Everyone has a definition of love but can anyone truly show what love is. In this day and age, love is a word tossed around in every conversation. Common phrases you hear are “I deserve to be loved,” “I want to love someone,” or “I need someone. I can’t be by myself.” If you have not heard these phrases, then you read them plastered all over social media in memes, Facebook posts, twitter, and Instagram. The constant need to be in a relationship and to feel loved is prevalent in our society and not just a phenomenon amongst our youth. Adults, well into their forties and fifties walk around broken-hearted, suffering from loneliness.
This epidemic or broken heart syndrome originates somewhere, but none of us know where and how this disease spreads so fast. Could it be we don’t know how to love? Are we too broken or too weak? My belief is we settle for Counterfeit love.
What is counterfeit love? Counterfeit love is settling for an imitation that on the surface may look like love, behave like love, even rear results that people assume to be the power of love, but is an imitation of a genuine relationship. Instead of healing, wholeness, restoration, and repentance, which are all results of pure, genuine love, counterfeit love seeks to divide, cause chaos, satisfy unholy desires and drive wedges between couples. Counterfeit love comes in various forms. I will list a few below to give you an idea.
Counterfeit love reveals itself in:
- A man having an illicit affair
- A woman seeking pleasure in pornographic images
- Same sex relationships
- Sex outside of marriage
- A spouse Choosing career over family
- People and their love and pursuit of money
You see counterfeit love is not merely limited to people but also objects. I believe humanity settling for counterfeit love instead of real love is one of the leading causes of broken heart syndrome. It is because of counterfeit love, relationships fall apart or are usually one-sided because one person decides to love the person unconditionally, in spite of the red flags, while the other partner loves until they stop feeling the “love.” Marriages as well, break and are torn to pieces by divorce through selfish choices made by either spouse. Some husbands refuse to love their wives as Christ loves the church, His reasons are trivial like the wife does not look the way she used to. While wives verbally abuse their husbands refusing to submit themselves underneath his wing until they no longer have a man.
This is not love. This is chaos and division. Satan works through disunity. The only one exact place to find love is not in the broken world but the living God.
“7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:7-9)
God is the author and originator of love. Without Him, love would not be in existence. We can love our brothers and sisters in Christ because the love of God lives in us. We’re able to forgive people who offend us and move forward because the “love of God was manifested toward us.” Manifested in the incarnation of His Son, Jesus, who is God came down from heaven to do the will of the Father, to reconcile humanity back to God.
Amazingly, we, humans hear the truth, and we reject God and His unwavering love. As much as humanity cries and shouts out for God to bring us our significant others, we refuse the love of God which is perfect and pure. God gives Real love. God gives real love because God is love. And I don’t mean God is love and that is all He is. No God is Love, and He is God. To truly understand Real Love, we must comprehend love in the context of God’s character. Real love is real and genuine because it does not support or affirm sin. If love does not perpetuate sin or wickedness does God? Not. God may be love, but God is holy. You cannot accept one truth, or one characteristic of God’s love and stubbornly deny the other. Understand first and foremost God abhors and hates sin. And Counterfeit love perpetuates a sinful lifestyle. God will not bless you and support your lifestyle of fornication or homosexuality or adultery, because obeying His precepts, and laws come first.
So, the first rule is Real Love tells you the ugly truth.
The ugly truth is, sin is ugly, and sin is wrong, and sin is evil. Destroying and mutilating our lives and our souls can you honestly sit there and think about how the sin in your life has ever down you any good.
“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15)
Every sin has reaped a negative consequence, and it is because of our sin nature, our flesh and our unholy desires cause problems in our relationships and healing process. Counterfeit love relies solely on sin and on perpetuating old sin patterns instead of destroying them. For example, many marriages fall apart due to selfishness — the husband refusing to lead the household investing in his relationship in the Lord because he does not want to crucify his flesh and leave his past behind. Adding more fuel to the fire, the wife refuses to tame her tongue, to be obedient to God and submit to her position as the helpmate, yet she wants to be the head of the household. Throwing the balance into utter chaos, all because both the husband and wife do not want to turn away from their selfishness. Sin is the root of counterfeit love and the inability to recognize counterfeit love or willing settling for it leads to broken heart syndrome.
You wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t tell you; you’re dressed like a fool. No! You would want someone who is honest and loves you more, than hurting your feelings.
