What Does it Actually Mean When Someone Says 'I'm Falling in Love with Jesus'?
- Maggie Cooper Contributing Writer
- 2020 31 Dec
Falling in love. When you hear those words, what comes to your mind? If you’re like me, you picture that special someone who makes your heart flutter. If you’re single, it might bring a hopefulness or sense of longing to your heart about what could be. If you’ve been married several years, it might make you think back to “the old days” when you felt those first sparks between you and your spouse. But, most likely, falling in love with Jesus is not the first thing that comes to your mind. And I get it.
Growing up, I was that little girl...the one chasing all the boys on the playground, asking them to be her boyfriend. I loved the idea of meeting my prince charming and being “in love” like all of the Disney princesses I saw in those animated classics. I longed to be somebody’s special one...and for them to be mine. I grew up in church and loved Jesus...but I never saw Him as the one to fulfill that longing of my heart. He was more distant, unseen, and, in a way, like those animated princes I watched on TV...a character in a story.
So many of my friends and the generations before us probably felt the same way about Jesus to some degree. But in recent years, there has been a push for Christians to know Jesus intimately...to fall in love with Him. But what does that really mean?
What Does it Mean to Fall in Love with Jesus?
Wikipedia defines “falling in love” as the development of strong feelings of attachment and love, usually towards another person. The term is metaphorical, emphasizing that the process, like the physical act of falling, is sudden, uncontrollable, and leaves the lover in a vulnerable state, similar to "fall ill" or "fall into a trap.”
While I agree that this definition would apply in some circumstances, I have to argue that not all “falling in love” scenarios are sudden and uncontrollable. Some of those love relationships develop over time, and so I’d point to one other definition from the Urban Dictionary: “He/she will be the first thing you think of when you wake up, and the last thing when you fall asleep. You will constantly think about him/her throughout the day. When he/she smiles your heart skips a beat. Your eyes are glued to him/her once you see them, and somehow you can't take your eyes off him/her…”
Now, these are the things I identify with as I think back to when I fell in love with my husband. But to be perfectly honest, as time has passed, those things have become less frequent. Not because my love for him has lessened...in fact, it grows deeper each day...so it got me thinking.
I decided to ask a group of friends from Bible study to tell me two things. First, what they looked for most in a husband when they were in their 20s, and second, what they appreciate most about their spouses, now that they are in their forties. And guess what? In their answers, the Lord exposed all of the reasons He is so very worthy of falling for and staying in love with, for the long haul.
Y’all, in their 20s, these women hoped to fall in love with someone fun, loved to laugh with them, was handsome, and shared experiences with them...a companion and lover. But, as f40-somethings, they would now tell young women to look for someone who will be a provider, a helper, a communicator, a listener who “gets them,” one to make them feel wanted and loved, and someone to keep them in line. Because those are the things they treasure most in their spouses now.
As I studied these lists, I realized that the second one, the one made after 20 years of being “in love” may be where some of the answers to our question lie. You see, these women want more than a feeling. They want a personal, known, practical, intimate love. And while their spouses give them that in an earthly capacity, only Jesus can provide all of those things consistently, without fail, forever. And why He is so very easy to fall in love with.
So What Does the Bible Say about 'Falling in Love with Jesus'?
While the Bible never directly mentions “falling in love with Jesus,” it does point us to what love is (1 Cor.13), how we should love others (Mark 12:31), and most importantly, how Jesus loves us (John 15:9). It also gives us beautiful reminders of how Jesus is the only One who can be our everything, who can fill every role and every longing of our hearts with the list of those sweet women listed above. So many times, love is felt, given, and received in ways much different than those first “butterfly in our stomach” feelings (think Five Love Languages) we hope for when we are young. But it doesn’t diminish the intimate, personal love that we have for our spouses...nor will it with Jesus. He is all of these and more:
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19 NLT.
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” Hebrews 4:16.
“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son” Hebrews 1:1-2 NLT.
“Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” Psalm 116:2 NLT.
A Lover of Our Soul
“Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself” Jeremiah 31:3 NLT.
An Accountability Partner
“If you love me, obey my commandments” John 14:15 NLT.
With all of this in mind, what could keep people from falling in love with Jesus? Well, for many, it’s the “how” that holds them back. So let’s see if we can sort that out.
How to Fall in Love with Jesus
In an earthly relationship, falling in love is so often based on the who, what, when, where, etc. Waiting for the perfect time and place. But with Jesus, He’s already there, y’all. He is available, just waiting for you to reach out to Him and grasp hold of a greater love than you could ever imagine. Not one for a minute or an hour or a day...but an eternity.
The beautiful thing about Jesus is that He meets us where we are. If you are longing for the more practical roles of love that are listed above, or if you are looking for a deep, intimate love full of emotion, He is all of those things, y’all. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb.13:8). He can meet every expectation without fear of disappointment. He is the God of the Universe who knows us inside out because He created us (Jer.1:5)! His is the perfect love that casts out fear (1 John 4:18) and draws us to His side (John 6:44). So what’s holding you back? If you are struggling to decide whether you are ready to know Jesus more deeply...to fall in love with the One who loves you most...consider thinking about the things below that may be holding you back:
Choose Love over Fear
Fear is a powerful thing. An overwhelming thing at times. And so often, Satan uses it to keep us from experiencing all that the Lord has for us. It could be fear of ridicule, abandonment, pain, or rejection that he uses to whisper in your ear, “You’re not enough. You’re not lovable. You’re not wanted. And you never will be.” But those are lies straight from the pit of hell, my sweet friends. When you hear those whispers...when you hear those lies...call on the name of the One who has overcome to help you fight that battle. Declare out loud, in Jesus’ name, that you will not listen to those lies.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind” 2 Timothy 1:7.
Decide Whose You Are
So often, we are torn between two worlds. Our earthly home...and our heavenly one to come. But if you truly want to fall in love with Jesus and know Him deeply...more deeply than you ever have before, you must choose a side.
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever” 1 John 2:15-17 NLT.
Open Your Heart to a Love Like No Other....and Know
Of all the reasons we are hesitant to go “all in” with the Lord, I think this is the biggest. When Jesus was sitting with the Woman at the Well, and He asked for a drink, she replied that she didn’t know how He, as a Jew, could ask her, a Samaritan, for water. But He replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water” (John 4:10 NLT).
Oh y’all, if we only knew. There is a love so deep and wide and joyful and peaceful and sure...we can’t even imagine it. And so often, we reject it and settle for an imperfect, earthly love alone, that we can never abide in completely. Dig in His Word. Pray like never before. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you more fully for a love like you’ve never known before. And stay close to His side.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full“ John 15:9-11 NLT.
Sweet friends, the simple answer to our question is this: When someone says they are “falling in love with Jesus,” they are diving beneath the surface of religion and appearances and just “church on Sunday” to discover and get to know the One who loves them more deeply than they could ever imagine. They are asking Him to provide, help them, speak to them, listen to their hearts, love them unconditionally, and help them live like Him. They are choosing faith over fear as they decide they are sure of what they hope for and certain of what they do not see (Hebrews 11:1 NLT). They are choosing Jesus over the things of this world. And they are seeking to know everything about the One who created them, loves them, saved them, and will never let them go. I pray you will too.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Davizro
Maggie Meadows Cooper is a wife, mom, educator, author, and blogger with a longing for women to grow a heart for Jesus and others. She is the author of the children’s book “Bumper” and blogs at The Little Moments about what the Lord is teaching her through her children and everyday life. She contributes to Blogs by Christian Women, Devotional Diva, She Disciples, and Connecting Ministries. An educator with a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University (War Eagle!), she has twenty years of experience working with young children. She loves all things chocolate, real Coca-Cola, and lives with her husband, three children, and two rambunctious dogs in Opelika, Alabama.