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In contrast, Jesus taught us to base our decisions on something eternal: seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness. Jesus’ words urge us to find someone with whom we can share a mission instead of an emotional infatuation: Jesus’ teachings direct us to make a decision that will lead to righteousness; to seek someone who will inspire us toward godliness, who will confront us when we go astray, who will forgive us when we mess up, who can encourage us with wisdom when we are uncertain about how to proceed.

If we are spiritually healthy, this is the life we desire. This is the life that leads to a growing joy, not a fading attachment. The crucial third stage of relationship beyond sexual desire and romantic attachment is long-term affection. This is a bond best fostered through friendship and a shared mission. It lasts until death and, unlike romantic infatuation, gets deeper with age.

Gary Thomas (The Sacred Search, 51)
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