“What is love? Baby don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me. No more.” Many of you will recognize the familiar lyrics from the band Haddaway. Others of you will recognize these words as the real life dysfunction of our relationships – most aptly poignant at this time of year.
Erich Fromm, in his treatise The Art of Loving wrote, “There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love.”
Why is this the case? Perhaps it’s our starting point. Perhaps it has to do with us. Our very definition of love is so often that feeling you feel of euphoria or closeness that cannot really be described. But then love really centres around us and the tyranny of our feelings. Truly I can both feel two opposing things at the same time!
In the New Testament, John writes, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us we also ought to love one another.” It’s the very act of Christmas that gives us an understanding of love. Love is action based, other centred and it comes with a cost … And it creates a life changing relationship.
Dave MacPhee is lead pastor with Northstar Church in Quesnel.