I was listening to a song on the album ‘Flaming Pie’ by Paul McCartney. The song is entitled: Young Boy.
A line in the song struck me as applicable to us all:
‘He’s just a young boy looking for a way to find love…’
And I thought: ‘Aren’t we all…?”
Now that’s a subject there are more angles to, than there are Arabian Nights, – humanly speaking.
Poets have been working at expressing what love is for centuries.
It’s in the same family as ‘The Human Need For Appreciation’, that I shared in a page blog (see above).
When we meet someone and fall in love, the initial great surge of emotion involved, has been variously ‘adjective-ised’ (I think you will find this word doesn’t exist, but it sounds good😊), in terms of ’goose-bumps’, ‘shivers down the backbone’, where it involves sleepless nights, food abhorrence, and an inability to concentrate on anything else.
Involving (on the male’s part) a supercharged need to protect.
It’s the kind of thing that produces good manners, Saville Row coats strewn across street puddles so that the lady remains unblemished when venturing onward on her journey, diamonds on the soles of shoes, locks locked to chains on bridges, names carved into trees, the sacrifice of the one remaining Malteser chocolate to the loved one.
It involves exclamatory proclamations such as ‘my one true love’. Lyrics like: ‘I’ve never known a love like this before…’
Valentine day rhymes – Roses are red Violets are blue etc.
It involves heightened emotional involvement that not only rings the bell at the fair ground but shatters it, through the roof and onwards to Mars.
It’s the total feeling experience, that many take as the legitimate green light for unbridled expression of the body. (I don’t)
There is no ‘high’ like the love high. The internal capacity for which, however, will vary from individual to individual.
Love is blind – they say. Taken on a natural human level – this can be explained, as an inability to see anything wrong or negative about the person who has ‘stolen the heart’ in a rapturous ‘feeling state’ of mutual adoration.
(Only disturbed slightly(?) in newly-weds when the wife makes beans on toast for dinner for the fourteenth consecutive night in a row).
Concerning The Love of Jesus, however, we read: ‘love covers a multitude of sins’ (I Peter 4/8). Inclusive of the truth that God is willing to choose to turn a ‘blind eye’ to our sins, blotting them out at salvation – only on request and total commitment to Him.
This human emotional captivation of the heart is the initial smitten state that two people find themselves in, when they first ‘fall’ in love.
And for many this experience being the strongest emotional high of their lives – they cannot comprehend, and indeed will deny, that anything could surpass it, or cause them to falter.
And yet it is de-authenticated as being the ultimate in life – by the fact that it can turn sour, and they fall ‘out of love’ at a later date.
And then go hungering for the same experience again, based on their ‘felt need’ and the belief that it is possible to fall in love again.
And so Cher asks us: ‘Do you believe in love after love?’
But why, if this love you or I have experienced is so beyond description and is so – ‘too strong’ and has never been equalled in your life…
Why, with this once-in-a-lifetime recipient of your overwhelming love – in mind, is it even possible for you or I to love again, or even contemplate the possibility?
There goes the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ confession of one true love out the window – it’s overwhelming claim of authority is saw to be false.
Because separation has occurred – and after broken-hearted pieces are mended, you find another person to fall in love with. Many having lived to love again.
How can anyone testifying to the dogmatics of love, involving ‘never ever experienced anything like this before and never will again’ do we find them recovering, often big time, when it all goes wrong, to live to love again?
Recovering from devastation, and now testifying, on rising to a new relationship: ‘that yes that was good…but NOW I have REALLY found my soul mate – this is ‘really real’ – this time’? ‘
But that’s what you said last time…!??!’
Was the last relationship not ‘really real’ at the time?
Does this not expose the limitations and imperfections and terminability of human love-emotion?
Does not the ensuing negatives, the after-love ‘fallout’,
exposing the inadequacies, and the inconsistencies of human emotion, act as a bomb disposal unit, that defuses the ‘dynamite’ in the love bomb, formerly held to be unquenchable?
