I was cruising around L.A. with my Uber driver yesterday when this unexpected conversation happened.
He was getting ready to drop me off at my filming site (I was filming a shoot called “The Relationship Series” for ChristianMingle, stay tuned for more on that later), when the conversation came up about what I was going to be speaking about.
We started talking about relationships, how confusing they can be at times, and how to really land a good one, when he said something that made my heart happy:
“You know, I’ve observed that my friends who are happiest in their relationships – are the ones who also have a relationship with God.” He told me that He used to feel connected to God long ago, and wondered if maybe God was calling Him back…
The truth is, even though I wanted to be on time for my shoot – I just couldn’t get out of the car without taking the time to really affirm that observation. We sat in his car for an extra couple minutes, unpacking that statement just a little bit more.
I talked to him about my relationship with God and the huge role God played in my personal life, my husband’s life, as well as in our marriage. I told him that there is nothing more intimate in a relationship – not emotional intimacy, not sexual intimacy – than having a spiritual connection with the one you love. I explained to him that it is our individual relationship with God that pours into us, and fills us up, so that we have the kind of deep and unconditional love we need to pour into one another.
You know, sometimes as a therapist I can get so caught up in the “therapy” part, that I forget how important this conversation is. I think I’ve been a Christian for so long, and have been investing in my relationship with the Lord for so many years that I forget that it’s a foreign concept to most of the world. I blog about so many topics in the world of relationships…but one thing I never want to forget is the importance of this foundational principle:
In order to fully love others, you have to first know God’s love.
In my book True Love Dates I talk about what it means to “Date Upward”. Basically, it’s the idea that a huge part of a healthy relationship and marriage falls into place when we learn what it means to love through our relationship with God.
He is the author of love…no, more than that….He is the VERY DEFINITION of love. He is the God who loved us so much that He sacrificed His most valuable possession, Jesus Christ, as a demonstration of that complete and perfect love for us. He showed us that love is not simply a feeling, it’s an action. It’s the laying down of your rights and the laying down of your life. Through His sacrifice, He reminds us that love, at it’s deepest and most beautiful place, will cost you.
I believe all of us, at our human core, want to fight that concept. We want to hold on to self, to our rights, and to our pride. We struggle to lay down our time, our money, and our energy for life for the sake of another…much less, to lay down our life.
I am fully convinced that apart from God’s love, we don’t have the capacity to love others well (Tweet it!).
And so in order to have a good marriage, a truly satisfying, fulfilling, meaningful marriage, we need to learn everything we can about God’s love…and then, allow that love to transform our lives.
Back to my Uber driver…We ended the conversation with a prayer, as I spoke words of truth over his life and his future relationships. He looked up at me with smiling eyes and said, “This is the best Uber ride I’ve ever had….”
So to my Uber driver in L.A., whoever you are and wherever you are today, I want you to know that that was the best Uber ride I’ve ever had as well 🙂 You are an awesome young man and I definitely give you 5 stars! But more importantly, I sincerely pray that the Lord continues calling you back to Him….that you would know that His love for you is deep and unconditional, and that this love would TRANSFORM every part of your life and relationships.
PS. Remember to contact me so I can send you that free copy of True Love Dates….I’m still waiting for that email!
To those of you have wandered away from your relationship with God. I want you to remember that God is calling you back as well!! There is nothing you have done and nowhere you have gone that is too far for His love to bring you back. There is no love that is deeper and wider than God’s relentless love for you. Open your heart and begin moving toward Him again. He will come running. (If you need help with how to do this…email me!)
To those of you who are single, and wondering if a relationship with God really matters in your dating relationship…let me remind you and affirm that, YES, it does. There is nothing more important in a marriage than being connected spiritually to the heart of your lover. Even if you’re feeling weary in the waiting, don’t settle for anything less than someone who loves God more than they love you! Because a good marriage is always, ALWAYS, worth the wait.
And for the rest of us reading this article who might already be in a relationship, may we be EVER MINDFUL of our DESPERATE need for God’s unrelenting love in our lives. And may we allow that love to truly impact our hearts so that we can fully love the people He’s given us.
Can I get an amen?
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray for Your Love Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!