Bible Reading: 1 John 4:7-12
Anyone who does not love does not know God—for God is love. 1 John 4:8
Ask some elderly friends or relatives if they ever heard that old song about crushes and marriage going together like a horse and carriage. They will tell you it’s love—not crushes—and marriage that go together like a horse and carriage. But in everyday life, loads of people get the two mixed up. So what’s the difference?
Crushes are when girls get googly-eyed at boys. It’s when boys punch girls in the arm. Maybe you wouldn’t mistake those gushy feelings for true love. But look at some of the huge differences between crushes and true love:
|Starts and stops suddenly||Grows over time|
|Stays shallow||Goes deep|
|Up and down feelings||Steady commitment|
|In love with love||In love with a person|
|Breaks up when irritated||Doesn’t panic over problems|
|Focuses on looks||Focuses on character|
|My feelings||Other’s needs|
|Physical attraction first||Emotional and spiritual attraction first|
|Expects to find happiness||Expects to work at happiness|
|Asks, “How am I doing?”||Asks, “How are you doing?”|
|Accepts if other is good enough||Accepts unconditionally|
|Thinks the other person is perfect||Sees strengths and weaknesses|
|Avoids problems||Works through the problems|
That’s a heap of difference! Crushes go away. But true love lasts. Even if a guy-girl friendship doesn’t end in marriage, true love still keeps on loving.
Do those characteristics of true love remind you of someone? They should, because they reflect the characteristics of God’s love for you. You are the object of that selfless, unconditional love every day. And when you start to live out those traits in your human relationships, you mirror God’s love.
TALK: Answer in your own words: What’s the difference between crushes and true love?
PRAY: God, help us to express true love to the people we care about.
ACT: You’ve probably seen boy-girl crushes. Maybe you’ve felt pressured to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Do you need some one-on-one chat time with Mom or Dad about that?