Pr.S. I'm a girl, and most of you are girls, therefore, I am going to write this mostly from a girl's perspective. If you are a guy (or you know a guys who might be good at this), and you wish to elaborate on this topic from your perspecitive, let me know, and if I like what you write, I'll post it. :)
Three words, used practically interchangeably, but so vastly different: Dates, Crushes, Loves. Let me set before you a scenario from our public high school world: One young woman meets a handsome young man, and decides she 'likes', or has a 'crush' on him. He's 'hot' she says, and 'cute', and she feels that she is in the most glorious place when she is around him. The young man in focus decides he 'likes' the young woman in focus as well, and 'asks her out'. 'Almost dying' when he asks her, the girl accepts, and immediately tells all her 'friends' that she has a 'date', and shows them pictures of his 'adorable' face. The following Friday, the 'couple' go to a movie at the local theatre, hold hands, and eat from the same bag of popcorn, while shallow, little, warm fuzzies creep through the two of them. A few weeks later, as the rumor goes around that the 'couple' is 'in love', the guy and girl kiss, making them believe they are utterly in heaven. I need not elaborate, but it is obvious that a few weeks or months later, they 'break up', possibly because he just wants to go for another girl, she cries for a few days, and begins the process once again with another young man. Does this make sense to you? Would you want to be that girl?
I hope you would not! As you see, there are many things in quotations in the above paragraph, because those are the words that are used, but they are not what the things they are reffering to really are. It all goes to show you how fake it all is. The problem is, that the dating scene continues into married life. Date, kiss, break up: Marry, kiss, divorce. God clearly states that divorce is not right, therefore, how could breaking up be right? If divorce was alright, then what what would be the point of marriage in the first place? Therefore, the same thing goes for dating: If breaking up is wrong--which it is--then what is the point of dating? I think it is high time that we penetrate our earthly desires, to see what the bigger picture really is.
Personally, I have a goal in mind that I know many girls scoff at. Laughter, whether suppressed or not, is the first thing from their lips when I tell them that I don't have crushes. "Everyone has crushes; you can't stop that!", they say. I don't believe that, because I know someone that can help me! I see many hansome young gentlemen, and at first glance even think that very thing, but that doesn't mean that I am in love with him, or that there is some sort of secret force between us that makes me 'like' him. Sure, if I let my thoughts dwell on that young man, I could become infatuated with him, but that isn't necessary! When I feel those thoughts and feelings seeping slowly into my heart, I pray. "Heavenly Father," I pray, "take these feelings away from me, and help me not to think about that young man in that way. Help me to see him only as another one of your children, not a candidate for my love." Having had one or two 'crushes' in the past, before I had jumped over the not-so-scary hurdle of submitting my feelings to God, not just my heart, I know that once you have 'liked' someone, and then decided you don't 'like' them anymore, you can never be quite as close to them as real friends as before. It is as if there is a film left on your soul that says: "I had feelings for that person, and I can never have feelings, whether love-ish or not for him again." It's difficult, but possible to overcome.
Through prayer and contemplation, God can help you to feel friendly towards previously-liked guys, but is it necessary to go through that again? I think not! Affection for young men is not a planned part of life, however, it happens suddenly and without warning, and we must be sure to nip it in the bud as soon as it becomes noticable, just like weeds!
If you think about it, dating and crushes are not aa part of God's plan. Courtship, in which the two parties in question take time to think through all the little parts of the relationship, and consider marriage from square one, instead of it being an afterthought, is Biblical. Here is an example of someone not caught up by lust for many girls: Jacob loved Rachel, and was willing to wait. Why date when you're 15 if you are not planning on marriage anyway? Perhaps waiting as Jacob did for the right time in life, is the better choice.
And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
Love--contrary to popular belief--is not a feeling. Love is a passion for God, and a willingness to share that with someone. Love means being ready to do anything at any time for a particular person.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
According to God's word, is love a feeling? No! So what on earth are we talking about when we say that someone is 'in love'? I'm not going to get into symantics and say that we shouldn't use the word 'love' for being 'in love', etc., but perhaps just realizing that our English language is severely limited might help us to see that the word 'love' is used for a lot more things than it was originally designed for.
Girls! If you haven't already, promise with me,² give your single years to God rather than silly young men who just want a kiss! (and leave the prayer in the comments of that post to show the world that you did!) Let us show the world that we are true lovers, according to what our Master in heaven has set forth as a guideline.
One day, most likely, you will be 'in love'. At that time, think back to the promise you made, and remember that the object of your affection is not your Creator, and think on the fact that He alone is worthy of your life and complete surrender. The man you will marry will become a beautiful part of you, but he cannot live within you as your Father does. In light of this, let us consider how worthless and what a waste of time and energy it is to have breezy relationships with young men before such a time as you are ready to commit to a lifelong bond, no matter how mature and upright the man may be.
1 John 4:1616
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Now, go in peace and serve the Lord with every ounce of your being. Being His child and walking His road can be hard, and the devil likes to confuse us with other lofty ideas and ideals, and perhaps even a taste of the world's version of love, but stay straight and lean on Jesus and through all remember: God is Love!
¹ All Bible passages taken from the New American Standard Bible
² URL: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/ChristsInstrument/235758/