I was just free for the very last day of the festive season. Nothing to do, I flipped through the Bible and just popped up with the idea of finding verses for Valentine’s Day. Again, Love becomes a hot topic!
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.”
– Romans 12 : 1 – 10 –
“Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.”
– Romans 13 : 9 – 10 –
The Bible just widenned the definition and the scope of Love. People have different ways of expressing their Love. But one of the way to realize true love is through sincerity. How can you feel loved if somebody who says “I love you” with fierce eyes? Sincerity is shown through care, attention and everything that makes someone comfortable with its existence. And don’t just love yourself, love you neighbor! How can we define “neighbor” then? In a sermon 2.5 years ago, “neighbor” was defined as “Everyone around you, regardless if they’re your mom, dad, brother and sister, friends or even strangers“. Show them love! Don’t be afraid! At this point, I guess everyone will just take a minute to sit down and think for themselves, “Am I just so selfish?“
Another term “brotherly love” seems to stir up curiosity amongst lots of us. What is brotherly love? From what I’ve learnt, “brotherly love” is the love in which we love each other like brothers and sisters in one house. We should not treat each other with disrespect. Instead, we should “make up our mind not to put any stumbling block in our brother’s way” and “build him up” (Romans 14). And therefore, we will “Live in harmony with one another and not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position and not be conceited” (Roman 12:16).
Hence, from what the Bible taught me, there are so many kinds of love. But in general, no matter who you are, let’s put aside all jealousy, enviness, hatress and regrets and live up our life with full of love because according to the Bible:
“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the day time, not in the orgies and drunkeness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”
– Romans 13 : 12 – 14 –
Aren’t these words startling you? To be honest to self, sometimes we are just so “drunk” with greed, bad deeds just to gain unreal fame. Fame is good, to me, if we do something good for ourselves and for others. Of course, we aren’t perfect as we’re human beings and mistakes are everywhere for us to make. We hurt others yet indirectly hurt ourselves. Thus, learning to forgive is another part of Love, because “Love must be sincere“. When we carry hatress in our hearts, it is no longer in love. And trust me, peace only comes to heart when we forgive and move on. We can fall several times but can never lie there forever. Sometimes, we just feel like we must crawl back to our protective shell and lick our wounds. Time will heal but if we can confront the pain, it will go by even faster. In the end, all we want is the peace to stay back with us, don’t we?
Human relationships are the most complicated ones that we can’t understand or fully understand at times. Very often, we start wondering “How could he/she treat me that way? I’ve been so kind/nice to him/her! Why me?” and even more often we think “Why can’t I get what she/he’s having?“ and it comes to comparison. Subsequently, we start feeling jealous and envious with the others since they have what we don’t. Jealously or enviness can kill a friendship through time. We are too busy to chase our jealous dreams and forget that we also have something that they don’t. Each of us is special, in God’s eyes. Why don’t we just “accept one another” (Romans 15 : 7)? Very difficult, in deed, very difficult! We learn it through times, through mistakes and pain. And again, reconciliation only takes place when we forgive each other.
Am I talking too much of nonsense?
Can we talk about something hotter? Something that has been a superbly hot concern amongst the youth… Love and Sex… Ah! Now it’s getting hot in here…
If you think that we can’t mention about the correlation between love and sex in the Bible (as the Bible is supposed to be pure and problem-free), you’re wrong. You’re completely wrong. The Bible discussed a lot about this correlation between Love and Sex. I’ve learnt about different stages of Love and Courtship (included Sex) in an exciting youth sermon also 2.5 years ago when I was just 23 years old. Psychologically, there are several stages of a relationship and some are just as confusing as our hearts are.
1. Crush: our hearts feel so attached to someone from the very first look. Some mistake it with love, especially teenagers, who have no experience about love and human exposure just yet.
2. Infatuation: our hearts and bodies feel a strong desire of intimacy with the others as we look and expose to them. We only want to be close to that person, physically. Some may feel that they can’t live without that person. A lot of us mistake it with love (including me. I’m not perfect and totally wise, mind you!) and that leads to a whole series of fraudulent actions with great/serious consequences.
3. Love: our hearts and bodies feel a strong sense of belonging all physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Love happens when we think about others with pure motive and tend to give out everything without expecting any returns. Some die for the one they loves (of course for great cause but not stupid heroic wannabe purposes) in certain circumstances and that is the greatest evidence of love. In the Bible, Jesus died for us on the cross even though we condemned Him, tortured Him, crucified Him, etc…
Sex is a vital and also the final component of love, apart from feeling, emotion, belonging sense, devotion, commitment, etc… Sex is important as it is the highest stage when:
“For this reason, the man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh“
– Ephesians 5 : 31 –
Talking about love and sex, we are actually concerned about 2 main categories: physical side and emotional side. When the physical side is stronger, sex will find it easier to pay us a visit. And trust me, once sex visits, it won’t leave us that easily. When the emotional side is stronger, we tend to share more about our feeling, emotion and devote to care about each other’s feeling more.
But that’s not enough, at least for me. It won’t be too much when lots of poets claimed that a couple in love have the hearts which beat the same rythme. One of my friends, a girl, said that when she found her better half, she put her ear against his chest and got so surprised that his heart beats the same rythme with hers. And the heart beats just made her so comfortable and safe. How amazing!
Compatibility comes to the picture because it’s actually the fundamental platform for a relationship. We must have something in common to start a friendship and then develop it to a courtship. Liking a movie together, loving to eat a dish together, reading a book together, listening to a song together, walking together, wearing the same brand of outfits, etc… Those things help us regconize each other and want to spend more time with each other. Similarity, as well as difference, triggers our curiosity. I myself when coming across with someone who love the same song like I do, I usually look at that person and want to talk to him/her about “Why do you like that song?”.
You know, compatibility, together with devotion and commitment, helps a relationship last longer as we understand each other better. It’s also a foundation for what we’ve called “a soul mate”. We share our souls. Soul mates are not necessarily our spouses but can be our very close female / male friends. It would be best if our soul mates turn to be our life partners one day. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that happens? And it will definitely spectacular if 2 soul mates come to each other and make love. I haven’t experienced it yet but I believe it will be the most memorable moment of my life.
I don’t know much about other girls / women but I myself never like to play a role of a follower. I need a life-partner who can lead me sometimes when I feel like getting out of track, who can walk with me during the long and tough journey, who can share with me every minute of ups and downs, who can become a pillar of strength for me to lean on whenever I am about to fall, who can be so mad at me when I am stubborn but then can forgive me and laugh with me again… Well, love is a two-way relationship which requires 2 hands clap at once. And it comes to the final verses which are also my favourite:
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, 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.
Love never fails.
But where there are prophecies, they will cease;
where there are tongues, they will be stilledl;
where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
– 1 Corinthians 13 : 4 – 8; 13 –
No poem can compare with these words, I feel. But before my better half comes, I will have to show “brotherly love” to my “neighbors” as God has taught us to “Love one another“. Valentine’s Day is not only for couples, it’s also a reminder for us to express love to whom we are supposed to.
To end this entry, let’s celebrate Valentine’s Day with the very last verses about the value of LOVE.
“If I speak in the toungues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
– 1 Corinthians 13 : 1 – 3 –