Oh, the power of romantic love! It is the most beautiful experience in the world but can become the cruelest and darkest of experiences. It beautifies us, yet has the potential to bring out the worst in us.
Why has God created us to love?
Romantic Love, in essence, is Spiritual. We only need to look at the love stories, the poetry, the songs and we find that a man-in-love has made of woman a symbol of something universal, something inward, eternal, and transcendent. He sees a special reality revealed in her; he feels completed, ennobled, refined, spiritualized, uplifted, transformed into a new, better, and whole man being with the women he loves.
We use words like ‘god’ and ‘goddess’ to describe our lovers, the experience is described as ‘perfect,’ ‘complete,’ and ‘out of this world.’ We feel raptured, fully connected, at peace, nothing can go wrong. We believe we can conquer the world. We’re full of new hope, energy, and ecstasy! We can see no fault in our lover. Romantic love is the most powerful motion and the most passionate of causes on earth. It makes people do things they would never have done before. When we fall in love, we feel alive; our senses are awakened to a newness and freshness of life not like at any other moment in our lives. Oh but the agony of love lost! The realization that it was only a moment! The depression and horror one face, when this love cannot be consummated are despair like no other. People commit suicide! They want to end it all. The rage one feels when romantic love disappoints have led in some cases to crimes of passion.
The Bible says this love is stronger than death, and many waters cannot quench it! It’s flames are fire, a most vehement fire! Song 8:6-7
When we “fall in love” we feel completed, as though a missing part of ourselves has been returned to us; we feel uplifted, as though we were suddenly raised above the level of the ordinary world. Life in love has an intensity, a glory, an ecstasy, and transcendence. We seek in romantic love to be possessed by our love, to soar to the heights, to find ultimate meaning and fulfillment in our beloved. We’re looking for the feeling of wholeness.
Romantic love is not an emotion it is a drive.
Romantic love moves us. Let’s read Helen Fisher’s scientific conclusion on Romantic Love:
I study the brain in love. My colleagues and I have put forty-nine people who were madly in love into a brain scanner (hmri). Seventeen had just fallen happily in love; fifteen had just been rejected in love; seventeen were men and women in their fifties who maintained they were still “in love” with their spouse after an average of twenty- one years of marriage. All showed activity in a tiny factory near the base of the brain that pumps out dopamine—the neural liquor that gives you the energy, focus, craving, and motivation associated with intense romantic passion — what the ancient Greeks called “the madness of the gods.” Helen Fisher.
According to Fisher her studies has shown that Sexual drive is what drives us to find a partner to reproduce. Romantic Love is the drive that keeps us together long enough for the infant to be out of danger, which is between 12 – 18 months. Because of the very high levels of dopamine which helps creativity, people tend to write their experiences in poems and songs. We, therefore, have more than enough evidence of just how powerful romantic love can be, by studying the words and expressions of the poets.
The place where Romantic love occurs in the brain is associated with obsession, high-risk gambling, compulsive disorders and drug-addicts. When love is lost, the same withdrawal symptoms occur as seen among addicts. The place where romantic love happens in the brain is right at the core called the reptilian brain. It is below the emotional, and cognitive part of the brain, responsible for feelings of reward, motivation, wanting, focus and craving. Feeling the rush of cocaine would also occur in exactly the same place. But it is much more than a cocaine rush, at least you come down from the effect. Romantic love is an obsession, it possesses you, you loose all sense of self, and cannot stop thinking of the object of your love. It is like someone is camping in your head. Not getting the person you love actually increases the effect. You just cannot get him or her out of your head. Romantic love affects the part of our brain, where we calculate and measure and are willing to take impossible high risks. This is why many lovers are willing to loose it all to win the prize of my love! They are willing to take any risk, and pay any prize to see love fulfilled. Fisher
Romantic love is a need, it’s an addiction.
Romantic love has the same symptoms than addiction: tolerance, withdrawal, relapse. You’re willing to endure all kinds of suffering, to be with the one you love. When love is not fulfilled, and you cannot have your love it leads to withdrawal symptoms physically and emotionally. And it takes one picture months and even years later to start it all again with the same vigorous power it had on your in the beginning.
