The Lord put this song in my mind only for the purpose of illustration, and not in any way condoning or supporting its message:
Can’t Help Falling in Love
Songwriters: George David Weiss / Hugo E. Peretti / Luigi Creatore
Wise men say
Only fools rush in
But I can’t help falling in love with you
Shall I stay?
Would it be a sin
If I can’t help falling in love with you?
So, what is this song teaching us that love is? It is feelings, emotions, lust, passion, fleshly desire, senselessness, lack of wisdom, lack of control, foolishness, impulsiveness, unwise, sin, immorality, illogical, and something you can fall into and just as easily fall out of.
Ruled by Emotion
2 Samuel 11:2-5 ESV
“It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, ‘Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’ So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, ‘I am pregnant.’”
David was a man of God who God had anointed as king over Israel. But David was still a man. He still lived in a flesh body, and thus he still had a propensity to sin against God. And sin he did. He saw a woman, he lusted after her, he inquired as to who she was, and even though she was married, he had her brought to him, he slept with her, and she became pregnant.
David, instead of using good judgment, instead of doing what he knew was right, instead of resisting Satan and fleeing temptation, followed his own lusts, and he committed adultery. He was overcome with fleshly desire for this woman so that he was senseless, and he was foolish.
And this is how many people today, including many Christians, are falling into sin, are committing adultery against their spouses, and are sinning against God, because they let their emotions and their flesh and their fleshly desires rule over their minds and their hearts, and over reason and logic.
And I do believe a large influence in this is our culture and the worldliness which has crept into the church. A lot of it comes from movies, especially romantic or sexually suggestive or provocative ones, TV shows, videos, porn, and just a general acceptance of a false idea of what love is.
So, if two people get married, expecting this emotional high all the time, and that their every fantasy is going to be fulfilled, and that they are going to live in eternal bliss, and then they realize they married another human who has faults like they do, and that life has its ups and downs, and then another comes along who gets to their emotions, they may easily fall out of love with their spouse and easily fall in love with someone else.
And that often leads to divorce, to the dissolution of a marriage, to the breakup of families, to second marriages, to blended families, and to worse situations as what they thought they had with the first marriage, because now there are x-spouses involved and children being shared by parents, etc.
So, the moral of this story is that love is not an emotion, although emotions are certainly involved. But we can’t base love off our feelings. For feelings fluctuate. And we can’t live by our feelings, for feelings may lead us in a wrong direction, and to sinning against our spouses.
And if we don’t want to be ruled by our feelings, but rather by faith in Jesus Christ, then we need to seriously consider the kinds of things we are taking into our minds and hearts each day by the things we watch or listen to or by the philosophies and attitudes we end up adopting for ourselves.
Instead of spending time watching movies and videos or listening to music which promote this feelings-based love, which can be totally senseless and out of control, and which can lead us astray, we need to be bathing our minds and hearts with what God’s word teaches us about love.
Coming to Your Senses
Psalms 51:1-2 ESV
“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!”
If you have committed adultery against your spouse because you allowed your flesh to rule over your heart, and because you followed your own passions and desires, instead of using sound judgment and discernment, and because you chose yourself over your spouse, I pray you will repent.
And by “repent” is not meant a cursory “I’m sorry,” only to go back and do it again and again. Worldly sorrow means nothing. And it doesn’t mean to sin, confess, sin confess, and so on. Godly sorrow leads to true repentance which leads to leaving the sin behind and to now going in the opposite direction.
Also, adultery is not just having sex with someone with whom you are not married. Jesus defined it as lusting after another in one’s heart. So, it also includes lusting, romantic thoughts of others, porn viewing, self-gratification, sex-texting, sharing of inappropriate images, and private conversations of a romantic or sexual nature with others, etc.
So, there needs to be a change of heart and mind here, and part of that will come with altering what you take into your minds on a regular basis, for we end up thinking what we digest with our minds. And there needs to be a change of mind regarding the true meaning of love, too.
But we also need to have a biblical perspective of not only love, but of sin, too, for many people romanticize sin or they call it something other than what it is. For example, if you commit adultery against your spouse habitually and willfully, don’t say you “messed up.” Call it what it is. You chose to commit adultery, and to not love your spouse, and to injure his or her heart, on purpose, because you wanted your idol more.
Many people continue living in sin without conscience and without true repentance because they downplay the sin and they call it something else, and they minimize, and they rationalize and justify the sin and/or they blame someone else for their sin. They never take responsibility for themselves and their actions.
What Love Is
Romans 12:1-2 ESV
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
There are plenty of Scriptures in the New Testament describing what love is, the kind of love we are to have for God and for one another, and that a husband and wife are to have for each other, but this is the Scripture the Lord brought to mind, and it is very fitting.
When we do what this Scripture teaches, in obedience to our Lord, not only will we be loving God in the right way, but we will also love others in the right way, too. For if our lives are committed and surrendered to Jesus Christ as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, we are not going to be in the practice of sinning against God and others, especially our spouses.
We are not going to be taking into our minds the junk of this world, either, but our minds will be stayed on Christ and on his word and on obeying him in doing what he says, too. And we will have the mind of Christ and the heart and love of Christ living within us, whereby we will love others.
Our desire will be for the Lord, to please him, and for our spouses, to do right by them in loving them as Christ loves us. It doesn’t mean we will never have a selfish thought again, but that daily, by the Spirit, we will be putting to death the deeds of the flesh and we will be conducting our lives according to the Spirit of God and no longer according to our flesh.
So, instead of the passions of our flesh ruling our hearts and minds and behaviors, now the Lord and his word will be ruling our hearts, minds and behaviors so that we learn to discern the will of God for our lives, what is good, acceptable and perfect.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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