| from Lauren Roman |

When something is “counterfeit,” it’s more than just inauthentic. It’s an imitation of the genuine article, so convincing that it can fraudulently or deceptively be passed off as authentic.

The world around us excels at offering counterfeit items to sate the longings within our souls. Ironically, these longings are God-given – divinely designed to draw us to Him! They can only be fully and finally satisfied through relationship with God in Christ.

The world would have us believe that relationship with Jesus requires too much sacrifice. Where’s the fun in that?! It’s getting that satisfies, not giving – and certainly not giving up things we’d rather keep!

There’s a much easier path to happiness and satisfaction: MORE. We can have more, do more, be more! All in just ten minutes a day, with four easy payments and free shipping!!!

So we try this, that, and the other thing… thinking this is the one. This time, this thing/person/place/activity/accomplishment really will make us happy.

Of all the counterfeits this world has to offer, love is the most dangerous. Largely because our society doesn’t understand what real love, godly love, actually is.

Love has been romanticized and sexualized, made shallow, self-centered, and impermanent. Love is a noun, a thing, meant to serve our own desires. And when it no longer serves, we move on.

I can almost hear you protesting, “But what about the church? Christians don’t treat love like that! We value marriage. It’s a self-sacrificial commitment to serve each other, a picture of Christ and the church.”

That’s true. A loving, God-honoring marriage is a sacred thing… but it’s not the ultimate thing. Marriage is not the culmination of Christian life. And it’s not the only way to glorify Christ while rejecting the counterfeit love(s) of this world.

Just as a godly marriage is a picture of Christ and the church, godly singleness is a picture of Christ’s sufficiency.

When my Pastor said words to that effect in a Sunday sermon, it hit me like a lightning bolt. How had I never heard it put that way before? (And how I wished I had heard it eons ago!)

If you’re parenting a tween, teen or young adult, or have any position of influence in their lives – please take this to heart. Society portrays sex as ultimate. Christians often portray marriage as ultimate, followed closely by the runner-up, having children. These are the default messages your tweens, teens, and young adults are absorbing.

It’s up to us to counteract those messages with Truth that will set them free! God’s love is ultimate. Not marriage, not sex, not any emotional high. God alone will fully and finally satisfy the desires of our hearts.

When we truly understand this, we refuse to settle for any counterfeit love the world offers. Even if we’re blessed with deep, genuine love between us and other people – parents, children, spouses, family, friends – let us never lose sight of the Love who makes all others pale in comparison.

Only God’s love is always, and forever, more than enough.

Lauren Roman is an enthusiastic encourager, creative communicator and truth teller who captivates audiences of all kinds. Her eclectic career began as a “soap star” in her teens (ABC’s All My Children) and now encompasses speaking, singing and writing – all to inspire others toward true identity and counter-cultural freedom in Christ. As Lauren shares from her own life with bold transparency, emotion, humor and humility, interweaving practical biblical insights, hearts are engaged and stirred to change. 

In addition to her work as an Associate Writer and Speaker for Celebrate Kids, Lauren keynotes live and virtual events for women, youth and multi-generational ministries throughout the US and beyond. For more information, visit: laurenroman.com