Eve for Adam. He instituted marriage. The Lord took a rib from Adam’s side to make the woman. God did it whilst the man was asleep, and ever since, falling in love always has this dreamy and other-worldly feeling about it. In the Genesis account, there are a few useful gleanings which I have jotted down that will help you know the biblical standard for truly falling in love and finding a mate. Perhaps we have overlooked some of these vital truths.
1.- “God created man” (Genesis 1:27).
“God created man.” It seems like a rather strange verse to quote when dealing with falling in love, but we cannot fail to miss the value and depth of this insight. God created a “man”. Before God gave Eve to Adam, Adam was a “man” and not a “boy”. I preached at a convention in Madrid alongside a servant of God back in April 2010 who had just arrived from teaching in Italy. He informed me that two out of every three marriages over there end up in shipwreck. Why so many break ups? Because men no longer marry women; boys marry girls. When trouble strikes, these so-called men walk out! They cave in as quickly as a pack of cards. They never grew up; they have infantile attitudes and can’t stand the pressure when the heat is on. They have no principles and no convictions; so command no respect. A man that has to use violence to gain the respect of his wife is worse than an animal. He is no man; he’s a beastly coward and a slug. God made a “man” in Eden; one who was mature and trusted in God. Falling in love the biblical way is a thing of spiritual adults, not of novices. Make sure your partner is a grown-up and not a cry baby.
2.- “God put the man in the garden” (Genesis 2:8).
Why did God put man in the Garden? The Bible answers us in Genesis 2:15, “To dress it and to keep it.” In other words, Adam was involved in the work of the Lord before he met Eve. He wasn’t out-and-about in pagan-style Christian nightclubs and single bars looking for a partner. He faithfully served God where the Lord had put him, and then the Lord took care of the rest. It says, “And God brought Eve unto the man” (Genesis 2:22). God put the woman in the right place at the right time. Adam didn’t have to go about trying to chat up half the available females, bombarding them with endless text-messages, phone calls and e-mails on into the early hours of the morning. There is nothing attractive about a person who just throws themselves at another with no self-respect. You wipe your feet with door-mats, you don’t fall in love with them. Adam just had to occupy himself with serving God. If you seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, then all these other things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). Obedience was the grand virtue that characterized Adam’s pre-Fall existence; and that obedience is always met with the divine blessing. God gave Adam the perfect woman who would compliment the work unto which God had called him. They were not two heads going in two different directions; but one body, one unit, one flesh headed God’s way.
Let me be very bold for a moment. You young men reading this that are called to ministry: never ever settle for a girl that has no interest in spiritual matters; you need someone who is at your level, and who will encourage you and strengthen you in the things of God. Don’t throw your whole life away for a plate of lentils. If you marry a girl that doesn’t share the calling that is upon your life, then your whole existence will be one of constant affliction and frustration. You can share your life with a “good” girl, but that doesn’t mean she’s God’s best. You will not be able to go when God calls you to; you will not be able to do what God tells you to. Don’t sell yourself out to the first one that comes along; pray through to God and He will show you what to do. Many times we speak of not being unequally yoked with unbelievers; that is true. But the same rule applies to Christian marriage. You cannot marry someone that you will be a constant drag downwards in spiritual matters. The fire that God has put in your belly can become smothered by marrying the wrong person. So, beware! Cry out to God and He will answer.
3.- “God commanded the man, saying…” (Genesis 2:16).
God had a verbal relationship with man; He spoke with him. There was God-man communication. A man of God, before ever thinking about marriage, must first enjoy intimacy with the Lord. Then from his relationship with God he will sow forth blessing and peace into his marriage. Men of God are faithful. They are not like today’s brand of rebels that marry a girl one day and then sleep with another one the next day. If there is no fruit in your prospective partner’s life, get out of the thing! Cut it off! I once heard the testimony about a young twenty-something year old in the States. She was living with her boyfriend, and one of her friends invited her to church. She came under conviction in the service, realizing that she was knee-deep in sin. She cried out to God for forgiveness. When she got home she told the lad what had happened and she asked him if he too wanted to follow Jesus. He laughed her words off and said no. She replied, “If you don’t want to go to heaven with me, then I sure don’t want to go to hell with you!” She packed her bags and left! She left her life of sin behind. A woman of God has godly convictions and does whatever the Lord says, no matter what the price may be.
To fall in love, your mate must be an adult, and not a child; they must be a child of God and have an intimate relationship with the Lord. Anything less falls short of the biblical standard. Ask God to guide you in these matters. These may be spiritual principles, but something I would like to add is that it is not a sin to be physically attracted to your mate. God will stir up a love in your heart for her. God hasn’t called you to marry a monkey!
Furthermore: avoid long relationships like the plague! Pre-marital relationships that go on for years are not wise; you are only inviting temptation to fornicate. You are flesh and blood; you have desires. And that is irrespective of the number of sermons you’ve listened to or preached.
And one last observation, lads that date one girl and then another and then another are practicing for divorce in the future. “If it doesn’t work out with this one, I’ll try another!” Girls are not sweets to be tasted and spat out! Be a man! Be mature! Be an adult! Seek God’s guidance in all of these matters, and He will show you the way forward. That way, you can rest in peace and enjoy the bliss of falling in love the way God ordained it.