Do we only love each other,
or do we also like each other?
Sometimes I feel I'm in love when I'm overwhelmingly attracted to the other person physically. And that's all it may be!
How do I know if the love I feel is genuine? I ask myself, Are we friends? Can we just sit and talk and laugh together. Can we talk about issues that face us in the real world, or are we just wrapped up in our own little world of physical attraction?
A very long time ago, a prophet in the Bible called Ezekiel saw a vision of human bones in a valley and God asked the prophet whether the bones could live. The prophet replied that he had no idea whether they could or not. Then God proceeded to bring the bones together and put flesh on them so that the people lived.
You are certainly saying to yourself that dry bones have nothing to do with whether or not your love is genuine, but they do.
You see, only God knew which skull belonged which spinal cord; and which arm and leg bones belonged with which fingers and toes.
In other words, there are people who may be powerfully attracted to each other, but they will never make it in the long term because they really don't fit with each other.
And God knows who you will fit with for the long term. So ask Him, but only if you're really ready to hear the answer.
However, a good indicator is this: can we talk to each other as equals? Are we friends?
If we are not true friends, this will not last.
How do you know if you are friends?
You know when you've seen the oher person in many different situations and so you have a good idea of how they approach life and what their values are, and you have similar values. You know what's really important to them, and those same things are important to you.
Another way is to check for domination or intimidation or manipulation in the relationship.
Someone who dominates must always be in control; be the master or mistress; have the supremacy in the relationship; make all the decisions, usually without consulting the other person.
It's a 'my way or the highway' kind of attitude. 'Don't you dare leave me!' may be the approach.
Someone who intimidates uses threats concerning people and things you care about to get their own way; they use fear and bullying to maintain control of the relationship.
'If you ever leave me, I will find you wherever you go and I'll kill you!' may be the approach here.
Someone who manipulates uses their influence with another person in a devious manner, to get their own way: like threats against their own selves if others don't comply with them.
'If you leave me, I'll kill myself and you will be responsible and you will have that hanging over you the rest of your life!'
This is ungodly and inhuman control. So the question is:
can I grow as a person in this relationship,
or will I be constantly battling another person who must always have their own way regardless of how I feel or what I think.
Jesus says in John chapter 15 :
13. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends . . .
15. "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you."
4 This is the story of the creation of the sky and the earth. When the LORD God first made the earth and the sky,
5 there were still no plants on the earth. Nothing was growing in the fields because the LORD God had not yet made it rain on the land. And there was no person to care for the ground . . .
7 Then the LORD God took dust from the ground and formed a man from it. He breathed the breath of life into the man's nose, and the man became a living person.
8 Then the LORD God planted a garden in the east, in a place called Eden, and put the man he had formed into it.
9 The LORD God caused every beautiful tree and every tree that was good for food to grow out of the ground . . .
10 A river flowed through Eden and watered the garden . . .
18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is right for him." . . .
21 So the LORD God caused the man to sleep very deeply, and while he was asleep, God removed one of the man's ribs.
Then God closed up the man's skin at the place where he took the rib.
22 The LORD God used the rib from the man to make a woman, and then he brought the woman to the man.
23 And the man said, "Now, this is someone whose bones came from my bones, whose body came from my body.
I will call her 'woman,' because she was taken out of man."
24 So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.
25 The man and his wife were naked, but they were not ashamed.
(New Century Bible)