Friday, 18 January 2013

Love is... Over-used and Under-valued.

Upon face value this statement sounds nothing but cynical and depressing. But think about it. How much do you use the word "love"? We hear it in music, it either is or features in the main plot line of almost every book/theatre production/ TV drama/ film in existance and as if that multitude wasn't enough, it is also used in daily life: "I love this/that" "I am a little in love with..." The list is endless. Has this put paid to us devaluing something powerful and important? Has this changed our expectations of what love should/ could be like?

In 1 Corinthians 13, Jesus describes love as the most powerful and essential thing a person can possess. Without love, everything, from the small gestures, to the grand ones is rendered meaningless. Yet, today it is thrown around all the time, volleyed  back and forth without any real consideration for its meaning or power. This means that when, as a people of God, we are commanded to "love" one another we get so stuck with what this is saying and how this looks practically. 

Love is often portrayed as the soppy romantic kind which belongs exclusively to the genre of cheesy chick-flicks and romance novels. It is shown as the grand gestures, the heart-felt declarations and the happy endings we spend so much of our time devouring (I could just be speaking for myself here). But when we love people, we don't go round declaring our undying love to everyone, and giving chocolate & roses or expensive jewellery to everyone (although those would be welcome in my house). These novels give us an unrealistic expectation of romance and relationships: that once that life affirming "happy ending," is reached love is nothing but good and happy, maybe even easy, from thereon in. 

The constant use of love when referring to objects has weakened the value of it. How can you really "love" cheese/chocolate/alcohol? Is it that great? It confuses the definition and takes power away from the word. I am guilty of saying I "love" things a lot, even though I probably just really like them.

People are precious and beautiful and love is used to express the strong need and desire to make those you care about most happy, and to be the best person you can be for them. How can you attribute the same word to describe this emotion to something as trivial as chocolate?

So here is my challenge: Next time we say "love," be careful. It holds real power and thus we need to use it wisely.

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