Thursday, November 17, 2011

What is Love 11/16/2011

Tonight's discussion got off to a slow start and then rocketed into high gear really quick.  It was all triggered by a question I got through the form on the blog.  The question was, "Is it possible to be 'in love'?"  I believe this was springboarded from last weeks discussion that brought out the idea that love is a verb, an action, a choice.  So can you be "in love"?  Then the questions started flying related to this.  How long do you date someone before you say you love them?  Does love at first sight exist?  Then someone threw out this one:  Is it possible for gay people to be in love?  To which I said, "No" and a huge discussion ensued.  I'm sure this will spark some very interesting comments.  I look forward to hearing from all who read this.

Love Defined

The critical key to answering any of these questions is to first define what love is.  We threw around some ideas that came from what we've experienced and the things we've seen or learned.  But if we are to define love we need to look to it's creator.  To do that let's look at the word of God.  Specifically 1 Corinthians 13.  The whole chapter gives a great discourse on love.  You should check it out.  For definition purposes we'll look to verses 4 - 7.

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

The Test

So let's apply the test with these verses.  In the case of a gay couple or even a heterosexual couple who is living together unmarried or the teenagers who are having sex before marriage let's put them all to the test.  Could they be patient and kind to each other?  Yes it's possible they could.  Could they avoid jealousy, boasting, pride and being rude?  They could probably avoid those things.  Are they demanding their own way?  Yes they are demanding their own way.  In all three cases they are rejecting God's directives in their lives and choosing to live their own way.  Therefore they are demanding their own way.  Therefore that is not real love.  True love would never cause or allow another to continue in a relationship that is clearly living in sin.  True love would never want one to live in a relationship that would send them to hell.  They would want the greater good for the one they love.  Therefore in all of those situations it is not possible for them to really live in love with the one they are in relationship with.

I know there are many out there who would disagree with this point of view.  The problem is that we are allowing a sinful world to define love.  Love was created by God.  God is love (1 John 4:7-8).  His very nature and character defines love for us.  His word says that you can have no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend (John 15:13).  That's what Jesus did for us when He dies for our sins.  Love is not selfish.  Love would never lead another into a sinful relationship.  That's the opposite of love.  As Christians we need to speak up and stop listening to this sinful world's definition of love.  We have the truth and it's about time we got loud about it.

In Love?

That was the bulk of the conversation.  Not to leave out the original question.  Can you be in love?  What about love at first sight?  To look at these we have to remember that love is a choice.  It is an action that you choose.  It is not a feeling that comes over you.  Yes we have affection or attraction that draws our attention to an individual.  But to love someone only requires a conscious choice to do so.  I guess that would mean you can love someone at first sight.  Can you be "in love"  I would say yes you can.  It again would be something you choose to do.  It's not something you fall in and out of though.  I am madly in love with my wonderful wife.  Why am I madly in love with my wife?  She hates it when I say this, but it's for no reason.  If there was a reason attached to my love, then that would mean my love is conditional.  If I were in love because she's beautiful (which she is) then if that changed would I then not love her.  If I loved her for her intelligence or compassion or creativity (which she is amazing in all of those as well) again that would not be love because it would be conditional.  I am madly in love with my wife because I choose to be and that's all.

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