Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
In her song Landslide, Stevie Nicks contemplates the nature of love–romantic love, I always thought. But today, for the first time, I thought about those lyrics in the context of Christian love. As I explained in a previous post, I believe that contemporary music, whether intentionally or not, contains many more religious references than we realize. In fact, I recently heard a preacher, Dr. Charles Stanley, if I recall correctly, deliver a message around Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel, another iconic song I’ve heard so many, many times and never once imagined any reference to God’s love.
When thinking about romantic love, many people think of 1 Corinthians. It’s a favorite choice for wedding ceremonies, and with good reason:
Corinthians 13:7-8 New International Version (NIV)
7 Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails…
Imagine a love like that in the context of marriage! It is a worthy goal, not just for a marriage but for any close relationship. But what then of our relationships with co-workers, casual acquaintances, or even strangers? The Bible clearly instructs us to love all others–not just our family members. How then do we apply the concept of love to all others? It can’t mean a romantic relationship with every other person in the world! Looking closely at 1 Corinthians verse 7-8, there is no attribute of love that cannot be applied to any relationship.
Personally, I define Christian love as wanting God’s best for another person, even if that means personal sacrifice. Ah, now that’s a concept that can be applied to any and all relationships. Of course I want God’s best for my husband and for my kids and grandkids. The stretch is wanting God’s best for every other person, even if it means personal sacrifice. This is the reason I bother to share these thoughts, even though I know there will be many that disagree and perhaps some that will regard the idea as ridiculous and outdated. Nevertheless, I ask you to consider the meaning Christian love has for you.