July 7, 2012

Real Love Always Multiplies and Redeems

"With every relationship you're in, a piece of your heart is taken away that you cannot get back."

Every time I hear someone say it I cringe. Again and again. I cringe because I don't like it. I've chewed on the thought for a while... and eventually, every time I spit it out. I can't choke it down. I can't be convicted of the phrase holding truth fully: With each relationship you're in, a piece of your heart is taken away that you cannot get back.

There's a skewed perception of love behind that very phrase. And a skewed perception of a belief that's of great importance in the Christian faith: Redemption. Gaining that which was lost.  It assumes that a heart only has so many pieces to give away, and once you're out, you're out. Game over. Go home, grow old, take up knitting, and get a cat. There will be nothing left for your future spouse. That is a lie.

Someone please tell me where the Gospel, Christ's redeeming love is promoted in that phrase? Because I just don't see it there. And if the Gospel isn't hidden in there somewhere, then personally, I don't want to pass such "wisdom" on to others in regards to their hearts and emotional purity. Please don't hear me say that this means we get to open the floodgates of our hearts to any and every guy (or girl) because that wouldn't be practicing wisdom or healthy boundaries. We should always be cultivating wisdom to the best of our ability. This is what it means to guard our hearts. But, just because we do practice wisdom that doesn't mean our relationships are going to turn out perfectly. Real love always requires risks. Real love cannot be turned into a formula. And sometimes our relationships may lead us to disappointment and pain... that doesn't mean there was a lack of wisdom and now you're emotionally "impure" or damaged forever.

So if you and I were sitting in Starbucks and we were having this conversation here's what I'd want to say...

Yes, you may have gotten emotionally attached in those previous relationships, but that doesn't mean you won't have anything left your future spouse. How silly this perception of love is if it were applied to another context: parenting. A mother or a father doesn't love their first child anymore than they would their second or third simply because the firstborn was... well... first. Your heart is not a jigsaw puzzle, in which you give pieces away to others, but rather a wellspring of life... "a place where water wells up from a source" and then continuously flows out. As Christ's beloved daughters (and sons), no matter what circumstances we may find ourselves in or misguided steps we take, we can always tap into the source of His love. And it's His love that fills us up, and then enables us to love others. So long as we're drawing upon His love, our love for others will be replenished over and over and over again. Real love never runs out, it always multiplies.

Yes, you may feel like something was lost when it came to an end. I totally understand that and I know the feeling. But I can also say that in time God redeems everything. Even the aches and pains you've procured, be it the result of unwise choices, or circumstances out of your control in those relationships. Tap into the source, Christ our Redeemer, whose loves flows through us, and you'll find that what you thought you couldn't get back, you indeed can, as well as have more to give. Christ's love multiplies and redeems everything. Your heart is not forever lost, in Christ, it's forever found!


  1. Wow - loving these words so much! The way you speak such wisdom here makes me realise that redemption is beautiful thing! Such freedom can be found in redemption. Amazing. And I'm loving that "Real love never runs out, it always multiplies."
    Thank you for these words, Natalie. God always speaks such wonderful wisdom to me out of your heart.

  2. Natalie, I LOVE what you wrote about this subject! Why would Jesus be able to restore and reclaim every area of our lives, except our heart?! That's ridiculous! It's never to late to be restored and forgiven by Jesus. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  3. AMEN! I seriously love this post. You're spot on, Natalie -- emotional purity is a lie and real love never runs out, it always multiplies. I have struggled with the idea of "emotional purity" since a young age and it has really harmed me more than it has helped. I have become fearful in my relationships with guys (even nonromantic ones) and have felt guilty over many things that weren't sinful at all. I've been trying to heal from that recently, after realizing that this really isn't of God, as I once thought. So thank you, Natalie, for writing this... it's a big help to hear it from someone else. You wrote this very well.

  4. I especially loved this statement..."And if the Gospel isn't hidden in there somewhere, then personally, I don't want to pass such "wisdom" on to others in regards to their hearts and emotional purity." I'm so glad you used that as a foundational truth for approaching this topic. This is so so good, Natalie.

  5. this is SUCH great news!! God is so great :):)

  6. TIMELY post natalie. God is teaching me SO much about redemption and how his LOVE redeems EVERYTHING! relationships, media, sex, entertainment, arts etc.
    his love is seriously SO amazing.
    loved this post!

  7. I love the words of this post. I've always had a problem with that quote too but I never came to all the realizations that you have. Love this!

  8. A.MEN. Our family has come to the very same conclusions- we've often heard the "tea-pot" analogy (with every love you break off a piece of your pot... till you only have shards to give your husband.) Did Elizabeth Elliot love her third husband less than she loved her first??? Love makes more love. It multiplies. It grows stronger, more capable.

    As someone who has had two people in her life who didn't work out, I know I am just as capable of loving- that God had reasons for those relationships, that I learned more about Him, love, and so much else. It would have been terrible to have married the first guy just because he was the first- out of some twisted notion of loving only once when we really weren't right for one another.

    Love is dangerous, people. Consider Christ.

    "Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable." -C.S. Lewis

  9. Thanks for sharing that quote L.E.! It's a favorite of mine on this topic too! =D

  10. .....exactly.
    love this post.


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