Love Is Not Compulsion: Love Is Conversion
We volunteered our marital expertise for a marriage preparation class and fought before every meeting. Tried talking couples out of the clouds. But it couldn’t be done—because there’s something overpowering about becoming one.
“The mystery which has been hidden for ages and from all generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col 1:26-27) [emphasis mine]
We were made to be one with God. Made to love God. It’s the craving we can never put our finger on. The hint of heaven on the tip of every tongue.
More important than standing at the altar—is coming to the cross. Giving our hearts to the One who gives all.
All arguments reach agreement in the mystery of Christ’s company. The nail marks in His hands mark the shifting of our hearts. Having access to the Father ends our fighting with each other. Jesus, the wall-breaker, makes peace with our Maker, and all our separateness becomes togetherness.
June 6th is 39 years for us, but we’re nothing without Peace in us. The union that makes love doable is God’s faithfulness to Son and Spirit—because when we fall on our faces, he cannot deny Himself. (2 Tim 2:13)
“He who believes in Me, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (Jn 7:38) Rivers, friends! Not a faucet of running water, a spring shower, or lazy lake. The Holy Spirit is rivers of living water! Can you feel the rush breaking through rock? Sense His strength rise to the top? Do you hear the roar many waters make? Come to the waters, be not afraid. Love is not compulsion, love is conversion!
Mortal love is aroused by compulsion, meaning: irrational; the act of compelling; constraint; coercion. A strong, unusually irresistible impulse to perform an act, especially one that is contrary to one’s will. This definition triggers some murky memories. Wounds I’ve long liked to forgive and forget. How many of us got burned by compulsion’s first pull? Not a shareable story?
Love means never letting your sorry slip by.
It would be a healthy step into the water, saying I’m sorry. She was dear to me, but I feared his teasing turning toward me. So, I joined with a bully and became a heel. We were just kids. I thought she might not even remember—that I would need to recall the whole story—but as soon as I started, tears filled her eyes.
Compulsion keeps us bound by lies—“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
But conversion cries, “Be reconciled!” —because love means never letting your sorry slip by.
“If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember someone has something against you, leave your gift, and go. First be reconciled, then come offer your gift.” (Mat 5:23-24) Jesus is basically saying, Don’t offer yourself to Me when you’re indebted to someone else.
I’m not fond of saying I’m sorry, but converted love gets fueled by faith. A conscious decision weighed. The heart turns off to foolish ways, packs up, and moves in with forgiveness and grace.
More noteworthy than compulsion’s definition, is its antonyms, namely: freedom and liberty. You are free, friend. Never again cuffed by passion and pursuit but captivated in patience, poise, and the sweetest of fruit.
“With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” (Song of Solomon 2:3-4)
Pray with me…
Thank You, Father, that of all the creatures on earth, we are the ones You chose to be one with. Give us what we need to love like You, even when it feels like the hardest thing to do. Keep us coming to the River.
For Jesus sake, Amen.