Award-winning R&B songstress Mary J. Blige (my girl!) produced her 9os hit “Real Love” that became an anthem for many in search of ‘real love.’ With the chorus, “I’m searchin’ for a a real love, someone who sets my heart free, real love!” And subsequent lyrics, “So I try my best and pray to God he’d send me someone real, to caress me and to guide me toward a love my heart can feel…” You know the rest!
What is ‘real love’? Our first exposure to real love was when God sent US His Son Jesus Christ to Earth to become flesh and die for our sins, so we would be saved from eternal death and separation from God, with our flawed selves. This is agape love; an unconditional love; a love we don’t deserve.
Though there are other forms of love (friend love, family love, parent-child love, love for community, eros/romantic love), real love in any form should consist of these attributes as outlined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 4- “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5- or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6- It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7- Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
Read today’s post below written by Voices Against the Grain guest blogger, Herbert Bowen, Jr., on the subject of romantic love. In today’s microwave generation lead by “anything goes,” many people want a quick love and want it NOW, usually for selfish reasons and with multiple partners. In our search for real love, how are we demonstrating love toward others? Many want the world’s version of romantic love and forgo expressing the love Christ asks us to give. We should model after Christ our love (in any form) toward others. Laying this foundation first helps build the right kind of love required for romantic and non-romantic relationships.
Song of Songs 8:6-7- “Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. Many waters cannot quench love nor can rivers drown it.” (New Living Translation)
Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger
Love is to be treasured. For if love is awakened before its time, we will expend a lifetime of energy seeking what we once had. Love is to be saved. We as a culture have fallen victim to the fads of desensitization. We have lost the meaning of companionship to indulge in every desire. We have lost the meaning of love. Romantic love is monogamous. A concept that will probably fall on deaf ears, but is the only way to live our lives the way God intended. Men and women are too quick to rush into the bedroom, too quick to fulfill their lusts only to be in search for a new fix the next night. How does it feel, because for every immediate gratification there are eons of misery and regret. Love is Christ.
1 John 4:19 says, “We love each other because he loved us first.” In essence, His sacrifice is love incarnate. So before jumping in blindly with another individual, seek out the meaning of true love, as it may save you precious time. Amen
About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.
Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C. At his current age of 24, Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the PureHope advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.
Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.