A False Concept of Love

Proverbs 14:2, 5, 25 ESV

“Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord,
but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes out lies.
A truthful witness saves lives,
but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.”

Lies abound these days pretty much everywhere you look – in the gatherings of what is called “church,” out in the world, in the governments of nations, in the news media, in schools (places of education), in social media, and in advertising, etc. And lies abound in many marriages where one spouse or both are lying to the other about their daily activities. For many of the sexually addicted lie to their spouses and they hide from them what they are doing when the spouse cannot see what is going on in the dark.

And some of this stems from a false concept or perception of the word “love.” And I came across this again yesterday when I happened to see that an actress, Julie Andrews, had played the part of Cinderella in a 1957 movie musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, called “Cinderella.” And it brought to memory so many of the musicals I used to watch which were pretty much all about romantic relationships. But romance is a false idea of true love. But yet this was what I watched on TV growing up as a child and then as a younger adult. And so I was being fed this false idea of what love is.

Anyway, there is a song in this musical which was sung by Cinderella and by the prince as they were discovering that they were “in love” with each other, which was based on physical attraction upon seeing each other for the first time. And in the song they ask themselves if they love the other person because the other person is beautiful or wonderful, or if the other person is beautiful or wonderful because they love him or her. And then they also talk about wanting the other person for the same reasons.

But then they ask, “Are you the sweet invention of a lover’s dream, or are you really as beautiful as you seem?” And this really is where the danger comes in. For if we are fed this idea that love is romance, and it is these tingling feelings and physical attraction, and then we get married, and then reality sets in, then what? And I am not saying that couples will all lose physical attraction for one another or all emotional feelings, but that marriage brings with it things which are not in that dream world.

And so many people, but not all people, will go looking for those feelings with someone else, and if not with a real person, with a dream or with a movie or a video because they want that feeling of being “in love” where all is romance and mushy-gushy feelings and where real life does not enter into the picture. And so if they can’t get that with someone else in person, though some do, they will invent their perfect lover in their own minds who will make them feel that way, and they will lust after their imaginary lover in their minds and commit adultery against their spouses in their minds.

And some of them will use sexually explicit videos to generate those feelings, as well, and in order to feed their own appetites for the lusts of the eyes and of the flesh and of the pride of life which they are living by, and which they are loving instead of loving God and their spouses. And then, in order to keep their dirty little secrets secret, they lie to their spouses about what they are doing and they make up stories to try to get them to believe that something else is taking place. And many of these people are also those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, and even some of them are pastors.

But, as followers of Jesus Christ, this should not be part of our lives, being devious and deceitful and giving false witness and lying and hiding what we are doing in secret. And we should not be doing anything devious and secretive that we can’t tell our spouses. And we should definitely not be engaged in any kind of sexual activity outside of marriage or in having romantic affairs, even ones created in our own minds. But we should be faithful to God and to our spouses in loving them as we ought unselfishly, and in truth.

Proverbs 14:15-16, 22 ESV

“The simple believes everything,
but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil,
but a fool is reckless and careless.
Do they not go astray who devise evil?
Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness.”

“The simple” are usually the naïve and the gullible, and they do tend to believe everyone and everything. So they end up being the targets of those who are devious and deceptive. But many of them, even when confronted with the lies they are believing, are not willing to see that they might be believing lies, because they want to keep believing the lies. And so at that point they move beyond being naïve to being foolish and reckless and careless, for they won’t even consider that they might be believing lies.

But the prudent (cautious, wise, sensible) give thought to their steps. They consider right from wrong and they do not go headstrong into situations which are going to lead them in the wrong direction. They are also people who learn from their past mistakes (and sins) so that they don’t keep repeating the same mistakes (and sins) over and over again. And they are those who question in their minds if something is good or bad, and so they test what they see and hear in prayer and in the Word (in context) to make certain that what they are believing is indeed the truth.

But those who devise evil are those who plot out evil on their beds, and who determine to do what is wrong and to not do right, and then they hide their deeds in secret and then they lie about them in order to keep them secret. And since they are not honest, and since evil is what they devise in their minds, then evil is what they do, in practice, and not good. And for those who devise evil, and thus go astray habitually and deliberately, they usually have no conscience about their evil deeds or who gets hurt in the process.

But, again, we as followers of Jesus Christ should not be those who devise and who carry out evil deeds, and then who keep them hidden and then who lie to cover them up. We should be those who walk (in conduct, in practice) in uprightness and who fear the Lord. And we are to be faithful witnesses who do not lie, in practice, by habit. But we are to be truthful witnesses who end up saving lives, and especially we should be speaking the truth of the gospel of our salvation and not the lies which tickle itching ears.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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