Thursday, 17 February 2011

What manner of Love ?

The urge to express and receive love is universal
Whatever way it is expressed , most human beings respond favourably to Love , and Love thaws even the most hardened soul.
To some people ,retaining the Love of their dear ones is their most sought after preoccupation; more cherished than all their worldly possessions.
It pays to invest Love in people because , at the end of the day, should we be stripped of everything else , it is people who love us that would be left standing.
Love is to the human psyche as sunshine is to a flower.
The phrase "I LOVE YOU" is one of the commonest statements which is most highly desired by millions , world wide.
Expressions of Love , in words or deeds , are fit for purpose and most desirable to the recipients when they are communicated by a dear one.
The other side of the coin is that the phrase "I LOVE YOU" could be abused, misunderstood, manipulative and expressed with intent to deceive the hearers.

The topic of "Love" ; what it means or entails , is a vast one , on which one could write volumes and not even exhaust it.
Some say , "Love is blind" or "Love is blind, marriage is the eye-opener".
No, Love is not blind , as in "blind ignorance".
Love sees , hears and knows about all the "ugly warts" in the beloved.
But Love doesn't mind the imperfections in the beloved; Love loves unconditionally.
God's love to mankind is the ultimate example of unconditional love , in its purest form. This is Agape or Divine Love.
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us".
Romans 5:8.( NIV)

Agape manifests in all living beings. It is the life - giving power which transforms mere mortals into sons and daughters of God .
Expressions of Love are in diverse forms , namely Love of God , of country , love of fellow men ,children , of parents , of spouses and so on.

Love manifests as Eros; romantic , sexual love between males and females; expressed with emotion , passion and sexual desires ; coupled with deep commitment.
Some say , Eros is God's design to keep mankind copulating and breeding; in order for mankind to "be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth..." Genesis 1:28.
And as such , Eros should be the sole preserve of married couples.
But which happens first , attraction and love for your spouse or marriage ?
Lust is the perversion of Eros; it is selfish , uncaring and fickle.
Some people believe that if Love is felt as a strong , passionate desire , coupled with "dirty thoughts" for the opposite sex , then it is not "love" but "base ,carnal sinful lust", which must be rebuked and purged from the soul, immediately!
Hmmm!
Actually, Love, manifesting as Eros, in the hearts of both single and married couples; could be gentle and tender and it could fierce , strong and consuming.
I heard a joke about a married couple who would kneel beside their bed ,with the wife wearing her long-sleeved, ankle -length and high -neck night dress and the husband fully clothed in his pyjamas and they would pray each time , before making love.
"O Lord , guide us as we do what we are about to do, so that whatsoever we do and say will be holy and acceptable in your sight. As we proceed , please God , in anyway we would sin through our thoughts and actions on this blessed matrimonial bed ,have mercy on us and forgive us. Amen."
Then , they would switch off the lights and fully clothed, go under the sheets; to proceed to "do what they are about to do!"
Some people!
"Lord have mercy on us and forgive us?"
Forgiveness for what?
I bet if you mentioned words like "foreplay", "romance" or "Valentine Day", to a couple like that , they would shout, "Ah ha! Blood of Jesus, Holy Ghost fire!"

Agape manifests in the hearts of humans as charity towards the poor , the sick , the needy, the lonely, the helpless and the dispossessed .
Charity is to the poor and needy like rain upon the mown grass; as showers that water the earth. Psalm 72:6
Love towards our fellow men should be genuine , sacrificial and compassionate.
But when I give to charity groups, why am I doing so?
What manner of love is this?
Is it to make me feel good that I am better off than some people or is because the love of God constrains me to give and uplift others?
When I stand on the pulpit to minister the Gospel , do I see my audience as human beings , worthy of love , compassion and attention; or do I see them in terms of the amount of £s, $s and Euros they are able to donate ?
In our love relationships , are we sincere when we smile at each other and say, "I love you"; or is that just a ploy to lure the other person for a rumble under the bed sheets or to get their favours , their influence and their gifts in cash and kind ?
In church, do we gravitate , only towards people with big names and positions and towards those persons wearing Prada , Gucci, Steiner and Manolos; clutching Blackberry phones and riding " mean steel"?
We kowtow and smile at them , while we give the "and the others", cold stares?
In church ,every Sunday, we sing to welcome new comers: "You are welcome in the name of the Lord ; yes, we love you with the love of the Lord ; may you really be blessed as you fellowship here in our midst"!
What manner of "Love" and "blessings" do we have in store for them in church?

Love is a conscious choice we should make .
This choice is made easier by Grace to enable us love persons whom we perceive as "unworthy" or as "unlovable" .
Also with Grace , get Wisdom.
Wisdom is putting acquired knowledge into practice.
There is a thin line between love and foolishness; between love and madness.
We need Grace to love unconditionally and Wisdom to avoid the pitfalls of the perversions of the Enemy, which he uses to distort the beautiful emotion call Love.
We could err by refusing to love certain persons ; just as we could also get into serious trouble by expressing love to certain persons .
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9.
May we not learn the hard way , how to discern the traps of deceitful and cunning persons who would take advantage of us.
Keep making a choice to give love , even in the face of discouragements.
Life's greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to love until they can move mountains.

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