Saturday, June 15, 2013

On Love

Woah, my post about marriage two weeks ago is up to 450+ comments.  I've been staying away from it myself, because I don't want to get involved in any comment wars, but I'm told I need to address the topic.

Most people I know say that marriage is about love.  I like to push people a bit, so I force them to elaborate by asking, "What is love?".  Half the time, the person makes a joke about Saturday Night Live.  The other half of the time, I get a response like, "Love is the happy feeling you get when you're around a certain person."

That is a very immature definition of love.  I have often said that love is not a feeling or an emotion.  Feelings and emotions are temporary, whereas love is eternal by nature.  No one says, "I will love you for three months and six days"; they say, "I will love you forever."

Does love involve feelings like happiness?  Yes.  But happiness is not love.  Happiness is a result of love. The opposite is also possible; you can love someone, at the same time you are unhappy or angry with them.

In my experience, marriages and relationships do not last, if they are built only on feelings.  The same is true of relationships that are built on sexual attraction or pleasure.  When those things eventually disappear or wear off, the relationship quickly self-destructs.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've only felt romantic type love once. It had very little to do with happiness, as I was in a very dark place in my life at the time. It wasn't a poetic, soul crushing, or even lasting. But it was real.

I trusted her with everything at a time when I didn't trust myself. That's what love is to me, no matter what the circumstances, putting forward a level of trust no one else has.

On the other hand, I recognize that love is highly individual and the varying perceptions will determine marriages. Personally, I can't see myself getting married because I see it as a commitment beyond a deep level of trust. It is sharing responsibilities, both material and intrinsic.

Anonymous said...

Matthew 5:43-44 (NIV), as I'm sure you well know, says this -- "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." --

It's EASY to want to hate people. They are called my 'enemies' for a reason. And yet we are told to love them. Does one think that I feel Happiness towards those who would do me ill without batting an eyelash? I don't. One can't rely on mere feelings to love, for Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) says -- "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" --

Like you said, Michael: -- "...Happiness is not love. Happiness is a result of love. The opposite is also possible; you can love someone, at the same time you are unhappy or angry with them." --And this is because true Love is an action, not merely a feeling.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) says -- "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes always perseveres." --

Humans are sinful creatures. We Feel impatience; we Feel like being unkind; we Feel envy; we Feel proud; we Feel conceited; we Feel anger; we often Feel wronged and betrayed and therefore feel justified in begrudging others; we Feel the darkness within our hearts. And as such, we often ACT on those feelings. In order to love, one must choose not what he/she FEELS, but how he/she ACTS. For as I like to say: -- "Thoughts are but waves on an ocean of feeling, though it's not the ocean itself that steers the course of the drifter." --

Anonymous said...

As soon as I saw "What is love?" it made me think, "Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more!"
Hehe :)

Anonymous said...

Really great post! It irritates me when I hear 14 year olds, or even adults, who say they love their boyfriend/girlfriend when their relationship is solely based on feeling. And I agree completely with Anonymous 11:54.

Sammy said...

Over the years, love has become such a low standard. I mean, 14 year olds will tell their "girlfriend/boyfriend" that they love them, and actually mean it. Yet they "break up" a week later because of some stupid argument. It's the same with adults. Over 50% of married Americans have gotten in a divorce, so if that's what love is, I'm not so interested in perusing a relationship. Not now anyway. I'm seventeen, and have never dated, or even had an interest in anyone. Not only do I not want to add that kind of drama to my already stressful life, but I don't want to be put in a relationship if it isn't sincere. I have seen too many broken hearts and hurt feelings. I don't want to commit my eternal love to someone unless I know it is real. ~Samantha

William D said...

XD ''I will love you for 3 months and 6 days'' You crack me up :D. Anyways, you are right, love and relationships are not built on feelings. If those feelings go to another person, or you lose them *poof* that was your relationship :/
Toward the anonymous who quoted the Bible, you are very right. Human emotions block the way to heaven. Our dark thoughts and actions muddle our minds, and distract us. The only way to truly be happy with another person is if it was meant to be.( meaning it was God's Will for those two to get married) We can only ever be truly Happy following His will.
Towards Sammy, you are also perfectly correct; all these people enter relationships because of some fleeting feeling. Wether for money, pleasure, etc. people are always trying to make themselves happy in the immoral way. As you also stated many people are getting divorced which is also evil. ''What God hath put together, no man shall put asunder'' Oh, and good idea about never getting into a relationship unless you know it is right. If it isn't right, but you go into it anyway, you won't be happy1 (I'm not speaking from personal experience, just what I've heard from others :P)

Anonymous said...

i knew someone mentioned the song! thats what i thought of?

Anonymous said...

You are awesome, Michael!!!!!! Keep up the good work!!!!!! I bet God is super pleased with you telling the truth to people of the world!!!:):) I take comfort from the truth that you tell and it is a rare and precious thing!!! And I know real love is Gospel Love and that has 2 conditions: be obedient to God's truth and have no trace of egocentrism. God Bless you, Michael!!!:):):):)

Breanna(; said...

I agree completely with William D.