HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, August 12, 2022 – We are to love God with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind and all our strength. That is a Commandment. If we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, we don’t need romantic love. We have no room for it; we have no desire for it; we have no time for it. Romantic love is just another filthy worldly rag that we throw away.
Jesus said that if we don’t hate everyone except God, we’re not worthy of him. What on Earth did he mean by that? He meant precisely what he said: God and God only should be our focus. God and God only should have all our love.
God and God only.
In our all-consuming relationship with God, there’s no room for anyone else. That would be someone coming between us. That would be spiritual adultery.
Jesus did not have a girlfriend or a wife during his time on Earth. He also did not have a boyfriend. All his love he gave to God and God only. To be a follower of Jesus means to be like Jesus in whom we choose to love.
Born-again believers don’t form romantic attachments. That doesn’t mean we’re not still attracted to people or are not attractive to them. I experience both, as temptations. I have no intention of giving into those temptations. A romantic attachment has zero value to me. It’s like I’m standing on the side of a mountain, with the peak within easy viewing range, having reached that point with phenomenal effort over a long period of time, only to have someone call to me from the canyon below to come down and join them. It would be stupid of me to traipse down the mountain to join them, to give up everything I’ve learned and experienced and accomplished over the years for a few seconds of fluttery feels. I can’t think of anything less worth losing grace over than romantic love.
Listen carefully to the words of popular love songs. Imagine that instead of a man singing them to a woman or a woman to a man, demons are singing those words to God. Because that’s what popular love songs are – demons mocking God by claiming to be heartbroken over his rejection of them, and demons inciting people to replace their natural desire to love God with an unnatural desire to love others rather than God, to love created beings rather than the Creator who made them.
Love is only love when it comes from God, the source of all love. Otherwise, it’s fake love. It’s a sham. Most of what people call love is actually a sham. Real love never dies.
When Jesus told us we are to love God more than our family, he was basing his teaching on examples such as Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac and Aaron’s refusal to mourn his sons when they violated their priestly office and were killed for it. There are numerous instances in the Old Testament of people choosing God over their families or their people, even to the point of deserting wives and children. Regardless of the collateral damage, choosing God is always the right choice. It is never wrong to choose God, just as it is never wrong to follow the examples set by Jesus.
Jesus advised us to become eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake. With this, he not only promoted celibacy but the stage beyond celibacy, which is not the denial of sexuality but the dismissal of it. Sexual desire has no value to born-again believers living in the Kingdom, any more than gluttony has any value or coveting has any value. These are all appetites that we leave behind us when we enter the Kingdom. We will be tempted by them, certainly (even Jesus was), but it shouldn’t be any problem for us to overcome them once we identify them as temptations and then lean on God and his Word to strengthen us against them.
When we look to people to give us what only God can give us – perfect loyalty and unconditional love – we will fail in our pursuit. Romantic love is a cheap, imperfect knock-off of God’s love. It is often demon-inspired, and born-again believers have no reason to be involved in romantic love or to seek it out. Yes, romantic love will seek us out (we are lightning rods for the devil’s temptations), but we don’t need to give into it. There is no value for us in romantic love. It is a diversion off the narrow Way and a possible trigger for our fall from grace.
God’s love is all you need. The more you open yourself to God, the more he can satisfy you and fulfill all your God-given need for love. No-one can love you better or deeper or longer or stronger or more unconditionally than God, because God is the source of love. He is love. Love is what he does, and he does it perfectly.
Give God all your love and open your heart to him and him only, and you will have no need or time or inclination ever again for romantic love.