Growing up, I always wanted to be a picture of an idealkid. While this is very subjective, in my context, ideal was very simple:Don't get a boyfriend while you're still studying.I wanted to please my parents, I wanted to pursue all my dreams (like traveling the world), I took pride in my independence and felt like relationships were one of the least of least priorities. Back in high school,love and relationships were very common. A must-try for every teenager, of course. Most girls my age had their boyfriends. They would celebrate their monthsaries, counting every single month spent together. Some would even have monthly boyfriends, jumping from one relationship to another. (Stating a fact and not judging haha!) Meanwhile, I had a totally different story. I was this hopeless romantic, 13-year old SSS (Strict Sa Sarili) who had sworn to never involve herself in any romantic relationship until she’s 20. Good girl! It became a goal that I was most determined to achieve. I had met a lot of people, learnt to build deeper relationships and grew attached, yet I never fell for any commitment but the one I made to myself: to remain in the glory of a true strong independent young woman. Hahaha!
Almost Lovers When I moved to Manila to study, things became more challenging. It was so much different from home -- more freedom, more personalities, more boys, and more diskarte! Until I caught myself in a cute Love starehhh. Haha. All of a sudden, I wanted to jump and rush into a relationship, with someone I hardly knew. Why don’t you give it a try? Why don’t you give yourself a chance? You’ve waited long enough. I had all the reasons to pursue the relationship: I loved the attention, I felt lonely being far away from home, I felt the need of a good companion, everyone was also in a relationship, and yes, maybe he was also likable. Haha!
You see, when you are in a personal relationship with God, He provides you with grace and with great sense of discernment and direction. He would not really want you to waste away and wander aimlessly. He gave me questions, questions that never required answers but are worthy pondering:
Is this really the right time?
Is he really the right person?
Is this relationship going to honor God?
What is the purpose?
While the world has a lot of cliches about love and relationships, here are some of the important things I learned from the season:
True Love is real. If you've ever heard of the statement "God is Love.", this is what it means: God, the maker of the universe and your being, is the same God who is the author of Love. Not only God designed love, He demonstrated it, commanded us to love and He became Love himself. Trust that when He authors your love story, no Nicholas Sparks' story could ever compare.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4: 7-8
True Love waits, not wastes. It is one of the most beautiful gifts that life could ever offer, and it is intended to be experienced at its best and its fullest. Do not squander and waste it away. Just like a scotch tape that loses its adhesiveness if you stick and remove it over and over, so do our hearts as we invest our emotions, efforts and energy to different people (who keep on breaking our hearts) and relationships (that never work and fail us); at the end of the day, we couldn't love the same.
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." - Jesus, Matthew 7:6
Guard your heart, not follow your heart. Disney taught us to follow our hearts. Do what makes us happy. But the truth is, our heart is the most deceiving and it misleads us. Do not be easily driven by your emotions and by what you feel. They easily change. What makes you happy now may burden you tomorrow. Love is not (just) an emotion, but it is a decision. Decisions like this must be sound, well-thought, prayed about and made wisely.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. - Proverbs 4:23
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? - Jeremiah 17:9
There is a right person for you. Well, this isn't like how Hollywood tells us of fairy tales and serendipity, and knights in shining armor. This is simply about God's good, pleasing and perfect will; where you find assurance that He has prepared a person that will honor you, your season and honor God in pursuing a relationship with you. A person who won't stand against your dreams, who will support you and will imitate God's love for you. He will respect you and will wait for you.
Unless it's mad, passionate or extraordinary love, it is a waste of your time. there are too many mediocre things in life; Love shouldn't be one of them. - Unknown
Don't settle for anything less... You see, these days he wins your heart through a text message. Is his love worth a peso? (naka-Unli pa!) Some will play around with your emotions and take advantage of your vulnerability without any intentions of pursuing you. I tell you, these are lonely and bored boys who still need to man up. The God of this universe died for you: you deserve more, you deserve better, perhaps, you deserve the best.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10
Learn to wait for the right time and enjoy your Season now. Waiting is beautiful. You spend only about 20 percent of your lifetime in a season of singlehood, take this time to grow, to be fruitful, to explore and to learn new things. Understand that you must seize every task and every duty that you're called for at the moment: if you are a student, study hard. If you are called at the peak of your career, make a difference in your position now. There is no need to rush!
Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. Song of Songs 8:4
Find security in God and not in a romantic relationship. Relationships tend to give us the security that we need: We feel loved. We get all the attention that we want. It makes us feel beautiful. However, this is not the purpose of Love. It must not be self-seeking. If we hinge our identity and security on the people and relationships that change, this puts us in serious trouble. Only God and His love never fails and never change, and only in Him should we ultimately put our security knowing that we are loved, and secured with or without a boyfriend.
The king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your Lord. Psalms 45:11
I later found out that God had spared me from another heart breaker. When it was difficult and I grew too attached, my obedience still paid off. I know a lot of girls who suffer and endure the pain of failing relationships. Yet grace is sufficient to spare us from this hardship and the damage it may cause. This year, I will be turning 20. To this day, I remain with No Boyfriend Since Birth. But the experience of the fullness of God's love, it compels me to wait for His perfect time. Surely, it will all be worth the wait!! I have the same hope and prayer for you.