Here are 5 acts God will cause this person to perform to let you know they genuinely care about you and have authentic love for you.
1. They Will Make Social Sacrifices for You
Humans are social beings. We were not designed to live isolated, lonely lives. God made us to need a community. Therefore, we care how we are perceived socially by those around us.
While our desire to be accepted socially can turn into a sinful idol, the desire to be accepted and a part of a community is a good desire. It’s a sacrifice, therefore, when someone is willing to risk some social status by expressing their feelings for you.
When someone makes it publicly known that they are romantically interested or romantically committed to you, they are being vulnerable because if something goes wrong in the relationship, everyone will be aware. If someone doesn’t like you, your enemy will now be this person’s enemy. And by making it known that they are with you, they are sacrificing their romantic opportunities with others.
Jesus knew the importance of public declaration in the equitation of genuine love. In Matthew 10:32-33 he said, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Jesus knew that for our love to be genuine it must be public.
If someone is unwilling to let other people know about the feelings they say they have for you, their feelings they claim they have for you when you two are in private are not genuine. When someone genuinely cares for you, they will express publicly what they tell you privately.
2. They Will Risk Getting Emotionally Hurt for You
You can’t have love without risk. God, for example, put his heart on the line when he chose to make humans and love them. He knew for there to be a genuine love relationship between us and him, there had to be the freedom for us to choose him or not choose him. But in love, he made us anyways, fully knowing that those he loves would not love him in return. As Romans 5:8 (NIV) says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Despite the risk, God loved us anyways.
Likewise, if someone is waiting to open their heart to you only after you convince them that you will behave exactly the way that they want, if they are waiting for a guarantee that you will be perfect, and if they run from you as soon as they see any of your flaws – this person does not genuinely love you because they are unwilling to risk getting hurt at all.
Of course I’m not saying anyone should endure abuse, stay in a bad relationship, or put up with low character people who aren’t willing to risk like we are willing to risk. But overall, someone who loves their safety more than they love you does not genuinely care about you. When someone loves you, they are willing to open their heart to you, which is always a risk to some degree.
3. They Will Seek to Be Extremely Clear in Their Communication with You
Offenses in relationships are almost always linked to communication. Things like physical abuse or cheating do happen, but far more often things break down between lovers because their communication is breaking down.
This is why when someone genuinely cares about you they are very careful to make sure they are communicating to you in a way that you understand what they are truly saying. As we all know, what we say is not always what people hear. Tone, timing, past hurts, and a variety of other factors can warp our words into messages that we never actually said.
When someone really cares about you, they are willing to take time to fully explain their true intentions. They are willing to go back to something they said to make sure you received it properly. They are willing to listen when you ask them to clarify a statement they said that rubbed you wrong. It can be a lot of work, but when someone genuinely loves you, they are willing to be extremely clear in their communication with you.
As Ephesians 4:29 states, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
4. They Will Humbly Apologize When They Hurt You
We often think that if someone genuinely cares about us that they will never hurt us. I wish that was true. We all wish that was true. But if you are honest about your own self, you know that your sinfulness always eventually causes you to act sinfully. Despite our best efforts, we ourselves hurt those we love. So how can we then expect someone else to never make a mistake towards us?
No, genuine love is not disproved when someone hurts you. Of course repeated offenses or big sins like adultery or abuse are clear offenses that do prove someone doesn’t really love you, but even a person with genuine love will lash out in retaliation sometimes if they get offended, they will be selfish in moments of weakness, and they will be careless in their words when they are tired. None of us want to do these things, but if you are in a relationship long enough, your sin will always hurt the person you love eventually.
So the mark of genuine love is not perfection but a willingness to humble oneself and admit when they were wrong. If they are never willing to apologize, never willing to admit when they were offensive, never willing to be humble, they don’t genuinely care for you. But if someone comes to you after the Holy Spirit convicts them and they have a genuine remorse and they seek to make things right with you, this is a good sign they genuinely love you.
As Ephesians 4:32 states, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
5. They Will Put Your Relationship with Jesus Above Your Relationship with Them
What is love? What does it really mean to care for someone? Put simply, love is when you are willing to sacrifice yourself for the good of another person (John 15:13).
As Christians, we know that the best in life is only found in the love of God. We know that without Jesus, we are lost. Therefore, if someone really loves you and cares about you, they will care about your walk with Jesus.
In John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” A person who genuinely cares about you will submit to what Jesus said in John 15:5 and will also apply it to their love for you. They will know that Jesus can give you something they can never give you.
Thus, they will do what they can to help you draw closer to Christ. They will be careful to not get between you and God. They will actively make sure they are putting your walk with Jesus above your walk with themselves.