What Is Love?

by Sean Perron
by Sean Perron

Love is in the air – or is it?

There has been a lot of talk recently about what love is and who has been hindering it. Politicians are coming out about it and the courts are getting ready to come down on it. A recent tweet from the President reads, “Every American should be able to marry the person they love. #LoveIsLove”

This sounds like a good hashtag. It seems legitimate on one level. Who would dare hinder true love from being complete? Why would anyone stand in opposition to love? Wouldn’t it be hatred to oppose love?

The problem is that love is not up for a vote. Love is not play-doh to be smushed into any shape we want. Love cannot be determined by popular consensus, humanity, or any political party.

The problem with the “Love is love” motto is that it actually distorts love.

The good news is that we can define love. We can answer the question. There is hope in the world because love actually exists and is not up for debate. “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

God is love and he is the one who defines the term. We should also note that it is of paramount importance that we get love right. The one who does not love does not know God.

If God calls something evil, then it is unloving to support it. If God calls something good, then it is hatred to oppose it.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

God has called homosexuality a sin and his definition is not outdated. It is not the unpardonable sin, but it is nonetheless a sin. (Rom 1:24-27; 1 Tim 1:10) God has called marriage good and requires the marriage bed to remain undefiled. (Heb 13:4)  To place sin into the marriage bed is opposing the very author and definer of love Himself – God.

The stunning reality of this whole ordeal is that Love took on human flesh and died a brutal death for sinners. Jesus is the embodiment of love and he bore the wrath of God for anyone who would turn from their sin and believe in His name. Jesus is not afraid of any sin – including homosexuality. He took the terrible wrath of God full on when he died upon the tree. He rose victoriously from the grave to offer forgiveness to anyone who would turn from their sin and believe.

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived:neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed,you were sanctified,you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

What is love? It is God extending mercy to anyone who will call upon his name. It is telling others about what God has done and what he says about the world. It is upholding truth, mercy, and justice in accordance with God’s Word.

What is hatred? It is distorting love and defining it however we feel. It is opposing truth, beauty, goodness, and God’s created order. It is rejecting the good news of Jesus for sinners.

If we become the arbiters of marital love, then we can make it into whatever we desire. We can “love” a man, woman, child, cat, or all of the above. The possibilities are only bound by our options.

But there is more at risk than crumbling our society. If we appoint ourselves as the captain of our own love boat, we will either shipwreck or remain drifting at sea. In the effort to obtain “love”, we will actually miss it. We will seek our own desires but never be satisfied.

The call of the hour is to lay down every sinful desire and run to the loving arms of God.

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