You Say You Love Me
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. I John 4:7-8
Love is the grand prize of human existence. Obviously, it is something for which people are willing to die. They will work, pay, sacrifice, give everything they have, if only they may know, experience, and secure love for themselves. It may not even be love for or from another person; it may be love of money, status, or power which compels them, though none of those ever return love. But once these “lovers have their “first love they want to have their cake and eat it too. So, eventually, there is always “another for whom they pine. There are a great many people in the world, a world filled to the brim with “know-it-alls of every stripe, who consider themselves “experts on love. Many of these peddle their “expertise to those searching for it, or else desperate to fix what they once thought was in their grasp. Others author books on love filling myriads of bookstores or gathering dust on the shelves of homes where love is elusive or non-existent. A whole host of history’s “intellectuals, whose philosophies and theories have created revolutions and captured cultures, know nothing of love, and proved it by their broken marriages, relationships, and wasted personal lives. (See Intellectuals by Paul Johnson, 1988)
The Apostle John, who called himself the disciple whom Jesus loved, in his elderly years wrote something astounding about this grand prize of human existence. He simply said, if you don’t know God you don’t know love, no matter how much you think you do, because God, and only God, is love. If there is love, genuine, authentic love, God is always in the mix. Otherwise it is something other than love, in fact, quite different from love; and whatever it is, it is never satisfying. It is not that God creates love, or bestows love. It is never said of Him as it is of light, “And God said let there be love, and there was love. God is love. If you would know love, you must be born of God, and you must know Him. He doesn’t give it and walk away leaving you to it. He must be there, and you must know it, or love isn’t.
This is the mysterious dynamic of Christian marriage. If a man and wife avidly pursue God in the course of their marriage, that pursuit, knowledge and love of God produces an unbreakable, intimate, and fully satisfying love for one another. As wise King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12) The closer a couple draws individually to the “source of love, the more deeply and fully they will love one another. Out of this one flesh relationship, energized by their love of God, will pour a godly love for their children and for their neighbor. It is so often the case in a marriage when things are rough or the “first love grows cold that one or the other attempts an earnest pursuit to win back the love of the spouse never thinking or knowing that they themselves are not the source of love in their marriage; God is. Pursue Him! An old saint, being asked whether it is easy or hard to love God, replied: “It is easy to those who do it!
C.S. Lewis wrote to one of his correspondents about their doubt of God’s love, “Continue seeking Him with seriousness. Unless He wanted you, you would not be wanting Him. In this “season of love be reminded once more to seriously pursue LOVE Himself, and in so doing love one another more completely.
“Here might I stay and sing, no story so divine; never was love, dear King, never was grief like thine. This is my Friend, in whose sweet praise I all my days could gladly spend.
(7th verse of Samuel Crossman’s hymn, “My Song is Love Unknown, 1683)
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