Welcome to What’s Love Got To Do With It. The title was used in an old song by Tina Turner years ago. Look over these lyrics with the song and see if you can figure out what the song is about? It doesn’t take long from looking at these lyrics and just about every song, advertisement, movie or TV show to realize that we have equated love with sex. Watch this video and leave comments on how you think love/marriage views have changed in America. Sex, Marriage & Fairytales
What do you feel about the speaker’s words? Values? Beliefs? Is he right? Wrong? Is this view outdated?
How do you define love? How is it that we can use one four-letter word to mean the same thing for feelings of love and affection for our spouses and families and then use that same word for food that gives us indigestion? What is your definition of love?
The scripture is clear and unashamed in discussion of many matters, one of those being love. In fact, the book Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) would have been considered too graphic for young jewish boys to read in their day! Watch this video called Flame by Rob Bell and then join in the discussion lead by the pictures and questions below.
My definition of love would be something like this: A commitment to the betterment of another person. Real love is not based on feelings. Feelings can change in a matter of moments which is why we take vows and make promises to each other. Those vows are not based on feelings but based on decisions of our will. Yet commitment and promises are not highly valued in America any longer. Just look at what companies and businesses offer you today: money-back guarantees, no obligations, no commitments. This mentality has swept through our families and homes like a wrecking ball. Coming from a divorced home and experiencing a divorce after two years of marriage myself, I can speak from my heart and say that when we get the definition of “love” wrong, it really messes things up because “real love” has everything to do with it!
Did you know that many countries around the world do “dating” different? How many of you would like to have your parents pick out your boyfriends or girlfriends? I’m sure you have had this happen before when your parents liked someone else for you that you would not have ever considered; a show on MTV called “Parental Control” was even dedicated to this idea and concept. What these countries and people who are involved in arranged marriages understand is that being married is not about looks, or money or being “in love”. It’s about making a choice to love each other. When we choose to love, which we can do, the feelings will come! How often have you been at home, tired from work or school and not wanted to go to church or some other place you really needed to go? Yet because of your commitment and decision, you pull yourself together and go. Then what happens? You are blessed. You feel more energy. You are glad you did. The same is true about love and commitments to people. It’s not that we are always going to feel like loving or doing the right things. Yet, when we do, even if it’s out of a commitment at first, almost always, our feelings will follow suit.
As you have a better understanding of “love” from the old Hebrew scriptures now, consider which flame tends to be the motivating flame in your relationships. Have you had instances where one flame has dominated or even quenched other flames?
Take a few minutes and read 1 Corinthians 13 and see God and Paul’s definition of real love. Note the qualities mentioned. Also make note of the attributes that are absent from this passage. Use this passage as a way to measure your “love” in your current relationships.
From your past, how have you had to work on all three flames to keep them burning? Is love/relationships more difficult than you thought they were? How have your feelings played in your commitment levels with your friends, spouses and families?
Is it possible to be completely satisfied without all three flames burning at once? God has created us as a body, mind and soul and therefore He desires for us to experience love in that “trinitarian” way. Loving in this way is the way were were created to love and be loved. It is the expression of God through love in our relationships, physically, emotionally and volitionally. We cannot truly love people without God in our lives since God is love. God is the author of love and sex. He has created both and desires for us to be able to burn with passion without getting burned by it. What God desires is for us to burn for Him and allow Him to bring the right people into our lives who will add fuel to our flames.
God has given us feelings, brains and wills to exercise and use for His glory. As we wrap up this session, how have you been doing at loving people in your life? Is one flame consuming you? Are you using people to fuel your fire for your own desires? Or are you burning with passion for God and allowing Him to meet your desires with the right kind of love, affection and passion? Since we are body, soul and spirit, how do we come together as two individuals and love with all three flames? Please feel free to comment on this blog and share your experiences and thoughts with us.