Some years ago a popular singer sang a song, “There’s no thing such as love”. Was she right? Some may be tempted to say so. There is so much unkindness, so much deception, cruelty even among those who claim to love each other , also among religious people who claim to love God. It all depends, doesn’t it, on your definition of love. It also depends a lot on your personal, subjective view of love.
Shirley Bassey or the person who composed this song had probably just then been drastically jilted. On the other Jim Reeves, most of whose songs are sad because of his unhappy separation from his wife, never forgot the true meaning of love. It shines through the words, even of his sad songs and especially of his religious songs.
But what is this thing called love? We might well begin by mentioning some of the things which seem like love and and are often called love but are really not love. Friendship, infatuation and lust. In each of these there is an attraction between two people but though infatuation may lead to love and friendship, neither of these and certainly not lust can be identified with love. For love is essentially selfless and each of the above contains elements of selfishness…. Lust of course is entirely selfish. The friendship between a boy and a girl that normally leads to marriage implies a very strong mutual attraction.
Marriage is a complete and exclusive union of two whole persons—soul, mind, feelings,
affections, and body. Necessarily there will also be pleasure not only in the consummation of this union but even in everything that leads up to it. But if this pleasure on the part of either or both is selfish, in so far as it is selfish, it is not love. And the more selfish it is the less chance there is of the permanence of their union and the success of their marriage.
Love again must be distinguished from emotions. These, especially with young people are associated with love and often but incorrectly identified with it. But emotions are passing things; sometimes they pass very rapidly. I remember when I was going to England on board ship as a young lad, there was another boy with me who seemed to find a `flame’ every night. When we got to Aden, he bought the largest box of chocolates he could find for his latest ‘flame’ but by evening when he was to present it, happily for us, other three in the group, he had lost interest in her and at night we bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate his freedom and enjoyed the box of chocolates.
I have said and will have to say it again that love is giving, but it is certainly not merely giving and certainly not just giving things. A gift given in an ungracious way is better not given at all. Love begins when we give something of ourselves.
This Excerpt is taken from the book ‘So you want to get married’ by R.H. Lesser. For more information: Click Me 🙂