Does love hurt?

Taylor Swift during tour. "You belong with Me"

Taylor Swift during tour. “You belong with Me”

“The only love worth being in is the love worth singing about.”

Taylor Swift

There you have it. Love as a song. Forget serious, intelligent discussion on the subject.  Swift shows us how to put love onto lyrics and pocket millions in the process.  Wanna bring up love for deep psychological and philosophical analysis, good luck finding a sold out audience.  The lofty theme of love more often than not doesn’t sail beyond the music of famous rocks stars.  We like to keep it that way.  We want our love to be spontaneous and unreflective, a thing one falls into.

But as Swift succinctly put it, “things that fall break, so I rather be in love. ” Good enough. However, I want to observe that gravity doesn’t have the same effect on Humpty Dumpty, that it does on love.  Falling in love hurts, not due to love’s inherent nature, but because being in love is perilous when embodied in a finite, fallen human will.  Danger lurks when we cling to others. The risk of rejection and betrayal are all too well documented in everything from tabloids, novels, and real life.  Like every good thing in life, love can be corrupted and corrupting.  There is love to get my way, love in order to receive sex, money, and promotions.  Love hurts because unscrupulous human beings turn it into a tool for manipulation.  As a means to an insidious end, love leaves myriad victims in its wake. Love of this nature carries terrifying prospects.

Fatalism isn’t the prerogative of love, mind you.  In its true essence, love doesn’t hurt.   If we subscribe to a God of perfection, beauty, and of truth, it follows that his gifts are also beautiful, true, and perfect.  And so it goes that God’s dissertation on love has not a trace of malice.

Love is patent, 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 records 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.”   I Corinthians 13:4-8. ( All quotations are from the NIV version of the Bible).

Looking at it from a proper frame of reference, rejection hurts, betrayal hurts, abandonment hurts, so does manipulation and self-centered convenience.  It is unfortunate that we find eagerness to recruit love as a tool for malignant conspiracies against those we are supposed to love, whether be parents, friends, children, or spouses.  Love is anti deconstruction.  Love at its most fundamental nature, grants life, not death:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16.

God is love. Poets and philosophers and psychologist have yet to improve on the bounty of its beauty and goodness.  Sure enough, love poems and the songs are more than competent in soliciting tears and laughter, but only God’s love, his AGAPE love, endows us with life.  God’s love has a human face to it.  It is called Jesus Christ.  Jesus represents the embodiment of love.  Love is a person, not a thing.  When we are possessed of him, we are empowered to be as he is, self-sacrificial, generous, accepting, forgiving. We mortals can not quite become prodigious  lovers until God’s love envelops us.   Absent his grace towards us, we will hurt, and we will device ways to use love as an instrument of pain.

The only kind of love worth being in is the love of God.  His love should enhance,rather than subtract from our singing. Absent God’s grace, all our songs lyrics will spin cynisism and pesimism on demand, and make more singers famous.  Love in this instance, wont let up on hurting us. Being in love is better than falling into it, but that being in love has gotta be the right kind of love, the enduring, sacrificial, and unconditional love that is able to put us, in the lyrics of Humpty Dumpty, back together again.

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