More than thirty years ago I left my country of origin, promising my girlfriend that I would return. But as time passed I stopped calling her…. Not long after living abroad, I married a woman eleven years older than I who has four children. But I never forgot that love of my life….

A little more than a year ago I had contact with my ex-girlfriend again on a trip back to my home country. She is married and has two children. We saw each other only once for just a few minutes. She’s not happy in her marriage… but she won’t leave her husband, and I, even though I love her, don’t know how I could leave my wife.

Dear Friend,

Thirty years ago you stopped calling your girlfriend. You say that she has been the love of your life, yet you chose not to call her anymore. And even though you had promised to go back to her, you chose to abandon her without letting her know that you had changed your mind. Why was that? Obviously you decided that there were other things more important to you than spending your years with the “love of your life.”

You chose to live in another country. You chose another woman. And you chose to live thirty years without the woman that you supposedly love so much.

Your definition of love is very different from mine, and also different from God’s definition. The Apostle Paul wrote what is called the love chapter of the Bible. Among other qualities of love, he said that love always protects and is not selfish.(1) You abandoned your girlfriend instead of protecting her, and you selfishly chose what was best for you instead of what was best for her. That is not love.

Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is the ultimate example of true love. He loved us so much that He gave up His life and died on a cross because that was the only way that our sins could be forgiven. He died for us. He chose what was best for us instead of what was best for Him. He protected us from eternal punishment because of how much He has always loved us, and He continues to offer us eternal life when we ask for forgiveness and accept His plan for our lives.

You are probably bored with your current wife. You don’t even say that you ever loved her. You have created a fantasy that you imagine would put some spark back into your life. However, you didn’t love your girlfriend enough then, and it is not likely that you love her enough now. But that doesn’t even matter, because it is your wife whom you should love, honor, and cherish. Please stop all contact with your past girlfriend and instead devote yourself to improving your marriage.

We wish you the best,

1 1Co 13:4-7