Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Scoop on Love

Do you remember what it was like as a kid to be watching a movie that had a romantic scene in it? We were all like the kid in The Princess Bride who cringed and said, "Not the kissing stuff again! Can we skip it?" I use to cover my eyes at the movies when a kissing scene came on. Way too mushy! Get on with the blood and gore stuff!
As adults, I think we tend to be the same way whenever the topic of love comes up - especially in a spiritual setting. We've spent our lives thinking about love as some romantic-warm & fuzzy-cloud nine feeling that, at least for most men, involves all kinds of things we don't want to talk about. And I don't care how many Bible classes we've been in that teach us that there are three different Greek words for love, each talking about three different kinds of love - we still think of love as romance, tingly feelings, and uncontrollable heart-throbbing.
Excuse my "writers license" but that ain't love - at least it's not the love that God is talking about when He commands us to love our self, love one another, and love Him. Agape love (I know that's a redundancy!) is loving the way God does. It's loving souls, the potential for good that is in everyone, and giving them the same compassion, forgiveness, and kindness that God gave us. Hey, it doesn't even mean we have to like them, and it certainly doesn't mean we have to have those warm romantic feelings that we think defines love. No way! Love is choosing to look at others the way God does. It may grow into liking them or even romance, as in "Husbands love your wife as Christ loves the church." That was said in the time of arranged marriages. Paul was calling on Christian husbands and wives to choose to love each other. Today, we just assume they're in love or they wouldn't have gotten married.
Love is the great essential in our relationship with God! We love to identify what is essential to salvation (because we know we've got it figured out), but when was the last time you heard anyone point out that love is essential to salvation? Always has been and always will be!
In the Word, love is God, which means love is Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Love is grace, because it's God character being given to us. Love is the driving force in our spiritual lives. It's the goal of our lives. It's the LAW we live by and the standard by which we are judged by God.
Maybe it's time to let go of the romantic definition of love and start thinking about the all encompassing nature of love in our journey to a deeper relationship with God. IT'S NOT THE KISSING STUFF!


Jeff Goforth said...

Thanks for the boost of encouragement. Beth and I celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary on Friday. Hope the deck is going good. We hope to be heading that way in the fall, but it may be in 2010 (after vacation time starts over).

Donna said...

Jeff, we will be looking forward to your visit!