Effingham Newsletter: April
“Every human love, at its height, has a tendency to claim for itself a divineauthority...it attempts to over-ride all other claims and insinuates that any action which is sincerely done “for love’s sake” is thereby lawful and evenmeritorious...natural loves make this blasphemous claim not when they are in their worst, but when they are in their best...” C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
The writer C.S. Lewis had a tumultuous relationship with earthly love. He didn't find it until very late in life, but it changed him forever. His years as a bachelor gave him a unique perspective on romance, and he recognized that we tend to turn romance into a god. When that happens, love quickly turns into a demon. For more on his experience of finding and losing love, check out A Grief Observed or one of the two Shadowlands films about his romantic experience.
As Valentine's Day fast approaches, you may experience a variety of emotions. The sting of a recent break-up or loss may be too great for some while others in the throes of romance will relish in celebrating February 14th.
God has blessed our earthly lives with the experiences of love gained and lost. For some, the love of family is paramount. For others the sweetness of courtship or married life is central. Many will simply find solace in the love of a friend or companion.
For all of us, though, the challenge of embracing earthly love is not to embrace it at all. When we lose sight of God's divine providence in laying out relationships in our lives, we end up worshipping the gifts of love instead of the Giver of love. If love is to exist at all in a fallen world, it exists only through the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. 1 John 4:8 sums it up nicely, saying
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (emphasis added)
Without God between us and the object of our affection, we can experience romance, giddiness, lust, passion--even a decent relationship. However, it is only with His presence in place that we experience Love as He intended it and we find a boundless love that conquers every challenge it faces.
Who (or what) is at the center of your "love" this month?