I’ve been reading and watching new material nowadays, trying to satisfy a growing need for information – knowledge – on things I’ve been increasingly coming to consider as essential for success in Life, especially as a young person in today’s world. I realised that I’d been getting it wrong for quite some time and it just wasn’t funny anymore – something(s) had to change.
It permeates every aspect of our lives, whether we realise it, acknowledge it, disbelieve it, or even decide to flat out ignore it. Facts are facts and cannot be changed or negotiated with. The saddest truth about Love, however, is that we don’t know what it really is – everyone has a different opinion!
The sheer volume of songs, stories, books and works of art (and science) created in its name in attempts to define, describe, quantify, qualify, prove or disprove its existence is staggering. Our encounters in Life from the first breath we take however confirm a single salient fact: Nobody can live without Love.
We may use it, enjoy it, neglect it or throw it away, but it is certainly not a Human Construct either. Since nothing, however, comes from nothing it stands to reason that if we want to know anything further about it, the best person to ask is its Maker.
Don’t be surprised though to find out that your definition or expectations of Love are waaay off centre once you decide to read His manual for Love. Still unconvinced? Check this out:
So this’s what happened to Hosea. He married a prostitute. She didn’t lie to him, he knew what she was, but still he married her. I’m sure she thought it was an elaborate joke, probably up until she bore the first of his children, then she started wondering, Which sort of weirdo is this guy now???
God allowed His prophet to marry a prostitute to create a strong illustration of His love to His people. Someone so Obviously Undeserving married someone so far apart in morality and righteousness, and the former still had Love for the latter. He knew she wasn’t worthy, SHE knew she wasn’t worthy, but he still showed her Love anyway. That, not what was between Titanic’s impulsive Jack & Rose, or Shakespeare’s immature Romeo & Juliet, or even any of Disney’s unrealistic Princes & Princesses, is what True Love is…
I find out that there’re so many areas to major upon in this story – not the least of which is how whenever we hear of this story we are instinctively repulsed by the gall of Gomer as she kept acting up so ungratefully when she’s clearly so lucky that he even loved and married her in the first place, before taking her in whenever she went back to her whoring ways, forgetting that in the scheme of things WE are the Gomer to God’s Hosea…yes, let that sink in for a bit before we continue…yes.
But no, I’m going to as briefly as possible focus on just one aspect of Love shown operating here.
Love is not a feeling you feel when you feel a feeling you’ve never felt before. *insert deadpan look* It is not an Emotion. It is not a state of mind. Love…is God. Love is Of God. God made Love. Ergo, you Cannot experience true Love without God.
So in essence, if you have any issues with Love, you’ve got to ask the Creator of Love what the issue is.
The problem we have is a knowledge problem – we simply don’t know or understand what exactly is going on in our lives and relationships, so in trying to fix things, we almost inevitably end up ruining things far worse than they should be.
(Let me diverge for a bit: I promise I’ll be back!) One of the most important things that we miss when we come to God eventually – I’m talking about when we give our lives to God and accept His salvation – is that we forget that we’ve had all those years before to learn all the wrong ways things are done that might have seemed right to us, but which in essence are not. As a Master Builder, do you honestly think He will risk the Magnificent Edifice He’s earmarked your life to be by building on shaky, defective foundations or principles?! Heck no! That jazz must all come down first!
Let’s imagine you’re a young man who’s been sleeping around with nary a care in the world, up until you finally received Christ into your life – Hallelujah! New creation, yes! Son of God, tongues-speaking, prayer-walking, demon-chasing Christian and all seems well with the world now…up until that old girlfriend is in town and passes by unannounced…then you realise that while your spirit man is saved, but your body and mind are another story altogether…!
