Why Love is Not All You Need

I have been on Pinterest recently, pinning wedding ideas that only a DIY queen could pull off, and home decorating ideas that only Martha Stewart could make happen. But I’m not going to write about wedding planning or home decorating tips. I have scrolled past one too many quote pins; quotes about life, love, and shoes. Quotes from songs, poems, and romance novels. But the one quote that has been getting to me is the one that says, “Love is all you need” or “All you need is love.”

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I understand that the people who pin these quotes are usually more interested in the design and if there’s a free printable linked to the picture. But I would cringe whenever I saw the quote, and I started to wonder why. I came to the conclusion that the quote was false. Love is not all you need. I’m not going to get into the whole theology of Jesus + nothing = everything. I understand that Jesus is love and if you only had Jesus then you would have everything. I am not disregarding that fact. What I am trying to say is that love is not the only thing that makes a relationship (friendship, dating, or marriage) work. I have had my fair share of moments with David that were less than loving. But you know what? We made it through those moments. And the reason is because we have other ways of working things out besides loving the problem into a solution.

If all you needed was love, then you wouldn’t need joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). If all you needed was love, then all your problems in your relationships would be solved with “I love you.” But they’re not. They’re just not. We get into fights, we say things we don’t mean. But if all you needed was love, then forgiveness wouldn’t be necessary either.

Problems in relationships are not solved just by the plain fact that you love each other. You have to be patient, and you have to be kind. Love is not a noun. It’s not something you obtain. Love is a Fruit of the Spirit, just like the others I listed before. God wouldn’t give us nine Fruits of the Spirit if we needed just one.

I guess my point is that these quotes that look great in special type and design, might not be practical advice you can rely on. So before you go looking for a free printable of a quote that means hardly anything, take a look at the quotes from the Scriptures (there are some cute designs, too!). I know I need to take my own advice and stop looking at Pinterest for inspirational quotes. I need to look to God for my inspiration. He’s the One who enables me to use the Fruits of the Spirit in my life, including love.

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Blameless By the Blood

So, I’m back at school for my senior year! It has been quite the process moving in, getting settled, and starting classes again. It is so great to be back. David and I are back at wedding planning together (a summer apart isn’t so wonderful for planning purposes). Apparently we need each other to decide on flowers, the cake, the pastor, and important things like that. Who knew?!

Anyways, I thought I would post something new to kick start the semester. The other day I was discussing a theological topic at a staff meeting. While being the only girl in the meeting talking about theology with 3 men probably doesn’t work to my advantage, I managed to get some words in. I really enjoyed listening to the guys talk, though, because I sometimes I don’t know enough about the topic to give my opinion. This time I did know enough about the topic, and I didn’t let the opportunity pass to share my views.

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The topic we were talking about was sin, and if there were different levels or degrees of sin. The conclusion we came to was that, in God’s eyes, sin is sin. On the other hand, to the world (and the justice system) there are different degrees of sin. Even though this is a juicy topic, I won’t be writing much about it in this post.

What I do want to write about is the fact that God’s position and hatred of sin has not changed. God has hated sin ever since the Fall. However, the one thing that has changed is that Jesus is now in the middle, between God and us. He is literally in between God and His children. We are cleansed from unrighteousness because God looks through Jesus and sees us as holy. And the only reason we are holy is because the blood of Jesus was the one sacrifice that could satisfy the wrath of God. A thousand lambs sacrificed to God could never have completely cleansed us of the filth of sin that covered us before we accepted Jesus.

The point I’m trying to make is that God has always hated sin and He still does, but He was merciful enough to send His only Son as the ultimate atoning sacrifice. I think that is the most loving and selfless act He could ever make for people who could never repay Him. That’s who God is. And that’s who Jesus is. The One Who sent, and the One Who was sent to bring us back into a relationship with Him.

Driving in Cars With… Examiners

There are many things in life that you can really, really dread doing. You could dread going to school, going to work, or taking out the trash. You can dread doing a lot of things. But I bet that taking your road test (once for your G2 and then for your G, if you’re lucky, but most of the time a couple times over) ranks pretty high on your “I would rather do anything but this” list.

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I’m not complaining. I mean, I’ve had it pretty good with my tests. Even though I failed my G2 (the amount of times is irrelevant…) before I got it, I passed my G on the first go. For my American friends, your G1 is your learner’s permit, your G2 is also a permit but you can drive without a parent, and your G is your full license. It’s a long process to get your G, because you have to make sure you are good driver before you do your G test.

I sort of feel bad for the examiners, though. Even though you might think they are out to fail you, I really think they are just trying to survive the next half an hour. In a car. With a total stranger. Who might not know how to drive. That’s pretty scary. So I respect them for doing that job, because it can’t be easy (or thrilling or safe). Sure, I can say that now. I drove well enough to keep myself and my examiner in one piece, so I have my license. But I do know the horrible, heart falling into your stomach feeling you get when the examiner says to you, “You didn’t pass today.”

It’s probably not the most enjoyable thing to tell someone that they failed, either. Everyone has seen the driving school cars on the road. I parked beside about ten driving school cars when I went for my G test. Their names are so ridiculous. All Pass, All-star, Pro-star… the list goes on. And just for fun, I googled “Driving school names” and found: Purrfect Driving, Steer We Go!, Drive Straight with Jason Tait, and Wheely Wheely Good Driving School. I just can’t even explain that last one. Or the first one. Or any of them for that matter. But I bet that the examiner who fails an All Pass student might feel bad, even just a little bit.

