Shakespeare once wrote, “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.” He was right. Genuine love remains constant. When it doesn’t, you know you’re dealing with something other than true love.
“Oh, how I love you,” a man tells his date. “You’re my dream come true! I’d swim the Pacific Ocean to be by your side. I’d fly to the moon to be close to you. In fact, until the world stops turning and the stars flame out, I … uh … what’s that smell? Yikes! You have bad breath. Sorry, but I’ve changed my mind.”
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.
When we look for a spouse, too often we have a mental image of the perfect man or woman, our “ideal mate.” And so when we “fall in love,” we do not fall in love with them, but we fall in love with our dream. And when they don’t meet up to our impossible standards, then we’re no longer in love. That only means we never were in love to begin with.
That is why true love is so hard to find among humankind. No wonder the Bible says, “Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6, NIV). True love, genuine love—the real deal—can be found consistently only with God.
Our Lord is never deceived by an idealization. You cannot fool Him with your smooth, suave manners or your genteel, gallant ways. You cannot deceive Him even a little. He knew what a rascal you were from the beginning.
But still He loves you. That’s the amazing thing. And for God to know you as thoroughly as He does, and yet still love you, is one of the greatest miracles of all. God never stops loving you.
- excerpted from Love The More Excellent Way by Chuck Smith