We all have this experience of love that’s close to our heart…of love that was found and was lost. February 14 is that day of the year that most people either look forward to (for those enveloped by romantic love) or dread (for those alone and lonely).
While everyone is busy going about their merry way of celebrating this day; I decided to finish making our itinerary for our South East Asian trip in 2 weeks time and to head to my usual Sunday routine of late and I tried to not be late (if you know me too well, I have always been late, I know, I should change and I am trying).
I was feeling a little melancholic today, maybe because of how things are romanticized during this day and because of the blanket of rain covering the city, but today’s message got me out of my melancholy. God sure does work in His own mysterious way. Allow me to share my take-away from today’s sermon.
The pastor shared that we have morphed our idea of love. By thinking that love is something close to our heart is fundamentally wrong. I know, I had the same reaction as most people in the room. Why is thinking that love is something close to our heart fundamentally wrong? I like how he introduced his sermon and how I got hooked into listening to him all throughout the entire message. Thank you Lord for using your people and for giving me the opportunity to hear your word today.
He went on saying that we have morphed our idea of love and we have morphed it into something emotional thus whenever we think that love is something close to our heart, we are ultimately making a fundamental mistake. The world today defines love as what you feel and it has been constructed in such a way that lovers live happily ever after, along with a flat view that it is only between a man and a woman as portrayed in most movies, TV advertisements and in all other forms of media.
As followers of the Way, we shouldn’t be boxed into following and believing this definition of what love is. Love according to Scripture is not based on what you feel, it is based on what you live through. This kind of love was what Christ modeled for us thus this should be our definition of what love is. He shares 2 points on how Christ modeled this for us.
First; to love, one must first be loved. We can only give what we have. I agree with what he shared. People who have never experienced love are unable to love others. Those who have experienced a morphed definition of love are only able to give out the morphed kind of love that they know of. How then does one get to truly love and be loved? Well, we must go back to the source of true love. Knowing about Him is not enough, one must have a relationship with Him in order for one to experience His overflowing love. The source of love showed us unconditional love by sending His only Son to the world, turned Him into a man and having Him die on the cross is the ultimate act of love from the source of love.
Relationships fail because people “feel” that they have not been loved. We mustn’t really rely too much on what we “feel” and can we blame the other for not loving us if he or she has not felt what true and unconditional love is? Another reason why most relationships fail these days is that almost everyone has set their eyes only on romantic love. This kind of love flourishes when nourished by another person, but how does this kind of love flourish when we are with someone who was not fertilized in true love?
We live in a time where most get into a relationship with someone based on what they “feel” towards the other person and how almost everyone is on a quest to find the “perfect” one, the one who is going to sweep us off our feet onto his white horse and ride into the sunset. Life is not like that, when we think that love is like that, then we have already set ourselves for failure at the start.
The second point that he shared was “to love does not only mean that we should be loved, it should be lived.” Whoever lives in love, speaks of love. Have you ever heard of or been told “let’s see other people to find out if what we have is still there?” This is the world’s view on love , this is not God’s view on love, and this is not real love.
Scripture tells us that love is patient. True love waits. Love is kind. True love gives back. Love changes people and doesn’t expect for anything in return. An example is how a little European girl, who lived during World War II, gave up her chocolate to save the life of a lady who was in labor. It was all she had but she gave everything she had. Are we like the little girl who’s selfless or are we still self-centered? Another example shared was how a guy found love in prison. He grew up with the wrong idea of love that hurting someone shows that you love them and the deeper the hurt that you afflict on your loved ones means that the deeper the love that you have them. He was in prison for murder and he found love through the mother of the persons that he murdered. Are you capable of showing that same kind of love to someone who has wronged you?
If love does not act, then it is not real. To show your love only for one day is impossible, you need an entire lifetime. Love like all of us has to go through pain…true love comes out stronger. Is the love that you have for your partner, for your family and for your friends real?
Allow me to take baby steps and act on that love with the people that I call family here in Cebu, that is my February 14.