What’s Love Got to Do With it?

Back in 1984 Tina Turner staged a comeback into the Rhythm and Blues genre of music with her most successful single entitled “What’s love got to do with it.” This comeback song, propelled her to the number one slot on the US Billboard hit list for three straight weeks. The lyrics take a rather different view about the relationship between this particular woman and the object of her affections. It’s nothing but a physical attraction and love plays no part in the equation – in fact love is “a sweet old fashioned notion.”

You and I may have completely different ideas about love and just what love is. In fact, we all seem to throw around the word love in so many ways. Dictionary.com says love is a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. When the word is used in that sense it could be the love that we experience with friends, siblings, parents, our children, relatives, or with our sweethearts. It could range from sweet affection to full sexual interaction. We can also talk about love as in being a type of affection for a material object, such as I could love ice cream, pizza, mystery stories, jewelry, etc. The Greeks knew that one word was not enough to describe the many types of love that there are, so they have different words that define love:

Phileo – the love between friends.

Eros – the sensual passionate physical love.

Ludus – playful love, such as in banter, laughing, or flirting.

Pragma – mature long-standing love.

Philautia – the love of self.

Agape – unconditional love.

It seems to me that everyone I’ve ever known longs to be loved. I think that each of us are born with an innate need to be loved by others, and to love others. Love lets us know that we are important, that we are cherished, love tells us that we have value. And, if that need to be loved is not there, we’re missing something that is vital to the very core of our soul. The lack of feeling that we are loved can send us into some desperate situations and we can end up, to use another popular song title about love, “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

So it seems to me that life itself is nothing if it does not contain love. Without love we feel lonely, desperate, and perhaps even worthless. We were created for love. I think that some people experience some of types of love in their lifetime that the Greeks coined. But, I believe that the greatest need within each of our souls is to experience agape love. The kind of love that no matter how many failures you’ve had, no matter how many times you fall, no matter what you do, you are still loved unconditionally. That kind of love, agape love, my friend, is rare indeed.

Yes, we were created for love. And better yet, we were created by God, who is love – agape love. It’s God that specifically created us for love. Think about that, we were created out of love for the purpose of being loved. We were created out of love to be in an agape love relationship with Him. Love is best, and we can love, when we first love God. And after we love God, we then are able to love others. This becomes a central tenant in our lives and was supported when Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40, ESV)

Our ability to love flows out from God. That means that God is at the very center of love. Love is the only thing that matters. But we cannot experience that kind of love until we walk with God. The love that we find in the world is no match for God’s love, and any other kind of love is a cheap replacement for God. When talking about love, worldly love, one of my favorite teaching Pastors, Brad Powell said: “We make that which is essential as trite, and we make that which is trite as essential. Love (God’s agape love) is the fuel of life.”

So, what’s love got to do with it? Well, Tina to answer your question, love has everything to do with it.

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8, ESV)

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