First Things First

Ben Stuart


While it’s tempting to look for satisfaction to your deep soul thirst in the arms of another, the simple truth is you will never find it there. You have misdiagnosed your need.

Scripture: 1 John 4:7

When it comes to relationships, you have to put first things first and make your relationship with God the priority in your life. When you have a source of life, you are a source of life; but when you’re disconnected from your source of life, there’s a good chance you’ll suck life out of someone else. You will be tempted to use others for validation, rather than looking to God for his acceptance. This is how toxic relationships are formed—and it’s why so many go wrong.

In the Bible, there are really only a handful of passages about the single life, romance, sex, and marriage. The majority are about the importance of your relationship with God. While it’s tempting to look for satisfaction to your deep soul thirst in the arms of another, the simple truth is you will never find it there. You have misdiagnosed your need. Your first priority must always be to get on board with God.

In 1 John 4:7, John states that love flows down to you from God. God is the one who reaches out to you first and extends his love to you. As you get to know him, it becomes the most natural thing in the world to let that love flow from him to you, and then on to others. The first step to feeling loved is thus recognizing that you truly are loved.

Unlike our human relationships, God did not send a note or write a song to express his deep love for you. He didn’t send a to-do list or create certain terms and conditions you had to meet to receive his love. No, God sent his very best—his only Son. And he didn’t wait until you were “worthy” before he sought you out. He sent Jesus to meet you where you are, take on your guilt, absorb your shortcomings, and pay the price for them.

Jesus resolved them, and in this way he opened up the way for you to have peace with God. His sacrifice forever silences any doubt that he loves you. Yet God takes his love even one step further by inviting you into his own family and offering his continual presence to you through the Holy Spirit. He stays with you and dwells with you.

When you entrust your life to Christ, you realize that you are cherished by the most beautiful and powerful being in existence. He knows your name. He sees you. He gave all to make you his. He will never give up on you. You never need to spend a single moment of your life trying to earn the love or esteem of others, because you know that you have his. You do not need to look for anyone to fill up your love tank, because you can find abundance in him.

When you understand this truth, you enter the world as a giver rather than a taker. Love embraced becomes love extended. This is the kind of life you want to live in the world!


What is the difference between feeling you are loved and knowing you are loved? Why is it important for you to love yourself as God loves you?

How does your relationship with God impact your relationships with other people? How does your relationship with God impact the way you see yourself?

Why is nurturing a healthy relationship with God important for you as a single person? What do you need to do to build this relationship?


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