The forging and discovery of friendship truly is a beautiful experience. In his book, The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis rightly describes friendship as that moment when two or more companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden).

As captured by the renowned author and great theologian, the coming together of two people who realize they share common interests is a beautiful experience. Deep within, we all long for such an experience because at the core, we are relational beings who thrive in relationships – friends and family. I am certain that none of us wants to “do life” alone.  

While friendship in and of itself is a wonderful gift, it can lead to something even more beautiful. When two friends of the opposite sex discover a mutual liking between them, the friendship can easily progress into more than just friendship – a romantic relationship.

Observing such a friendship unravel is in itself a beautiful thing. To be able to relate in such a manner and at such a deep level is a beautiful and wonderful gift from God. However, just like every other good thing that God has given us to enjoy, romantic relationships can also become a source of pain and bitterness if we put our trust in them and look for validation and identity through them. 

In Scripture, we are exhorted to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, soul and mind (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). We should treasure Him above everything else, including our very lives. Our hearts should be wholly devoted to God, for He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13)

Unfortunately, this is far from reality. If we examine ourselves carefully, we realize that we fall short of this command numerous times and in many ways. Instead of setting our hearts on Christ and beholding His beauty and glory, our hearts easily turn aside and our affections are easily set on other things that do not have eternal value.

Just like every good gift God has given us to enjoy, romantic relationships can easily become an idol in our lives if our affections are not set on Christ. In this blog post, we get to see how this can play out in the form of two poems written by two of my friends – Ronald and Derek.

The poems capture what happens when we seek validation and identity in relationships with other people instead of in Christ. They point us to a greater love, God’s love, which is steadfast and Endless. My hope and prayer is that you will be edified even as you read through and that you may know that ultimately, only Christ can truly satisfy

ENDLESS…

We had shared lives 

Exchanged gifts 

And made memories 

We had dreamt dreams 

Drafted missions

And shared visions

I thought a soulmate I had found 

I thought forever we were bound 

But all was spent

And all was lost 

Once again, from the aisle I was further away

Let alone the altar 

The pain cut deep 

And lingered longer 

‘Twas a dark and lonely road 

My stomach found no delight in delicacies

My heart could not understand comfort 

Peace was nothing but coded language 

That no amount of effort could help decode 

Sleep deserted me 

And my flesh wore away 

Tears became my daily food 

Life had lost all meaning 

‘Twas all back to square one.

I had replaced you for her Lord 

I had pursued her for completion

An idol to me she had become

A trophy

A sense of victory 

I had loved her more than You Lord

Forgetting my mission 

In her I sought satisfaction 

Ignoring my greatest call 

To love You Lord

Yet even through this Your grace remained 

Shining forth brighter than before

You had never taken a break from loving me 

I had grieved Your heart yes

Yet in my brokenness

I saw Your love in steadfastness

From my depths 

Your love lifted me to the heights

Your embrace covered me 

And calmed my soul still

In You I found affection and security 

In You I found identity

Through Your redemption 

I found satisfaction

I found a lasting joy 

I had found an endless love

-Ronald

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

“…this feeling of uncertainty 

And unreadiness

Is not my need for assurance of affection from her

But from myself.

I am hurt, pressured and tense

Seeking a perfect moment of certainty

Away from these…

But there never is. 

Every expectation of happiness

I have put on her love

Is a mirage

Beneath the light 

Of my flaws…

And her face,

Beautiful as is,

Is another lie

I feed my fantasies 

To create a role for her

That never exists.

All the hurt I have caused others

And myself trace back to me.

My idea and craving for a love 

That’s satisfying 

From a human being who’s “whole”

Despite my unsatisfied nature

Lacking wholeness

Is my need for a satisfying love

From One who’s whole.

Yes, I will walk away from you,

Or you will walk away from me

Because we are all good at this

And our idea of love is selfish.

But there’s One who stays

When He’s most justified to leave,

One who gives 

When the moment is perfect to take,

One who’s whole

But unafraid of our brokenness

As He gets 

Into a union of love with us

That even death cannot do part.

One who forgives our sins

And forgets them

And though He’s perfect,

Doesn’t despise us for being imperfect,

But demonstrates to us 

How much our sin hurts

By suffering the punishment

That we deserve.

Full of love

He holds our hand

When no one else can,

Sees our worth

When we feel most lost,

And the side of us

We strive to keep secret,

He knows 

And vows

That in Him 

We are all He will ever expect

Us to be.

We will never beg

For His attention

Because His love for us

Is His mission.

In fact He began

Thinking about us

Even before creation

And when we fall short

We don’t have to be afraid

Because He is our redemption.

This is the love we crave

As overwhelmed as we would be

With heartbreaks.

The only love

We need

Since our obvious

And constant disappointment

In seeking this love amongst humanity

Only proves that

GOD’s love…

Is the greatest.” 

-Derek