Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I Wanna Know What Love Is

As many of you may know, one of my favorite soundtracks is the Rock of Ages movie soundtrack. Also, you probably know that that soundtrack consists of 80s and early 90s songs, covered by the Hollywood actors and actresses in the movie. Many of you would also argue that the originals are the very best versions, and I'd disagree. And I really didn't enjoy the movie at all, so much that I didn't even finish it.
But all of that is beside the point. 
Here's the point:

There's a popular song called "I Wanna Know What Love Is" from 1984. Part of the song says,

"In my life, there's been heartache and pain
I don't know if I can take it again
...I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me"

Okay, so I really love the song -- the music and all. But it got me to thinking. The question is, "What is love?" And the person (songwriter?) is asking for another human being to show them what love is and what it feels like. 

I think that's where we make a mistake. A human cannot truly show another human love without God. 

I'm all for lovey-dovey, sappy love movies and cards and songs and flowers and mess like that. I reallllllly am. But I've learned something very important over the years:

No human can give you true, perfect love. And love isn't exactly what we have been taught by movies or Hallmark cards or songs. 

So what is love, then?
Love is NOT a pair of shoes or a purse (although a nice pair of shoes/purse can be extremely satisfying...coming from a shoe and purse addict...)

Anyway, love is this:

1) So we have the cliche, ever-popular BUT SO IMPORTANT passage from the Bible that tells us what love is. It's read at weddings a lot. It says,
 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13

All of these things describe true, godly love. The love that we can attempt to give each other in our daily lives, whether it be in relationships, friendships, with our families, etc.

So it was kinda cool,
right after I started this blog post, I saw the movie Frozen.


So basically, in the movie, the older sister shuts the younger sister out for like ten years. At the end of the ten years, the older sister's life is in danger and she is about to be killed, and the younger one has to choose between getting a kiss from her true love that will save her life and sacrificing her own life to save the sister that has ignored and shut her out for years.
She chooses to save her sister, love wins, and they both live.

It's a cheesy Disney movie, but it illustrates the perfect picture of what love is.
Love is unconditional - loving whether you get love back or not.
-loving under any circumstances
-loving someone who doesn't deserve to be loved
Love is sacrificial - it does what is best for the other person.
Love is patient - the younger sister waited and persisted for ten years.

We have someone that did that for us. Jesus sacrificed His life for us and loves us even when we shut him out and don't deserve to be loved.

2) Love is the cross. Love is Christ dying for our sins. Love is God ordaining that to happen as part of His plan for us. True love was shown when Christ denied himself and hung on a cross for a species of sinful people who take it for granted every single day. And He knew we would. But He still did it and still loves us.
That's true love.


3) I'm reading the most amazing book right now - Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper. It says a lot about love and a few things stood out to me. 

- "Love is doing what He must do, at great cost to Himself (and often to us), to enable us to enjoy making much of Him forever."

Love is not about us. It's not bringing attention to us. It's bringing attention, glory, and praise to God.
In doing so, our lives will be filled with love and love to share with others, all thanks to God and His glory.

- "...love has been almost completely distorted in our world. For most people, to love is to be made much of... We are taught in a thousand ways that love means increasing someone's self-esteem. This is not what the Bible means by the love of God. Love is doing what is best for someone. But making self the object of our highest affections is not best for us. It is, in fact, a lethal distraction. We were made to see and savor God... To make [people] feel good about themselves when they were made to feel good about seeing God is like taking someone to the Alps and locking them in a room full of mirrors."

Wow. So that was heavy and it hit me like a bag of bricks. All this time I was kinda on the track of thinkin' that if you love someone (in a romantic relationship) you dote on them and make them feel wonderful and special and give them gifts. Yeah, well, those things are fabulous and you should do those things for sure. But real, true love means you are pointing the other person to Christ because you know that nothing else is more fulfilling or beautiful. 

This is true with anyone though, not just a significant other. With the people you love, you should constantly be showing them Christ. If you truly love someone, you will want them to be close to Christ and enjoy Him because you know only He can make them complete.

This is gonna be cheesy and awkward but I'm gonna quote a Justin Bieber song, and just bear with me. 
"All around the world, people want to be loved..." 

As humans, we crave love and acceptance. We want it from other people, but we don't always remember that our Creator loves us more and better than anyone EVER will.

As humans, we do the best we can with love.
If you love your family, friends, whoever, you should live a Christ-like life so as not to lead them astray. 

"I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me"

Show them Christ because He IS love. He's the definition of love. You cannot show them love on your own, but you can show them the one that can love them unconditionally. 
You should make a big deal of God so that the people you love will also. Because in doing that, they will truly know what it means and feels like to love and be loved. 

And I got an email from IDA Books in Archdale, NC the other day. The email was about love and Valentine's Day. At the end of the email, there was a little paragraph that I think says it all:

Being the Hollywood love story junkie that I am, this also got me where it hurts.
I needed that. I will be the first to admit, I OFTEN view love as a feeling, and when the feeling isn't there, I don't know what to do. I am working really hard on changing that!!!!

So now do we really know what love is? :)


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