Quest for love-01

“I love the bak chor mee here!” 
“I think I’m in love!”
“God loves you!”

Any of these phrases familiar to you? Thanks to pop culture, loose usage of the word “love” has cheapened it to describe anything vaguely pleasant. But a clear absurdity presents itself when the same “love” can be used to describe anything from fickle whims for food, to sensuous passions shared by lovers, patriotism to a nation, and deep reverence for a holy God.

For clarity’s sake, before we learn to love God, we must rediscover the meaning of love.

LOVE ME TENDER

Because love is such a romanticised concept today, it comes with a certain level of prestige. From a young age, we are indoctrinated with the bliss of partaking of its fruits, whether in family, euphoric romance, or learning the art of self-love.

Everybody wants love. After all, as sung by Nat King Cole in Nature Boy, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn/Is just to love and be loved in return.”

So humans from all walk of lives devise ways to claim “love” for themselves, tailoring it to suit anything and everything they deem worthy of praise. Love then becomes a blanket marker to legitimise our feelings and actions. So in the name of love, we tear down tradition, redefine words we don’t like, and demand public affirmation for our new way of life.

As we shun truth, we also shun responsibility and commitment. Individuals fall in and out of love. “Till death do us part” now effectively means “till one of us no longer feels it”.

#Lovewins, but it’s not quite the same love each time you look at it. #Choicewins, to be more accurate.

As we shun truth, we also shun responsibility and commitment. Individuals fall in and out of love. “Till death do us part” now effectively means “till one of us no longer feels it”.

Without the central focus to devotion in love, we are guided solely by fickle feelings.

NO DARLING, LOVE ME TRUE

What’s the point of investing something when it’s just going to be redefined with every mood swing? If moral standards keep changing, the sentences of convicted criminals will have to be periodically revised. Heroes and villains will have to constantly swap places. True love today fades into a false hope tomorrow.

It’s not that we lack love; the problem lies with our muddled understanding of love. We need to rediscover the original meaning of love, lest we continue to re-tailor it to changing cultural norms.

As Christians, our lack of understanding becomes problematic when we “love” God, yet do not live according to His will.

Ignorance is one problem, but when “love” is reduced to a feeling, right, or a mere testimony of spiritual experience, without life obedience and transformation, then our love is superficial and futile.

Jesus said to His disciples in John 14:21, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

Biblical love, therefore, is a matter of knowledge, surrender and obedience, rather than a feeling or fundamental right. It is more than believing in something that sounds nice to our ears.

Time to put your feelings aside. Time to learn that emotions will come and go. Time to be serious about love.

Time to learn to receive and give true love. The model and the source: God Himself – the giver of agape love.

Teach me to love, Father.

About the author

Kenneth Chew

Kenneth is best understood through his impassioned Instagram posts, composed in the deep of night when the tumultuous world finally lies silent. He probably prefers dogs to cats.