The Labor of Love

Many times there are moments when we have heard it said, "I am ready for love, I am ready for a relationship, I want intimacy, I just want to be held," and so on. We often say it ourselves without really understanding what this entails. I think sometimes we want what these things represent because they feel good but not the truth of what they really are. 

I believe that love, intimacy, relationship, and affection, are all a part of God; we get tired of not getting what we want because we are engaging in these things and relationships without Christ at the heart or center of them. We get so exhausted and want to give up on life at times because we desire a relationship that we did not get to have. We put forth all this effort without the sight, wisdom, and knowledge of the one who is love; God.

Sometimes we work so hard creating or growing something that is not honest and lacks substance to produce wholesome fruit. 

Have we really gotten to know and understand what being in a relationship is really about? How can we know unless we have labored in love? Are we willing to see that love relationship through?

In thinking of this, I had to ask myself, what does it mean to labor? It means physical or mental exertion, especially when it is difficult or exhausting. Have you worked, toiled, strived painstakingly, and proceeded with great effort? 

An intimate relationship produces the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness," (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭22‬ New Living Translation).

All of these things are a part of what it means to be in an intimate relationship. These are just one small part of what it means to worship God and be in an intimate relationship with Him.

So then we have to go back and ask ourselves again, "Do I really want to be in an intimate relationship?" "Am I really ready to labor in love?" "Do I really desire to be held?" If we are willing to do these things without God, then we are reaching towards a feeling and not what these things really are; we can really get hurt to the core if we are operating this way. 

We are missing out and depriving ourselves of an honestly authentic relationship for a counterfeit version of love. Anything that offers us a better way other than Christ, who is love, is deceptive. 

"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love," (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭7-8‬ New Living Translation).

We waste a lot of time dissecting, disassembling, pulling apart, diving, into and researching any and everything but God. We do not always take the time to know and understand what it means to love Christ; to labor in that love relationship. We want what is easy but it is not lasting. John chapter four tells of the woman at the well who had spent most of her life partaking in the drinks of life and they continually left her thirsty; but God offers her something else deeper and that is eternal life.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life,” (‭John‬ ‭4‬:‭13-14‬ New Living Translation).

If you are as thirsty for love and intimacy as you say you are, then you should let the Lord quench your unending thirst. What He gives is everlasting. 

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About the Author :

Francine E. Ott is truly thankful to have a relationship with God and is seeking Him daily for guidance and any opportunities to walk closer with Him in truth and love. Francine is a choreographer/dancer, teacher, and soon to be counselor who has a heart to see God's transforming power, renew, restore, and heal the minds, souls, and bodies of people's lives.