Love is the most used and misused word in the world. If we were to be honest, we would probably have a difficult time explaining what exactly it is. We have trouble defining love. All we know is that we want it. Most girls tend to absorb every love song lyric and every endearing romantic film like sponges absorb water. It seems like we live and breathe romance and fairytale notions. I am no different. But that's okay! I have learned that God created us to bask in beauty and in romance because He, Himself, created it.
The longing in our hearts for a fulfilling life and a beautiful love story are simply the echoes of God’s own original design.
There is no shame in having a desire to love and be loved in return, but most of us could admit that love typically goes hand-in-hand with frustration and skepticism. There seems to be a constant inner tug of war between our desire to find true love and doubt deep within our soul that it even exists.
I don’t know about you, but I grew up watching Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. I would twirl—albeit somewhat ungracefully—and sing with all the passion a little girl could muster. My parents have reminded me on more than one occasion how I used to belt out Part of Your World as I “swam” in our bathtub. What can I say? The appreciation for a good romance was deeply rooted. A story just wasn’t a story unless there was a Happily Ever After. I guess you can say that I was in love with the notion of being in love. But then when I entered the adolescent world, all pimply-faced and pubescent, I got a quick crash course in something far different. We don’t live in the Garden of Eden. We live in a culture that is packed with counterfeit pictures of love and romance and, because of this, our perception has slowly, with every passing generation, become warped and distorted. Movies paint a grotesque picture of love, plopping two people in bed together for a heated night of passion with little to no thought or concern about anything long-term. The biggest songs on the radio tell us that true love is something we literally fall into and have no control over. It’s a force to be reckoned with, never fueled by wisdom or accountability, but by phrases like, “follow your heart.” This is actually completely opposite from what God has said in Scripture. (Jeremiah 17:9)
So what is Love?
Why don’t you grab your trusty Bible, plop down in your favorite chair, and turn to 1 Corinthians 13. We have likely all read it and heard it quoted at weddings, but let's really look at it. What is love? What is this thing that we all yearn for? In its most basic breakdown, love is..... Patient. It waits...and waits...and waits. Kind. No disclaimers. Just kind. Isn't envious or discontented. Isn't conceited or arrogant. Does not act improper. Is not selfish or self-centered. Is not easily provoked. Does not keep a record of wrongs or hurts. Does not delight in sin or failure, nor has a "serves you right" attitude. Rejoices in the truth. Bears the weight of anything. Believes all the good; extending grace. Hopes and looks for the best. Endures whatever comes. We all want a love like that, but our very best efforts fall terribly short. However, there is one place - and one place only - where this love can be found. Its Source. Jesus Christ.
Love is who God is. It's His IS-ness. 1 John tells us over and over that God IS love. When we open the eyes of our heart and read through His Word with the intent to learn about God’s nature, we see over and over that God is the supreme Lover. He is the ultimate romantic. And spiritually, He longs to delight over us with passion and pure, unbridled, sacrificial, supernatural love.
So what happened? Here we are, in the 21st century, living in a society of Kindergarten sex education, free condoms, and AIDS awareness. It's been a long time since Paul scripted out the definition of love and most of us are well acquainted with only the ugly side of love. We know all too well about the break-ups, the sexually transmitted diseases, pornography addictions, adultery, emotional abuse, and the staggering divorce rate. If God is the creator of love, then why are there too many “love-gone-wrong” scenarios?
The answer is simple: God isn’t given control.
This month of December, we are going to dive into LOVE as we prepare to celebrate when Love came down to earth and sacrificially gave all for an unworthy, cursed world. But before we can even begin to understand how to feel love or give it, we have to know the Creator of it. I am convinced that in the heart of every human being is a longing for a love that is both constant and consistent. And I believe we were all created that way by God who Himself is the supreme definition of constant and consistent love. He not only IS love, He wants us to experience His matchless love by receiving what He freely offers - a love that answers every cry of our heart, comforts every longing, and supplies a joy unspeakable. And not only that! He also wants to impart His love to us so we might extend it to others. His well is deep, but if we don't draw from it, we will never get a drop. God wants to love through us. He wants the hungry world to see and taste and feel something that is so amazing that they run and find the living water that satisfies forever.
Because, you see, no earthly relationship can satisfy the longings inside of us. No man, however handsome, rich, or charming, can fulfill all our needs. People were never meant to do what only God can. It is God, the Creator of love and the Author of the greatest love story in the world, who wants, more than anything, to write our story. He wants to be the conductor of our life song. The key is this: He has to be the One in control. He must be God. In order to truly know the Creator of love, you have to surrender to Him. It would be silly to be attending a grand symphony and suddenly jump up and push the conductor aside, believing you can do a better job. In the same way, yanking the pen from God’s hand and scribbling your own story in your own way will only bring heartache and frustration. If the Creator can create love, can He be trusted to perform and perfect His love in your life? I'll answer that. He can. He most assuredly can! But it is up to us to believe and take Him at His word in order to experience real and sufficiently beautiful LOVE.
1 John 4 Romans 5:8 Psalm 36:5