I remember the very first time my young heart skipped a beat. I can’t take the smile off my face as I try to remember the moment my crush spoke to me. How silly it even was as I have dreamily dozed off with eyes open, thinking about his eyes and his voice and his smile, imagining the next encounter we will have.
It feels good, right?
But as I increase in age and wisdom, this idea of first love become more like a blur as it shows in various tapestries of life. I see first love in how a new father cries upon seeing their newborn child. I see first love in a child who gets his own dog for the first time. I see first love in a young woman who finally marries her first and last boyfriend.
How ideal and hopeful such pictures of first love! Yet, as I search for more meaning in life now as a single woman, I try to dig deeper about my concept of first love. I will have to admit this, but I am one of the many girls who desire the first-and-last-love kind of love story. I believe and desire in my heart that the first man I will get into a relationship with, in a romantic sense, will also be the last until the day I die. Cheesy, right? Imagine, having the hands of my man to hold, having his eyes to look at to and his love to keep! Who wouldn’t want that?
But I am living in a travesty called life. I do not control so many things in life. And there were many choices I made so poorly that when I look back, I just cringe at the thought of ruining even my own desire of first-and-last-love.
To explain more, I have never been in a relationship yet. But looking back at the poorly made choices I had when it comes to dealing with my emotions, I saw how I had freely thrown away my pearls (love, time and affection) to the pigs (every man who will slightly show me attention or concern without any commitment). I have kept my physical purity but I have tainted the purity of my emotions. These emotions should have been saved for the right season and right relationship. These poorly made choices were costly. I had my broken heart, shattered self-esteem and false identity as a price to pay.
Is there hope for me? Is there hope for anyone like me who made such choices in life?
What happened to my first love?
I turned to God’s word to answer my own questions.
In 1 John 4:19, it says: We love because he first loved us. It says that God first loved us and so we are capable to love. The ideal order is that way.
In Hosea 3:1, we saw the Lord gave this instruction to Hosea: “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” I cannot imagine this kind of instruction from the Lord. But as I ponder on it deeply, I remember that when Jesus came, He commanded us to love, not to feel love. Hence, the instruction to Hosea made sense. Hosea represented the Lord. His wife, Gomer, is the God’s people. It is in a way God is giving us a picture of how He loves us: pursuing us, loving us though we cling to other false love in this world.
In Revelation 2:4, John wrote this as the message given to Ephesus: Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. In other translations, it says “you have forsaken your first love”. What does this mean?
Who is my first love? I realized that to answer this question, I do not need to look back on my childhood crushes and failed attempts to relationships. In fact, even my singleness won’t exempt me from having a first love!
I have a first love and that is Jesus!
See, in the quietness of my heart and soul, God spoke to me about these issues in my life. First love is not about the history of who came first and who I loved first. First love is about the great hierarchy of Who came and Who loved me first so I can love Him back. First love is about the grand design of the Father to restore me to His love by making the great redemptive plan to send the Man to rescue me. First love is about the Man who came to rescue me, His damsel in distress because of sin. First love is about Jesus who came to die for me so I won’t have to pay the penalty of my sinfulness. First love is about Jesus who rose again to life to prove me that eternal life with Him is all that matters.
First love is about Jesus. My first love should be Jesus.
It is never too late for you to turn around and seek this First Love! You may have forsaken Him but He is gracious! Return to Jesus!
It is true that first love never dies because in Jesus, we live! There is hope!
Who is your first love?