“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16
I remember the 1967 song by the Beatles, “Love Is All You Need.” In those days, “free love” was the mantra of the “flower children” who wore peasant-type skirts and shirts, put flowers in their long hair, and, eyes closed, swayed to music that moved them. They claimed the “establishment”—the repressive generation of adults (anyone older than themselves)—had hopelessly missed the point of life, which was love.
The women’s “liberation” movement got into full swing during these same years. In fact, it exploded with deceptions about freedom and love. Bras were burned. Sex was noncommittal and undiscerning.
Psychedelic patterns and hallucinogenic drugs were all the rage. Thankfully, I was a little young to get involved in this vast moral shift, though it still affected me. The closest I got to identifying with this hippie culture was putting those big flower stickers on my guitar and experiencing puppy love for long-haired boys, especially those with teen magazine fame.
In opposition to the song, I would argue that love is not all you need. On the other hand, without love, all that life is concerned with is meaningless. In spite of all the changes that the women’s liberation movement brought about, along with the changes wrought by any other period of history, there is a truth that stands forever.
When I became a Christian, I had to unlearn what had been presented as New Truth. There is no new truth. The source of true love is God, for “love is of God” (1 John 4:7). God showed us His love by sending Jesus: “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9). In response, we are to love others. “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” (1 John 3:11).
In spite of the preaching of the flower children, love isn’t free. Christ paid the price of blood sacrifice—in torturous agony, separated from His Father—to atone for our sins. We, then, are called to love one another unselfishly as Christ did. It cost Him His life, and it may cost us ours. Will love cost us our final breath? I do not know; but I know that it will cost us our selfishness, egos, time, and resources, and probably our comforts, reputations, and plans.“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).
No, love is not free. But it is imperative. We used to sing a campfire song; perhaps you remember it:
Love, love, love, love
Christians, this is your call
Love your neighbor as yourself
For God loves all
Which song are you singing with your life?
“Father, thank You for deliverance from the deception of easy, free, so-called love. Let us learn what it means to love You and love others. Amen.”