Love and Marriage: Order

Genesis 34:2-4  (KJV)   And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.

Shechem was strongly attracted to Dinah. That attraction turned fatal – not because attraction was wrong; the order, the process was. He first got intensely attracted, then he raped her, then He started dealing nicely with her, then he pursued marriage. His position as a ruler’s son may have made him feel comfortable and entitled to get what he wanted without much thought of order and consequence. His impulsive reaction didn’t help either. He decided with his emotion without due regard to wisdom. It could be legitimately argued that he may not have known that what he did was wrong since he wasn’t an Israelite who had the convicting guidance of God. I may be wrong, but I believe that in reference to objective moral law, rape is a universally recognized taboo. The horrible consequence: death of all the male in his town – including his fathers’ and his – from the vengeful and bloody hands of the girl’s two brothers.

To be in love is wonderful; to be intensely attracted to someone gives us an inexplicable walking in the cloud feeling – especially if the attraction is mutual. But to act according to feelings and our desires mindlessly outside proper boundaries can and will have consequences. And the consequences can be extremely dreadful. We can’t undermine proper order and proper process or procedure. Be in love – great. Instead of passionately jumping straight to bed, it will be very helpfully appropriate to know each other first. When we’ve sufficiently and “safely” known each other and given all the essential aspects considered, pursue marriage. After marriage, consummate that marriage with the most intimate physical expression/s of love. Instead of a curse; it will be a be a blessed attraction and relationship.

Loving Father, may our love and all its expressions be pure. May we show that our love really is love and our actions are not just a shallow expressions of lust presenting itself as a deep and passionate love. You are love. There is nothing improper, disorderly and impure about You. May those we love be assured of love that is true from us, not just through our spoken words, but by the godliness of our actions as well.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Extravagant Love

Luke 7:38  (KJV)   38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

The woman’s love for Jesus was displayed extravagantly, emotionally, affectionately, and very visibly. It had no regard for other people’s impression of who she was and cared not for criticisms she would receive. How could she do it? Why did she do it? Before she poured a single drop of perfume, she first poured all of herself. Her all-out external display of love naturally exuded from an all-out love that was already resident in the depths of her heart. It was a great “show;” she had a great love.

Love expresses itself. Love finds a way to do so. Much love will express much. A lack of loving expression may be an alarming signal of a lack of love. Please, conscientiously watch the signs. If we truly love our Master, let no personal predispositions, religious traditions or popular opinions hold us back from letting our love have its way. This is not a proposition to listen to the heart without consideration of wisdom. That would be foolish and disastrous. Lovers have been unnecessarily hurt because of solely emotional decisions. This is not a rebellious outcry to discard boundaries; that wouldn’t be love; love is righteous; it springs from the very nature of God. We need not indulge in ungodliness to generously demonstrate the greatness of our love.  We have enough godly expressions of love to last us more than one lifetime. We are to love God with all our hearts, minds, soul, and strength. Let our love flow: emotionally, intelligently, deeply, physically – noticeably.

Loving God, thank you for sparing no expense in showing how great your love is for us. You gave it your best; You gave us the greatest expression of Your love by giving us Your Son. Please help us to reciprocate Your gesture – limited as we are. May we never be ashamed of letting others know of our love for You,  even in the way we love others too. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.