(from a letter written to Gretchen some years ago by her grandfather)
Wisdom defined God’s way as this–the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. My daughter, if you will receive my words to lay up my commandments with Thee, so that you incline your ear unto wisdom and apply your heart to understanding. Then you shall understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
When wisdom enters your heart and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion shall preserve thee and understanding shall keep thee to deliver you from:
- The way of the evil man.
- From men that speak perverse things.
That is God’s advice.
This is my advice…
1. Don’t fall in love!
Love is the fruit of the spirit of God. Fruit grows when the seed (the Word of God) is planted in the good soil of the heart. Fruit grows from the branches, which abide in the Vine. If we abide–we produce fruit. If no fruit is produced, the branches are pruned.True love is defined as eight positive and eight negative heart attitudes, actions or responses to tests, trials, and temptations, encountered along the way of life. Our actions then establish our habit patterns which ultimately develop our character
2. Don’t fall in love. Stand.
Stand, having your feet planted on the firm foundation, which is Jesus Christ. Stand fast with the whole armor, that you may be able to withstand the wiles of the devil.
Stand. Abide. Obey. Submit. Seek His will. Serve as He leads the way through the storms, over the rock slides, around the slough of despond, and finally to the verdant pasture of peace and contentment where love will bloom and bring forth its fruit in due season.
3. Don’t fall but grow in love.
That your love may abound more and more in knowledge in all judgement (perception, discernment). That you may approve (distinguish) things that are excellent…and there are many excellent things out there today!
4. Don’t look for love.
As seed planted in the good soil needs warmth, moisture, and light, so we can produce:
The warmth of friendship and service in compassion. We can water the seed with the water of the Word. We can shed the “light of the world” in the world.
Be patient as the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and has long patience for it, until he receives the early and the latter rains. First the blade, then the ear, and then the full ear of corn.
5. Don’t measure love–observe it!
You may be attracted, but don’t be distracted by: words, looks, and kindnesses to you!
The yardstick of love is not how he looks at you but how he sees:
- The World
- Other Women
The true measure of love is not how he speaks to you, but how he speaks to his mother and his sister. That is how he will speak to you later on.
6. Don’t hope to fall in love…
…but be willing to love those you are serving. Love is not an emotion, but rather a matter of the will. Love is kind–a learned response of the heart when others are unkind.
Love is a commitment–dying to self–a life of giving. An attitude of serving. A heart that is kind, compassionate, and caring in spite of the circumstances.
7. Don’t rush into love.
And again I say wait!
Wait on the Lord.
Photography: JenniMarie Photography