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What is Love?

As with most issues, there are two schools of thought here. One is the Roman, or “Romantic” idea and the other the Hebrew view.

The romantic view of love says that it is a chemical reaction that you have no control over. I find this an insulting idea. 
“I wouldn’t choose to love you, but my hormones make me.” 
Yuck.

“I will love you forever.” 

This promise can never be made with the Roman view. There is never a guarantee someone else won’t come along who stimulates your hormones more. Or that you will quit eating green beans and it was the chemicals in them that caused the chemical reaction of love.

This idea reduces love to nothing more than an uncontrollable, unstable emotional reaction.
If this view is correct, than so are those who believe in sex before and outside of marriage, divorce for any reason, homosexuality, polygamy, bestiality, pedophilia, necrophilia, rape, theft, etc.

If our “love reaction” is out of our control, than we have no right telling anyone that they can’t love anyone or anything they “want to,” though of course they aren’t “wanting to.” Their chemistry tells them they must, poor souls. What the pedophile really needs is more understanding.

 

What does this do to the Gospel Story?

Christ gave Himself on the cross because His hormones and chemicals made Him love us whether He wanted to or not. He was forced by biology to die to save us. Is that what your Bible says?

We don’t have a choice to love God or not? It is just chemistry and some have and some don’t? Those who don’t? Tough stuff – you’re going to hell, through no fault of your own since it is not in your genetic make up to love God.

This totally eliminates the idea of sin, of course. “Sin” becomes doing what your uncontrollable chemicals tell you to do (rape, steal, murder, lie, adultery, fornication of all kinds, etc.). It then becomes evil to condemn anyone of any sin.

Except to condemn someone is just a chemical reaction too. This means some people are just biologically destined to hate certain others, because, after all, hate and love are the same chemical reaction, just opposites on the scale. Why bother to ever try to achieve peace anywhere? It won’t do any good. Whites are biologically programmed to hate blacks, Muslims and Germans to hate Jews, North Irishmen to hate South Irishmen, etc. They are destined by genetics to hate each other.

 

 

The Hebrew Idea

The Hebrew idea of love is that it is a choice, a decision.

“I choose to love you forever no matter what (or who) comes along.”
This is the love God had for us. He chose to love us, even though we didn’t deserve it. He could have chosen to hate us, but He didn’t.

Christ gave Himself on the cross of His own free will. 
“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” Mat 26:53. 
Christ COULD have chosen not to die on the Cross, but He didn’t. He CHOSE to love us enough to WILLINGLY give Himself.

God chose what would be called sin in the Bible by what would harm those He chose to love. Every listed sin would either harm the sinner or another human God loved. Every one.
So what does this do to our list of “loves” above?

It makes them all sins of not believing God and His design; of thinking you know better than God what is good for you.

You know better whether premarital sex will hurt you or not, not the all-seeing, all knowing God who said it would.

You know better if molesting little children harms them or not, not the eternal “Father to the fatherless” who said it was evil and deserved execution.

The romantic idea of love and its results are, when it comes right down to it, worship of humanity as the most intelligent power on earth. God just doesn’t understand or is too stupid to know what's best.

I believe when we are picking a mate, we should focus, not on how many flip-flops our heart does when they walk into a room, but on how that person meshes with us religiously, mentally, in their personal goals, in their humor; how would we do as a team in accomplishing God’s goals for marriage- to show His relationship with the church and to raise up godly children?

The truth is that emotions are fleeting things that come and go in the best of relationships. 

When we decide, in the Hebrew manner, with our intellect, to love (an action verb) someone, we have done something beyond acting like an animal in heat. We are acting like thinking human beings. We make an intelligent commitment.

 

What about sexual attraction?

That is based on chemistry; however, studies have proven that the chemistry of the human brain can be changed by psycho therapy.

In other words, the decisions you make in your life control the chemical make up of your brain, not the other way around.

If a woman finds a “bad boy” stimulating and chooses to focus on that type of man, she will find herself very un-attracted to good men. She will also find herself abused and alone.

Does a pedophile not have a choice whether or not to be turned on by little kids? If he chooses to find the idea repulsive, in time, his body will catch up and not respond sexually to children. He may never be able to heal enough to be turned on by women his age, but he can change his chemical reaction to children.

An alcoholic can choose to be appalled by alcohol. In time, his chemical cravings will lesson until he no longer craves the stuff (though he won’t heal enough to be able to be a social drinker.)

The woman who “must” sleep around with every Tom, Dick and Harry, can, if she chooses to, teach her brain to only be turned on by her hubby.

I believe most men are sexually/chemically attracted to most women. This doesn’t mean it is beyond their control to be monogamous, or even celibate if they decide they need to be. It certainly won’t be easy, but it can be achieved; but only with the decision to do so.

The brain must lead, not the emotions. We can control who or what we are attracted to.