…"But the Word of God is not chained or imprisoned!" 2Tim. 2:9
The word love has been so tossed around in our world today, that its lost its true meaning. Much like the word, “Christian,” which everyone claims to be, it just doesn’t hold, nor have the same effect on a person when you say, “I love you”. Do you love me?
If we get our meaning of love from Hollywood, you will definitely have the wrong meaning of what love is. People from the movie and cinema world, fall in and out of love so many times, they wouldn’t know love if it hit them in the face like a wet squirrel. To them love is sleeping with the next leading lady of the next movie that I’m in.
Before we discover what love really is, let’s first see what love is not.
Love is not just a feeling that passes over us for a moment and then its gone. Now I’m not saying that love doesn’t have it’s feelings, because it most certainly does. Who doesn’t know and get excited when you experience those warm fuzzy love feelings. It’s all part of falling in love.
Those feelings are never more real and present then when you first meet that very special person. There is something different about this person that you’ve never felt from anyone else before. You not only see them as the most beautiful person in the world, but you do feel that chemical reaction taking place deep down inside.
Notice how many times I said the word felt and feel, because at this very early stage in the love game there are a lot of feelings and emotions that are going on. Now it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re truly in love, nor that this is the right person for you, because all of these kinds of encounters start the same way. It’s what you do in the next few steps that will determine if you have a future with this person or not.
Now what the world and Hollywood teach you do at this point, is jump into bed with this person and have sex. This will determine as to whether you will be happy with them, and if they are the right fit for you. Sex is the means of measure that they take to see if they are really in love. If it’s good sex than they are right for me and, let’s get married. How many marriages, using this philosophy, last in Hollywood today.
Sex and the physical part of a love relationship should never be the determining factor, nor the measuring stick, to see if you’re in love. It should always be LAST thing on the list. Sex is not love.
Once you’ve met someone who you find attractive, sit down with them and talk. Yes, I said talk and listen. Discover who they are, what they like and, what they don’t like. Learn about who this very attractive and intriguing person really is. This is the stage where love’s foundation really starts to form. If you sit and talk for three or four hours and it feels like you’ve only been there for about thirty minutes, you just might be onto something good.
When you find and start to connect with a person on this level, friendship is formed, and that is the solid foundation that love is built on. Do you enjoy being with them? Do you enjoy talking and listening to them? Do you share many of the same things? Now this doesn’t mean that you are going to agree on everything , but you agree on lots more than you disagree on.
The physical part comes in stages. You have to earn the permission of the other person to advance into these physical stages, if you don’t, than you could derail the whole process.
You start by earning the right to even look into the person’s eyes. Think about the level of intensity that this means. There is something physically alluring and intimate when you look deep into someones eyes. If you were to go to the mall and stare at a total stranger, see what kind of results that will bring you. (I don’t advise you to do this)
Next stage is holding hands. After that it’s putting your arm around a person’s waist, and then a very strong bear hold, these are all a part of the physical process that will give you and your partner the strong solid foundation that real love is built on. The kind of love and respect that real love needs to germinate and grow into a strong solid tree, that will last a lifetime for you and the rest of your whole family, that you and your partner will be making together, this is the whole process of falling in love.
If any of these steps are skipped or passed over, there will be consequences to pay. Now don’t fret if you’ve already messed up during this process, who hasn’t? Remember its a process. We all make mistakes and do the wrong thing, but isn’t it wonderful that we have a savior that’s full of mercy and compassion, His love for all of us is new every morning, great is His faithfulness.
I wanted to set these very important steps for all of you to see, whether you are just starting this process or maybe you’ve been in it for quite sometime now. It’s never to late to make corrections and changes that will enhance your relationship.
Love is not just a feeling, it’s a commitment. Once you’ve gone through this process and you’ve married that very special someone, this process doesn’t stop or end. It’s up to you to continue to fan the flames of the passion and the feelings that you started out with.
This is where so many people fail, and why so many marriages end in divorce. We just quit at this point and the other person starts to feel unloved and unwanted. The connection disappears and the long talks that used to last for hours don’t last but one or two minutes, and it’s usually just a set of instructions for something that you want them to do for you.
Have you ever felt unloved? Have you ever lost that person that you so enjoyed being a part of, and now their gone? You’re not alone my friend, because God has felt that very same thing. He knows what you’re going through.
During one of the worst times that Jesus was going through, all of his friends that loved him and had sworn their alligence to him, all ran away and left Him alone. Peter, who was one of His closest friends, even denied that he knew Him. But something took place that would affect Peter and his relationship with Jesus.
Right after Peter denies knowing Jesus, for the third time, Jesus and Peter’s eyes find each other. Remember what I was saying about the intimacy of looking into someones eyes means…listen to what God says about this encounter with Peter.
“And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crows, thou shalt deny me three times. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:61-62
The word, looked upon, means to “fix your gaze upon”. Jesus locked His eyes with Peter and He looked right deep down inside Peter, with His eyes. He knew what was in Peters heart and He knew what Peter’s real intentions were. As you can see, looking into someone’s eyes has a very deep intimate meaning to Jesus.
It affected Peter so much, that he went out and wept bitterly. The word bitterly means violently. In other words Peter went out and he cried uncontrollably and violently.
Even though everyone ran away and left Jesus all alone, to go through this terrible time… alone, He never stopped loving His disciples. He loved them right to the end.
“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end“. John 13:1
Jesus, who is the true measure and meaning of what real love is, loved His disciples and He loves you and me right up to the end, that means always and forever. His love never stops.
Now, after all this, Jesus meets up with Peter and the disciples, on the shore, after He was resurrected back from the dead, and He asked Peter a very pointed question. Peter, do you love me?
“This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:14-17
Everyone wants to be loved. It’s the one thing that we as humans, need and have to have, is love. We can’t survive without it. You know what… God wants it too. God wants your love and devotion also. Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” If you do Peter than feed My lambs.
Love is not only a commitment but it also is an action word. It will always bring you into action. Just like when you fell in love with your spouse and you talked to them, you spent time with them, and you couldn’t stop thinking about them, because that’s what love drives you to do…take action. It should never stop!
Feelings will come and go, feelings will rise and fall, but real love will never fail…real love will continue to grow and it will last forever. God is real love and He loves us with His real love, but we have left Him, and He feels unloved like He did with Peter.
Did Peter love Jesus, yes he did and Jesus knew that, but there was a teaching period that was going on between Jesus and Peter.
How about you? Do you know what real love is? Has your relationship with your spouse been based on the principles and foundation of the truth of love and the author and creator, who is love…Jesus Christ Himself?
My prayer is that you do. Remember that it’s never to late. Read 1 Corinthians 13 to get the total view of what real love is all about.
May God bless you in your endeavor to find and build on the true foundation of love.