Friday, February 18, 2011

Luv vs. love


Gooey, sappy, sweet, dreamy, flittering, sparkling… love. We fall in it, we make fools of ourselves for it, we buy cards and candies and flowers and who knows what else to show how much we have it. It’s love.

Painful, sacrificial, self-giving, uncomfortable, forgiving, humbling, heartbreaking… love. We die for it, we endure ridicule in it, we turn our cheeks because of it, we abandon our own personal desires to chase it. It’s love.

Girls also don’t want a “nice” guy who is boring, numb, or lazy. Girls want a guy who is passionate—a guy who will fight for what he believes in, a guy who will pursue her heart, and a guy who will lay down his life for love. The most desired man in all of history was, is, and will be Jesus Christ—not a “nice” guy, but a man who overturned the money changers’ tables in the temple area to defend its sacredness, a man who proposed to leave 99 self-righteous in order to pursue one repentant heart, and a man who courageously endured scourging, beating, mocking and death to lay His life down for ours out of love, which we appropriately call the “Passion.”
from What a girl really wants in a guy

Of course, the hard part is that everyone wants the roses but no one wants the thorns; everyone wants heaven but nobody wants to die. God, the rose’s Creator, didn’t design it that way though. Jesus rose on Easter Sunday, but not before He endured Friday’s thorns.

This week I thought I had love figured out. I'm waiting out for the ideal. Then I realized I know absolutely nothing about love. It's scary, confusing and demanding. It's so hard to hear what God wants when our very rights and self-preservation instincts are on the line. Theology of the Body says that marriage should be a sign of God's love in the world: people should look at a married couple/family and think, "wow, that's how God loves!" Of course it should be ideal, the two in a perfect mutual self-giving and communion.

Or should it be ideal? It's a sign of God's trinitarian love, but maybe it can also be a sign of God's love for us. The Old Testment is a constant repetition of stories about God's faithful love towards us and our infidelity and inability to receive that love. What about marriages where one spouse loves unconditionally and whole-heartedly even when the other spouse cheats/drinks/etc.? Isn't that a sign of love?

"The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." 1 John 3,16

"If we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us." 1 John 4,12

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