6 Truths I Want My Daughters to Understand About How Real Love Flourishes

I have a houseful of daughters who have consumed messages about what real love is from watching their Dad and me, watching the CW, and watching their peers and siblings. They have been exposed to Taylor Swift’s songs, Ins, Instagram reels, and TikTok videos, which show people’s experiences that shape their worldview. With so many wrong messages about what love is coming at them, I hope that they will hear my voice encouraging them to love and be loved as God instructs.

Love is unselfish.

There is no room for pouting in love. This means no games, no manipulation, no controlling, no withholding. It means putting the other person’s interest above your own, even when the world screams at you to take care of yourself at all costs. Real love only flourishes over time when there’s room for the other.

Phil 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Love trusts.

It doesn’t second guess someone, question their motives or hold on so tight it looks possessive. There is a confident freedom when someone loves you, and you love them. You believe what they tell you, and they experience the freedom to trust you and themselves. Trust allows for people, ideas, and experiences to be added to a relationship instead of deleted.

1 Cor. 13:4-5 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.

Love honors.

This requires loads of empathy and verbal affirmation. You see what he is doing and how hard he’s working. It lifts up, encourages, and leaves the other person feeling fantastic when they are with you. It makes space for someone to process, heal, or wonder. It speaks well of someone when they aren’t around. It’s the grease on which love hinges.

Ephesians 4:2: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Love gets over it.

It doesn’t remind you over and over of past mistakes. If you (or he) can’t let something go, it’s time to move on. Letting go of an offense is a practice you’ll both need to get comfortable with. So, it doesn’t hold a grudge but reminds you of what can still be.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

Love has chemistry.

It takes your breath away and draws you to each other. When there are disagreements, it pulls you to the other side of the fight. It’s like a magnet and should only get better and deeper over time. Chemistry can burn a house down if you aren’t careful, or it can keep you warm in all seasons. If you have to talk yourself into it, it isn’t there. Chemistry can’t be explained, but it is felt.

Song of Solomon 1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.

Love doesn’t compromise.

It doesn’t cross boundaries in the dark that you’ve made in the light. It doesn’t ask you to turn off the quiet voice in your head- it is pure, good, strong, considerate, and respectful. It doesn’t make excuses or let an end justify the means. It is integrity, and you can build something long-lasting.

Romans 12:9: Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

The Bible teaches us authentic love isn’t threatened and should be protected; it’s heady and forever. It is not heady in the sense that you are somebody’s whole world; we should never be the other person’s whole world—that’s obsession. But somewhere between independent and codependent is a healthy interdependency that combines spiritual, emotional, sexual, relational, and social energy into something supernatural.

That’s what needs to be protected because the world doesn’t understand it, and our nature fights against it. Add selfishness, spiritual warfare, and other shiny apples, and it’s a miracle men and women co-mission at all. So, dear daughters, be the partner you want him to be. Use your strength to call out his. God designed love and led you toward someone to express it, and following His ways will only cause it to flourish and grow.

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