“ The greater the feeling of responsibility for the person the more true love there is. The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs. Love always involves responsibility and love always involves sacrifice.”
-Pope John Paul II
One of my favorite theologians was Pope John Paul II. He was so heavily inspired by Holy Spirit it has been said by many men and women alike that he had a special key to unlocking peoples hearts. His writing was so brilliant his work was often studied in Philosophy courses at the University level. He once wrote a book called Love and Responsibility, I was blessed enough to get to read and study excerpts from it. It inspired me today to discuss the responsibility we have in love. It grieves my heart to see how careless we have become in the pursuit of love and how we do not care for it when we have it. We must rid ourselves of the utilitarian approach to dating and marriage, that is the desire to make ends meet to fulfill voids and pleasures. Whether it is fear, doubts, worry, loneliness, lust, boredom, or impatience these will always make themselves known in a relationship if the goal is fulfilling something that is missing or lacking within us.
A person must be pursued as an object of love, someone worthy of self-sacrifice and someone willing to hold ourselves responsible for our actions and words. For it is our words and actions that impact the depth of respect and honor we have for one another. We should find the one who sees that we are worthy of being protected and our soul led from veering off the straight and narrow path. We should align with the one worthy of submitting to and not out of a place of unworthiness or less than in rank, but out of transcendent realization that we are not loving for the fleeting pleasures of our flesh, but from our soul radiating love for the glory of Christ our King.
Otherwise, the pursuit of maximization of pleasure or the lack of filling the void will reach its limits and that is where you will find yourself in the pit of despair, constant fighting, cheating, confusion, divorce, broken heartedness, and full of broken promises. Proverbs 13:12 states, “hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Therefore, an honest (wo)man will have a desire to do what is right and this preserves the (wo)man from making mistakes that ultimately will wound the other person. You probably have experienced this in your own life or have broken promises yourself and had to clean up the mess afterwards. These relationships fall apart because we lose in the furry of our flesh the understanding of love and the sacrifice and responsibility that comes with it, thus leading to broken hearts and broken promises.
With all of the brokenness in the world I often ask myself what is true love? As a person who has faced much pain in the pursuit of love I often wonder if it is only found in those fictional Hallmark specials, and not something we can actually obtain. Upon deep contemplation I have come to the conclusion that true love is actually Jesus. Jesus is our first love and he is true love. It is best shown in the famous verse John 3:16 that states, “For God so loved the World, the He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus does not love nearly for His own intrinsic pleasure, He loves us out of an unconditional self-sacrificing love. As followers of Christ we get to be coheirs with Him in giving and receiving true love. When we accept that our role as the bride of Christ is filled with responsibility and the joys of burden bearing, we get to enjoy the promise keepers love, peace, and joy in its totality in our relationships with Him and others.
The great news is the Lord is the Lord of promise and He made a promise and fulfilled it above and beyond what we could ever be worthy of, yet His life of servanthood and sacrificial death on the cross was His way of showing us that He felt otherwise about our worthiness. See the currency of heaven is promise. Jesus understood what the currency of heaven meant for us as the bride of Christ. The promise bought by true love (Jesus) our eternal salvation in heaven.
Jesus understood the importance of fulfilling the Father’s promise. When we as believers understand how to use the currency of heaven in our relationships we will walk in the light of Christ and will carry out Kingdom relationships the way they are intended to be. Jesus is worthy of it all so today let us walk in the promises of heaven in its totality. Let us share true love (Jesus) with one another so that we might be leading examples of His light and life in our relationships on Earth as it is Heaven. Amen!