By Sarah Shuling
What love myths exist and what is the truth about love? All of us would have some kind of experience with love. Either we have been in love, or we have been loved by somebody, or both. It is part of life.
When I was growing up, I started to wonder: What is love? Is it just a fuzzy feeling or more than that? Once you fall in love with the “perfect someone”, is it happily ever after? Was love actually designed by God, and if so, then for what purpose? Why has love become a very loose term in which we can say we “love to eat” and we “love God”?
Maybe you have had similar questions going through your mind. I invite you to join me in my journey to discover what is the Truth About Love.
We often associate love with feelings. Some people say it’s a fuzzy feeling inside you that causes you to keep thinking about someone. Every time you see that someone your heart beat increases and you start to get cold sweat and shivers. But the problem I found with this explanation is that the fuzzy feeling always fades away, not only from my own experience, but everyone I knew had the same experience.
The initial excitement will always fade as time goes by and when there is predictability and security in the relationship. And when two people start to get to know one another, because of our different backgrounds and experiences, there are bound to be misunderstandings and quarrels. During these times of argument and disagreement, is there no love between a couple? And the other problem I had was that how about love between children and their parents or grandparents? Do we have that kind of fuzzy feeling toward our elders? Does that mean we do not love them?
I found that (and I’m not the first – just google it and you will know) love is actually a choice, more than a feeling. This means that we can choose to love somebody even if they do not love us back, we can choose to care for someone even though they have not done anything deserving, we can choose to love and provide for people we don’t even know halfway across the world, and we can even choose to love our enemies. (No, that is not stupidity. It is a choice and a command.)
Love is also a commitment, which means that in good or bad times, in happy or sad times, we choose to love and do good to the person we are committed to. Many marriages have failed because the wife and husband have quarreled so much and have so many disagreements they say there are no more feelings of love between them anymore and hence there is no point for them to remain married. This changes when a couple view their love toward each other as a commitment and choice to love each other no matter what happens, to always care and support each other, to listen each other and think the best of each other, and grow old together – their commitment is for life. How many people actually understand and follow through their wedding vows when they say “till death do us part”?
So I went on to find out what the Bible said about love being a choice. This is what I found: that God clearly commands us to love Him and to love one another.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
We even have the choice of who or what we want to love. Besides people, there are endless things we can “fall in love” with. Some people love to sleep, some love to eat. Some love money, some love fame. Some love pleasure, some love evil, and some even love death. The Bible teaches us:
Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.
He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
1 John 2:15
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
God’s command is that we are to love Him and love our neighbours, this love being a choice and a commitment, one that does not require anything from the person we are to love. We are also not to love money, or sleep, or pleasure, or evil, or anything else that the world offers us. Yes indeed all these things can cause an excitement in our veins, an increased heartbeat because of the thrill and pleasure. But these are all a trick, because they will never truly satisfy you, and they will only draw you away from God.
So when you search for your future husband or wife, be sure to be wise. Do not look just for someone who is handsome or beautiful, someone who is pleasing to your eyes and senses, or someone who tells you that you are beautiful and praises you or makes you feel good by the way he/she touches you. Seek God for wisdom and direction, and listen to His leading and His word. His word tells us what a husband and a wife should be like and these are the qualities we should be looking for in our future spouse.
Read the next article here: Love Myths #2: Finding a boyfriend will fill all my needs
Share your thoughts on love here
Do you agree with the love myth and truth about love discussed above? What other myths do you think teen girls are falling for?
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