One of the challenging aspects of Christian dating is when
things don’t work out the way we had hoped. Both men and women can quickly slip
into excitement and anticipation over a budding, new relationship. But then, it
seems, an incalculable number of things can come along and sabotage the whole
thing. Dating can be frustrating and sometimes feels like building a house of
cards on a windy day.
Truth be told, getting to know someone and starting to date
is risky business. The more we spend time with someone, the more we will naturally
and increasingly trust them with our heart, our emotions, our happiness, etc.
And it’s natural for there to be pain and frustration when things don’t work
out. Maybe you’ve felt the desire to avoid, ignore, badmouth and even physically
hurt someone you once thought a forever friend. Those feelings often seem
justifiable in the moment, but — for Christians — reveal a shortsighted, parochial perspective.
The body of Christ should never succumb to such temptations,
because our hope and happiness does not rest solely on what happens in this
life, but what awaits us in the next. Several times in the New Testament, a
young, persecuted church was taught to rest their hopes and dreams in the joys
and happiness of heaven.
The Bible describes heaven as a wonderful place where all those
who are saved by the blood of Christ will live together forever. Too often we
forget that every Christian will live together in a perfect, loving community with
God, where every person will overflow with deep, sincere love for every other
person. It is a staggering thought.
Jonathan Edwards once described heaven this way:
There this glorious God is manifested, and
shines forth, in full glory, in beams of love. And there this glorious fountain
forever flows forth in steams, yea, in rivers of love and delight, and these
rivers swell as it were, to an ocean of love, in which the souls of the
ransomed may bathe with the sweetest enjoyment, and their hearts, as it were,
be deluged with love!
But in heaven, all shall have as
much love as they desire, and as great manifestations of love as they can bare
. . . Such will be the sweet and perfect harmony among the heavenly saints, and
such the perfect love reigning in every heart toward every other, without limit
or alloy, or interruption.
I love this description of heaven. Edwards looked at
passages like 1 Corinthians 13 and envisioned a heaven where God’s love will
flow like rivers of joy, drawing our own hearts to overflow with love for God
and each other. It’s hard to imagine what it will be like to live in a place
where everyone is full of love for you, where there is no secret
jealousy or malicious thoughts. Everyone in heaven will genuinely and deeply
love you, and you will love them. We will live as a family of loving
brothers and sisters forever.
It’s with this perspective we should grow in our love for our
brothers and sisters in Christ now. It’s not always easy, and I can think of
cases where people might push back. “What about this particular way I’ve been
hurt?” I hear you. This world is full of pain, and unfortunately, brothers and
sisters hurt each other here. But this world is temporary, and heaven is
So as we deal with frustrations and disappointments in dating, let’s remember that we will live together as the family of God forever. One day God will melt away all anger, hate,
bitterness, distrust and resentment. We will be satisfied in God’s love, and
love every brother and sister with a perfect love. Even today, we can begin to live out this heavenly reality. The Holy Spirit works to sanctify every believer’s heart and fill it with love for every brother and sister now. Let’s ask Him to give us
heavenly hearts as we wait for the day when we no longer need to read about the
joys of heaven, because they will be ours in abundance.