God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:16

Dear readers,

 

why does love end? This question was explored by the Israeli sociologist Eva Illouz from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In a newspaper interview with WELT * she tells us that much is written about the beginning of a love. But rarely anything about the end. Love for her means the "consumption of an emotion". She thinks that feelings are  commercially available today as new clothes or new shoes, like a new car or a new smartphone. What we do want to possess creates feelings in us. And when the feelings are gone? Then I am looking for something new again. Because I want to have new and beautiful feelings.

Is love really a consumption of emotions? Well, I don´t think so! It would be a horrible view  if God's love would be like this and I am really glad that God does not love me this way! Because in this case, he would have replaced me with something else long ago. If God would depend  on such feelings, then I would have no chance to expierence his love.

 

 "God is love," writes the apostle John (1 John 4:16). What kind of love is this, with which God loves human beings?  It shows up in the Lord Jesus Christ. He who sees the Son of God sees God's love. He who listens to the Son of God hears God's love.

 

This love is immortal. It stays forever. The apostle Paul says it like this: "Love never fails.” (1.Cor. 13: 8). Human emotions can change, even stop. But not true love. Romance, sexuality, erotic, they can come to an end. But does that mean that love has to end? I think no. "Be patient, bearing  one another in love" writes Paul (Ephesians 4: 2).

 

Love each other by staying patiently together. With gentleness, with humility. This is a high bar beyond romantic feelings! To endure the "dear" fellows, who are not quite as gracious as I am. Who in my eyes are not worthy of being loved.

 

This love is the basis for a functioning relationship. Love that can endure the other person becomes sustainable. It endures the changes that are constant in our relationships. It  lovingly carries the spouse in times of illness. It  affectionately carries the failed child through a crisis. Love  accompanies others in their high-altitude flights and stays with them in the depths of suffering. The Other remains valuable, lovable. Loved. He or she is consequently not interchangeable.

 

Love is as strong as death, and passion is irresistible,  Solomon writes in his “Song of Love” (Song of Solomon 8: 6).

 

That's how I know God: He loves passionately! His love is even stronger  than death. Death could not extinguish the love of God –Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ defeated death on Easter morning. He has risen to new, everlasting life. Those who put their trust into him today , will forever be his beloved children.

Jesus Christ is perhaps not love at first sight for most people(I suspect). It is probably unsusual but let´s compare love for  Jesus  with a ship!  Imagine, you are standing at a quayside in a harbor. On the horizon you can see a ship. It is still very far away. But slowly it sails closer, is getting larger. Contours of love become visible. Then finally the ship has arrived. The love of God is beautiful and unimaginably great. And God asks you to come on board. To be with him for a lifetime. To stay aboard forever.

 

The love of God is not like a dream ship. The one who realizes the Lord  Jesus Christ with his arms outstretched, knows, he is expected and he is  loved. But the love of God only takes place in life for those who expect it. Like with a ship in the harbor.

 

Jesus Christ, thank you for loving me.
Let me live each day as your beloved person.
Let me pass on your love to others every day.
Let your love in me grow larger than my feelings.
Dock into
 my life like a ship in the harbor.

Amen.

 

* WELT of 20.10.18, p. 29

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