“I love you”… what does that even mean? an expression of our current feeling or a pledge to responsibility, devotion, and honor. Do we throw these words around like they mean nothing, as though we won’t be punished for perjury? Do we ever understand what love is, can we truly express the depth or intensity of the word “love” Do we really have all it takes to love? Do we really think love is just beautiful because of spikes in hormones and the imaginary butterflies in your belly (which in reality, is just a release of oxytocin into the bloodstream)that dies before the setting of the sun? Is love beautiful because of sex, or sexual satisfaction and our hunger to feed this hedonist culture that has proliferated our society, making shame of celibacy and sexual purity? Is love manipulative, where we loose our sense of logical and clear thought to nonsensical behavior and standards. Are we less intelligent or more stupid in love, do our actions in love correlate with actions made in a cogent manner? When in love are we driven to give pleasure ( whatever that means) or receive pleasure? Is love selfless, selfless unto death or are the words “Till death do us part” a platitude to pacify our lover and to keep the wedding ceremony going?
Let’s unpack “till death do us part” for a moment. Death of what exactly? death of love or death of the lover? Can love transcend the living world? Can we only love those who are alive? Is death a reason/ excuse to stop loving? Maybe it is the death of love, I don’t know.
Regardless of the definition of love, why then is the epitome of love crumbling in our generation – Marriage? Marriage is at least one idea that gives us the rare opportunity to show what love is. Two people, driven by love to the altar standing before God and man to make a public case that their love for each other will never die, that such love will remain in sickness, health, pain, sorrow, happiness, and other cliché things people say to not upset the wedding guests. After the ceremony, after the drinks, after the guests have found their way home and the buzz of music in the background has reduced, after the end of the wedding and the beginning of the marriage, the two (the couple), hopefully, three (with love) are left alone, their promises and vows are tested by life only to fail under the least pressure. Love then turns to hate, the sun loses her light, ecstasy turns to pain, day to night-the flower withers, happiness turns to sadness, the priest turns to judge, guest to jurors, husband, and wife to plaintiff and defendant. Family no longer in-laws but outlaws. Children no longer blessing from God but property for ownership. what a shame!! The ideal of love has failed.
Yet, my search for ideal love continues, one that is not fazed by life troubles, but embraces them. I searched for long only to find it on the cross. yes, the old rugged “not-particularly-charming cross” the symbol of shame and reproach bore on it love, the cross defines love. how can the most beautiful thing be found on the cross? how? The love that feared no death nor pain or troubles of life. The more i looked at the cross,I saw a man-a perfect man. what is a perfect man doing on a cross? The paradox of this situation led me to ask more questions than there were answers. How can love hang a man on a cross? not any man but a perfect,upright,sinless man. In my discombobulated state, I found yet another disturbing truth that such man isn’t only perfect He is God. How! I exclaimed, how can love nail God to the cross? the more I searched, I found that he was without sin but bore the sin of all mankind, that through him mankind is saved and freed from the curse of sin. How God leaves his glory above, the creator becomes creature, the divine becomes despise, hung on a tree that he himself,from spoken words,fleshed into being, Christ the master of the universe was crucified! ‘this is love’ I exclaimed, that a man is willing to die for his lover, so that through his death his bride will boast of life and be freed from the wages of sin. How can we then love as christ did? It is impossible for a man to love like Christ. This is love, Christ is love. I found my answer in Christ but perturbed that I won’t see that kind of love in our society. I left my thought sad, but hopeful so I uttered these words; to love is to die, to die willingly.