Culture, God & Love: Is Love Really All We Need?
It’s something out of a telenovela. You draw close to each other and nothing has ever felt so right. A perfect summer-time breeze enwraps your bodies as you kiss for the first time and you are left breathless. As if that breeze flew away with the air in both of your lungs. While your pupils align and the cheesy sunset catches your peripherals, you manage to grab only one thought out of all the fluttering sentences running through your head. “I think I’m in love.”
As Telenovela as this may be, we all have a variation of this story, whether it be in a college frat house, a bar, a high school party, or an actual beach; we all have some sort of romantic novelty memory that shaped the first time we fell in love. The question is, if we didn’t end up marrying that person…was love really enough?
Love is not enough in it’s societal definition. Society tends to see love as Hollywood movies. “You make me feel this way. And because you make me feel this way, I want to be with you.” This could be anything. Thrills, adventure, adrenaline, butterflies, awkwardness, all of those things are feelings. What tends to happen is that once life gets tough and that goes away, you will hear the same people saying “I don’t know what happened, I just don’t love you anymore. There’s no spark.” This is passion, not love. And passion must be earned and worked to keep. Passion is not all we need.
Love is not enough in it’s physical definition. Sometimes we have an electric connection with someone, whether it be the feeling we get when we kiss them, or the way we feel around them. All of these emotions surge through our body and make us feel a closeness that we’ve never felt before. It becomes harder to leave this person if something goes horribly wrong, even if the person isn’t good for us, or if we rushed into a physical relationship. This is lust. Lust is sex without holiness. Lust is not all we need.
Love is not enough if it’s conditional. We tend to live our lives on a scoreboard sometimes. Picking and choosing when we will show love depending on whether or not our significant other has “met our standards” in that moment. It’s more about how many points we can rack up as opposed to how much we can give. This is not love, this selfishness. And selfishness is not all we need.
Love is only enough if it’s perfect. How can I be perfect man?! You don’t have to be perfect. That’s the thing, you just have to learn about a love that is perfect. Then show that love to your significant other. A love that never fails. And even though one person may fail, the reason love doesn’t fail is because the other person is there to lift them up, forgive them and grow from that experience. Love is long-suffering. Love is there for the good times and the bad. It is there when you may “feel” like you are falling out of love but is not a feeling but an act of building and restoration. This goes in particular for those who are married, but it’s not exclusive to them.
Long-suffering is kind of dated nowadays (kinda like abstinence, but we won’t get into that). People don’t really practice it much but everyone likes to talk about it. Long-suffering is being there through the hardest possible times and knowing that love isn’t all Hollywood-like romance. It’s patience with your partner when others are coming against your relationship. Not turning on each other the minute something bad happens but sticking together like the team you’re supposed to be.
Love doesn’t shy away from knowing the truth. If someone you love, tells you that money is tight, or tells you that they don’t like something you are doing; you can’t get mad at them. You need to understand that because they love you, they are telling you the truth. Understanding their emotions listening to whats beneath the surface is what love really is. It is about giving yourself fully to the other person. It is not about what you can receive in return. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by C.S Lewis:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
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