What is love?
When you hear the word love, what comes to your mind? Do you think of romance, chocolate, roses, or something else?
My fiancé, friends, and family joke around with me that I love “love.” What can I say, I’m a hopeful romantic at heart!
But it wasn’t until I started dating my now-fiancé that I truly understood what love is.
Having a chronic illness can be such a hope-sucker where it feels like all your dreams are shattering right before your eyes. Even the possibility of marrying can feel so distant and almost impossible. Doubts flood your mind as you wonder if you could ever handle being in a relationship, let alone be married.
Although I had a desire to be married and believed God would grant my desire someday, I experienced all those doubts. I prayed for my future husband to have a heart of understanding and compassion towards my health needs, and in my mind, I thought that was all I needed to pray for.
I didn’t fully understand the sacrifice that comes with dating and marrying someone with a chronic illness.
My fiancé, Andrew, has opened my eyes to what sacrificial love looks like. How he loves me, cares for me, and accepts me for everything I am–including my chronic illness–astonishes me and gives me a whole new understanding of God’s love for us.
True love is not superficial. It is a covenantal love–one that cannot be broken.
God is the ultimate definition of love! 1 John 4:16 says,
“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
God’s love for us is so deep. It is an unending and unconditional love that cannot be explained. One of the greatest ways God demonstrated His love toward us was sending His one and only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and pay for our sins (John 3:16). Talk about a sacrificial love!
As we kick off this relationship series, each week there will be a new love story. But notice what the theme of each story is: sacrificial love.
I’m not going to lie, having a chronic illness in a relationship can be challenging, and it brings a different element into your relationship. Despite the difficulties, a relationship–in God’s plan–is one of the most beautiful things you will ever experience: your love for each other will deepen, and you’ll get to experience your man sacrificially loving you as Christ loves the church.
Here is a free PDF you can download and keep with you during this series–and beyond! I hope it will encourage you!