The Testing of Your Love
by Tesh Njokanma 2/01/2013 / Relationships
Lovelovelove. What a powerful word. What an abused and misused word. Are you in a relationship with someone and you both often tell yourselves 'I love you?' How easy it is to say 'I love you', but to truly love is another thing. Perhaps these stories of some single ladies and guys who thought they were in love will give you a better understanding of what it really means to love.
Love is patient
No one ever thought Yewande and Edet would make it to this day. Their relationship had been plagued with one obstacle after the other which kept prolonging the big day they had been praying and hoping for.
First, it was the family obstacle. Initially, Yewande's parents had their reservations about Edet. And well, you couldn't really blame them. Her educational and social background was higher than his, he happened to come from a tribe they didn't particularly like, and to worsen things, Edet was a full time pastor. But with time Yewande's parents had come to see that Edet was actually a nice, honest young man who sincerely cared about their daughter.
Then there was the distance obstacle. Fortunately for Yewande but unfortunately for their relationship, her job offered her a scholarship to go abroad for her Master's Degree. She really wanted to go and make the most of this opportunity, but then what would happen to their relationship and wedding plans the one year she would be away? Would Edet be faithful and keep on loving her even though she was miles away? What if he met someone else while she was away?
That one year they spent apart was one of the most difficult ever. But the e-mails, cards, pictures, calls, and of course the Lord, helped to keep their love and commitment alive in their hearts. Their love stood the test of time. Their love was willing to wait.
Love Does not Boast
Ever since Martha got engaged to Edward she had turned herself into a first class nuisance. Wherever she went, she bored her friends and anyone who was willing to give her an ear about how wealthy Edward was; the wonderful and expensive gifts he had bought for her, the romantic and exotic places he had taken her to and how much money her family and his were going to spend on their forthcoming wedding.
Then one day, when Martha called up one of her friends to fill her in on the latest happenings and 'spendings' in her relationship, her friend stopped her to ask, "Martha, what if Edward lost his job, money, or car, or something terrible happened and he became blind or paralyzed, would you still love him?"
That down to earth question made Martha realize that what she really loved was the idea of being married to one of the richest bachelors in town, the thrill of being the centre of attraction and the joy of having someone to brag and boast about to her friends who were older than her and still single.
Love Never Fails
The day Kunbi was to reveal a very important aspect of her past to Michael, her heart was pounding with fear. She was so scared and worried about what his reaction would be. Some years back, she had told this same thing to some other guy she was to marry and it ruined their relationship. So as she thought of the man she loved dearly and having to open up her past to him, she couldn't help but wonder if the same thing would happen with Michael.
As Kunbi spilled out everything to Michael, she noticed the shock and confusion on his face. In all his dreams and plans for their marriage, Michael had never thought there would be a third party in their relationship. He never for once envisaged that the lady he loved and wanted to marry, had a nine year old daughter he had never heard or known about.
As Kunbi told Michael all about her past, the things she had been involved in before she surrendered her life to the Lord and how she had gotten pregnant, she didn't hear from him for days. The days turned to weeks and still no word from Michael. During this period, Kunbi was an emotional wreck.
Then after a month of silence, Michael came to see her. He said he had been doing a lot of thinking and praying and he wanted her to know that no matter what happened to her in the past, he still loved her and wanted to marry her. Her joy knew no bounds.
Real love doesn't walk away when confronted with the faults, failures or weaknesses of others. It is not a temporary feeling that is here today then disappears tomorrow. Betrayal, moral failure or terminal disease cannot quench the fire of love.
Love Always hopes
I have this friend whom I happen to admire for one thing in particular. In practically everything she does, you can see her deep love and commitment to God. Rather than brood and gripe or get frustrated over the fact that her biological clock is ticking and she's still single, she lives each day with the hope, assurance and faith that no matter the circumstances she faces in life, God is still God, His word is still true, and He is daily working out all things for her good. That belief which she holds so tightly to, assures her that very soon her own wedding bells will ring.
Love Is Not Proud
Rosemary was forever trying to impress Kola with how great she was and how lucky he was to have someone like her. Many times she shunned, criticized and put down his suggestions and views which she believed were not as good as hers. Rosemary was so full of herself that the only thing that counted was her own opinion and feelings. If she wasn't careful, her superiority complex which made her act like she was doing Kola a big favour by agreeing to marry him, would soon drive him away from her.
Notwithstanding the fact that her accomplishments and achievements over the years were greater than Kola's, Rosemary had to learn to humbly accept Kola for who he is and stop elevating herself and belittling the man she claimed to love.
True love is never puffed up. Rather, it seeks loving and encouraging ways to build up others.
Love Always Trusts
I can imagine the look on Joseph's face the day his friends popped in to tell him the latest gist that was circulating round the town. "Your fiancée Mary is pregnant. And from what we hear, you are not the father of the child".
Joseph could easily have joined everyone else to point fingers at Mary and condemn and criticize her, but the love he felt for this young lady wouldn't allow him to. He chose to love her even when it seemed foolish to do. He chose to believe her word even though it sounded so incredible, strange and ridiculous that the baby growing in her was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18-21).
Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs
After Jolomi broke up with Tosan she had built an iron wall around herself and wore an invisible signboard hanging from her neck which read, "OUT OF BOUNDS TO ALL MEN". The pain and disappointment she experienced when she discovered Tosan was involved with her best friend, not only broke her heart but also her faith. Now, she had made up her mind that marriage and men were the last two things she wanted to hear about or have anything to do with.
Jolomi had to learn that life is full of disappointments. And no matter how painful the hurt may be, we must forgive the faults and failures of others to keep pressing on in life. That way we prove to the world that we, the true followers of Christ, love not just in words but with our actions and very life.
Tesh Njokanma is a lawyer by training whose heart is in writing. She is a prolific writer with over 15 years experience as a magazine Editor. She is a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God with a prayer and teaching ministry. Tesh is married with children. She is based in Lagos, Nigeria.