Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How We Know Love

A friend has this quote posted on her Facebook:

"Love is everything it's cracked up to be...It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for." -- Eric Jong

I couldn't help but think of this on two levels--the romantic level and how this also applies to our faith.

First, on how this applies to our faith. Think of the example Christ set for us as well as the early Christians. Christ willingly suffered a humiliating, brutal death out of love for us for the forgiveness of sins and so that he could understand the pain and suffering we all go through in life. The early Christians were martyred, beheaded, throne to the lions out of love and reverence for their faith. Christ and the early Christians had perfect love:

  • 1 John 4:18: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

On the romantic level, love is difficult to find. You can't buy love because love is priceless. When you find love, you should cherish it and fight for it. But so many people in relationships let pride get in the way and pride always kills love. Pride is not something from above, it is from below.

  • It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. -- Saint Augustine

Having humility is something that God desires and He will bless us when we are humble. We are all supposed to be faithful, humble servants. And this includes being faithful humble servants to ones we love because we do it for our Lord, not because our loved-ones always deserve it. True authenic love, agape love, is supposed to be unconditional because Christ's love is unconditional.

Want to find or have great romantic love? It is a two-way street. If you want great love, you have to give great love. You have to be the person you desire in your life. Christ gave us a great example of love and selflessness to follow.

If you are a single Christian and want to find great love, make sure the one you get into a relationship with goes to church regularly. Not that going to church makes someone a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes one a mechanic--but it is at least a good start.

If you have to drag them to church, don't be so eagar to drag them to the alter. My theory, if you can't love God by going to church and dedicating one hour of your time every week for Him, it brings up the question of how faithful and dedicated that person will be to you. If they don't show love and reverence for God, how well will they show you love over time?

Where there is love, there is God also.

~ Leo Tolstoy

When you invariably go through difficult stretches in your life as a couple, being strong in faith will help you get through these times. Nobody is perfect. We are all human. We are all sinners and we all will all slip up from time to time, say or do something we shouldn't have or say something in a tone we shouldn't have. We all will allow anger to overcome us on occasion and we all we will, no matter how hard we try not to, will at some point disappoint or hurt the ones we love. Being strong in faith and being united with someone strong in faith should enable us to find the humbleness to apologize and repent as well as the necessary heart to forgive.

  • 1 John 4:12: No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

How do know what love is?

  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Christ gave us an example of perfect love:

  • 1 John 3:16: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

If you want great romantic love that lasts forever, be united with someone strong in faith. Christ's love never ceases, neither does the love of someone made whole in Christ.

Peace be with you,

© Michael J. Cox

1 comment:

  1. Michael,

    That was perfectly said. God bless.