You see him. He’s a model: funny, athletic, intelligent. Perfect in every way. You fall in love. Then you get to know him*…and he’s definitely not what your first impression was. So you dump him.
You see her. She’s an angel on earth: beautiful, talented, smart. Perfect in every way. You fall in love. Then you get to know her…and she’s someone totally different. So you dump her.
What can a person do to avoid this often inevitable yet-still-painful result? Observe your dreamy dreamboat before you make the emotional leap into love and a relationship.
The 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 Test
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
“It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily-angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (NIV)
This is the Bible’s definition of love. It’s a classic passage and very applicable to dating and relationships. In these verses lies an evaluation that you and I need to use to compare our potential plus one.
What is this evaluation? I spent awhile trying to come up with a cool name, and I just couldn’t. I’ll just call it the “Love Test”. Very original, I know.
The Love Test is very simple. Instead of the word “love,” simply insert the name of the person you are interested in and see if the results are accurate. Let’s say you are very curious about a dude named “AJ.” Put him through the Love Test, and see if he’s someone you should enter a relationship with:
AJ is patient, AJ is kind. AJ does not envy, AJ does not boast, AJ is not proud.
AJ does not dishonor others, AJ is not self-seeking, AJ is not easily-angered, AJ keeps no record of wrongs.
AJ does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
AJ always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Is this an accurate description of AJ (i.e. whoever you are interested in)? If so, he’s loving and would be good for you. If not, then he is probably not ready to treasure your heart.
Is This Wise?
People might say that we are all humans and can’t match this description of perfect love. They would say that this test is unrealistic and would lead people to look for someone who doesn’t exist. Who is perfectly loving? No one.
My answer would be that these people are right in that no one will be perfect; however, that doesn’t mean we can’t look for people who are strong in the areas of patience, kindness, humility, honor, forgiveness, etc. No one will be perfect, but some will be more mature in these areas than others. Also, someone honestly trying to grow and showing results in these areas deserves your consideration. These are the people worth your heart.
While You Are Observing Others, Someone is…
While I’m advising you to put your potential guy or gal through this evaluation and see if there’s a match, guess what that person can do? They can do the same thing to you!
How are you in these areas? Are you a person whose character someone should fall in love with? Are you someone who would be good for someone else?
Put your name through the Love Test and see whether it’s accurate. If it is, wonderful! If not, definitely take the time to become a person of high character before you look for someone to fall in love with. Surround yourself with friends and mentors able to provide examples of godly, loving attributes.
In The End
I can’t stress this enough: before you fall in love or enter a relationship, observe the person you are interested in. Ask yourself if you and that person are mature enough to handle a relationship. The Bible defines love for us, let’s use this definition*!
*There is something wrong already. Get to know the person first BEFORE you fall in love. I’ll get to that later in the post.
**This evaluation goes beyond dating and relationships. It can be applied to everything. Are you and I the person we need to be in general?
Am I patient, am I kind? Do I envy, do I boast, am I proud?
Do I dishonor others, am I self-seeking, am I easily-angered, do I keep record of wrongs?
Do I delight in evil or do I rejoice in the truth?
Do I always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere?