Love…More Than a Word

This conception of the way in which God communicates gives a world which is different from the one in which modern man is struggling. It means quite simply that man no longer needs to destroy, nor to sink into apathy; there is a reason to live, build and love. Man is no longer adrift. We may demonstrate how different the two worlds are by considering the meaning of love. Modern man quite properly considers the conception of love to be overwhelmingly important as he looks at personality. Nevertheless, he faces a very real problem as to the meaning of love.  

Though modern man tries to hang everything on the word love, love can easily degenerate into something very much less because he really does not understand it. He has no adequate universal for love. On the other hand, the Christian does have the adequate universal he needs in order to be able to discuss the meaning of love.  

Among the things we know about the Trinity is that the Trinity was before the creation of everything else and that love existed between the persons of the Trinity before the foundation of the world. This being so, the existence of love as we know it in our makeup does not have an origin in chance, but from that which has always been. 

It flows like this: At the ‘divine’ level, God the Father loved God the Son before the creation of the world.  At that same level, God also loves me, even though I exist below the divine level.  The word and act of love has crossed the divine level and entered my ‘human’ level.  ‘The word and act of love has become verifiable and known to me.  Then, at my level, God commands me that I am to love God and to love my wife, children, and neighbors.    

The relationships of love can be shown like this: Two things follow from this. Firstly, I can know something truly of what it means when I am told that God the Father loves the Son. When I see a boy and a girl walking together arm in arm, obviously showing love towards each other, I do not know all that they feel towards one another; yet because I too love my woman, my looking at them is not as a dog would look at them. It is not exhaustive, but it is true understanding — there is true correlation. And when I talk about love existing in the Trinity before creation, I am not talking gibberish. Though I am very far from plumbing its depths when applied to God Himself, yet the word love and the reality of love when Christ spoke of the Father loving Him before the foundation of the world has true meaning for me. Secondly, when I love my woman, its meaningfulness is not exhausted by the context of this one individual relationship alone, nor even the love of all men for all women, nor all finite love.  

The validity and meaning of love rest upon the reality that love exists between the Father and Son in the Trinity. When I say I love, instead of this being a nonsense word, it has meaning. It is rooted in what has always been in the personal relationship existing in the Trinity before the universe was created. Man’s love is not a product of chance that has no fulfillment in what has always been. Love is a thing not only of meaning, but of beauty and wonder to be nourished in joy. 

Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – The God Who Is There 

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