The Temple of Love
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
You must honor God with your body—1 Corinthians 6:20.
You be the judge: Are the people who make these statements massively confused about the meaning of love? “I love to eat.” “I love my new outfit.” “I love that new band, Brain dead Tse-tse Flies.” “I love doing homework.”
Looking at that list, you might get the impression that love could mean any sort of affection for just about anything. So what in the world do people mean when they say they love something or someone? What is true love anyway?
Trying to define true love can get pretty confusing. The first step is to understand what true love isn’t.
First, true love isn’t the same as lust. Our culture often mixes up love and lust. How can you tell the difference? Love gives—lust takes. Love values—lust uses. Love endures—lust flames out. If your interaction with someone of the opposite sex is based on intense sexual feelings and physical gratification, lust might be masquerading as love in the relationship.
Second, true love isn’t the same as romance. Romantic feelings are amazing in close guy—girl relationships. God wired you to experience those feelings in special relationships with the opposite sex. But you can’t equate the excitement and warmth of romance to love. Romance is a feeling. True love is far more.
Third, true love is not the same as sex. Many students—many adults, too—confuse intense sexual desire with true love. Sex as God intended it isn’t wrong. It was designed by God for procreation and fulfillment within the bounds of marriage. But sex and love are distinct:
- You can have sex without love and love without sex.
- Love requires constant attention. Sex takes no effort.
- Love takes time to develop and mature. Sex needs no time to develop.
- Love requires emotional and spiritual interaction. Sex requires only physical interaction.
- Love deepens a relationship. Sex without love dulls a relationship.
God wants you to enjoy sex in its proper time and context for your life—marriage. You might be in love long before then, but even if that is the case, you should welcome the opportunity to honor God with your body by waiting.
REFLECT: Have you ever told God your feelings and struggles over lust, romance, sex, and love? Why or why not?
PRAY: Start on that talk right now.
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