as i look around the world, i am disheartened over and over again by the ideas of love and how far things have gone wrong when it comes to this beautiful gift God gave us...
i am also humbled by the things God has been revealing to my heart on this serious (to me) yet not-so-serious (to the world) topic as of late
C.S. Lewis wrote an entire book on the subject of love...its called The Four Loves, and whether you follow Christ or not, it is a book you should read before you die
i will probably use a few things he talks about in his book, in this blog...but i want to share what God is showing me in my every day life
first, think for a moment or look around at what our world’s perception of love is...sometimes, it means a parent loving their child because its “theirs”...sometimes, it means 2 people falling in love romantically...sometimes, it means a friend loving another friend...sometimes, it means a physical attachment to someone or something, usually resulting in an unhealthy outcome because the person or thing has become an idol
but none of these things equals real love...its why children end up hating their parents, for the “love” that they were shown was based on conditional factors or an “it’s my duty” kind of love...its why the 2 people (or sometimes only one of them) who fell in love so quickly, fall out of love in the same amount of time...its why friendships that seem real usually mean nothing more than going out to bars together...and its why people find themselves in rehabilitation clinics or other places in order to try to end the destructive relationship they are in with someone or something
this may sound harsh, but the reason all of these things happen is our own fault
it started several thousand, maybe a million, years ago, with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden...their relationship with one another was absolutely perfect...no fighting, no shame, no guilt, no hurt, no doubt, no fear, no financial problems, no disappointments, no etc... etc...just pure and utter happiness and love between them...
however, this was only because their relationship with their Creator was perfect...the Bible says that they walked with God in the garden every day...they spoke to Him, and He spoke back...they loved Him, and He loved them back...He made them because He loved them first, because He wanted them to experience that Love with Him and with one another
just imagine for a moment what that kind of perfection might be like...we all, within the deepest places of our soul, long for this utopia, whether we admit it or not...
yet something happened...temptation came along, and Eve was not strong enough to resist it...she listened to the lies that came from the pit of hell...the same lies that we still listen to today...the serpent (satan) told her that she needed more...that what she had with God was not enough, and that she couldn’t trust or believe what He had spoken to her...that if she only took one bite of the forbidden apple, she would know everything that God knew...that she would be as a god herself...so she took the bait, and so did Adam...and things backfired in a big way
the perfect love relationship the two had with Love Himself was destroyed, and the relationship they would have with one another, as well as their relationships with others, would be from there on out more difficult than they ever imagined
over time, things continued to worsen...you can look at a history book to see what the results have been...nowadays our teenagers believe that sex with some random peer is love, even if only for the night, and this comes straight from what they see on television and in movies...everyone wants to “fall in love”...yet if people had God’s love in their lives, there wouldn’t be a 50% divorce rate for both Christians and non-Christians in our country...infidelity is at an all-time high within our society, and in some parts, it is accepted...there wouldn’t be sexual abuse cases of children being molested by priests within the Catholic Church...there wouldn’t be murders happening between wives whose husbands are pastors of churches...you wouldn’t hear stories of mothers drowning their children in the bathtub in a “moment of insanity”...there wouldn’t be any of the awful things that we see every day in the media, and yet the reporters seem dumbfounded as to why things like this are happening...are they dumbfounded? or have they just blinded themselves to the Truth???
i have a very simple explanation, but not one that everyone will want to hear...
if everything around us goes against the very thought of Love Himself, let alone a relationship with Him, then how is it possible for us to really know and experience love as it was meant to be?
the answer: unless we once again have a love relationship with Love Himself through Jesus Christ, we will never, no matter how “in love” we think we might be with someone, or how much we “love” our children, be able to experience or give love in its purest and truest and most satisfying form
Dr. Jerry Wall’s, a philosophy professor from Asbury seminary, teaches a wonderful class on C.S. Lewis, and gives lectures on several books that the students read during the course...while discussing Lewis’ book The Four Loves, he said this (from my personal notes in class):
"The point is that we cannot be truly and deeply happy if God is not our supreme Love. We cannot, in the long run, sustain any of the natural loves without being rightly related to Love Himself."
...part 2 coming soon...