Maybe it's the recent celebration of Valentine's Day (aka Single's Awareness Day/ National Chocoaholics Day/ Binge-on-Ben-and-Jerry's Day/ Couple-Posts-Overload Day) or all the trivial talk about The Bachelor, but the subject of love has been everywhere lately.
My roommate and I had a discussion the other night (roommate convos are the best) about the concept of love and how we've basically botched it as a culture. Here's the ultimate conclusion I came to: so many people have forgotten the real meaning of love.
For example, we (specifically my generation) treat something like sex so meaninglessly and casually. What is supposed to signify the union between a husband and wife is no longer treated as something sacred and pure. It doesn't mean anything anymore. In fact, many would probably laugh at the idea of it being considered "sacred" and "pure." Instead, it's just a way to give into physical passion and temporary pleasure. Here seems to be the mindset: it feels good, so why shouldn't I do it? I can do what I want. Does it mean I actually love this person? Heck no. In fact, I might not even speak to or see them again after tonight.
If this ultimate expression of love has nothing at all to do with love, then that word has been robbed of its depth and magnitude.
Engaging in something that has become so casual and meaningless doesn't provide lasting fulfillment--maybe in the moment you get your gratification, but afterwards emptiness inevitably fills that space. So people have to return to whatever temporary gratification time and time again. It is simply never enough. Think of it like a cup with a hole in the bottom: it always leaks so it has to be constantly refilled. But the leak never stops.
Hear me out-- I don't pretend to know everything there is to know about love, relationships, and romance. But I do know this: the void that so many of us feel is not meant to be filled by anything the world offers, whether that's money, casual sex, alcohol, so on.
We are meant to be filled with the sufficiency of Christ.
The real meaning of love occurred 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ carried the cross that was we were meant to bear. The real meaning of love began with a sacrifice. The real meaning of love is eternal and transforming.
It is always enough.
And I believe that until you allow God to rightfully rule in your life, you will always feel an emptiness. Being a Christian doesn't fix everything, but trusting in God is probably the greatest comfort I've experienced in life, through every storm and every victory.
My hope doesn't depend on other people and neither does my identity. My saving grace is not love and acceptance from others, but from my Savior who desires to carry our burdens on His shoulders. Though we fight our battles here on earth, He has already won the war. How much His heart must break when we reject the price He paid on the cross. And yet He paid it nonetheless, without any conditions or strings attached.
That is returning to the heart of love.