Title: Love And The Christian_1.
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If there is a Christian act that cuts across different religious denominations and sects and indeed across the entire human race, then that act must be the one described as love. Ranging from its being recommended for all groups of people to its being acted out, the act of love keeps featuring as a requirement that must be exercised to signify the positive intention of an individual to another person, group or nation. It is sometimes used to describe the affection one has for self in situations where the person is expected to show love for him/her self. The same word no doubt can be grouped amongst the most abused words in the universe as several acts are quickly ascribed to love when the intention may be much otherwise. Some people have also used the word in blackmail situations to achieve what they ordinarily are not entitled to.
Love is defined generally as an intense feeling of deep affection with affection itself being defined as a feeling of liking or caring for someone or thing. It can then be said that love is an intense feeling of profound likeness or care for someone or something. It is intense because it is not superficial. It is intense because it is deep and so its source or foundation cannot be easily accessed. This means that an explanation may not always be possible to give, as to the reason for this act and so it cannot be easily destroyed, especially by external factors. The act of love is such that cannot be explained when it is in full flight as the one in love just cannot seem to find the basis for the act but just realises that the urge to like and care cannot be disregarded.
Attempting to explain the act of love is probably one of the difficult questions that newly married couples have never been able to answer satisfactorily as they struggle to give reason why they chose to take a relationship to the level of marriage. Some have tried to explain it with science saying it is an instant chemical reaction that occurs because all other factors necessary for the reaction are present. What has not been identified however are those components of the reaction that produce love either as a general reaction or specifically for individuals.
Individuals realise that they have a deep affection for someone or something and they express it. If they could identify the components of this chemical reaction, it would have been possible to ensure that love never dies as is found in some situations, as the parties involved will only have to ensure that those components are always available and when such components are exhausted, the parties enjoying love will quickly anticipate its end and there will probably be less heartbreaks due to a love that has gone cold.
In an attempt to understand love, scholars have decided to classify love into three as follows: Philial, Eros and Agape, with some people creating sub-classes between these three classes. However what is clear is that with these group of scholars, love ranges from love for self (Philial) to the act of romantic love (Eros) to selfless love (Agape). Whatever the class of the act of love, this teaching is more concerned with its expression in all these situations and the unexplainable intensity of the accompanying acts of likeness and care.
Love outside the one expressed for oneself may not be mutual though it may be so desired. Even on occasions where it is mutual, it will hardly be in equal proportion of expression if it were to be measurable. That probably explains why most people become victims of love or regret being in love. To expect that the love for someone will be reciprocated by that person in the same proportion may be an unrealistic expectation and the result of eventually experiencing the reality can be very devastating. Just as the foundation of love cannot be explained, it is equally difficult to know why some people cannot reciprocate love received or cannot love at all. Several scholars have also attempted to come up with several reasons to explain this act of man but the theories always fall short of universal acceptance as there will always be situations where all the arguments become inapplicable or actually fail. The bottom line is that he/she who is in love should not expect that that the person loved would also love in return but when it is even so, there will hardly be a balance in the love expressed.
Situations also seem to affect the extent of the love expressed as it seems some conditions engender acts of love whilst some actually discourage it. People may want to argue that such reactions indicate that the love was not genuine in the first instance but that again may not always be the truth unless the one taking this position can explain the basis of the expressed love in the first instance. There is however no doubt that like all acts that is open to pretense by human beings, love can be feigned. This is when the person claiming to be in love never really liked or cared for the one he/she claims to love but just had to put up a front to reflect such for several reasons. The love in such occasions will be described as fake and will definitely not be able to stand the pressures of the test of love when it comes because, every professed love will be tested at some point during the relationship.
It is practically impossible to have intense likeness and care for only one person, group or thing and that explains why it seems equally impossible to claim that an individual can only love one person at a time. Irrespective of the class the expressed love belongs to, it is simply impossible to love only one person or group at a time. Were that to be the case, then it will be difficult to encourage love in a family, a group or even a nation as it has note than one person involved or even the love of things with different brands.
Everyone loves although the choice of what is loved is specific to individuals. Some love what others do not love and vice versa and it must be mentioned at this point that not loving someone or something does not imply that such hate that person or thing. Such situation is better described as disliking or uncaring about the person or thing, because to hate will go beyond mere dislike into the realm of ignoring acts of love when requested to the level of wanting to hurt the one that is hated.
In summary it can be said that;
1. Love is an intense likeness and care for someone or something.
2. Love has a foundation that is difficult to explain.
3. Everyone loves in different ways.
4. No matter the classification, the expressed love has the same foundation of intense likeness and care for someone or something.
5. The act of love has no, tribal, nationality or religious boundaries.
6. Love can be expressed for oneself, another person, a group or a nation.
7. Love can be used as a blackmail tool.
8. The feeling of love can die.
9. The feeling of love may not be mutual or expressed equally.
10. The act of love may not be reciprocated by the beneficiary.
11. The feeling of love may be affected by extraneous factors.
12. The expression of love may not be genuine.
13. Love cannot be expressed for one person or thing only irrespective of their seeming physical similarities.
This concludes the first part of this two part series of teaching on Love And The Christian. Please send your reactions to firstname.lastname@example.org or our Whatsapp number – +234 817 834 2585.
You can also download the teaching and other materials from the following site: www.crossandcrownchristianministry.org.