A Theology of Love
The Beacon Bolt is a publication of the student body of Northwest Christian University. Last Thursday night, over eight hundred people crammed themselves into the bleachers of the Morse Event Center to hear Pastor John Mark Comer talk about “God, love, marriage, sex, and the never-ending story of male and female”, or as his book has led the terms to be collectively known: Loveology.
The topics of relationships, marriage, romance, sex, and God’s positions on them have become very complex today. Lots of young adults hold misguided and drastically differing views on the concept of romantic love compared to what the Bible says. Still more are admittedly confused on certain points, if not on this entire subject. Understandably so, this is some messy stuff, and the Bible isn’t always crystal-clear on matters of this nature.
In addition, our culture has established a loose, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants formula for how relationships are “supposed” to work. Attraction, lust, dates, compatibility, first base, second base, etc., it’s all part of the recipe for “love”. The message everywhere is that happiness is what results from love, and if a season comes when love loses its luster, then it may very well be time to pack up and jump ship. This is a formula that by and large is accepted, followed without a second thought, and often leads to disaster.
Statistically, the chances of a marriage lasting for life nowadays is fifty-fifty. Relationships cause a lot of unnecessary pain, and it’s largely due to the fact that everything we see about them in movies, magazines, music, online, and in our culture depicts a skewed version of what they should really look like, and what mentality we should have. Almost all of it is socially constructed though. Sex, depending on where you look, will likely either be seen as the equivalent of good fun, the epitome of what love is, or a necessary evil in order for the human race to continue. It’s pretty complicated, and the further you go the more confusing it can get. Unfortunately, being members of the Christian community doesn’t automatically make these subjects any clearer. Throw in how sexualized our culture has become, along with the strong emotions that usually come with the territory, and you’ve got a journey fraught with quicksand, pitfalls, dead ends, and all other manners of misfortune potentially (if not inevitably) awaiting.
Loveology is an attempt to sift through the Bible and find out how exactly God intended relationships to be. The Loveology event NCU hosted provided some much needed clarity on the topics of sex, romance, dating, and what these things ought to look like in the Christian walk. Based on the size of the crowd, it seems that many young people are eager to learn. Being that it primarily paraphrased the book, the event served as a good introduction to those who have not read it, and a nice refresher for those who already have.
I finished reading Loveology a couple days prior to the event. I’d been aware of it for quite a while, and after a friend of mine mentioned that he was reading it I figured it would be worth sitting down and giving a try. I’m glad I did. It strips away all the extra baggage that comes with the modern ideas of relationships and leaves the reader with a simple and easy to understand guide for God’s actual purpose for relationships. I would say the book is mind-blowing, and at times it certainly feels that way when reading, but the truth is that it’s not. God’s vision for relationships isn’t very complicated when all of the extras and rearrangements added by the world are taken away and a clear picture is left. A lot of it is common sense, just common sense you may not have thought of before, or from an angle you haven’t seen. It’s simplistic yet profound, and there’s a much needed message of hope to be found for those who may be hurting, questioning, or are just simply intimidated by the world of relationships because of the risk, mystery, and confusion that often accompanies them.
Loveology is not a book to skip. Its content is equally relevant regardless of whether you’re single, dating, engaged, or even married. It does a tremendous job of showing how God wants to communicate His love through relationships, and how the guidelines He set are there to make that love felt more fully. It dispels many commonly held myths and illuminates the truths that our generation desperately needs to hear, all between two covers that you can read from front to back in 5-10 hours, a minor investment considering the payout. This book has the potential to radically shift your stance on relationships, romance, and sex in a positive way; and if you’re already seeing these things in the way God intended, at the very least this book will motivate you to continue fighting the good fight.