The definition of “counterfeit” is “made in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive.”
As you travel the path that leads to the true love of your life, unfortunately you will have to navigate your way through the minefield of counterfeit lovers. At first, they will be the exact imitation of the person you always hoped to marry one day; but over time, if you have eyes to see, you will find out that they are merely imitations of “the one” meant to deceive you.
Here are 5 feelings God will give you to help protect you from counterfeit lovers.
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1. When You Meet a Counterfeit Lover, You Will Sense a Strong Pull from Your Excited Flesh
In 1925, a famous conman pulled off one of the greatest scams in history – he fraudulently sold the Eiffel Tower. Victor Lustig arrived in Paris, procured genuine French government stationary and seals, and invited some of the wealthiest business men in the scrap metal industry to a private meeting.
He then said to the men, “Because of engineering faults, costly repairs, and political problems I cannot discuss, the tearing down of the Eiffel Tower has become mandatory.” He then explained that the tower would be sold to the highest bidder.1
Amazingly, the offers rolled in and Lustig targeted the highest bidder. So why did a smart businessmen fall for such an outlandish scam? Because it seemed too crazy to be fake and his greed for massive wealth blinded his common sense. This is what happens to us all when we fall for a con.
The counterfeit lover is often so over the top that it seems too impossible to be fake. When someone pretends to be everything you want and you get too excited, you are blinded to the obvious flaws that you would normally spot so easily.
Whenever you are being led by your flesh and you are rushing towards romance too forcefully – you are in danger of being manipulated by a counterfeit lover. By being satisfied in Christ first and foremost, you will not be so eager to fall for sensual and fleshly temptations (1 Peter 1:13-15).
2. When You Meet a Counterfeit Lover, You Will Feel a Strong Urge to Fit in with the World Around You
Believe it or not, after Lustig successfully “sold” the Eiffel Tower once, he actually did it again to a different victim. His first victim was too embarrassed to report the crime. He also knew his business reputation would be ruined if people found out he had fallen for such a ridiculous scam. He would never be able to recover from his losses if people found out what happened to him. Lustig understood that people, especially rich businessmen, cared too much about what other people thought; he used this to his advantage.
Likewise, an unholy desire to be accepted by the world around us will actually make us very susceptible to being deceived by fake lovers. If you are sick and tired of seeing everyone else announce their new relationship status on social media, if you are sick and tired of celebrating another Valentine’s Day alone, if you are sick and tired of feeling like a second-class citizen at church because you are still unmarried – you are susceptible to manipulation.
If God is convicting you of this desire to be accepted by the world (Romans 2:29, James 4:4, 1 John 2:15-17), he’s also protecting you from fake forms of love.
3. When You Meet a Counterfeit Lover, You Will Feel the Spiritual Warfare Raging Around You
1 Peter 5:8 states, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
I can’t think of anything that intoxicates the mind more than romantic passions. When used properly in pursuing marriage, these desires are not bad. However, like all good things, we have to be careful we are not overtaken by sin and idolatry.
Satan loves when people are drunk on love because they are then an easy target for manipulation. If you slow down and pray, God will warn you when a relationship is not healthy and it’s being used by Satan to hurt your walk with the Lord.
4. When You Meet a Counterfeit Lover, You Will Feel a Need to Ignore Proverbial Wisdom
- “I know the Bible says . . . but I just feel that in my case . . .”
- “I know all my friends are concerned . . . but I just feel like they don’t know this person like I know them.”
- “I know everyone probably thinks we’re crazy for going this fast . . . but they just don’t understand all the facts.”
Here’s what the Proverbs say:
- “He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.” (Proverbs 5:23)
- “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.” (Proverbs 19:2)
- “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28)
When you meet the person God wants you to be with, you won’t have to forsake proverbial wisdom. Common sense and faith are not opposites.
The marks of a wise person are things like the fear of the Lord, seeking understanding, being disciplined, being patient, and having self-control. If a relationship is tempting you to forsake biblical wisdom, you are probably dealing with a counterfeit lover.
5. When You Meet a Counterfeit Lover, You Will Feel that “Something Is Just Off”
Don’t ignore that nagging feeling that just won’t go away. Sometimes you need to give it time and it does go away. Sometimes it’s our own unwarranted fears, projections from past relationship hurts, or bad advice given to us by others.
But if that feeling doesn’t go away and it just feels like something is off between you and this person, this is probably the Holy Spirit warning you that this is not the right person for you.
To be a counterfeit lover, this person doesn’t need to be evil. They could be a very mature Christian who will make a great spouse one day. But they might just not be the right person for you.
When God reveals the right person to you, you won’t have to ignore a nagging feeling that this is just not right. While feelings should not be the only reason you are choosing someone, you should feel this is the right person when you are actually with the right person.