A number of people hit a wall of frustration lamenting why God saved them but left them with these ‘evil’ desires, almost as if He wanted them to fail and feel guilty for messing up once again. It’s taken me a long while to start to figure this bit out, but I’ve come to realise that God puts far more value on the process than the end result, especially when He’s doing something amazing (which, let’s face it, is virtually every time!). The result can be faked, but never the process. Say, I could just dash Keni a car if she needed one, but then again I could link her up with a car company to work at for a while as she enrolls in their employees’ scheme to make buying a car herself easier. In the 2 years she’d spend working there before becoming eligible for acquiring a car, she’d also become conversant with car financing, identifying a car with good market value, would have acquired a driving licence and also gained a greater appreciation of how to effectively take care of a new car. Which of the two scenarios would keep Keni happier for longer??
I don’t know if you remember Technical Drawing (Pre-Tech) from JSS. We had to draw structures and virtual plans for construction from simple instructions given every week. I was a messy draw-er, let me confess. My circle virtually never sat within the confines of the triangle, my finished sheet was always in equal measure pencil-work and eraser shadows! It wasn’t until later Form 2 that I realized that the best way to Not end up experiencing either of the unpleasant ends of Mr. Baffoe’s cane was to try out each drawing, sometimes several times, on a rough sheet upon which I could try every mistake my shaky fingers could make on my way to an er…acceptable end product. I came to understand that there’s a reason why we practise before the D-day: we don’t want to mess up on that day because the ramifications will be more severe.
Believe me, a problem with keeping your zipper closed is much more easily dealt with when you’re single than when you’re married. You don’t believe me? Ok, let’s try a scenario in which your faulty zip causes you to impregnate someone (yes, I’m going that far out)–
Single : Appease her family. Marry her or not. Take care of the child. If you don’t marry her, you can still go on to marry the (understanding) love of your life, albeit with your ‘Born-1’ status. You can through this learn to keep yourself to yourself. C’est fini.
Married: Tell your wife or not? Broken trust may lead to a broken marriage. Your children will be affected. Your wife may leave you –> you pay alimony through your nose –> she remarries and you may lose your kids to another more considerate man. Or your wife won’t leave you, but you end up being forever in her debt till hopefully she forgives you, or you end up zombified cus there’s no love or affection even between the two of you. You can also learn to keep to yourself through this method, but the cost…!
It’s not easy being good, it’s not easy being righteous. Jesus knows this. That’s what His time on earth showed Him so He understands us human beings and our peculiarities not just as the Creator, but from the viewpoint of the created. That’s why He’s not just interested in your ‘spiritual life’ but everything else in your life. He’s the first person in your life to show you a perfect example of Love as it was meant to be. If you were someone else who knew everything about you as you know now, chances are that you wouldn’t love you, but guess what? He would.
Back to our knowledge problem, there’s so much to learn about Love from God’s viewpoint that I could fill this blog with just a fraction of it – but I’ll exercise restraint (See? Ewuraesi, Benji…! 😛 ) and talk of the most pertinent characteristic of His kind of Love, how He meant it to be practised.
Love Is Not Conditional.
Take a step back today and look at your boyfriend, or your girlfriend. Your wife, your husband, your son, your mother, your sister, your best friend. Whoever you say you love, whoever says they love you. Do you, or do they love because of something? What happens when that goes away? Things change you know – a size 6 becomes a 12; dark luxuriant hair becomes grey; promises get forgotten; trust gets broken. The true test of the type of ‘love’ you’re subscribing to is not on the mountains, but in the valleys…
Let me challenge you today to take the first step in forgetting everything your decades of years on this earth have taught you about Love, and try to see things through His eyes. First, you will be struck dumb by the number of things you thought you knew, but really didn’t, then you will be humbled by the depth of the cavity within you still remaining to be filled; and then He will show you the first glimpse of True Love – God’s Love, Agape Love – by pointing to the Cross, and reminding you of His promise to be with you always even till the end of the world…
Love = Fear not.
[Ps. Shoutout to KNUST SMS & Judah Praise 2016! Your drama performance was definitely part of the inspiration for this post! I was so impressed 🙂 Can’t wait for next year!]