Bob Tamasy: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Thursday, February 14, 2019 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Do you know what today is? If you have a spouse or “significant other,” you’re in trouble if you don’t. Because it’s Valentine’s Day, the day appropriated by retailers to help fill the gap until Easter (which some people treat like a springtime Christmas, without a tree), Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and then the six-month buildup to the next Christmas.

But let’s consider Valentine’s Day for what it’s supposed to be, at least in theory. It’s when we pause for special consideration to the one we love, whether it involves flowers and candy, cards, jewelry, a special dinner, or whatever works best for demonstrating our affection and admiration.

The symbol for the day, of course, is the heart. And we generally agree it’s a celebration of something called “love.” The question is, what exactly is…love? We hear that love is something folks fall into – and out of – even married people. Sounds kind of like emotional gravity: “I’ve fallen into love…oops, something’s tipped, so I’ve fallen out of love. Sorry ‘bout that.”

There’s love according to “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” only skin-deep, but that’s supposed to be okay. As long as the hormones continue racing, and you don’t have enough time or opportunity to genuinely get to know one another, love can survive.

Then we have the Hallmark Channel view of love: Boy bumps into girl (Hollywood’s “meet cute”); boy dislikes girl and/or vice versa; boy and girl start to build a bit of chemistry, despite obvious differences; they sense a strong attraction, almost to the point of kissing; conflict arises, nearly ending the potential romance; and then, at long last, boy and girl realize they’ve meant for each other, seal it with a kiss, and (presumably) proceed to live happily ever after. All within the span of about a week. (Obviously, I’ve seen enough Hallmark movies to know the script outline!)

But is that what love really is? Just physical attraction and raw emotions – which can alter dramatically over time?

I believe there’s no greater authority to consult about love, even romantic love, than the Scriptures. Especially the passage often used during wedding ceremonies that hardly anyone really listens to; it sounds nice, it’s found in the Bible, so let’s include it. I’m talking about 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, what some have termed “the love chapter.” We could all use a refresher, so here it is:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

I’ve read this passage many times, in different translations, and not once has it mentioned things we typically associate with love –warm and fuzzy feelings, getting all giddy and giggly, not being able to stop thinking about how the other person makes us feel. It does, however, emphasize things like patience, kindness, humility, selflessness, forgiveness, goodness, protection, contentment, being slow to anger, truthfulness, trust, and perseverance.

This isn’t to say that emotions, or physical and sexual attraction, aren’t or shouldn’t be part of the love equation. Certainly they should. God inspired an entire book of the Old Testament, The Song of Solomon, about that. But our contemporary notion of love moves too quickly to outward appearances and feelings. We would be wise to first consider “Do I like this person?” before asking, “Do I love this person?” Because as Proverbs 31:30 observes, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman [or man] who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Have you noticed in many wedding ceremonies, traditional vows are replaced by the couple’s unique sentiments toward each other? There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s their wedding, after all. But the words, “for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, for richer or for poorer,” serve as an instant reality check. Because the “happily ever after” of fairy tales and Hallmark movies doesn’t translate to real life.

Successful marriages have lots of good times – as my wife and I can attest after more than four decades. But hard times are also a necessary part of the package, and the sooner we accept that – even as a couple pledges themselves to each other – the better.

Perhaps the most profound Scriptural admonition concerning love is found in Ephesians 5:25, which instructs, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” How did Jesus love the Church – His believers and followers? He died for us, sacrificed everything for our benefit – atoning for our sins to provide redemption and reconciliation with God.

Being a husband myself, that’s a constant and sobering reminder of how totally I should give myself to my wife. I don’t always succeed – too often I fail. But that’s the goal, the calling the Lord has given to me and to all husbands, one we can only achieve through Him. Happy Valentine’s Day!

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


"I Need Some Time" Continues Sunday At Metro Tab Church

Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist To Host Graduation Lunch Celebration And Fashion Show May 25

Bob Tamasy: When Asking Isn’t A Risk


The series "I Need Some Time" continues Sunday at Metropolitan Tabernacle Church with worship at 10:30 a.m. The message will be brought by Dr. Steve Ball the founder and senior pastor. Come ... (click for more)

Graduates, scholarship recipients and their parents are joining the Women in Ministry at Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, May 25 at noon to be entertained while celebrating ... (click for more)

Have you ever seen one of those public marriage proposals at an athletic contest, when some guy in the stands arranges to have the camera trained on him and his lady love when he decides to drop ... (click for more)


Church

"I Need Some Time" Continues Sunday At Metro Tab Church

The series "I Need Some Time" continues Sunday at Metropolitan Tabernacle Church with worship at 10:30 a.m. The message will be brought by Dr. Steve Ball the founder and senior pastor. Come early at 10 a.m. and enjoy coffee and breakfast bars with the pastoral staff. Music will led by Worship Pastors Adam and Olivia Aziz along with the Metro Praise Team, choir and band. ... (click for more)

Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist To Host Graduation Lunch Celebration And Fashion Show May 25

Graduates, scholarship recipients and their parents are joining the Women in Ministry at Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, May 25 at noon to be entertained while celebrating their graduation. A lunch will be served, and guests can mix and mingle with other graduates from other schools and colleges. "You will be entertained in a relaxed atmosphere ... (click for more)

Breaking News

4 People Shot At 2 Hixson Locations; 2 Killed On Ardis Lane; 2 Men Shot At Northgate Crossing Apartments In Hixson

Four men were shot in two overnight shootings in Hixson. Two people were shot and killed on Ardis Lane. At approximately 10:07 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to the 6700 block of Ardis Lane on a report of persons shot. Upon arrival, police located two men suffering from gunshot wounds. Hamilton County EMS responded and pronounced Kirtus Thompson, 27, deceased on ... (click for more)

Greg Vital Says Ancient Stone Cairns, Part Trail Of Tears Route Found On His Meigs Farm; Asks TVA To Reroute Project Viper Transmission Line

Lawyers for Georgetown property owner Greg Vital notified the Tennessee Valley Authority on Thursday that a second archaeological study of the site found 15 different Native American artifacts, not one, as TVA said in its official report in April. “There are 14 more historically significant cairns in a distinguishable pattern within a hundred yards of what TVA said was the only ... (click for more)

Opinion

Chattanooga's Shooting Epidemic

These shootings continue and something has to be done to try and stop them whether they are domestic, robbery or gang related. We obviously can not remove these handguns from every man, woman and child. I suggest that merchants that sell handguns raise the minimum age to 21 years for the purchase of handgun ammunition only. This 21 age requirement would not include ammunition ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mr. Casada Is Through

Sometime this afternoon, the Republican members of the Tennessee Legislature will join a growing chorus of those convinced it is time for Glen Casada, the group’s Speaker of the House, to step down. They will cite several tawdry emails between Casada’s former Chief of Staff and himself as the reason but that’s not entirely true. Casada will step down in great shame because he has ... (click for more)