Updated on August 6, 2013
Do You Believe In Love?
The film Mirror Mirror (2012) was a reimagined version of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs fairy tale featuring Julia Roberts, Nathan Lane, Sean Bean, and Lily Collins as Snow White. In the closing scene, the adorable Lily Collins performs a Bollywood-esque dance to her song titled “I Believe In Love.” The song is about romantic love, Snow White getting the prince, and of course ridding the kingdom of the evil queen.
If you missed the movie, here is the video of the closing scene. It really is a catchy little tune.
You are probably wondering where the heck I am going with this blog post. Stay with me, and I promise that I will connect all the dots.
In my career, I have watched hundreds of films. Many of these have featured romance, or love, as part of the story. Unfortunately, far too often the love that is celebrated in entertainment is not the type of love you want to believe in. Let me explain.
At its core, romantic love is selfish. It is conditional, based on what it can get in return. It does not like commitment, and will move on when it gets tough, or if the grass appears greener somewhere else. In a culture where relationships are built on romantic love, its no surprise that failure is far too common. And its not that difficult to imagine why so many people simply avoid commitment, knowing that most of their physical and emotional needs can be satisfied without the responsibility of a relationship. But as a very wise man once said, there can be no love without commitment, and no commitment without love.
And it should be no surprise that life does in fact imitate art. Try finding a romantic comedy that does not include lies, or deception, a problem far too common in real life. There should be no deception in love. Truth and love should be partners in any relationship.
Is There A Love That Is Worthy Of Your Faith?
There is nothing wrong with romance and attraction. But that type of love, and those types of feelings, will not be the firm foundation you need to build a committed relationship. You need a love that is spiritual, eternal, and cannot fail. This is not a feeling, but a supernatural force that can change you into a reflection of Love Himself, who is Truth.
In the New Testament, a type of love is described using the Greek word Agape. This has been translated many different ways – love, charity, goodwill, and mercy, among many others. But none of those words truly do it justice. Agape is the God-kind of love. In fact, John comes out and proclaims that God IS Love (1 John 4:16). Knowing this fact, if we can define love, we can catch a glimpse of the nature of God. Paul provides some assistance in this area.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. — 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 <NIV>
From this passage we see that love is so much more than a temporary attraction, or butterflies in your stomach. This is just a few verses from the Bible. If you take your time, and rightly divide Scripture, you will see that the entire Bible is one long love letter, a revelation of God, who IS Love. But this passage barely scratches the surface. Note the following verse.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16 <NLT>
In the beginning, God created everything. When the angels rebelled, the world that existed before was destroyed. God wanted family, because Love craves fellowship. And Love is a creative force. In Genesis 1:2, you see Love in action – speaking the world back into order, releasing His Light and recreating the plants and the animals. And then He created man in His very image, crowning them with God’s Glory, and giving them dominion over the Earth. But Satan, who had been deposed earlier, came into the Garden and deceived Eve, causing these first humans to sin and be cut off from their Creator. This broke God’s heart. But He already had a plan to restore man. The entire Bible is the story of this restoration project, working through the authority given to man. Even the fallen angels are created beings, so God has to take responsibility for their actions, and provide justice for all.
With that in mind, John 3:16 makes so much more sense. Go SO LOVED His creation, that He gave HIMSELF to pay the penalty for all sin. You almost stagger at the thought of such love. When a crime is committed, someone must pay the penalty. When you rebel against the Creator, that price is beyond human capacity. There was no sacrifice, no gift, and no service, that man could offer that would satisfy Eternal justice. Jesus willingly paid that price and suffered once for all sin – past, present, and future. All reconciliation with the Creator requires now is for man to accept Jesus as Savior, as full payment for all sin. To show how merciful God really is, He still gives you the choice. Its a free gift. And He will protect your choice all the way to Hell, all the time desiring that you choose LIFE, that you choose HIM!
We know God is Love. And we know that He has provided a way for you to be reconciled to Him by believing in His Son Jesus. But are there any other benefits of this relationship?
