Alright, so every once in a while, I get it in my head that I need to get out and try to find Mr. Right. This is no simple game of “Where’s Waldo” either. I have but a few factors that really, REALLY matter to me; even so, rare is the man that actually fits them. Considering such rare men would also likely be married already were they not looking for an extraordinarily unique woman, and yeah, our chances are rather slim.
But I figured I might as well start posting what I really care about and why it matters. If nothing else, it’ll serve to remind me what I’m really after when Cupid fires his shots. And no I don’t think Cupid is real, or if he were, I’d think he could well be working for the bad guys. :-p But that’s a post for another day. For now, my number one requirement, as the title maybe have suggested to you, is that he must love God.
What does that mean? Well, let’s look at the word love, first. Love is a funny word. What does it mean to you? And no, I’m not just asking rhetorically… if you’ve got feedback, let’s hear it! Does Love mean something different when you’re talking about loving God, loving your family, loving your best friends, loving your neighbor, loving Star Trek, and loving your soul mate? If it really means so many different things, why do we tend to use the same word? C.S. Lewis very thoroughly mulls over the whole idea in “The Four Loves.“* In his first chapter, describing need, he said:
The scullery tap and the tumbler are very attractive indeed when we come in parched from mowing the grass; six seconds later they are emptied of all interest. The smell of frying food is very different before and after breakfast.
He goes on to suggest that, while our need for God never dies, our awareness of that need dies off quickly, and so can our love. So I want a guy who, for starters, recognizes and appreciates his need for God, and appreciates all that the Lord has done for him.
Man, that’s a great book, by the way; though C.S. Lewis is even more long-winded than I, I’ve read nothing of his that wasn’t well worth the time it took to digest it. I’ll resist the urge to keep quoting him for the rest of this post. How about I quote someone even better?
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (Jesus Christ, as quoted in the bible by St. John, in chapter 14 verse 15)
One question I get on this, a lot, is, “That’s cool, but what if I don’t believe in your version of God?” and indeed, how is one supposed to obey God’s commandments if the definition of God is so ambiguous in the first place? My answer to that, is that if our perception and ideas define what God is and what’s expected of us, then we’re basically just worshiping an idol we’ve created ourselves. If the Bible is true — and I have come to believe that it is — then I understand this is something that the Lord longs to help us fix.
I believe that whatever your flavor of faith, God is going to answer the prayers of those who sincerely seek Him with all kinds of blessings. But I also believe that you’ll be blessed all the more for letting go of your preconceptions and REALLY striving to seek out who God really is and what is expected of you. That does not mean rejecting organized religion, nor does it mean a purely intellectual debate, and it certainly does not mean developing a spirit of contention in your pursuit of what’s real or trying to prove to others that your’e right. It means seeking the truth from the Lord like you would look for water in the desert; developing a deep, personal, lasting relationship through prayer; and choosing a lifestyle that reverences that relationship.
Why then does it matter whether a guy is LDS and temple-worth or not, you might ask, so long as he sincerely believes he’s following God’s will? It goes back to what Christ said: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” How could I want a guy who sincerely loves God and therefore strives to obey God’s commandments, if I won’t hold myself to the same standard?
I do love my Father, and I am trying to keep His commandments as revealed through scripture and modern prophets, as well as through personal instruction by the Spirit. I believe that one of those commandments is to marry, and to form an eternal family by being sealed in the temple. I have seriously weighed and prayed over whether this is what God expects of me personally, and the answer is clearly in the affirmative. If the answer were simply to find someone I love and do whatever I want, it would be easy, because (believe it or not!) there is more than enough love for others in my heart to make such an arrangement work. A part of me has even wanted to make that work, but I know it isn’t right for me unless I get a very clear answer from God otherwise.
I know that’s not an easy thing for some of you to hear, but it is what it is and I have to do what I think is right. I hope you will too. Next post: I want a guy who loves his neighbors. Need I elaborate? Probably not, but I will. Later. 🙂
*Yes, if you use that link to buy The Four Loves, Amazon will give me a few cents, which I could certainly use right now, but if you want to borrow the book, it is available in my own little biblioteca.