“Love” is such an easy word to throw around. It’s easier at some times more than others, and also easier in some seasons or conditions than it is in others. This is true whether we are speaking of the Love of Christ, our experience of “first Love” with and in Him or whether we are speaking of love in and of the flesh, new, tried, true or old.
Clearly time has a way of changing the power, intensity and passion of love, even in our relationship with Christ and with those whom He has made ours in Him.
But after due consideration I must say that there is a difference in the staying power of new love in Christ, that is as real and palpable as the difference between the redefined love that was first introduced at and by the cross of Christ, and the pre-cross kind of love that seems to be the best that most of us are able to do.
This to say that in either case, we have our part to play in the maintenance of Love no matter what its source, the passion of The Christ or the lust of the flesh. Blowing one another off is not an option, no matter who we are talking about or struggling with.
The most familiar, and most practiced kind of love between humans of opposite genders is an image of something wholly other. It was an image of another love, albeit a weakened and more problematic one, even after she was removed from bodily inclusion in the man.
Please note that we haven’t yet complicated anything here by the inclusion of a time element – “first love” – later love – lost love, etc. There are plenty of places we can go in the Scripture to look for things that make love more problematic with time:
”Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?” Proverbs 5:18-20 KJV
The Bible does not mince words, and there is hardly need for a relational ombudsman to mince them either.
To this point all I have tried to do is make the point that there is a difference between the Love of Christ, and the Love between a man and a woman, and that time takes its toll on both. There is reason however, for greater vitality in the Love of Christ than there is in the best of love that was known before the Cross of Christ.
My hope is that it is not yet too late to have a redeeming conversation about the difference that the cross makes as well as the difference in the passion that the Cross of Christ is able to maintain no matter the relationship when its origin is sourced and rooted in Him.
For the next little while I would like to risk encouraging such a conversation to the end that the passion of the saints for one another might have a great redemptive impact on the world around us rather than just being an expansion of the relational scrap heap with which we are already surrounded in religion as well as other failures of the flesh.