“Love is love”.
I would be willing to bet you (if I were a betting man) that if I have heard that phrase once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.
” Love is love and you can’t help who you love”. However saying something over and over, no matter the volume, no matter the repetition, no matter what century it is – DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE… And NO, – time doesn’t change it either. For every time I have heard “It’s the 21 century, get with the times” , I can only think to myself that if something is pure, if something is eternal and everlasting as true love is supposed to be by definition – then it is unchangeable by culture no matter what century it is . Right and wrong, as well as truth and fiction, are principles that are built upon unchanging standards. It has never been right to murder someone (Genesis 4) nor has a lie ever become truth (Romans 1:25) and love is no different.
I believe without fail that the bible is the ultimate standard because it is the infallible word of God and because God can not lie due to his nature, every single word of it is true. The further culture moves from this standard, the more things like truth, right and wrong and love become subject to human standards. As humans, a creation of God, God gave us the ability to reason and to choose as we were created in his image (Genesis 1:26). Given the ability to choose and not making us as unthinking robots,that means we also have the capacity to not choose him – but our own way.
Proverbs 14:12 deals with this in saying “ There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
Just as children need the guidance of their parents to grow up well and to make good decisions – we too are like children that need guidance and that guidance is given by a perfect source and is absolute, so that it can be trusted . It is everlasting and most importantly – UNCHANGING. A changing standard is unsure, unsafe and ultimately flawed because it can not be trusted. IF one day something is acceptable and the next day it’s not – How can someone stay true or on the right path. I mean 2+2 still = 4 correct? OF course!Because it is based on an unchanging truth that can be tested and still be trusted when proven true.
So how is it that love is any different?
First we must define love by its source.
1 John 4:8 “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
1 John 4:16 “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
So love, is from God because God IS love, and the fact that we are able to love, is because God first loved us and so we are commanded to love one another because love is from God and when we love , then we abide with him and know him.
So then , If in fact I am not the standard of love and where it comes from and God is , can I love just any way I choose to and it still be love? Let me put it like this – can I drive as fast as I choose to and still claim to be driving safetly? Well, despite my opinion of how well I drive, my opinion doesn’t override the law in place that regulates my speed . In fact , driving the way I choose with no regard to boundaries set by an authority or standard will have consequences. You see – we don’t get to rewrite the speed laws or change the meaning of speeding – nor do we get to rewrite the meaning of love.
Now that we know the source of love and the author of it (notice the title author inherently carries with it the concept of authority) , lets look at its definition.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned but have not love, I gain nothing.
What this first section takes note that no matter what I do,no matter how well I may do it without love it is worthless and in a word – noise…
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6 it does not rejoice at wrong doing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This is the section that Hallmark makes their living on. But ,notice a few things here –
It is patient and kind. I can say for sure ,that many of the people I have engaged with over the legality of same-sex marriage who scream vehemently that “Love is love” and neither been patient nor kind to me…Lets continue –
It doesn’t envy or boast.Also untrue concerning my experiences this year.
It is not arrogant or rude. This has been a big one. In almost every occasion , I have been talked to like a lesser human being who is considered to be “less than intelligent” according to the opposing views standard of intelligence. I have been insulted and derided and in some cases threatened . Again – I’m failing to see the love here that you are screaming into my face about.
It doesn’t insist on its own way and it is not irritable nor resentful. See the earlier comments.
It does not rejoice at wrong doing ,but rejoices with the truth.
Ok – this is the big one.
If love by definition doesn’t rejoice in wrongdoing but the truth – then you can not call what you are doing love. Repeat – If love by definition doesnt rejoice in wrongdoing but the truth – then you can not call what you are doing love. The same standard that defines love also defines right and wrong , truth and lies and ultimately sin what it is and what it isnt … Just like love. To rejoice in something that is opposed to God whether it be ANY type of sexual immorality , murdering , or lying or stealing ,cheating etc – is NOT rejoicing in what God has called good or true – but evil or sinful.
But – notice the last section –
Love bears ,believes,hopes and endures all things. This section is what solidifies love as sacrificial ! It bears the struggles of others when they need help , It believes the best about others when doubts arise , it hopes because without hope we have nothing to live for and it ENDURES with those who I may be at odds with because if I love the way I say I do – then I want the same salvation for you that God has extended ALL people…
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
Love is eternal and as other things pass away , it wont .. So grow up and be mature. Face what you know is right and make the right decision. Stop being selfish and be selfless..
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The greatest is love because is gives and doesn’t take. ITs the greatest because it is not selfish , but selfless. It is the greatest because it is from God , and it is GOD.
You can’t redefine what is not yours to redefine . Nor can you change what is eternal . It is what it is , no matter how loud you scream at me , no matter how much you repeat it and now matter how much you hate me for my stance about it – I will still love you.
Yes, I will.
I will still love you , because God still loves you – and thats the difference.
Love doesnt always suit me ,nor should anyone expect it to. When we adopt a human standard as greater than God’s , what is to keep me from hating you rather than love you? Whats to keep me from stretching out my fist to hurt you rather than offer my hand to help you?
When we replace God’s standard for ours , we accept a flawed and moving target rather than trusted and solid one. If the truth depends on me – we are doomed to fail .
And yes – I know all to well that there are plenty of people who call themselves Christians who have been equally or even moreso hateful on the other side of this issue. They wrong for the same reasons I have listed from the definition of love as the ones who have hated me.
Simply calling themselves Christians and doing things “in the name of” doesnt make any of what they say true nor them a representative of the God they claim they serve.
After all words are words and they mean what they mean and none of us can change that – Out actions however , are another story all together.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins -1 Peter 4:8