Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020. Love is modern topic. It is a core topic of music. It is in the charts. It is popular. It is everywhere. Advertising uses beautiful bodies - of women and also of men - to attract people to its message. Products are linked to beautiful things which you love to have. Social media such as Instagram are full of pictures which want to generate love and admiration.
Love is an important topic for all ages. Humans search love. We want to be loved as we are - or as we want to be or choose to be. The rainbow flag has become a symbol of homosexual love and liberation. To find love is also part of many divorces. We got to know each other including all our strange character features, have given up in the light of severe problems, - and now search new hope and love and admiration beyond the old vows.
Let us dig deeper into this topic. What is love?
Love - What is it? …
What is love? Usually, love is said to be a feeling. And indeed, feelings and the whole body chemistry of humans is linked to love. How would you describe love? We all know love. We know when we felt stunned by some person. We all know this strange attraction. We know how it is when you think that company of this person is the most desirable thing in the world.
We can describe the effects of love. We think about the other person all the time. We feel good, full of energy, full of hope, full of motivation. When you are in love, no problem can be severe. You seem to have reached your target. You reached a place where you can stay. Peace comes with love.
When you love someone, you identify with him or her. That means all what is yours, is also his or hers. All your time, your money, your talent, your energy. All belongs to both of you. This is an important feature of love: identification. It can also cause many problems when separation comes. Some law knows the community of acquisitions, meaning that every partner owns his or her own possessions, and only what was acquired during the partnership will be shared between the two partners when it comes to separation.
Some evolutionary biologists see in love a tool of evolution to support community. Here, love does not have a meaning beyond its purpose. In this view love is a tool of evolution to bind people into a community, which gave them some evolutionary advantage over other evolutionary developments, which did not know this type of binding.
What is the role and meaning of love in this world? Is it just another way to live out my egocentric world view? *I* love and *I* want to be loved? Is it a mechanism imposed to us to stay friendly and supportive to at least some individuals? Is it made for us to be able to protect our children and let the species grow?
The Biblical View on Love …
The bible has a different view on what love is, where love comes from and why love is the most important thing in the world.
Love is coming from God himself. He IS love. He lives love. Love is defined to be the type of relationship which is in God, who is in himself father and son and holy spirit. Only with a triune God, with what the church has called the holy trinity, true love becomes possible and has an eternal source and foundation.
The biblical view on creation is that God has created the human as man and woman. He has created two genders, to give them a basis for love. All our bodies are made for a community of a man and a woman. Two genders as complementary types made to love each other. Also, God has created the family to be a relationship of love. Children need to be nurtured, protected and supported. The whole circle of life is made to be filled with love, trust and truth.
And God has created man to love him. He has created man such that God could love man, and man could love God. We are made in the image of God. We are made as something alike him, reflecting his splendor, his love, his freedom, his majesty. We are made to fall in love with him - as we are made to fall in love with a partner.
Love is an important topic throughout all biblical books, Old Testament and New Testament alike. The apostle John talks about it in his letters, here some important remarks, which need to be taken together to show their full meaning:
2.15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 2.16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life — is not from the Father but is from the world. […] 3.11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.[…] 3.14 Whoever does not love abides in death. (1 John 2, 15-16 + 3, 11+14)
If desire for or love to particular goods or recognition or people becomes our main target and the center of our life, we experience a destruction of the life, love, freedom and majesty which God made us for. This is what “do not love the world” means. The world is still wonderful. It is made by God, and what he made was good. It is fantastic to see, amazing and full of wonder! Yet, it is not there to be the center of our life. It is not there to take the role of God as the center of our love. And the love of God is more than desire.
God himself so loved the world that he gave his only son, to save it. We are invited to enter this community of love, where forgiveness has been established by the cross of Christ Jesus. This love means a wide freedom, but not the freedom to become slaves again of love to the world in a worldly way, but to love the way Jesus does. His way! It is a fantastic path to explore his way, each and every day … (Roland Potthast)
This is part of the trilogy project “Faith of a Scientist”.