“So, how’s that guy?” my grandmother asked with a grin.
I loved to call my grandmother and tell her about the fun dates I had with Jason.
After her major stroke, she became even more dear to me. One day, in her wheel chair, she held out her feeble hand to me and slowly waved one finger in the air.
“Does he hold the key to you heart?” she asked.
I was tongue-tied.
“I think he does. But what matters is… Do you think he does?” she asked.
While I nodded, I really thought about her question. It implied that my heart had a door and it required something. Looking into the eyes of my sweet grandma who had been married almost 50 years, I was shaken to my core of what I believed in about love. She wasn’t just asking if I was in love with Jason. She knew that. Instead she was asking me if Jason’s love for me meant the deepest longings of my heart.
After some thought, here’s what I determined my heart required:
1. Patience. The relationship moves at a pace I feel comfortable with. And I am not pushed into anything that is outside of God’s commandments. I was once with an impatient boyfriend and we broke but because I wasn’t willing. I’m glad I did. My life verse for this situation is, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” Psalms 127:1 (NIV)
2. Honesty. Knowing you can be real. That we both can be open about our struggles, temptations and fears. And even past relationship failures. Proverbs 12:19 “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” (NIV) and 1 Corinthians 13:6 “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”
3. “No-one else-kind-of”Love. It may be a generic word for a romantic situation. But the word “love” these days gets tossed around like a side salad. Love for me is the kind where you know you could never live without him. The only kind of love you feel for him and no one else. It’s knowing that you long to commit to him for life. In this kind of love I honor my relationship. I think Proverbs 19:22 (ESV) sums it up: “What is desired in a man is steadfast love.”
4. Cherished. I know that he doesn’t just love me for your physical appearance or special talents/gifts. He loves all of me. I am accepted for who I am. And he isn’t trying to change me for his benefit, but he’s cherishing me, the way God would. The purpose of how we cherish each other and chose to live our lives together is summarized in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (NIV)
My precious grandma was right to ask. We all should. Even if we aren’t dating yet. Because it’s better to know the standards of your heart now, than later.
The day we buried my grandmother, I laid one rose on her grave and whispered, “Jason held the key to my heart. I will always love you.”