And does the relational ‘break ups’ not expose the frailty of the paper thin ‘one true love’ theory that is based on emotion alone.
We could say loving again does not trash the former engrossment of mutual desire.
But it wasn’t enough to hold together a commitment for life, that which the heated emotion confessed to be it’s sought after goal.
Admitting it was real at the time – we nevertheless see it’s temporal limitations exposed, do we not?
Is it a defence to say: ‘it was real while it lasted?’
Why does the relationship have to die? Why does it die?
The feeling factor is real alright. But I suggest that it is undependable on it’s own as a maintainer of a covenant agreement between husband and wife.
Due to the undependability of (loves) emotion, so easily the antithesis (negative emotion) – takes it’s place, when sinful man or woman violates the relationship in one way or another.
When both partners are to blame for subsequent violation and estrangement – justification for separation is often largely based on the fact that the ‘love feeling’ is no longer there.
The ability to detect where the estrangement began and to set about solving and mending it at source, seems to allude so many.
There is a failure to see that it is down to human nature common to both. And that, that nature needs to be replaced by another nature – the divine nature.
Deeply felt emotion having been replaced often with deep hurt, resentment, and bitterness carried by the one (or both) who have perhaps been betrayed and forsaken.
There are legitimate reasons for separation and break ups, but there are also a myriad of reasons that are not legitimate, and the inability to mend, only exposes that romantic love, so partaken of with seemingly all of the being – is in fact weighed in the balance and found wanting.
The struggles couples go through with accusation and counter accusation, exposes the great need of us all to find help in our dilemma.
It is not within human nature alone – to find the solutions. Proven by the epidemic breakdowns of the family unit in our society.
Without taking hold of the Biblical principles, and God’s direct help, we are left to our own devices. And increasingly the morals that make for a healthy society are being eroded.
(I wish to inform you that the above paragraphs have been written by an incurable romantic, per chance you should think for one moment, that the author is some kind of unemotional scribe who has not experienced deep love of the emotional kind).
The failure to sustain – found in emotional love, poses clearly the question: ‘Is that it?’ ‘Is this all there is?’
Is real love at the mercy of the untrustworthy feeling state of changeable and fickle hearts?
So that once this high state is trespassed into – through life’s experiences of a negative nature – we are left looking for another ‘love fix’, to get us through.
When the honeymoon high has worn off – what have we left?
Often many are so hurt they cannot take a chance with love again. But it is a love that is entirely defined by feeling alone.
Human emotional love is way up there in the experiences that make life worthwhile. To find someone and fall in love is not being spoken against in this post, just it’s overestimation as being enough to hold marriages together, while society and family life falls apart in disarray.
It is important that emotional love is very much present when two people come together in marriage. It’s absence when marriage is entered into, suggests an unnatural union.
There can be a pseudo-spirituality that some confess as a reason to bypass the need for emotional attraction toward their chosen partner, and my response to it would be to encourage the exercise of extreme caution. Absence of emotional attachment and attraction to our potential life’s partner is dangerous.
The other misdemeanour apart from basing everything on emotional love, is to think it is being somehow more spiritual when it is absent.
This is a grave mistake.
Concerning the greater love of Christ, I offer the following analogy:
When the central heating has been turned off, the house gets cold.
Unless it is summer time.
Summertime provides a different kind of heat.
One much more powerful – in that, it heats everything everywhere, that is exposed to it.
Central heating is only internal (emotional love). Not dependent on anything beyond what is inside.
The sun heats everything everywhere, it is greater, larger, more powerful, has attributes that are absent from any central heating system.
That is my analogy of the difference between human emotion and passion – and the Love of Christ, which is eternal. God’s love is greater, containing all the attributes of God’s character and person. It is way beyond being a feeling ‘only’ kind of love.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
(I John 4/10)
As Christ’s ways are higher than ours, so His love is unspeakably superior to human love.