So don’t blame your examiner if you fail. They probably just felt their life or someone else’s life (including yours) was in danger. I would rather fail at the test than fail alone at the wheel because I got a license I shouldn’t have received. But once you pass, it feels great and you can relax knowing you are cautious enough to be trusted with a driver’s license.

Confidence Beyond Comparison

The other day I was doing some deep thinking (in the shower, naturally), when I had a realization. Everyone has at least one thing that prevents them from doing something in life. This one thing could be a fear, a physical problem, an emotional problem, or a spiritual issue they haven’t dealt with. And then I realized that almost everyone compares themselves to other people. We envy people who don’t have the same “one thing” as we do.

So for example, let’s say someone has a fear of heights and they talk to someone who is pretty fearless and jumps off cliffs (this may or may not have happened to me lately…). The fearful person might walk away thinking, “Wow, I wish I was that brave. I would love to jump off cliffs if I didn’t think something terrible would happen.”

If that example wasn’t good enough, imagine a young girl who doesn’t like a part of her body. It could be her nose, her eyes, or her weight. And then she sees other girls who have pretty noses, eyes, and who look pretty fit. This young girl with this insecurity (planted there by the Enemy through other people or magazines), if she is not careful, will become jealous of these other girls. But the truth is, these other girls who seem to have it all together, have their own “one thing” that they are dealing with.

Theodore Roosevelt said that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I definitely agree. It’s hard to be joyful when all you’re doing is looking at yourself negatively. Comparison only brings you to the realization that no one is perfect. Comparison won’t get you a new body, different coloured eyes, a fearless spirit, or a growing faith. The one thing that will get me to love my body, my eyes, and help me to conquer my fears and grow my faith is a deep relationship with Jesus Christ. The only Person we should compare ourselves to is Christ, because He is the standard, and He is perfect. Jesus doesn’t have that “one thing,” but He can help us to look past our “one thing” and we can overcome our insecurities with His strength.

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Love is a [ verb ]

Love is one of those things that so many people think they have neatly packed in a box with no room for surprises or contradiction. But the thing is, love is not what today’s culture says it is. Love is not a noun, it’s not just a feeling, and it’s not something you fall into. Love is a verb, a connection, and something that takes work and a lot of patience. I don’t claim to fully understand what love is, or even how it looks, but I do know that it’s something that takes effort.

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So if love isn’t a noun or a feeling, then why does it make us act so goofy? Why do I get butterflies in my stomach? Why do I feel like I can do anything just because someone special is holding my hand (that would be you, David)? And then there is the other side of things. Why, if I love this person so much, do I feel so frustrated with him at times? Why can he get on my very last nerve?

If you have been in a relationship for over a year or two, you know that the beginning of the relationship is filled with all sorts of good emotions. Some people call this the “honeymoon phase” but there is a proper word for this kind of love, which is the Greek word ErosEros love is mostly chemical based, which is why our emotions are so high when we first start a relationship. There is another kind of love that is usually there from the beginning, and this is phileo love (brotherly/friendship love). There isn’t a whole lot of agape love (unconditional love) at the beginning of a relationship because that comes later with time and trust.

My point is, any good, lasting relationship will have all three kinds of love (sometimes all at once, or in stages). Once you and your sweetie move past the “honeymoon phase,” it becomes a little more work to stay in love. Eventually those goofy emotions and butterflies will fade (not completely though), and you will have to make a decision. Are you going to love him even though there’s hard times, or will you let your emotions get the best of you and find someone new who gives you butterflies all over again? If the relationship is right and God-honouring, I promise you the first option (to fight for your relationship) is the best choice you could make. David and I made that choice a long time ago (to always fight for each other and our relationship), and it was the best thing we could have done for our relationship.

First Blog Post!

I have been thinking about starting a blog for a little while now, but I didn’t know if I would be good at it! Well, I guess that didn’t matter much because here I am, writing my first blog post. I’ll probably get better at writing posts, so for now, please be patient with me! The reason I decided to start a blog was because I have been learning so much about relationships. I wanted a place where I could share my thoughts about everything I have been learning.

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Before I get into all of that, I should probably say a little bit about myself (but I’m sure most of the people reading this already know who I am). My name is Kiana, and I am a Christian. I am from a family of 5, and we’re far from normal (in the best way possible). I am engaged to an amazing man named David, who actually helped me to finally decide to start this blog. Most of what I write about will be centred around these three things (Faith, Family, Relationship), with some extra fun stuff on the side.

The next thing you might be wondering about is the name of this blog. I chose “It’s the Little Things,” because in life those little things can add up and become big things. And those big things become milestones that you remember forever. How cheesy does that sound? But I’m serious, think about the things in life that start off small and eventually grow to be really big. Love grows, faith grows, babies grow, plants grow, friendships grow… the list could go on forever. And I think God did that on purpose, so that we could be thankful for the smallest of things.

So there it is, my first blog post. That wasn’t so hard (at least not for me, reading it might be a different story). Also, I definitely didn’t take that picture, I just like the colour.