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What’s Wrong With Love

What’s Wrong With Love

No question mark? Some of you may be of the opinion that my “C” average English skills are starting to seep into my writing.  While I will not deny that possibility, it is not so in this case.  The missing question mark is intentional, for the title is not a question but a statement.  Now this may be confusing to some because often, in today’s world, people have a desire for this statement to always be categorized as a rhetorical question.  “What’s wrong with love?”  The reason why it is most often relegated to the realm of the rhetorical is because people think the answer to the question is obvious.  Nothing, isn’t that always the answer?  Nothing is wrong with love.  Love is always right and therefore love makes all things right.  You see as long as love is the driving motive than who among us dare criticize the action, statement, belief, or newly stated cultural norm.  We drape it in love and now love becomes the end all be all that justifies every action or relationship.  What’s wrong with love?  Nothing, absolutely nothing…or so we are led to believe.

As much as we do not want to acknowledge it, we have been led down an unfortunate path by our exaltation of love’s supremacy.  It is a path that dead-ends at a dark destination.  It is a destination where a person or culture can proclaim as right any standard or action without being pigeonholed by outdated cultural expectations or antiquated Scriptures whose “guidelines” for living are viewed as pedantic and foolishly out of place for the 21st century.

Two examples serve to make the point.  Within the last number of weeks two former public proponents of the sanctity of marriage, Senator Kirk of Illinois and Senator Portman from Ohio, have reversed themselves and have now come out in favor of gay marriage.  The reason for such a change in their former moral certitude you ask?  Love.  It’s all about love.  Senator Kirk said “Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back – government has no place in the middle.[1]”  Based on that logic, I am expecting the Senator to soon announce his support for polygamous marriages and incestuous marriages…assuming that the individuals meet the criteria of “who you love and who loves you back.”

Senator Portman took it a step further when he, in poor hermeneutical form, invoked the Bible to justify his reversal.  He told a group of reporters: “The overriding message of love and compassion that I take from the Bible, and certainly the Golden Rule, and the fact that I believe we are all created by our maker, that has all influenced me in terms of my change on this issue.[2]”

While we must be careful never to diminish the true nature of love, we must recognize that when it comes to the attributes of God, love is no greater than any other attribute He possesses.  The unchanging and unalterable truths of God’s standard for human conduct and relationships flows from the completeness of His character and the perfection of His attributes.  We may think that all we need is love, but not so.  For when we begin to take one attribute of God, which is perfect and complete, and we hold it up as more perfect and complete than the rest, trumpeting it’s superiority, we distort His character.  Eventually God no longer becomes the determiner of standards but the exalted attribute takes His place.  When this happens we will find ourselves immersed in a culture that eerily resembles the day when there was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

What’s wrong with love?  Nothing so long as we recognize its place and do not unwittingly use it to change that which can never change – the standard God has established for human relationships and conduct which flows from the perfection and beautiful interworking of all of His flawless attributes.

[1] Chicago Tribune News: “Kirk announces support for same-sex marriage.”  By Katherine Skiba on April 2, 2013.

[2] “Sen. Rob Portman comes out in favor of gay marriage after son comes out as gay” by Sabrina Eaton, Plain Dealer Washington Reporter on March 15, 2013 at 12:01 AM, updated March 15, 2013 at 1:32 PM