Are You In Love?

Are You In Love?

Sometimes in the rise and fall of romantic relationships, you might observe someone who seems to really love the idea of being married. They like the idea of getting to have a wedding and wear a nice ring. They like the trappings and benefits of marriage. They like the idea of getting a home together, and having children. They might even obsess over the rules of marriage: the husband is supposed to do this and that, while the wife does such and such. They might get the wording of the vows just right. Everything seems perfect about it except… they don’t actually love the other person. They love marriage, but not their spouse.
How well would such a relationship turn out? That marriage would soon feel empty and ritualistic. They would eventually feel trapped and frustrated by the rules that bound them to the spouse they grew to despise, even if they continued to faithfully abide by those rules. There might be bitter disputes over the precise applications of the rules that they two are bound to follow.
We can recognize that such a situation is backwards. If a person loves their spouse, then they will gladly abide by the rules of marriage that bind them together. Love creates obedience; obedience does not create love. Jesus affirms this order in John 14:15 when he said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
At times people approach religion in an equally backwards way. They are converted to the church rather than to the Christ. They are fiercely dedicated to the rules of the church (the Bride of Christ), but have little affection for the bridegroom (Jesus). They may have the forms and patterns of Christianity down to perfection, but still have a religion that is as empty and ritualistic as the marriage we described earlier.
Please don’t misunderstand my implication. Rules and obedience DO matter. However, our obedient submission ought to be the result of our love for Jesus, not a substitute for it. After all, without love perfect knowledge and great service would be useless according to 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.
Are you in love with Jesus? Or just with the idea of being a Christian?

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