Surely this is why the Sullumite begs “do not awaken love before it’s time!” This is a power that has brought great men to their end and ruin! It is a fantastic power to enjoy and nurture for a lifetime in marriage, but it can be a destroying power when you do not guard your heart. David the great spiritual King of Israel, the man that God said he loves as a friend, this man fell in love with the end-result being adultery and murder! What is the lesson we learn from history? No person is immune to its power.
The stories of Christian leaders and respectable men and women who have fallen from grace are enumerable! Daily we hear of another divorce, another sexual immoral act performed by Christian Believers.
I believe the answer has been looking us in the face for centuries! From the beginning to the end of the Bible God is calling us to one thing:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength!” 95% of people will acknowledge the fact that they have loved and it was not to be, or that they have disappointed another who have loved. Not many have escaped the tragedy of love not effectuated. We are all in some form of relapse. Looking on Facebook for clues, glimpses of what could have been. The sorrow of regret and the agony of being rejected are heavy loads to carry and tug alongside us throughout life. Did we marry the wrong person? Surely this cannot be it! How can something so perfect now feel so normal and boring? Where is the excitement? Where is the glory?
The truth is romantic love wears off!
According to the Imago therapists, romantic love is only the first stage of any relationship. The second stage is the power struggle. That is where we become aware of each other’s faults, bad habits, and differences. It happens to all of us. That first spiritual enlightened moment has gone by, and here we are settled in a rut.
What is God’s purpose for romantic love.
Let us look at this answer again? Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. I sincerely do not believe God created us with the ability to fall in love, to be heart-broken for a lifetime. Surely no one is perfect and we cannot prevent ourselves from hurt, and offense! (Luk 17:2) Somewhere our bubble is going to burst. It is in God that this love is nurtured and fulfilled! It is in Him that we discover all the glory, fullness and perfection. It is His love that completes us and makes us whole. When we are firstly and foremostly in love with Him, then we can happily fall in love with someone, who has also surrendered his or her heart to Him. His love heals us from all selfishness and makes us the best partner to be with.
Religious formality and traditions will never satisfy man’s hunger for a loving God. It is only when we experience God personally and powerfully in our own lives, that we begin to look at Him with new eyes. It is when we discover for ourselves the light in His eyes, that our heart turns violently in our core! We fall in love with God! This is the core of worship – LOVE! Pouring out our love on Him, is what completes us. This is reason why we were made. This the point of life – Misty Edwards.
Romantic love is deeply personal and focused. Until we love God this way, and fall for Him we are truly lost. This is why God is a God of encounters, He is involved in our lives. He heals, and set people free. He does miracles and signs so that we can see His love. Give your heart to Him! Let your soul finally be satisfied with the true love you seek – God. This is why He gave us the Holy Spirit, so that we can feel Him, sense Him. This is why we need to be in a church, were people passionately loves God, because this love is contagious! God’s love is not selfish and self-serving. When we love Him, He teaches us to go and love likewise. He shares His love, and wants us to share it too.
Finally: a word to young people and single people. When you fall in love with someone that is not saved and born again, when romantic love subsides and fades away, you will find yourself committed, engaged and married to someone that does not have your values, mindset, perspective, identity, habits nor focus. This leads to much pain and resentment later, that ultimately leads to divorce. This person should find Christ before you commit and go deeper in the relationship.
The person you commit to should know beforehand who you are, and your desire to follow Jesus, and His ways! Do not compromise on this! What you compromise to win, you will loose! Your romantic affection makes you believe he/she is an angel and perfect, but they’re not! It’s the chemicals in your brain messing with your head! It is easy to fall in love with someone, but it is really hard to keep falling in love with a person who does not change and become more and more Christlike as they grow older. This only happens in marriages where both partners are fully committed in their walk with God.
Purposefully fill your life with God. Let His love heal and restore you completely. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength and mind!!!