You know how the song goes. It’s the same as all the other love songs. What the world needs now. All you need is love. Love will keep us together. Love makes the world go ‘round. Love is always the answer. Sounds wonderful until reality hits. Our definitions, expressions, and expectations of love are so varied. Human love is highly flawed because, um, well—it’s human.

        Jesus stated that the greatest expression of love is to lay down one’s life for another.  I used to think He was referring to the fiery stake, the coliseum, or the foxhole. That’s awfully convenient thinking for a woman living in tree-lined suburbia. It had taken twenty years of marriage, fifteen years of motherhood, thirty years of Christianity and countless relationships—before I finally began to grasp what “laying down one’s life” looks like. Unfortunately, comprehension does not always produce desired behavior.

     The Apostle Paul made that quite clear. (I do, I don’t, I want, I can’t…)  My love is finite and not always kind (ask Frank). My love is often impatient and prone to outbursts of frustration (ask my kids). My love takes offense and keeps a record of wrongs (ask my friends). My love is often self-seeking and does not naturally look to wash the feet of others (ask my pastor). And as I look around me, I realize I’m not alone. I don’t need to visit a war torn country to observe man’s inhumanity to man. I can watch it at my own dinner table, during the P.T.A. meeting or in the toy section of Target. Once in a while, it can even be observed in the church lobby.     

        With all due respect to the modern oracles of pop culture, the mantra “I will love who I want, when I want, in the way I want…” just doesn’t cut the mustard. A recent magazine article quoted a female icon on her disdain for always doing what other people expect her to do.  She asserted, “I am through with the toxic behavior that forces me to do for others what I choose not to do. I have been delivered from all that harmful guilt. I no longer give anything or do anything or go anywhere unless I want to.”

      Unless she wants to? So much for denying one’s self, picking up the cross, and decreasing so God can increase. I suppose it’s for the best that this star doesn’t have kids. I can’t say changing diapers, standing on sidelines in drizzle, or driving in circles all day are tasks I want to do. The duties and sacrifices involved in marriage also require a large dose of selflessness. And true friendship that is not self-seeking is hard to find. You’re wealthy if you have found one true friendship.

Continue reading this article at “All You Need Is Love (A Biblical Remix) Part II