The Three Stages of Love
- Tuesday, July 24, 2001
Crosswalk.com recently had the chance to talk to authors Kathy Troccoli and Dee Brestin about their new book, Falling In Love With Jesus. Dee and Kathy are two very different women, but they share one defining characteristic - a deep love relationship with Jesus Christ. Dee Brestin, known as a Bible study teacher, is in her 50's and has been married for over 35 years. Kathy Troccoli, a contemporary Christian singer-songwriter, is in her 40's and is single. Their joint effort in writing this book is encouraging women across the country to consider their love for God above all else. Below is the third excerpt from their interview where they talk about the three stages of love. Click here to read other excerpts from the interview, Are You In a Hiding Place? and Jesus is the Ultimate Bridegroom.
Your book discusses a relationship with Jesus manifesting the three stages of love. Tell us what those three stages entail.
Dee:The first love stage is that wonderful, euphoric, stage when you are falling in love and you are looking at your bridegroom with a glaze in your eyes. And it's a sweet time and you can't get enough. On an earthly level, many of us have experienced that. I remember when I was falling in love with my husband, I would wake up in the morning and before I was fully conscious I would think "something wonderful is going in my life" and then I would remember it was Steve and I could hardly wait to be with him and hear his voice. But I never expected to have that happen when I gave my life to Jesus, but it did.
Kathy:During that first stage with Jesus, you know your life is going to be different.
Dee: Kathy told me that when on the day she gave her life to Christ, when she walked out of the church she felt like she was on the arm of somebody wonderful.
But then there's the second stage of love, the wilderness. Your bridegroom is not quite what you expected and marriage can be hard. In the same way, we discover that Christianity is not easy and everything is not full of rainbows. That is kind of a surprise.
The third stage, invincible love, is not a time that is free from pain, because we will not be free from pain on this earth. But it is a time of confidence where you know the heart of your bridegroom, and you know his heart toward you and that he wants only the best for you, and even though he may not always make sense, that he loves you. You are confident in him and in the fact that your love is here to stay.
A lot of marriages never make it to the third stage and instead settle for picnics in the wilderness.
Dee, to what do you attribute the fact that you and Steve did make it to the third stage of marriage, and what can we learn from that principle regarding our relationships with Christ?
Dee: I think that God allows you to be in the wilderness - whether it's with him or in our marriages - so that we will learn some lessons. I think a refining work goes on in us if we are open to the spirit. In the beginning of our wilderness phase in our marriage, I thought, "Well the problem is obviously Steve." But the Lord showed me that there were things in my life that were not too pleasing to Him. And as my rough edges began to disappear, Steve and I began to get along much better.
Also, I began to understand that while Steve doesn't always do things quite the way I think he should, he does have a heart toward me that is good. It takes time to trust the heart of your earthly bridegroom.
Kathy: I have seen some women who are widowed or are single and I can really tell that they have reached that stage of invincible love with Jesus. A woman may have lived through a lot of pain in life but she has also experienced the goodness of God, the faithfulness of God. Out of that comes a beauty and a wisdom that is not seen in a woman who has not reached that stage with Him.
Kathy, do you feel that you have reached that invincible love stage and if so was it a specific moment or a process?
Kathy: I think I get glimpses. When Dee approached me about writing this book, I was a little insecure and was thinking, "How am I going to write this book about intimacy with Jesus when I'm still trying to experience it myself?" But I know that since I have met the Lord, I have had an incredible hunger to know him and I have approached him as my bridegroom. That is mostly a result of my background as I lost my dad at an early age.
But I do know that I am well on my way to invincible love. I'm not where I was 5 years ago, 10 years ago, let alone 20 years ago. So if you're looking at it as a horizon, I think I'm seeing that sun come up as in that place of invincible love, but I would say that there's still so much more for me to taste, see, and live through that would cause me to have that kind of experience with God.
Visit Kathy's and Dee's Web sites for more information about their speaking schedules and their book, Falling In Love With Jesus.
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