September 2022 Featured Article
Why Does Love Matter
Love is all around us in books, TV, movies, everywhere in our culture. There are countless websites dedicated to people looking for love. Songs talk about “love is a many-splendored thing”, “all you need is love”, “looking for love in all the wrong places.”
I’m at the time of my life where my children and my friends’ children are grown. Some of them are finding love and getting married. It’s almost expected in the culture I come from that, hopefully sooner rather than later, you’ll find that perfect partner to love for the rest of your life.
Why? Why such an emphasis on love. Why does it matter?
God has created us in his image. Though we don’t share all of his attributes, and we share none of them on the level which he possesses them, he has imbued us with certain characteristics, among which is the ability to love. It’s in our God-given nature to want to be loved and to love in return. It’s a longing the Father himself has put there.
We search for the love of our life, our soulmate. Then we find it, and our friends tell us we’re glowing or walking around with silly grins on our faces. It brings us joy. It makes us happier than almost anything else in the world. It makes us do crazy things sometimes, like moving across the globe to be with the one we love.
Ephesians 5:25 and following talks about the love a husband should have for his wife. A self-sacrificing love, one that nourishes and cherishes her, one that binds the two together as one flesh. And then Paul says something that probably made the Ephesians stop and think. He says that he’s talking about Christ and the church. The earthly love we have for one another, especially as it’s reflected in marriage, is a symbol, a fuzzy, imperfect picture of the love Christ has for us. A love so great and deep and wide that it led Christ to the cross to suffer and die for our sins and to rise again to conquer death.
So love matters because when we love one other as we should, we reflect God’s love for his church, his people, to others. Our love is a powerful witness and testimony to those around us. Our lives, our marriages, should be an example to them of how much Jesus loves them.
Love also matters because we are commanded to love. John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
And that is why love matters. Christ first loved us. Now we are to put that incomprehensible love on display for others and shine the light of the gospel into the darkest of places. Because God is love, we are also to love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 speaks about how, without love, we are clanging cymbals. Without love, we are nothing. We gain nothing.
Because love matters to God, it must matter to us. And because it matters to us, it will matter to the world.
That’s why Neil Tolsma’s new book, Love Matters, is so good. It examines the heart of love and where it comes from and then takes it to its next logical conclusion—loving others as Christ has loved us. Step by step, it studies not only why we are to love but also how we are to love. It’s written for laypeople, in an easy-to-understand format that will cause you to examine your love for God and your love for others. Even if you are an almost-exclusive fiction reader like I am, you’re sure to enjoy it and to glean so much valuable and practical understanding from it.
You can get your copy of this fabulous guide to growing in your love for God and for others by following this link.
Disclaimer: Neil Tolsma is my father. When I was growing up, though, he never let me win at Monopoly, teaching me to work hard and always do my best, so I apply the same standard to him. I wouldn’t say this book is valuable and worth reading if I didn’t truly believe it.