Dating

Love Defines You, but Not in the Way You Think

It is so easy to define ourselves by the relationships we are in or are not in: 

In A Relationship                             Single                             It’s Complicated 

These statuses are the hot topic at family reunions and they often dominate the conversation at many friend get-togethers. We can be so obsessed over our “status” that we begin to believe it reflects something inherent about us. Maybe being in a relationship means you’re loved and wanted, while being single means you’re not. Or maybe being single means you’re footloose, free and loving life, while being in a relationship means you’re tied down.

This “status” weight seems to reach a pinnacle once you hit college. If you’re single, you might look around at all of the couples holding hands on campus and think you’re the odd one out. If you’re in a relationship, you might see all of the single students and envy their spontaneity and the abundant time they have with friends. 

Whether you’re single, in a relationship, or somewhere in between, I propose this: Let’s stop letting our relationship status define us.

Of course, on one level, love does define us. But the problem is, we’ve gotten the “Lover” all mixed up. It’s not the love of another human that defines who we are or whether we’re living up to whatever ideal of ourselves we hold. It’s the love of our God — our Creator, our Father — that defines our worth and purpose.

So whether you’re a freshman or senior, single or dating, I think we should all strive to live in a way that reflects this truth: We are indeed taken — by God.

Our God loves us so deeply that He is jealous for us. He has created a beauty within us that He wishes the world to see, but He longs for the roots of our heart to remain in Him. He knows full well what happens to a branch that is cut from its vine, and so He watches with much sorrow as we try time and time again to root ourselves in other things or people.

So here’s my proposal for a new Facebook status: Taken. If you’re taken, your heart belongs to another: it’s not wondering or lost, and it’s not quick to cling to the next fleeting promise. If your heart is taken, then you’re not holding it out for just anyone to take.

If your heart is taken, it is set, it is safe and it is treasured. Once you are truly taken — once you begin to live out this new relationship status, this new identity in your daily life — then any other relationships that you do or do not enter into will not define who you are.

Then any person that you later date will see your heart is taken, and he or she will see where they must go in order to find it: to God. Whether that relationship ends in a breakup or in marriage, the depth of your identity will not waver.

So go ahead. Let the love in your life define you. Share it with everyone that you meet, let it be the talk of campus.

But make sure that it is the love of Christ that defines you, not the love of another. Let Him love you; love Him back. Then you can walk on campus filled with joy, knowing that your heart is safely kept and you are truly loved by The One.

Go to Christ to find your identity. Let Him show you the truth: 

            You are loved.           

                        You are treasured.

                                    You are taken.