I’d like to open tonight’s post by offering my prayers for those in Haiti, as well as the innocent people in Afghanistan (Afghani and American) as the Taliban is pillaging through the country. Lord, please offer your protection and be their refuge in the storm.
OK. Onto tonight’s post…
I don’t know if there’s something in the water this week, or what…but lately, I have just been really saddened by society — particularly when it comes to love and relationships.
I mean, first you’ve got NYC Governor Andrew Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment that led to his resignation from office. Then you’ve got Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, who had a sex tape with a prostitute leak last week. Also, over the weekend, I went to see comedian Ali Wong, and literally 1/3 of her stand up show was all about how she wants to cheat on her husband. And then, finally, I stumbled across this show called “F-Boy Island,” where…I don’t think I even need to explain the premise of that cinematic masterpiece.
But it’s as though everywhere I turn, I’m being smacked in the face by this counterfeit definition of love and relationships.
And to be honest, it makes me really sad.
I think part of the reason I’ve been so taken aback by the jarring disregard for love and respect recently, is because I just spent the week in Utah, with my friends and my special gentleman, where my heart overflowed with real love and respect from quality relationships, and so it’s been grating to readjust to life outside of the “vacation bubble.”
But thinking about all these examples in the news, it’s clear that we’ve strayed so far from the Truth, and so lost sight of God’s true meaning of love —
In today’s society, we don’t love people, we use people.
Which is precisely what Pope JP2 warned about in his book, Love and Responsibility: “A person’s rightful due is to be treated as an object of love, not as an object for use.”
For when a person merely becomes a means to an end, that’s where abuse, distorted notions of love, and other counterfeit definitions of affection run rampant.
And do you know what it all boils down to? The dignity of the human person.
This topic really hits home for me, because it was the basis for my recovery from anorexia.
During my eating disorder, I was using and abusing my body to no end. There was no love, no respect, no appreciation for the sanctity and dignity of [my] human life…no. I was using my body to gain a distorted sense of control, striving for perfection, through the form of abuse: namely: starvation, over-exercise and self-hatred.
And by the grace of God, at 78 pounds – literally at death’s door, Jesus broke through the stone wall fortress in my heart, and helped me see that my body was a gift, given to me by the Father. One that I was instructed to care for, nourish and respect, as it was not only created by God, but created in His image. It is a temple of the Holy Spirit. And simply because of that fact, it has an inherent dignity and value that cannot be denied, deduced, or destroyed.
My life had immeasurable value.
And from that day forward, I vowed to treat it as such, every single day.
I learned that day, the magnitude and importance of the dignity of human life: which is the basis for what it means to truly love, the way Christ loved.
I think that’s why all this news recently leaves my heart aching and feeling so broken: because it completely contradicts that: both the dignity of the human person, and Christ’s definition of love.
Because, you see, what broke through my heart that night at inpatient, on that momentous day that I let Jesus into my heart, and embraced recovery….was when I finally saw Christ on the Cross for what it actually was: an act of pure, self-giving love.
It was realizing that He did that for me – the broken, hurting, manipulative girl with hair that had all fallen out: Me. Realizing that made me want to reciprocate that love to Him…making my body an act of worship, giving it to Him in the form of a healthy, nourished body…the masterpiece He made.
That love – Christ’s selfless love – is the love, that as His image bearers, we are to strive to live out.
Not loving from the utilitarian standpoint, using others as means to an end…but from a self-giving place that wills the good of the other, no strings attached.
Just like all good things, the enemy has twisted that pure love, and placed in our hearts dissatisfaction, distrust, unquenchable desire, dependency, doubt — all distorting that pure Christ-like love, into the counterfeit love we have today – a love that is selfish, aggressive, self-serving and exploitative. And we’re seeing that play out in various ways in every headline mentioned above.
I don’t know what the solution is to this counterfeit love epedemic that is raging on all around us, but I do know, that you and I have the power to live as examples of the way Christ intended us to love and respect one another.
“Love one another as I love you.” John 15:12
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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