Ask anyone for the meaning of love and you will hear diverse definition. Love means different things to different people. To some love is a feeling. To some love is a chemistry and to others love is a mystery. The definition you give to love is a function of your perspective of it, your perception and indeed, your understanding.
If you say love is a feeling then don’t expect your love life to be stable because feelings come and go. Sometimes you feel like eating Amala, sometimes you feel like eating rice, some other times yam. This may be the reason your relationship (nay marriage) is not stable. You stay in relationship (marriage) according to how you feel!
If you say love is a chemistry then don’t expect it to be stable because chemistry is about experiments. You check how one substance will react when another chemical is added to it etc-that is experimenting. Those who say love is a chemistry will experiment. They see life as a big laboratory. They want to take certain actions and see the reactions that will follow as it is in a typical chemistry lab. Your love life is not likely to be stable because you want to experiment. Today, it is the tiny thin girl you want. Tomorrow it is the biggy gal, big all round. Next you want to see what it is like hanging out with guys across the ocean, another time you want the big guys on the mainland!
If you say love is a mystery then it simply means you really don’t have a clue of what it is. Our people say something is a mystery when they don’t understand it. That is why some people say God is a mystery and so they had to devise the art of worshipping Him through other lesser gods. Not knowing there is no more mediator between man and God except the Man Christ Jesus! Those who think relationship is a mystery always blame others even when they ought to take responsibility for their action. They believe it is difficult to understand love hence they mystified it!
If you are a Christian, born again Christian I mean (not just a church goer) you should not define love according to the definitions of people in the world. There are many teachers in this relationship ministry and many of them don’t understand what they teach. Any definition of love outside of what is written in the Scripture is heresy. It is street theology which is bereft of truth. So, what is love? Hmmm it is so wrong to use ‘What’ for a living being. Love is not a feeling, chemistry and a mystery. Love is a person! So, the proper way to ask is Who is Love? Friends, God is love! (1 John 4 Vs 8). The Bible actually puts it succintly thus;
‘Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love’’
1 John 4 Vs 7-8 (NKJV)
If God is love and you have a relationship with Him, then you can express God kind of love to that special person in your life and to others. Unfortunately many people are entangled in love relationship without having firm understanding of the foundation of love and by extension the true meaning of love. So, how do you expect someone to love you when the person does not have relationship with God (who is love)? How do you want to love genuinely when you do not know God is the foundation and the fountain of love and you even don’t have a relationship with God? That is why the latin word says; ‘’Nemo dat quod non habet’’. No one can give what he does not have!
Philosophers and all kinds of authors have defined love at one time or the other. If their definition of love is not in accordance to what the Bible says, then don’t expect your relationship to last if you live by their definitions. Because the only thing that will stand the test of time is what God says and what He is in!
But how come people who are born again who are in a single relationship still break up? Well, they may not be ordained for each other and it may be that their flesh over ruled the Spirit of God in them. How come a husband and a wife who are both pastors also divorce? Does it mean they don’t have a relationship with God? Good question. They do have relationship with God but the God kind of love cannot be sustained in the flesh. When people live in the flesh, (or any point in time that the flesh takes over in a relationship), anything can happen regardless of who the people concerned are and their titles in the church.
So, how do I live in the Spirit? You live in the Spirit by regular fellowship with God and the brethren including your partner or spouse. By regular reading of the Bible and meditation on the Word and by DOING! By putting what you read and what you are taught to use in relating with one another consistently.
Some people say love hurts. Love that hurts is love that is not defined in God. Love is not a chemistry, neither is it a mystery. Love is a person. God is love! If you have a relationship with God or you meet someone who do, and both of you live by His Word and ask God to sustain you by His Spirit, you will share God kind of love with each other and love unconditionally, infinito!
- Adegboyega ILORI is a life Coach and author.
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