Non-Fiction: There Is Only Love

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

There Is Only Love
Why love is always the best policy, even when it hurts.

By request of my father, I did something I almost never do: 

I went to church.

I have nothing against church, really, and I believe full-heartedly in the importance of regularly making an appearance in a place filled with the holy goodness of love, but in my experience, churches are rarely filled with love. Good intentions? Possibly. But genuine love? Hardly. Perhaps I have an artists bias, but the only time I come close to feeling love in a church is during the worship portion. But once the music ends, so does the love. There is just nothing lovely about being told how to live your life by someone who is supposedly “holier” than you, and unfortunately, that’s exactly how the majority of church sermons go.

This particular church service I went to was no different.

First of all, the Pastor was wearing designer clothes, those “hipster” glasses that are so cool right now, and makeup so he could look flawless for the cameras he was preaching to. Yes, forget about the actual audience in front of you. It was much more important to preach to a screen.


But that wasn’t the worst of it.

As part of his Father’s-Day-themed sermon, he preached about what it means to be an “excellent” father, and one of the things he said was this:

“An excellent father chooses the relationships his children have.”

I value my independence, so I was automatically uncomfortable with this, but I could see where it might be smart. After all, how many times had I complained that I wished my father would at least pretend to disapprove of the guys I was interested in? I mean, seriously. How much heartache would have been spared if someone had intervened and expressed their disapproval?

But then the Pastor continued:

“We have a duty as fathers to protect our children from bad people. If they hang out with bad people, they will become bad people. We are influenced by the people we hang around with, so it’s important that we make sure our children only associate with good people who are good influences. It is absolutely necessary for fathers to protect their children from people who aren’t worthy to have relationships with them.”

Wait, what? Did I really just hear that from a supposed man of God?

Why, yes. I did. And I immediately disagreed.

Yes, it’s true that I wished I could have been spared the heartache, that my father’s disapproval might have saved me from having to learn a relationship wasn’t good for me on my own. 

But here’s another truth:

If I hadn’t experienced it for myself, I never would have learned. And I would much rather experience my life and learn all it’s lessons than live a life created by my father’s personal opinions.

In trying to protect his children from being hurt, this Pastor was also playing God. Who was he to decide who is “worthy” or not? Who is he to decide who is “good” or “bad”? Who is anyone to make such decisions and apply such labels?

Because the truth is that there isn’t a such thing as “good” or “bad” or “worthy” in relationships or in life. There is only love. And maybe there are some people we will love who won’t return that love, who will instead take all that we have and leave us with pain. But true love is unconditional, and no matter what the return is, we were designed to give it.

Even if it hurts.

Even if it’s scary.

Love is sacrifice, but it is always, always worth it.

Perhaps having my father control the establishment of my relationships makes the most logical sense, but love wasn’t meant to be logical. When Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross for our sins, we weren’t even born yet. He didn’t even know us, and yet he died for us. Was that logical? Or was that love?

I don’t plan to be attending church again anytime soon, but I do plan on this:

I plan to live my life with and for love. Without condition and without fear. With sacks full of sacrifice and plenty of pain. Because love - not logic - is the best policy.


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