While attending high school as a senior, I was assigned to write an essay on the subject of love and whether or not the culture’s view of love was flawed. Many of my classmates were divided on the issue. Some believed that love was love and that there was no right or wrong answer. Others had viewed that love was definitely flawed and that it had become a shallow word. In the essay, I tried to explain what love truly was, where the culture went wrong, and what we can do to fix it. This is what I wrote.
A Christian artist by the name of Warren Barfield once wrote a song called “Love is not a Fight”. In the song, there was a lyric that caught my attention, “Love is not a fight, but it’s something worth fighting for.” Love indeed is something worth fighting for, but to say love is not a fight is an ignorant statement. It implies that love is supposed to be some kind of breezy fairy tale that ends with a “happily ever after”. My view of love comes from the most politically incorrect view concerning gender roles and marriage structure: complementarianism (the belief that men and women need each other, and that romantic relationships are supposed to reflect Christ’s relationship with the church). From that view, I came to the belief that love is both a fight, and worth fighting for. Sadly, our present culture does not think this way.
A characteristic that has become a staple of the millennial generation is its impatience, and sadly that has become a part of its love culture as well. Why wait for a good and long lasting relationship? Why not just settle for a decent dating period that has no focus on the person, and will only last for a couple months? I’ve seen many 13 year olds dating and getting romantically involved with the opposite sex. Middle school aged girls are flocking to social media telling others about how they miss “their man”. I cringe whenever I see those kinds of posts. Why are people so young more interested in temporary relationships than maturing both ideologically and biologically?
The worst part, is that despite the need for the youth to develop the latter, they fall into sexual experimentation. According to many polls, the average age of losing the V-card is 16 years old for boys and 15 years old for girls. It’s almost as if people really gave up on trying to tell people about unconditional love. In the Holy Scriptures, Apostle Paul writes, “Love is patient.” (1 Cor. 13:4 ESV) Rather than developing self-control and striving for an honorable relationship, the youth believes that we don’t need to wait to learn how to love. This isn’t love, but this is definitely ignorance. How do we know? Because it is not a relationship worth fighting for.
Another aspect that is noticeable among the general culture of men and women who profess to believe in love, is their lack of change of character and interests. Most men, who have been married for years, still act like boys. I once met a guy who had been married to his wife for over ten years, and yet he had no interest in his family’s future and was more focused on buying useless things than his son’s college fund. Women thankfully are not as childish, but they are still distracted. The guy’s wife was also unfocused on her child and her family, but instead of chasing things to spend on she had become focused on her career. She once told me, “There’s nothing wrong with loving yourself.” I highly disagree with this view. If someone has the mindset of this kind of couple, then there’s absolutely no reason for one to seek a relationship, let alone marriage. Love is about submission and a change in priorities. I’m not saying women should quit their jobs to be married and that men shouldn’t be allowed to fish, but I am saying that love is about valuing your spouse, or significant other, above anything that was created in this world (this excludes Jesus as He is not created, nor was He of this world; He should always be revered more than anyone else). Yes, it’s hard, but that’s why it is love.
The last thing that is wrong with this culture’s understanding of love, is that the culture believes that there doesn’t have to be any developing relationship to have love. Love is no longer defined as an ongoing battle of humbling oneself and having the will to submit. Love is now something that we can have “at first sight.” According to this culture, you can “make love” every night to a different person, and you can watch someone “make love” for free on multiple websites on the internet in its full perverted state. On many smartphones is an app called Tinder, which is a social app dedicated to people who are only looking for a one-night stand deal, rather than a relationship. How is this love? Why is no one questioning this?
Our culture has become estranged to love thanks to shows like “The Bachelorette” which is wrong for teaching that there is a shortcut to love, but love should not be treated like a biological urge. It is sacred and something that declares the glory of God and His mercy to creation. In His mercy, He wanted us to come to love the opposite sex and to know the him or her in one’s life. However, God had a specific purpose to love and He wanted it to be sought after in this way: loving a person means getting to know them, becoming their best friend, and to become in a sense “one flesh”. This view is essentially being thrown out the window in favor of an animalistic and perverted view on love, which says relationships are not as important as sex.
Love is most definitely a fight, and most definitely something to fight for. How long must we continue inhumane treatment of women in pornography? How long must we promote condoms over wedding rings? How many people need to die of STDs before the culture realizes what is true love? Love is about the person and changing your desires for that person. The truth of love can be recovered by simply returning to the truths of God and the teaching of the Bible, where the definitions of love can be evident: patience, kindness, selflessness, and humility. It is my hope and prayer that many people will begin to see the truth about romantic love and its challenges, and test their heart if it is something they should consider striving for.
I hope this essay exert was a blessing to everyone who read this, and may this begin to ask correct questions concerning what love really is: a fight, and a fight that is worth fighting.
Soli Deo Gloria.