I am amused by some of the sappy memes about “love” that people post proclaiming how this or that love relationship is “forever”…like romantic relationships (which may be the 3rd one of the year or an on again/off again relationship), or a family relationship like mother/daughter, father/son, siblings, or BFFs…..when the individual’s own life is a testimony to the fact that such relationships for them are not “loving.” They are better described as lust….or codependent need….or people-using self-interest based ethics at work. It makes me cautious about even using the word “love”, since it is so corrupted in our culture. God is love. The kind of love that puts the interests, needs, and desires of another above one’s own. The kind of love that is sacrificial and honest. The kind of love that will die for another- die to selfishness and the demand of one’s own rights. The kind of love that dares to tell the truth, hold another accountable, and discipline…….and the kind of love that accepts such mutual tough love. The kind that overlooks offenses and celebrates the life of another.
What if the language of the individual spirit and soul spoke truth without the filter of one’s culturally-conditioned emotions and manipulative will in the way…..like the commercial on TV where all the parties present say EXACTLY what they mean in every situation?
Instead of “I love you” we’d hear things like: “I need you because I’m afraid I can’t make it financially on my own”….”I appreciate you because I have don’t handle social settings well and your easy, outgoing way keeps me connected to others”….”I want you in my life because you are kind and generous and I want to feel cherished and treated special”….”I like having you want my body and tell me I’m beautiful”….”I want others to see that I can attract a good-looking mate”….. “I like the things that you can buy for me”…. “Your status and prominence in the community give me an identity that I don’t have without you”….” I need to feel like I have power over someone”…. ” You are a trophy that I now possess.” And on and on and on.
And in fact, people who have proper guards in place on their hearts CAN hear those things. We know in our hearts what people really mean when they say “I love you.” But if hearing “I love you” is so important in one’s life, if that person doesn’t know how much they are already loved by God, they’ll seek out and accept the counterfeit kinds of love that the world offers.