Love The Other Four-Letter Word
Gerard N. Bonner brings his perspective of love to the table in this editorial. Earlier, he offered the situation from the perspective of a single man (see editorial). Now newly married, he of course has fresh eyes on the matter. We trust that you, like us, will be blessed as you read what is on his heart.
It’s the first Valentine’s Day of the new millennium and one would imagine that this would be the most informed V-Day to date. With all of the technological advancements that have occurred in our time, it is easy to think that the true meaning of this holiday would also be realized. Yet after all of the candy, gifts, and cards, most will miss the most important element of this holiday. That would be love the other four-letter word.
While candy, clothes, power, and sex are wonderful things, they are merely derivatives or fringe benefits of love. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Cor. 13:4-7 NLT)
In short, love is unbridled devotion and unconditional commitment. In these few words, we define what everyone on earth seems to be looking for. No matter your status, race, or sex, we are all united by the common desire to be loved. Everyone wants someone to believe in them. We all desire complete devotion. This God-given desire, if unfocused, can lead many to a path of destruction. This especially holds true for believers.
Think of how many Bible-toting, foot-stomping, tongue-talking Christians have traded in true love for a temporary fix. Many believers today are products of or in the process of producing loveless seeds. There are more broken homes and “baby mama dramas” in the church due to love’s offshoots rather than love itself. We as the church have settled for a by-product of love rather than the real thing. This holds for both single and married people.
If you were to look within your own church, how many happily married couples would you find? Why do people stay together anymore? Instead of defaulting to our wedding vows, people are more apt to stay because “it’s cheaper to keep her”. Others are involved in marriages because they couldn’t get the one that they wanted so they claim to love the one they’re with. This is not God’s desire for His people.
No matter how difficult the circumstance, divorce was never an option for God. We must view our married relationships in the same way. Our society has led us to believe that there is always a way out of a marital commitment. In fact, divorce has never been as regularly exercised within the church as it is today. True love has no room for divorce. Though no relationship is peaches and cream, it is the bumps in the road that make the relationship special. Those bumps in the road often test the level of love and in most cases, help to define or redefine that love.
Married couples must understand that only God should be above your marital relationship. Within the church, many are guilty of having affairs with the church. In other words, many have traditionally put the church and its work ahead of their marriage. Consequently, friction occurs within the marriage causing the relationship between the husband and wife to be strained at best. Understanding that the married person’s first ministry is his or her spouse is key
Whether single or married, Valentine’s Day should be an enjoyable time of year. You may spend this V-Day with a loved one or a friend. The most important element to remember is to celebrate the love that is associated with this day. Know that regardless of your relationship status, you should celebrate your love for God and His love for you. When this is your life’s focus, your dream relationship will come to pass.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
February 9, 2001