“Love is not a selfish need. It is not a hunger we feed. What kind of love pushes away those around us? What kind of love is it to be alone?”, -Dorcas Lane, Lark Rise to Candleford – BBC One costume drama.
As a costume drama buff, I hope you will forgive me for ‘this one weakness!’
If God loves us unconditionally and seemingly unredeemable as we are, then why do we as humans find it so difficult to love others for who they are? We attended a ‘Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage’ session today and I cannot remember when I last laughed so hard at a subject that generally fails to elicit a giggle, unless discussed in private. Mark Gungor expounded on how the world is loving and it was alarming to learn about the increase in pornography, especially among women; not that the figures among men decline. This world is so lost and cruel, we promote porn and self-love to teens and expect they should mature into loving people, and eventually produce loving children.
The rise of individualism, coupled with globalism perpetuate these myths. The problem with a lie is that you can say over and over again, but no truth is ever established. And I thank God the same applies to gossip! Worth a giggle, I think. The Bible, our eternal road map advises us thus:
ESVKeep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Do we have hope – yes! Lots of it! We have God who is all love, the source and giver of love. If we would only take time to visit His word and review what He created us for – to love and be loved – then take a deep interest in how that love is to be expressed, then half the man-woman troubles we dread would be gone in days – banished! Have we lost our way, well yes, when we invite novels that over-romanticize relationships and give women a false self image and hazy picture on men. Tele-novellas perpetuate the same thing and we do need to pray and ask God what He would have us read and watch. One of my Bible-teachers told us she sought God’s opinion on her daily choice of clothes. If appearance matters to God, then why not our reading and viewing?
The trouble is that the flesh-man resists, to the point of rebellion, warring with the spirit-man about obedience.
1 Samuel 15:22
New International Version (NIV)
22 But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
If my obedience is about loving God and demonstrating it daily, then I can make my choice – to love and obey. I really see that love is all I need if I want to love, serve and honour God. I can further bless Him by loving those He has placed in my life and spend my life unravelling the wonderful and colourful mysteries of love!