How to Have a Great Love Life

Do you have problems in your love life or just want it to be all it can be? The one overlooked secret of having a great love life is putting God first in your life, and your loved one second:

C. S. Lewis was quoted once as saying, "When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased."

Matthew 22:36-40:“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” commandment in the law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."

The Bible says, "Everything works together for good for those who love the Lord." (Romans 8:28) Focusing on God above all things and focusing on pleasing God (doing God's will), rather than focusing first on ourselves or others, contributes to being truly happy inside almost by default and life will be as it should be. By having this attitude and working on becoming good ourselves, we attract others who also desire to be good people into our lives. We attract those who are similar to ourselves.

So if we want relationships with people of good character, and a loving spouse or a good friend who loves God and wants to do what is right, then if we work on becoming such a person we will attract the same. In other words, become the type of person we want to be in relationship with and we will attact that type of person to ourselves. "Seek first the kingdom of God and all else will be given you besides."

How to really love God, yourself and others:

Love seeks the true good of the beloved. Love isn't just a feeling even though great feelings are often involved, but feelings come and go and fluctuate for various reasons. Love is about doing what is right even when there isn't a feeling and when we don't feel like it. Loving God includes putting into practice all that God tells us in the Bible and through authentic church teachings. ("Those who love me will keep my commandments"). Do what is right and feelings will follow. Love is about loving others as we love ourselves by being as attentive to their true needs as we are to our own.

Love desires to be with the one loved. To love God above all includes obeying God's commandments, setting aside a certain amount of time to spend in prayer and pondering God's word in the Bible and seeking and surrending to his will which is good. (Psalm 1).

Making time for God: Most all of us have busy lives, so how can we make time for God? One idea is to wake up a little early and spend some time in prayer before getting up and/or go to bed a little early and spend some time in prayer and spiritual types of reading before going to sleep.

St. Teresa of Avila said she often began prayer with a good spiritual book to help put her mind on God. To pray correctly one needs to first set aside other concerns and put our minds on God alone. She also advises to speak to Jesus as one would a friend.

Loving the people in our life also requires setting aside some time for them. Love desires to be with those we love. Just as we set aside time to be with God alone, so we need to make time for our loved ones on earth by spending time with our loved ones. If we want a relationship with God and others, we need to spend some time relating or else there is no relationship.

No time? How much time do you spend on the internet, watching TV, recreational activites or maybe even working for things you don't really need while neglecting those things you do, like God and some special people in your life? The greatest two commandments are: Love God with your whole heart, whole mind and whole strength and your neighbor as yourself. If we do these things we will have inner peace now and forever and if we don't, we won't. St. Therese of Lisieux had some words worth pondering as she neared her own death... she said, "It is love alone that counts".

No need to worry about things as God will take care of all our needs when we put Him first and obey his commandments, including our need for a spouse and people to love us and to love in return. If we are doing that and it hasn't happened yet, what is needed is prayer and trust... do what is right and good and true trusting God has a great plan for our life and it will unfold as time goes on and in the right time. Pray for what you need.

We don't need to do things out of fear or impulsiveness or drives. In fact those feelings should not be acted on, but just trust God and do what is right (which is often accompanied by a sense of deep peace inside where God dwells inside us) and things will be as they should and even better than we imagined they could be.

The Bible says, "Fear is useless, what is needed is trust." Jesus said, "Ask you and will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open."

Doing what is right can be a gigantic struggle because we are all sinners and need God's grace to overcome sin, but we have God's promise of his help and grace for the asking. We need to pray for the grace and strength to do what is right. One such prayer is, "Jesus, please help me! Give me the grace I need to do your will." God will give us the grace and make up for the lack in our actions and make all things work together for good in our life.

With us some things are impossible, but with God all things are possible. We need to become God-pleasers and not a people-pleasers. Pain isn't pleasant, but sometimes it is necessary to achieve real change and growth for ourselves and others. So we need to face the pain and work through it to achieve the goal.

Additional thoughts: If we want to be holy, we seek God's will alone and really that is the only thing that makes sense, as God loves us more than we love ourselves. He wants only what is best for us in the long run. He knows everything and we don't. He knows what is best and we don't.

Seeking God's will is seeking our best good.

Some of us who have made messes of our lives in various ways realize this through experience, but it is possible to learn this just by trying it. If we try it (learn God's will and put it into practice) we will see it is true and works (without having to understand it or learn things the hard way.)

Jesus says if we want to know what is true, to do to what he says, and we will know it is true. How we know it is true is in the doing it, not in the understanding it, as we will understand it when we do it... so the thing here is not intellectualizing but putting it into practice.

In effect Jesus says: Do what I tell you, and you will know it is true. With God's help we can do it, and with God on our side all will be fine.

Summary: The Bible tells us that if we seek God first, all things will be given us besides and that all things will work together for good if we love God and put him first in our lives, including our love life.

"Let us let God show us what he can do." (attributed to Mother Teresa)

Jesus' prayer: Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, THY WILL BE DONE on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.

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