What’s Love Got to Do, Got to Do with It?
Talk to me, elder Millennials – you know this song from the late, gorgeous, Tina Turner. Nothing like busting out a song about love gone wrong with a voice you can’t get close to competing with, but we all do it from time to time. And we surely sing the line, “What’s love got to do, got to do with it? What’s love, but a second-hand emotion?”
So much talk about love in society – and rightfully so we need to constantly remind ourselves to be loving – but what is love and what does love have to do with it?
Funny enough, when we use the word “it” in the English language, we use it for just about anything and everything. “It” is a broad term. Put “it” over there, bring “it” here. So here we can use anything at the end of this question.
For example: What’s love got to do with my situation? What’s love got to do with my irritating neighbor or co-worker? What’s love got to do with my decision? What does love have to do with my life’s journey?
I know I have written about love before, more in the terms of love is a decision and not an emotion and love doesn’t just mean agreeing with what anyone wants to do no matter what. This song definitely just sings of the feels and not the decision part of love.
Obviously in the world right now everyone is screaming “Love!” at the top of their lungs. But what does love mean for us as Christians? How does Jesus tell us to love so we don’t get confused with how the world tells us to love? Of course, solid points from both perspectives overlap. And make no mistake, there are differences we not only need to be aware of, but we need to check ourselves to make sure we are following the love outlined in 1 Corinthians.
~ “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NKJV
~ “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Romans 12:9-14, NKJV
Boundaries are a hot subject right now in the social atmosphere. I’m personally still trying to figure out where I can draw the line between allowing myself to be mistreated and hurt and not remove myself entirely from difficult situations. We are all a work in progress!
I’ve often heard people say, “If it doesn’t bring you joy, trash it. If it doesn’t serve you, trash it. If it brings more harm than good, trash it.” None of that is biblical.
*There are always exceptions to the rules but I’m not talking about those.
1. Love suffers long and is kind.
Do we have to suffer long? Longsuffering? Any way we slice this, it sucks for us. It’s a true sacrifice to love someone long while they hurt us. The word suffer wouldn’t be in there if these people were loving us the way we should be loved.
2. Love doesn’t behave rudely or seek its own.
No matter how we are spoken to or treated, we are not to return and be rude. We also aren’t to just plain be rude. Being rude mostly includes self-seeking conformation to one’s own agenda, so seeking your own goes hand in hand with behaving rudely. When we put others needs first, we are sure to avoid behaving rudely.
3. Love endures all things.
Kind of goes with #1. Ugh. We have to put up with other people in their nastiest places. We don’t always get the joy of being treated the way we want to be treated. Life just isn’t fair. This says suck it up doesn’t it?!?!
4. Love without hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy is saying one thing but doing the opposite. We can’t just say we love someone without actually showing love to them. Empty words – or words without action – mean nothing. We don’t need to trick ourselves into believing we are loving someone when we only love with our words. It has to have action.
5. Bless those who persecute you, bless and not curse.
Here is what we should do with our words. Bless and not curse. Oh goodness, it’s easy to curse and throw your phone and curse behind the back of the ones who mistreat you. The mistreatment is like a fire to our emotions – which, emotions left unchecked is a nasty misleading turd in the punchbowl. Emotions can’t be trusted (they change a lot) and can usher us into a host of bad decisions. Bless out loud the ones in our lives that wreck us mentally and emotionally. Oh, look! Sacrifice time again!
Well, I guess those boundaries have to be pretty wide in order for us to love like God tells us to love. Everyone wants to be loved. Even if people push it away, they still deep down want to be loved. In fact, I would say that the people who are the hardest to love, need the most love. People who are nasty to others, selfish behaving, mean, manipulative, and unloving are typically the most broken, miserable, hurt people out there. This does not in any way make their behavior permissible, they still need to repent and are definitely in the wrong. These people usually haven’t fixed their broken places, possibly any of them at all. Broken people can’t love well from unresolved hurts of their own.
It helps to look at the people who hurt you in a compassionate way so you can pity them rather than have harsh feelings toward them (this is my favorite trick to not get too mad at rude people).
Sure, it’s easy to say we love but are we sticking through the hard to love anyway or are we taking the word boundary and shoving people out of our circle to take care of ourselves over the other party? I believe there should be boundaries, I have set some of them myself in many cases because of only being able to handle so much before I can’t handle myself in a loving way towards others.
What’s love got to do with it? Everything. Love has to do with everything and everyone.
Do you have any tips on setting healthy biblical boundaries in relationships you would like to share? I’m always open to new suggestions to make life run smoother, so drop a comment or shoot us an email!
~ C. King