3 Myths About Love and Friendship

3 Myths About Love and Friendship BY Mary York for Core Christianity

Valentine’s Day can be hard for single people, but I think it’s a myth to say it’s only hard for single people. We offer up what we hope are words of encouragement and comfort to our single brothers and sisters around this heart-covered holiday—a season that can sometimes feel excruciatingly painful. But what do we say to those who are in difficult marriages, or are separated from their loved one because of deployment or work needs, or are simply wondering what’s missing in their relationship? Those who are married or dating need reminders of what God intended love and fellowship to look like for his people as much as singles do.

So let’s address some of these myths of Valentine’s Day together. What does Scripture say about the L-word?

Myth #1: Romantic Love Is the Most Important Form of Love

It’s hard to argue that society has made an idol out of romantic love. If you don’t believe me, just take a quick gander at our movies, music, TV shows, and multi-million dollar wedding industry—or better yet, consider that we have a whole day marked off on our calendars to celebrate romantic love (not even marriage, or committed relationships––just love!). But it’s possible that the Christian community has put romantic love on a pedestal as well. We rightly value good marriages and the families they can lead to, but we’d be wrong to think that the marriage relationship between two humans is the most important love that can exist.

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The first, greatest, and best example of love we have is Christ, who laid down his life for sinners who still hate him. Jesus himself said: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Jesus never had a physically intimate relationship on earth—he never got married during his ministry, never experienced “romantic love.” Christ’s bride is the church. If there’s a marriage and a love we should cling to in our fading mortal days, is it not this love and this marriage? Is there a love better than this?

Myth #2: A Romantic Partner Will Fulfill All Your Needs

It’s easy to confuse the complementary nature of marriage (Gen. 2:18–24) with the idea of completeness. When the Bible talks about being complete, it’s a spiritual completeness—trained in righteousness and equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16–17), steadfast in faith (James 1:3–4), and fearing God (Eccl. 12:13). There are many ways romantic partners can edify, encourage, and help build up their loved ones in Christ and be a means of sanctification, but they can’t hope to “complete” their significant other. In Scripture, more than we hear about the sharpening and softening that may happen in marriage, we hear about it among brothers and sisters in Christ (Acts 15:32; Rom. 1:12; Eph. 4:15–16; 1 Thess. 2:12, 5:10–12).

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