A Pilot for the Journey
When I look at the landscape of life and love in many people today, I see fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of missing out. Fear of losing opportunities. In others I hear pride—the insistence to live life on their own terms so no one can threaten their freedom of expression. In many, I also see lust.Why commit to love someone emotionally if you can just use them physically? Fear, pride, and lust are the root of many problems that crop up in relationships.
None of these drivers aim at love. Fear closes off and withdraws, but love opens up and gives freely. Pride will not tolerate the risk of exposing one’s self to another, but love risks vulnerability for the sake of the other person. Lust tells the other person you only want the parts you can use, but love embraces the whole person—on his or her best days and worst.
As long as fear, lust, and pride are in the driver’s seat of your relationship, you will be speeding away from healthy love. These things will drive you into isolation or create shallow relationships that do not honor God. This is the situation I see in our culture today. I see a generation lost at sea, unsure how to navigate the tempestuous sea of love and avoid the pitfalls of fear, lust, and pride. They are adrift, battered by the winds and waves.
Back in the day, when a ship sailed into treacherous waters, the captain had to acknowledge he lacked sufficient knowledge of the area to guide his vessel safely into port. When that realization hit (this was before the days of modern communication), he would raise a flag that signaled, “I require a pilot.” Whenever a pilot familiar with the area saw that flag ascended on the mast, he would jump into his little coracle, row out to the ship, and come aboard.
The pilot would commandeer the vessel and guide it safely through the rocks and shoals into port. To signal to any other pilots who may want to come aboard that they were not needed, the vessel would fly another flag—one that was half red and half white. This flag declared to all who cared to see, “I have a pilot.” No other pilots were needed, and the locals could be assured this ship was in safe hands.
In the midst of the uncertain seas in your dating relationship, you also have a way to chart a course forward. You can raise the flag of surrender and admit that you “require a pilot” who will navigate you away from the dangers just beneath the surface. And you can raise the flag of commitment that says to the world, “I have a pilot,” and then choose to follow him alone.
God is the one who made you and is the only one who can guide you safely home. The Bible tells us that he is love (see 1 John 4:8). So, in your dating relationship today, admit that you need a guide on the unknown waters of love. Declare to God that you need him to take the wheel and guide you. When it comes to dating, this is where your journey must begin.
What role has fear, pride, and lust played in your pursuit of romantic love? How have you experienced healthy love?
What are some of the “treacherous waters” you have experienced when it comes to dating?
What does it mean in your dating life to raise the flag of surrender and admit you need a guide?
Adapted From: Dating You Version