God is Light. There is no darkness in Him. A relationship with God through Jesus allows you to escape the darkness that is in the world and enjoy the light. The Light is Good! The Light frees you from Satan’s control, and allows you to walk confidently in life and not stumble. And even if you stumble, the Light of life can cleanse you. (Genesis 1:1-4; Psalm 18:28, 27:1; John 1:1-10, 8:12, 12:35-36; 2 Corinthians 4:1-7; Ephesians 5:1-14; 1 John 1)
God is Peace. A relationship with God through Jesus, does bring Peace, reconciliation, and fellowship. But don’t reduce this to just an absence of conflict. Think of the Jewish word Shalom – nothing missing and nothing broken. Consider the Peace that comes from not worrying about your needs, or about keeping up with your neighbors, or taking offense. Its a calmness, a confidence, and a rest that comes from knowing Love. The Lord is the GOOD SHEPHERD that abundantly supplies all your needs. Being free from the agitations, strife, and worries of life, gives you more time to spend with your Heavenly Father, to minister love to others, and to accomplish the GOOD plan He has for your life! (Deuteronomy 28:1-13; Psalm 23, 29:11, 119:161-168; Isaiah 26:1-4, 53:4-5; Matthew 6:19-34; John 14:22-31, 16:33; Romans 8:6; Philippians 4:7)
God is Joy. Joy is a spiritual force that gives muscle to your faith. It is your strength! It allows you to praise God when unbelievers are having a pity party. The enemy will attempt to steal your joy with persecution, bad reports, or temptation. But none of that works because it cannot penetrate the wall of joy. The devil can only tempt you with earthly, common things. Joy is a spiritual force, beyond his capacity to engage. Joy is built upon a solid knowledge of the Word, and God’s Word CANNOT fail. Joy sends the enemy into confusion, because there is no joy in him. Joy, Love, and Peace work together, taking you through any adversity. You can pray with confidence in the name of Jesus, joyfully knowing that you will receive what you ask. (Nehemiah 8:9-12; Psalm 16; Isaiah 35; John 15, 16:17-33, 17; Romans 14:17-18; 15:1-13; James 1:1-7)
God is Truth. You are quick to trust an attorney, counselor, friend, or doctor, but why not trust the Creator of the Universe? He is Truth. He can’t lie. Every Word from His mouth has a divine purpose and cannot fail. His Words are Spirit and Life! If God says something, that settles it. You can take it to the bank, and His bank will never fail, and His check will never bounce. The world cries out for truth, and someone they can trust because there is no truth in Satan, the father of lies who rules the world by deception. All you need to do is open the Word, and spend time with your Creator. You can know Truth, and it will make you free! (Joshua 21:45; Psalm 89:33-35, 119:160; Proverbs 3:1-6; Isaiah 26:1-4, 55; Matthew 7:24-29; Luke 6:46-49; John 8:12-58, 14:1-31, 17:1-26; Ephesians 4; Hebrews 4, 6:13-20; 1 Peter 1:13-25)
Seeing a few more sides of Love makes a much more compelling picture. And it makes it more obvious why failure is not an option. Simply put, God cannot fail. His plan was to spiritually recreate all those that accepted the free gift of salvation so they could have fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are made in God’s image, designed to be an imitator of Jesus Christ, Love personified. You are to bear spiritual fruit. That is not possible without a heart (spiritual) transplant.
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. — Galatians 5:16-26 <NIV>
Why do you suppose that “there is no law against” the fruit of the spirit? Because those attributes describe God. The Believer has been given freedom through Jesus. The Law exists to reveal sin and lead people to realize they need a Savior. For Believers, that decision has been made. The sinful nature was crucified with Jesus on the cross. You have freedom to enjoy God’s fruit, and as Jesus did, share the Blessing with others. You can be confident in God’s promises and provision in your own life, so you can turn your attention to the needs of others.
Now let’s go back to the topic of relationships for a moment. Imagine two people who have crucified their sinful nature. They are enjoying and producing much spiritual fruit. You can see how much more powerful and committed a relationship between these two would be compared to anything the world could ever produce, or even Hollywood imitate. But there is one last piece of the relationship puzzle to consider.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” — Genesis 2:18 <NLT>
You can see the importance of marriage in God’s statement. He knows the hearts and minds of everyone, and wants to be involved in every relationship. If you read the Bible, you will note that God rarely played a direct role in matchmaking. This verse makes it so clear how much He wants to be involved. You can see His concern for Adam, and that He knows exactly what type of woman would be perfect for him. But would you expect anything else from Love?
People do everything humanly possible to find a relationship, but ignore their Heavenly Father in one of the most important decisions of their life. And only when things go catawampus, will there be a few frantic prayers offered, or even worse, God will get blamed for what went wrong.
God knows what is Good. He knows what you need and like in a partner. He knows what the future holds for everyone. Wouldn’t Love Himself be able to guide you in such a critical life decision?
And even if you are already in a committed relationship, God can make it so much better. Let Love come in and free you from strife and wipe out all unforgiveness. God forgets your sin, why would you hang on to those past offenses, especially from someone you love? When you step out of love, admit it, quit it, and forget it. See God as your source instead of your spouse. That takes the pressure off of both of you, and sets you free from fear, doubt, worry, and the resentment game. Love will bring Peace, Joy, and Truth to your home. Love will make you a better parent, child, friend, employer, employee, husband, and wife. Love is most important in any relationship.
Everything starts with faith in God. Trusting in Jesus and what he did for you on the cross. And finally, believe in Love. Not romantic feelings, but Love Himself!
Do you believe in Love? — He believes in you!