And the experience of that love – yes – internally in the human spirit – is much more wonderful than human love – those who have experienced it will know what I mean.
Out of God’s loving heart He has planned untold benefits for those who will respond to His call to have fellowship with Himself, described in the following verse:
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
(I Corinthians 2/9)
There is no love as demonstrative, as the Love of Christ.
He didn’t just say it – He demonstrated it.
Not only did He allow Himself to be crucified. But He who knew no sin, allowed himself to be separated from His Father, on the cross, thus becoming the embodiment of every conceivable atrocity and perversion known to man. He descended into hell on our behalf.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (II Corinthians 5/21)
Think of it – He who knew no sin, became sin…
That we (committed believers in Christ) might become the righteousness of God IN HIM.
In our deeply felt need for love – we all will herald our experience of falling in love as the epitome of all we have been looking for, having found the person of our dreams.
But we must admit, it is possible that – that kind of limited love – can be relived with another person, at a later date.
It is not – in itself – eternal.
My heart is as romantically in love with my wife after thirty-seven years of knowing each other, as it ever has been – but it is not that aspect of our love alone that has sustained our happy marriage.
The romance takes on a different form in the love of Christ.
It is energised with different fuel, than that in common use.
It is embedded in the experience we have had and have of The Love of Christ shed abroad in our hearts by The Holy Spirit. (Romans 5/5)
It is a ‘many-sided’ love not just dependant on fluctuating emotional feeling.
It is born in and sustained by a higher Agape love.
We (my wife and I) are prone to failure in our relationship like everybody else.
But there is a cement that we keep applying to mend the brickwork.
It is available everyday to repair any scrapes or bruises we might inflict on one another, applied by good will and prayer through mutual forgiveness and maintained communication.
We both experience the peace of God ruling in our hearts.
In the Old Testament speaking of this wonderful love of God, we are told that Jonathan’s heart was knit to David’s. So that their spiritual God-given love surpassed the love of women (i.e. the human kind of love). This was not a physical or sexual love, it involved their souls.
I Samuel 18/1 – And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan* loved him as his own soul.
I always advise young couples concerning the David and Jonathan example of being ‘knit’ – ‘Notice when you drop a stitch, and put it back in place right away’.
It’s much easier to do so than to allow the ‘wool of negativity’ to get so entangled that the pain of hurting each other spirals into a mess.
NB: (Try untangling a fishing line when it gets into a ‘bird’s nest’ state of entanglement)!
Much easier to simply restore the slight hurts you have caused to each other, swiftly and with sincerity, cemented with forgiveness and yes – often topped off with a new romantic encounter.
It is understandable that love and falling in love between a male and a female is perceived as the greatest human experience to be had.
But notice I say: ‘human’.
Genuine Christians have experienced the divine nature, that supplies something higher and more wonderful.
(II Peter 1/4).
It is our inherent human nature that is always there to ‘war’ against the divine nature – that can put us low, and present the road of unbelief to us again.
Christians are not saying that everything is roses and chocolate.
We need a love that sustains us through thick and thin until death us do part.
That love is the love that Christ knew when a faithful heavenly Father raised Him from the dead and restored Him to His right hand side as the head over all things, giving Him to the church, as Lord, Saviour and Master.
The fickleness of feeling and emotion will be with everyone until they leave this planet. Equally so for the Christian as anyone else.
Now is the time to reach out in faith for something eternally sustainable – a love that is based on promises made. A love that passes understanding. A love that will never leave us nor forsake us, because we have accepted it with thanksgiving. A love that is experienced in the human spirit when it comes alive on meeting The Lord Jesus Christ.
A love supplied to the heart of faith.
A faith that believes when feelings are rock bottom – His love is still here, and His watchful eye is only benevolent towards us.
A love that is the person called Jesus Christ.
God is love. (I John 4/8)