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What’s Love Got To Do With It?


This title of a song reflects a dawning awareness of a contrasting difference between attraction and love. Popular culture (driven to a great extent by song lyrics) has come to equate the emotions of attraction, desire, expectation, anticipation and even lust as “love”.

Further complicating matters is the human capacity to mentally associate thoughts with erotic sensations. This sort of self-stimulation can lead people into fetishes, delusions, and even perversions that consume and isolate similar to the effects of drug abuse.

Real love can be seen in the actions of a mother getting up at 3am to feed her baby. The bible defines love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7;

Love has long patience, is kind; love is not emulous of others ; love is not insolent and rash, is not puffed up, does not behave in an unseemly manner, does not seek what is its own, is not quickly provoked, does not impute evil, does not rejoice at iniquity but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Understanding love is tricky because all too often those things that comprise a taking in to self driven by emotional desires are called love as is the giving out of self found in love. To call one thing love but contain both selfish and selfless components can create confusion.

Those driven by or given over to lust and fornication could not be called “selfless”. The comparison to drug use can illuminate additional characteristics that may warn us of the dangers of such pursuits. For, example in drug use there is a phenomena of habituation. As one gets high from a drug, there are more frequent or intense dosages needed to produce the same effect.

A person given over to pursue his lusts may leave his wife to plunge into a torrid affair which loses its intensity in a short while leaving both parties dissatisfied with each other as they are no longer able to find the intensity of feeling their own minds had fabricated for them. Reality ends up robbing them of their ability to sustain the illusions on which they fed.

Real love is less passionate as it consists of a decision to seek the good of another. It does not plunge into something only to find fading emotional intensity. Rather it slowly builds with affection and kindness a foundation fixed solidly in reality that not only lasts but continues to expand.

Advertising and the media use various images and stories to engage our minds for their purposes. As a result, we are constantly exposed to that which attracts often provoking within us desires or the expectation and seeking of sensation. The Christian is advised to be aware of the manipulations we all encounter and act to curtail their influence.

The Christian is instructed to abandon the works of the flesh and seek to produce the fruits of the Spirit. This is essentially a transition from the consumptive activities of selfishness, to the giving activities off selflessness in love. In this Christ is our example.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8


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