Sunday, October 2, 2011

“What’s love Got to do with it?”

Tina Turner’s popular song “What’s Love Got to Do With It” has a line that indicates love is nothing but a second hand emotion and who needs a heart when a heart can be broken. While the lyrics are meant for our listening pleasure and to infuse us into an emotional state; love is a first hand emotion and we do need a heart, medically speaking.

Love an emotion of strong affection, personal attachment, close friendship, romantic attraction and sexual implication. Love can also be described as benevolent; concern and good will for one another or brotherly love. In Christianity, the Greek word agape is often translated “love” in the New Testament and is different from the types of love described above. Agape love is self-sacrifice and is not used in the Bible to mean personal attachment, brotherly love, romantic attraction, etc. Agape love is unique and unconditional. Agape love is of and from God. God does more than love us. God is love Himself as evidenced in 1 John 4:8, “God is love”. Love is a gift from God.

Whatever our status; single or married, we each long for a romantic connection. A connection that is deep, strong, embodied with strong affection, friendship and mutual respect. As Christians a love that is endorsed by God and is built on a spiritual foundation of God’s principles. A commitment, devotion, passion; embracing unconditional love and grounded in mutual respect, honesty, trust and vision for one another. To put it simply, God’s divine hand was in the bringing together and is on the pulse of the relationship.

If we desire all the properties of a God endorsed and sound relationship and if love is a gift from God, then how can we cope with the challenges of the relationship? To love, honor, trust and respect one another takes great effort and sincerity. Before we can love another, we must acknowledge, know and receive God’s love for ourselves. Our life is hidden in Christ and is revealed to us through knowing Him. Colossians 3:1, 2 informs us, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, 2nd Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth”. As we set our mind on things above, know that God delights in giving us our desires. Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart”. We meet the challenges of life with our companion through having a healthy mind, will and spiritual need in fulfilling God’s purpose in our life, both as individuals and as a union. Our spiritual need and fulfillment is crucial and although we may accept Christ as our Savior, we must make Him Lord of our life and be effective in our service to His Kingdom as a union. Often times, we falter in our love and only go through the religious motions of being and staying together as a couple. This is a dangerous mode of operation to be in and our heart may be far from God. Isaiah 29:13 informs us, “Forasmuch as these people draw near with their mouth and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, And their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men”.

In conclusion, to sustain a healthy and sound relationship, we must first acknowledge and follow God’s rules for our purpose individually and as a union (i.e. have a God-centered relationship).  Adhere to God’s timing. The process may not look like the promise. Have a clear vision of God’s calling on the relationship that transcends the phases and stages of your life. Have a purpose together from God. Identify it and it becomes something bigger than the challenges of the union.    

Our relationships will not be challenge-free but if we apply and practice biblical knowledge and principle and ask God to order our steps in the direction that will glorify Him, our relationships will be on the right track for health and sustainability. Our light shines as we make God the Head and Lord of our life and the world sees our effective service to His Kingdom.


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