One of my facebook friends posted this video of Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) covering I can’t make you love me. I listened to it on repeat (along with their new album) while putting some thoughts down on love. Enjoy…
Five years ago I had my heart broken for the first time. I had loved a girl so strongly for three years that when she was finally gone I was broken, crushed, devastated. I was firmly convinced that I was going to marry that girl. It was during the time immediately following our break-up that I stopped by her house to visit with her mother. It was there that I received the best advice on relationships I can think of.
She said, “Dan, what you had was good. What you had was love. Right now you can’t see it, but there will be other girls; and when there are remember this and know that you deserve the next relationship to be at least as good as this one. If not better.”
I’ve done my best to live that.
There have been other girls. There was even one that was better; she set a new standard for me.
During this time I have also tried to live Paul’s command in 1 Corinthians 7:17; to live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to me. Single, looking, dating, or committed.
Since my one first great heart break, I have experienced many more. The difference is they weren’t on account of girls (directly). My heart is broken over and over again by the depravity, the injustice, the pain, and the hatred in this world.
By living with those two ideals in my heart, three main benefits have befallen me…
1) The one person I dated exclusively during that time (facebook official and all) and I had such a positive relationship that I would still consider her one of my closest friends to this day… we broke up in 2009.
2) I have had the freedom (in singleness) to develop deeply intimate (emotionally not physically) and loving relationships with my friends of the opposite sex to the point of them being true sisters. I don’t know where I would be without them. Y’all know who you are.
3) By living in all situations (single, looking, dating, and committed) with God’s heart as my intention (not a girl) I have grown in my understanding of Jesus’ teachings and desires for the world.
My prayer through it all has been that my will would be changed to mirror God’s will, for myself, the people, and earth around me. I can be confident in my third benefit not because I am “holier than thou” for remaining single and focused on God (honestly I’ve screwed up more in the last three years than the previous twenty), but because I have also experienced an increased depth of relationship with many different people. An answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17.
I think it is safe to assume that if my prayer is to have Jesus’ heart, and Jesus’ prayer is being answered in my life, then my prayer to be more like him is being answered. I will always be hopeless without him, but with him I am made perfect, an heir to the living God; and so are you.