|How to Have a Great Love Life
Do you have problems in your love life or just want it to be all it can be? Here is one overlooked secret of having a great love life:
C. S. Lewis was quoted once as saying, "When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased."
That quote is s-o-o-o-o-o true. Because if God is prioritized in the number-one slot in life, one is able to love their spouse or special person in the best way, even more so than if that person is prioritized first. If a person is loved above God, then that person becomes like God and is not in the right place in a life and things just don't work out. God deserves to be number one and when He is everything works together for good in our life.
The Bible says, "Everything works together for good for those who love the Lord." (Romans 8:28) Focusing on God above all things and focusing on pleasing God (doing God's will), rather than focusing first on ourselves or others, contributes to being truly happy inside almost by default and life will be as it should be. By having this attitude and working on becoming good ourselves, we attract others who also desire to be good people into our lives. We attract those who are similar to ourselves.
So if we want relationships with people of good character, and a loving spouse or a good friend who loves God and wants to do what is right, then if we work on becoming such a person we will attract the same. In other words, become the type of person we want to be in relationship with and we will attact that type of person to ourselves. "Seek first the kingdom of God and all else will be given you besides."
(A little note for those of us who have various dysfunctional relationships in our past: As we work on ourselves and become a better person who is putting God first and seeking to follow all God's commandments, we need to keep our eyes open and notice the loving, God-pleasing people to seek friendships with... rather than gravitating to what has been familiar to us if that hasn't been helpful. People tend to gravitate and feel comfortable with what is familiar in their past even if it isn't good for them. We also need to make a decision to do what we know God wants even if others won't be happy with us to do so... that is what it means by putting God first. If someone pulls away from us just because we are following God, we need to let them go and choose God over them and not change ourselves to please them as that is their choice... our choice is that we have decided to seek to please God above people, even that special someone. On the other hand, if we find some friends also seeking to do God's will in their lives, they can be a very big support to us to become the persons we want to be.)
How to really love God, yourself and others:
Love seeks the true good of the beloved. By the way, love isn't just a feeling even though great feelings are often involved, but feelings come and go and fluctuate for various reasons. Love is about doing what is right even when there isn't a feeling and when we don't feel like it. Love God includes putting into practice all that God tells us in the Bible and through authentic church teachings. ("Those who love me will keep my commandments"). Do what is right and feelings will follow. Love is about loving others as we love ourselves by being as attentive to their true needs as we are to our own.
Love desires to be with the one loved and to love God first means to set aside a certain amount of time to spend with God in prayer and pondering God's word in the Bible and basically just focusing on God and loving him above all things and seeking his Will which is good. (Psalm 1).
Making time for God: Most all of us have busy lives, so how can we make time for God? One idea is to wake up a little early and spend some time in prayer before getting up and/or go to bed a little early and spend some time in prayer and spiritual types of reading before going to sleep.
St. Teresa of Avila said she often began prayer with a good spiritual book to help put her mind on God. To pray correctly one needs to first set aside other concerns and put our minds on God alone. She also advises to speak to Jesus as one would a friend.
Loving the people in our life also requires setting aside some time for them. Love desires to be with those we love. Just as we set aside time to be with God alone, so we need to make time for our loved ones on earth by spending time with the people who count to us. If we want a relationship with God and others, we need to spend some time relating or else no relationship!
No time? How much time do you spend on the internet, watching TV, recreational activites or maybe even working for things you don't really need while neglecting those things you do, like God and some special people in your life? The greatest two commandments are: Love God with your whole heart, whole mind and whole strength and your neighbor as yourself. If we do these things we will have inner peace now and forever and if we don't, we won't. St. Therese of Lisieux had some words worth pondering as she neared her own death... she said, "It is love alone that counts".
No need to worry about things anyway as God will take care of all our needs when we put Him first, including our need for a spouse and people to love us and to love in return. If we are doing that and it hasn't happened yet, what is needed is prayer and trust... do what is right and good and true and trusting God has a great plan for our life and it will unfold as time goes on and in the right time. Pray for what you need.
We don't need to do things out of fear or impulsiveness or drives. In fact those feelings should not be acted on, but just trust God and do what is right (which is often accompanied by a sense of deep peace inside where God dwells inside us) and things will be as they should and even better than we imagined they could be.
The Bible says, "Fear is useless, what is needed is trust." If we don't have peace or anything else we need the Bible says, "Ask you and will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open." As far as earthly things go, Our Lady of Fatima said that what is required of us all is doing our "daily duty". Our daily duty is to what is required for us at this time and place in our life and relationships.
Doing what is right can be a gigantic struggle because we are all sinners and we need God's grace to overcome, but we have God's promise of his help and grace for the asking. So seek to do what is right and let the chips fall where they may. We need to pray for the strength to do what is right and God will give us the grace and make up for the lack in our actions and make all things work together for good in our life.
With us some things are impossible, but with God all things are possible. We need to become God-pleasers and not a people-pleasers. Pain isn't pleasant, but sometimes it is necessary to achieve real change and growth for ourselves and others. So we need to face the pain and work through it to achieve the goal.
Additional thoughts: If we want to be holy, we seek God's will alone and really that is the only thing that makes sense, as God loves us more than we love ourselves. He wants only what is best for us in the long run. He knows everything and we don't. He knows what is best and we don't.
Seeking God's will is really and truly seeking our best good.
Some of us who have made messes of our lives in various ways realize this through experience, but it is possible to learn this just by trying it. If we try it (learn God's will and put it into practice) we will see it is true and works (without having to understand it or learn things the hard way or hit bottom or whatever.)
Jesus says if we want to know what is true, to do to what he says, and we will know it is true. How we know it is true is in the doing it, not in the understanding it, as we will understand it when we do it... so the thing here is not intellectualizing but putting it into practice.
In effect Jesus says: Do what I tell you, and you will know it is true. With God's help we can do it, and with God on our side all will be fine.
Summary: The Bible tells us that if we seek God first, all things will be given us besides and that all things will work together for good if we love God and put him first in our lives, including our love life.
"Let us let God show us what he can do." (attributed to Mother Teresa)
Jesus' prayer: Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, THY WILL BE DONE on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen. (For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever).