It seems that the trees, lights, and snowmen were hardly put on sale before hearts and chocolates began to overrun the stores. Card aisles are filled to overflowing with sentimental cards which contain words that the givers are most likely not prepared to follow through with. But it's all part of being in "love" isn't it? Have you ever noticed how our culture seems to be so infatuated with the idea of love? Nearly every TV show and movie has some romantic aspect to it. There are many reality shows that are devoted completely to competitive dating of some kind. We have apps and websites that promise to deliver us the man or woman of our dreams, whether they live a few miles away or on the other side of the world. Yet with all of this, how is it that marriage statistics are so deplorable? Why do we see so many affairs and broken homes?

This isn't a new problem however. We read stories in the Bible of Hosea and Gomer and David and Bathsheba. According to the Talmud, in Jesus' time a man could divorce his wife just because she burned his dinner or he found another woman more attractive. But ultimately, couldn't all of these symptoms be a result of our infatuation and search for love? We become dissatisfied and begin to look for happiness elsewhere. Unless we begin to understand the true nature of love, though, we will never discover it. In describing God's love, Paul tells us, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Love is not a feeling. It's not expressed through hearts and chocolates. Love is the choice that God made in giving His Son two thousand years to die for His enemies at their own hand. Love is wasteful, love is extravagant, and love exists whether it is reciprocated or not. Unless we understand the love of the Father and choose to love in the same way, the love we search for will continue to be an elusive dream, forever found in the next person that will make us happy.

Choosing to love as God loves,

Pastor Sutherland

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