Have you found your prince yet? Do you have a crush on anyone? Why aren't you dating anyone? These are the questions I have been asked for most of my teenage life.
Growing through my teenage years, it's easy to get caught up in the pressure from friends and peer groups and get carried away in the idea and value of exclusive relationships. But why is this? Why is it so extremely important, specifically in the teenage world, to be in a relationship?
Now don't get me wrong, relationships are most definitely a gift from God when he brings two people together. But the question remains, why do we instantly feel the obsessive need to jump on the bandwagon and join the race to be the next 'couple goals' on social media?
In my journey with this question I have realised that maybe we should be viewing relationships a little differently.
What is love?
When I was in primary school, I liked a boy so much that I convinced my 12-year-old self he must be 'the one', even though we never even spoke to each other.
Later on in life I came to realise that what I saw in that boy and others was not a complete picture but one small jigsaw piece—a quality, a trait, something I admired—making up the grand picture of what God has in store for my life. It's these traits that God has drawn to my attention as I seek his signature on the person that is right for me.
Building up ideals is not love. Ideals create expectations that lead to disappointment and produce pathways in pursuit of our dream for ourselves instead of God's plan for us.
Seeking first his kingdom
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew chapter 6, verse 33)."
I've often wondered what this verse means and it is applicable to many aspects of Christian life. When applied to relationships it can become an extremely powerful tool and a great ally in life. If we're focused on seeking the kingdom of God in our life and in our relationships, then finding 'the one' becomes a very easy pursuit because all the number 2s, 3s, 4s and so on, disappear into insignificance.
God is love
We must learn how to love through the way God loves his children. The Bible says in 1 John chapter 4, verse 19, "we love because He first loved us." We often go into relationships to feel and be loved by someone, but God already does this.
God is love. He would not let two people meet without a purpose, and his timing is always perfect. Just knowing that God goes before me in everything I do comforts me undeniably.
In Matthew chapter 19, verse 6 it says, "therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." Let God guide the relationship, whatever state it is in, in the direction he wants it to go.
In love with God
Talking with some friends one night, we had a conversation about relationships and how difficult waiting for the right one is. It was interesting because as we spoke, I discovered that I am not the only one receiving pressures for my future relationships by other people. No one can determine who I will spend the rest of my life with but God.
Although the journey is hard, and people come and go, God does not allow anything to go to waste. God's plan is greater than our own. I should not be relying on my timing or how much my friends interact in my life, but I should be completely and utterly focused on God through it all.
James chapter 4, verse 8 says, "draw near to God and he will draw near to you." This verse speaks beyond words, and to me it says I need God to be the sole centre of my life.
Guard your heart
Don't waste your life on people who aren't right for you, as this brings a lot of baggage into your future relationships. If you feel the need to be loved by someone, remember there is a God who loves you unconditionally and before the world began. He created you, just as he created the one He meant for you. He knows all about them.
Yeah, it's true that this process is difficult and we still have needs to be loved, have a sense of belonging and feel like we're special to someone. Let God meet your needs of acceptance and love first so that when he brings the right one to you, you are free to love and be loved in return. Proverbs chapter 4, verse 23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart. For everything you do flows from it."
Protect your heart, guard it, keep it strong, and do not settle for less than what God has planned. God has the perfect plan for each one of us. Turn to Him, and find the love of your life. He is our one and only eternal true love.
Cartia Moore is a connoisseur of fine chocolate and a sword fighter, trained and skilled in the art of fencing. She is currently studying a bachelor of arts majoring in drama. Her focus is film, television and sword fighting sequences. She hopes to graduate and form her own drama and acting school.
Cartia Moore's previous articles can be found at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cartia-moore.html