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Thoughts on faith and life at Friendship Church

Falling In Love or Loving Like Christ

Dennis Brown

Most modern people get the idea that the greatest love is "falling in love." It's the love that is celebrated in most pop songs.  Here is a sample: "Baby, Baby, fallin' in love, I'm fallin' in love again. Every day I love you more and more and more. Baby, Baby, fallin' in love, I'm fallin' in love again." (La Bouche).  In actuality, the Bible promises a bigger thrill that is quite different. It is the kind of love that comes from Christ--the kind we are exploring this Sunday in Ephesians 5 when two people are committed to each for the long haul in marriage and find that in Christ there is the ability to love each other well in the good, the bad and the ugly. This quote from C.S. Lewis summarizes all of this very eloquently and so it is worth reading:

People get from books the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on ‘being in love’ for ever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to a change — not realizing that, when they have changed, the glamour will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one. In this department of life, as in every other, thrills come at the beginning and do not last....It is just the people who are ready to submit to the loss of the thrill and settle down to the sober interest, who are then most likely to meet new thrills in some quite different direction.

Here we meet that fundamental conviction that there is a progression: first thrill, then loss of thrill to be accompanied by hard work, then something really good, true happiness. I would also note—along the lines of experiences that all human beings share—This is, I think, one little part of what Christ meant by saying that a thing will not really live unless it first dies. It is simply no good trying to keep any thrill: that is the very worst thing you can do. Let the thrill go — let it die away — go on through that period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow — and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time.... It is much better fun to learn to swim than to go on endlessly (and hopelessly) trying to get back the feeling you had when you first went paddling as a small boy.

This Sunday we explore the thrill that can give way to a deeper thrill when two people love each other the way Christ does His people. You say, "You have no idea what my marriage is like!" Can you imagine what could change if you simply loved another person like Christ loves us?  How might they change in response to the supernatural love you extend? 

Or if you are called to life-long singleness, can you see that the Bible actually lifts up singleness as oftentimes a preferable option. Like Paige Benton said,

"I am single not because I am too spiritually unstable to possible deserve a husband, nor because I am too spiritually mature to possible need one. I am single because God is so abundantly good to me because this is the best for me. It is a cosmic impossibility that anything could be better for me right now than being single."

Christ's love is sufficient for both singles and married people.  Like the little boy in Sunday School who was asked what he was seeing. He said, "Well I think it's a squirrel, but the answer must be Jesus." Yes, married, single, whatever--the answer is always Jesus.