Understand one of the first principles about REAL love is selflessness. God is love because God is wholly and utterly selfless. God denied His right to have His Son in heaven with Him and gave up His Son up for us. Humanity has never done anything to deserve God’s love. We didn’t care about God (and we still don’t care) and daily we’re making choices in our lives that continuously drives a rift between God and us. We know love only because God in His Son, Jesus made love known to us.
The Second Rule is Real Love is Selfless. It requires sacrifice.
You want to know why God has us wait for our significant other. Waiting allows God to work unbothered on our hearts. So many of us are not ready for a significant other, we know this, and yet we selfishly cry out to God, “Where is he?! Where is she?!” Check your actions before you demand God to give you your spouse. Check your situation. The mess you’re in because of sin. Real love requires time and sacrifice and effort. God is a patient worker (regardless of how we pressure him), He ignores our cries and works on our day and night. Pruning out our impatience, our willful and slandering tongues, our self-absorbent ways and indifference to the needs of others.
God understands and knows Real Love is built upon sacrifice. And I don’t mean sacrifice a piece of your body and seal away your soul with blood. No Real love requires a sacrifice of your desires and needs for the good of others. God, our Father in Heaven, is the perfect example.
“16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
We never loved God. There was never a time when we loved God before He loved us. Even after the fall of Adam and Eve, God reached out toward us. He loved us so much; He gave up His “only Son.” The Word of God says, God “gave,” did you hear that. Let me repeat that. God “gave” did you catch it now? God gave, willingly volunteered, selflessly offered up His Son, Jesus without a second thought for Jesus’s sake. Knowing fully, the humiliation, the beating, the flogging, the degradation Jesus will endure at the hands of us humans here on Earth. God sent Jesus to do one thing: die. And yet God’s love for us endures, it remains. This is the ultimate example of God’s love.
But Counterfeit love is the opposite. It does not sacrifice but takes, takes, takes, and takes!! Counterfeit love is all about lust. When you are in an unstable relationship, you’re never satisfied, you’ll always want more. Counterfeit love will leave you hungry.
The Third and final Rule is Real Love inspires genuine and permanent change.
Counterfeit love lies to you, tells you, you and your sin and fleshly habits are okay. Like a worn out slogan people preach whatever makes you happy should be okay. What a lie! It makes people feel embarrassed, ashamed, and contrite over sin; people repel that part of the restoration process is to confess and repent. We continuously relapse like an alcoholic back into our drinking patterns because we’re powerless to kill old habits and we’re not motivated to change. Counterfeit love will leave you in an endless sin cycle.
But the result of real love is a transformation.
“28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:28-29 (NKJV)
Once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the sanctification process immediately starts. Sanctification is the process of a young believer becoming a mature believer in the body of Christ. Since through Jesus we have been adopted into the kingdom of heaven we are the charge of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, to bring forth our true manifestation. This world is messed up. It’s going to get worse, more robberies, deaths, calamities, wars, and genocides and in spite of all the evil. God’s goodness and His promises stand out like the stars shining in the night sky. God will keep His promises to us. His love will change us from the inside out.
We have been “called according to His purpose,” we “love God,” and God is compelled to ensure our change from stubborn, self-seeking, faithless carnal Christians to disciplined, faithful members of the body. God loves us enough to change us by using His Son, Jesus to save us and deliver us from the destructive path of sin and its penalty.
The Holy Spirit brings out the best. He chisels away our impatience, our inability to wait patiently for our significant other. He allows certain circumstances to test our strength not to speak mean or hurtful words to others. He puts us in stressful and anxious situations to perfect our absolute trust in His power and providence. These are examples of Real Love. God may allow for tragedies, hardships, and trials to break us down, so He can work in us uninhibited and undisturbed. But God does not leave us this way. He rebuilds us, making us stronger.
So we can be “conformed to the image of His Son,” God desires for us to resemble Jesus. To be made whole, not seeking a relationship or an object to fill the void we have in our spirits. The more we dig into God’s Word, indeed applying the scriptures the more we recognize the different kinds of counterfeit love in the world, so we can avoid them, and the more we’re being filled with the love of God. To be like Christ is the ultimate goal of any Christian, it is in Christ, we’re at peace. It is in Him we’re no longer running back to our past and nurturing our former ways, but we’re living, for now, we’re living for God. This is the permanent change we hear so much about because the love of God compels us to seek true intimacy with Him.
It is not impossible!
It is possible.
Real love exists.
Real love can and will happen to you.
The Question is, will you surrender your heart to God? Will you allow God to administer the cure to stop the broken heart syndrome, which is Jesus?
Copyright © 2018 by A Meeting at the Well