Letters to Young Lovers
Several of our bloggers have been hitched since you last heard from them. Congrats are in order to Kijana Knight who is now Kijana Knight Torres! And two of our aYAs married each other! Congrats to Divya & Sylvester Paulasir! June is the heat of wedding season, and love knots are in the air. It’s a beautiful time when families and close friends want to witness the vows of two hearts becoming one.
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord. – Proverbs 18:22 (KJV)
In 78 days, 7 hours, 6 minutes, and roughly 19 seconds I will take my walk down that aisle and become one with the gift God has reserved for me. Just thinking about that, as cliche as it sounds really does give me a rush of goosebumps. I’m one of those who has perhaps over-analyzed the relationship, but when two independents merge into one synergistic and cohesive bond in a world full of broken and corrupted marital unions – it truly is a beautiful thing.
So approaching this big step is such an emotional eruption of happiness, anticipation, and yes – a little of stress with the wedding planning. Going through this process it is easy to lose track of your mind, and really manifest crazy “love,” that may not even be love at all. I stumbled across this quote reading EGW’s Letters to Young Lovers last night, and it inspired a post.
Love is a sentiment so sacred that but few know what it is. It is a term used, but not understood. The warm glow of impulse, the fascination of one young person for another is not love; it does not deserve the name. True love has an intellectual basis, a deep thorough knowledge of the object loved. – LYL 36.4
Now I’m not even going to pretend to be the biggest EGW fanatic, but let me just say this book is loaded with powerful nuggets any young couple should contemplate and commit to live by. I recently attended a powerful Family Life marriage conference, and was impressed to share more on this topic as I believe often the local church needs to do better at fostering healthy intimate relationships.
Think about it. When you glance around your congregation, do you get the sense that you want to be just like that cute couple sitting in the second to last pew on the right-hand side? Is there someone you feel comfortable divulging the latest developments of your dating diary to? While it is very important to have spiritual mentors, and the church should minister to familial relationships in the most effective ways, we cannot excuse such a grave mistake of selecting and bonding ourselves to the wrong mate, because there weren’t enough positive examples at my home church.
We are not to place the responsibility of our duty upon others, and wait for them to tell us what to do. We cannot depend for counsel upon humanity. The Lord will teach us our duty just as willingly as He will teach somebody else. If we come to him in faith, He will speak His mysteries to us personally. – LYL 39.1
It’s difficult. To balance this love for your potential future spouse, with the love of a never-failing Savior. We have to keep things in check and put Him above him, ladies. And guys, you have a role model whose shoes you will never fill, “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” -Ephesians 5:23
So Ellen writes to these young lovers sweet letters that at times sound harsh, but the sweetness of wise rebuke is ever so needed in a time where blind love and infatuation can implant the heart with false perspective. Listen to a piece of this one she writes from Hastings, New Zealand September 13, 1893:
I have been awakened early this morning at three o’clock. I was in earnest conversation with you in the night, and was saying, “Janet, the Lord has a work for you to do.” I was presenting before you the perils of your past life.
I have felt the burden laid upon me to have a watch-care for your soul. You are in danger of making grievous blunders in following impulse. God has saved you from entering into marriage relations with persons who were not in any way calculated to make you happy, and who were corrupt in morals and would have fastened you in Satan’s snare, where you would have been miserable in this life and imperilled your soul. Will not the past lessons be sufficient for you? You are altogether too free with your affections, and would if left to your own course of action make a life-long mistake. Do not sell yourself at a cheap market.
– Letters to Young Lovers, p.76
Imagine getting a letter like that from EGW. Wow! You can read the rest of that letter and many others along with counsel in the book Letter to Young Lovers. Google it and you can even download a free electronic copy.
I have much more to share that I’ve learned in the last few months just from this engagement experience. Perhaps my newlywed aYAs and I will be back for a mini-series on the plight of young lovers in the near future. In the mean time check out this incredible testimony Oluwakemi Ola shared with me and the resources below.
Thinking about marriage? Check out these other resources:
1) Gary Chapman’s Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married
2) Dennis Rainey’s Preparing for Marriage
3) Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University
4) Family Life’s Weekend to Remember