Are We Really in Love?


Determining whether or not you're truly "in love" isn't as important as caring for and respecting each other and continuing to grow as Christians.

We tell each other "I love you" on a regular basis. Is it possible for two kids like us to be in love?

I'm 16 and my girlfriend is 14. We've been together for 11 months now, and we both really believe we're in love. But her father, who is also our youth pastor, has told us that teenagers are more likely to be "in lust" than "in love." We fell in love over time. We tell each other "I love you" on a regular basis. We don't just say it, we really mean it. I love God, I love myself, and I love her. So I guess I'm trying to ask, is it possible for two kids like us to be in love?

You bet it's possible. When a person feels love, it's very real and very powerful. And if you and your girlfriend continue to date and develop a more mature, deeper relationship, your love will become even more real and more powerful. Yes, it's possible to be very much in love when you're 16 or 14 or even 12.

But don't ignore her father's words. True, his "in lust" comment is maybe a little cynical and probably stems from years of knowing teenagers who "loved" each other one week, then wouldn't speak to each other the next. But most likely he also knows that some people do feel love when they're teenagers. I think her father's real message is, "Take it easy." Think of his words as a reminder to not rush your relationship.

To be honest, I don't think it makes much difference whether your feelings could be called "real love" or not. Your feelings are real to you, and that's what counts. Yes, there are a million kinds of love. Yes, sometimes those feelings change from week to week, even day to day. And yes, maturity has a lot to do with whether those feelings will last.

You and your girlfriend might be developing a love that will last forever, or you might break up a month from now. Don't worry about that right now. Your job isn't to label your feelings or predict the future. The only job for you and your girlfriend is to continue to grow as people and as Christians. Encourage and strengthen each other. Help each other grow closer to God. Care for and respect each other. If you do those things, your feelings will take care of themselves.

Written by Tim Stafford

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