THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD PHENOMENON
CHUKWUMA CHRISDON ATTAH
is no strange word to any youth. In fact, love is one of the most
frequently used English words among youths. According to Thomas
Merton, "The subject of love is one that cannot be evaded.
Whether or not you claim to be interested in it, from the moment you
are alive you are bound to be concerned with love, because love is
not just something that happens to you: It is a certain special way
of being alive. Love is, in fact, an intensification of life, a
completeness, a fullness, and a wholeness of life." Love has
been given diverse interpretation by diverse scholars but for the
scope of this article, I shall approach love from the Christian
perspective. I shall adopt the biblical meaning of love thus: God is
love. If the scripture claims that God is love, does it mean that the
ungodly has no love in them?
understand love is to understand the person of Jesus Christ, who is
love. There is no unadulterated interpretation of love outside
Christ, who is the author of true love. Notwithstanding the flawed
coat this all important virtue (love) wears, affection, commitment
and passion are it hallmarks.
true love is in Christ while false love is in "Christians". Jesus
Christ so loved the Christians even prior to their being Christians
that he decided to die for them. That is to say that Christ loved us
when we have not shown him any sign of love. True lovers are not your
companions in times of comfort, abundance and riches. Discover your
true friends and lovers during hard times because "calm sea doesn't
make a good sailor". True love must not be reciprocated. If someone
only shows you love when you must have done the same, think twice.
For the sake of love, Christ abandoned his throne in heaven, took the
form of man, a creature he created, and was incarnate of a poor
virgin. True love must be sacrificial. If the person that tells you I
love cannot sacrifice anything for you, then look before you leap.
True love must be humble. It should not proud as to always discuss it
possessions frequently. Humility is an attribute of love without
which love may be difficult to practice. True love relinquishes
position for the sake of the loved. God made man, humbled himself,
came down from heaven to earth for the salvation of mankind. Love is
developed. According to Sam Keen "Love
isn't finding a perfect person. It's seeing an imperfect person
cap it up, He (Christ) died for our sins. He died to forgive our
wrong doings. He had the power to avoid death, but he chose to die
because of His love for his followers. Love is not all about
merriments. To love someone is to suffer misunderstanding, hardships,
etc from the loved. To love is to suffer and endure. Generosity and
kindness is an act of love.
contemporary Christians have responded to the love He rained on us by
reducing Christianity to cash and carry affair. The love relationship
between most Catholics and Christ is that of sin-confession routine.
Without the existence of hell fire, arguably, many Christians will
not remember Jesus Christ who died for His love for us. It is
frequently the fear of hell than the love of Christ that draws us
closer to God. Until we have a strong sense of attachment to God, who
for the sake of His love did not spare His only beloved Son, our
Christianity will continue to be a "black market Christianity".
In fact, a good Christian that does not exhibit the outlined
attributes of love (sacrifice, humility, endurance, patience,
kindness, generosity etc) has a question mark. Love is a
characteristic of a good Christian.
have opined two dimensions of love: "the attachment", and
emotional scopes of love. Love is not emotions. Love
is not sexual desire. Love is a commitment, a dedication. It is a
decision to be there for someone. "Love is the observance of the
basic need of an individual". Love is a risk. A risk to be there
for someone, when all have dispersed, not knowing whether he/she will
be there for you. In the words of Erich Fromm, "Love
means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely
in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person. Love
is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little
is that that bonds you to someone in times when there are no
merriments, no gratification, "nothing to live for". Love is that
chord that attaches you to a friend in times of tribulations,
sufferings, trails, and hardship. Real Love flourishes in times of
suffering. Love is a sacrifice, it is a pledge.
emotion is that that keeps love in place. But love is not just
emotions. True friendship/love cannot be terminated but emotional
attachment can be detached. Love cannot exist without "emotions".
Love is not the desire to have sex with someone. It is quite
disheartening that most I love you said today, simply means, I want
to have sex with you.
love triangle below, summaries the different facets of love and their
said that "We
are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by
embracing one another." Everybody
needs love. Everyone needs someone that can be trusted, someone that
can stand for him/her, someone that can be called a friend. Everyone
needs a true love. But the truth according to Benjamin Franklin is
that "If you would be loved, love and be lovable." No wonder
Mark Twain said that love is "the
irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired".
It is Christian responsibility to love. To love is divine.
is not responsible for people falling in love"
scripture says in 1 john 4:7-8, "Beloved, let us love one another.
For love is of God, and he who loves is born of God, and knows God.
He, who doesn't love, does not know God, for God is love". The
world would be a place angels will inhabit if your neighour is your
"lover" and you, your neighbour's "lover". Charles Dickens
said that "a loving heart is the truest wisdom." People
commit suicide mainly because of lack of true love in a world that is
overcrowded with the followers of true love. Where is love? Where are