He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

When we were little girls, we played a game. We’d hang the prospects of affection from our love interests on the words of a flower. We plucked a petal off the flower and declared he loved us. Then, we plucked the next petal off and declared he didn’t love us. On and on the fortune telling went, until our flower had no petals left, and the words we spoke over the very last petal determined our fate: “He loves me” or “he loves me not.” It was an innocent game of chance, and it caused no pain because we were kids with nothing to lose.

Many years have passed since then. But as I hear stories of what we who are now young women do to “find love,” it seems like many of us haven’t moved forward in our approach. We may have grown out of plucking petals off a flower to determine our love lives. In our decision making, however, it feels like some of us are still playing a game of chance to get affection. And this time, the stakes are much higher than a flower petal. The stakes can prove very painful for us if we don’t live wisely.

Some of us have given nights of intimacy in hopes of securing a man’s love. Even more of us generously waste our emotions in hopes of promises that are never kept. Then we hit a dangerous snag when we spend ourselves on someone who doesn’t return the love, yet it’s hard for us to move on. It becomes a pattern of make-ups and break-ups that slowly eat away at our hearts. The story may be different from woman to woman but the approach is still the same guessing game: “He loves me…he loves me..not?” 

I’ll be the first to tell you that this is not a male bashing post. As difficult as this is to say, sometimes the pain we ladies experience in love is a result of the areas in our hearts where we haven’t grown. Growth brings a changed perspective, and a changed perspective leads to a different experience. I’m now a happily married woman. But before this was my experience, I was a male basher who had been disappointed in love. If my husband had pursued me then, I would have shown him the door and our stories would be very different. So what changed?

The simple answer is…my heart. I dare say that if you find yourself frustrated in love, you likely need the same. A changed perspective helped me see that I hadn’t grown to understand my value as a woman. There is a scripture that says ‘The man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.’ At that time, I hadn’t yet seen myself as a good thing. This goes much deeper than attractiveness, domestic skills, or how well you embody the feminist ideal. It touches more on a woman’s capacity to enhance a man’s life where his purpose is concerned. Essentially, her presence in his life makes heaven’s doors wide open to him.

Sometimes, we Christian girls hear this scripture and we yell, ‘Preach!’ But the depth of its words don’t sink into our hearts, so we continue to make mistakes in love. An honest question to ask yourself before going out to “find love” is this. Do you truly see yourself as a good thing? Can you grasp that your presence in your beau’s life can complete him in areas where he’s lacked…and even win him greater approval from Heaven? When you do, you understand that the man you give your heart to has been given a great asset. And as you know, no one places an asset in careless hands.

I can’t leave this alone without touching on the other part: “He who finds a wife.” I know not everyone is interested in marriage. But for those that are, it begs a question: Are you wife-material? This question points to much more than your cooking and cleaning skills. I’m speaking about your ability to partner with your husband to pursue a vision that’s much larger than you both. As someone who is walking this journey, I can tell you that it’s enjoyable and fulfilling. That’s if you can adopt selflessness, patience, and humility as your M.O. Can you truly commit to this for the long haul?

If your answer to the questions I’ve asked is simply “No,” there’s no judgment. But I beg you to allow time for some groundwork to be done in your heart before chasing romance. I’ve learned that the woman who truly wins in love is the one who has encountered the love that God has for her. This love has opened her eyes to her strength and value, and she has learned to trust it. I simply write to encourage you to desire to be that woman when it comes to love and romance. She is the one that ends up with a merry and fulfilled heart.

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