The feeling of love? We’ve all been there at some point in our lives; you meet someone who for some reason just sort of makes your heart and whole life feel like its spinning. You find your thoughts dwelling continually on this person and the desire to be with them is incredibly strong. This feeling of love is commonly understood to be falling in love – but is it? Is this feeling meaningful toward who we should be with? Or is it cause for caution?
A Shocking Confession…
In teaching the Smart Dating course to some young friends that I know well, they are taken aback when I tell them that I have had this feeling of love as a married man! They know me well, they know the kind of intense and devoted relationship I have with my wife of 27 years. But there have been times when I have met some lady who I found to be very attractive, to the point of feeling that strong whoosh of intense emotion in their presence; I ask my friends, “What is a married man to do with that? What does it mean?”
The usual response is awkward quietness. My young friends often assume that because I have a successful loving marriage that I married that mystical right person and that I would only have a feeling of love for my darling wife – yet here is a bombshell revelation: Even folks in great relationships sometimes meet someone who makes their head spin, so to speak.
What Does it Mean?
It’s actually quite simple, but I urge you to hang with me in the answer – it may seem a little counter-intuitive to what you have learned over the years.
Humans were designed and created to be relational beings. The designer does excellent work; He obviously enjoys creating things of great beauty that bring joy. So it is quite natural that as unique individuals we will on a fairly regular basis meet someone who, because of the way we were made, is incredibly attractive to us. We sometimes find ourselves having that whoosh sensation (that feeling of love) of wonderful emotions around someone simply because our Creator does excellent work!
The feeling of love is not indicative of love, but of interest, attraction, lust, affection, desire or a combination of those things – because the One who made us intended for us to get together with someone (well most of us, see this link for a brief description of the gift of singleness) and He made us so that we often start a relationship based upon simple physical attraction. Thus, when we see someone who causes that great feeling of love – it is actually a chemical process designed into us to help draw us together as possible companions. But we need to be careful – that response and those chemicals are not very discriminating. Attraction based on mere externals is obviously dangerous.
Now I recognize that some of you are of a different philosophical understanding of humankind than this, just as I used to be. You have been told that man evolved accidentally over millions of years and the sexual process is just a survival process. This idea is pounded into us in media and at school throughout our lives, but consider this.
As I write this, I have beside my computer a fairly new watch. My loving wife gave me this for Christmas – it is amazing. Stainless steel body, beautiful and intricate design, hands that move and are extremely accurate, an outer circular slide rule that can calculate aviation time/speed and distance problems – and it charges itself from light. It is very complex and it works very well. I’ve never met the designer or builder, but I know there was one – the intentionality and design is just too strong to have something this complex happen by accident.
If I were to dissemble this watch and put all the parts into a shoe box and shake it vigorously, how long would I have to shake the box to get the watch to reassemble itself? A month? A year? 50 years? You know it would never assemble itself – the idea is absurd to think that something as complex as a watch would accidentally come together.
You see the application already. A human being, or even just a single part of a human, is far too complex to have occurred accidentally. Heck, even a single human cell is more complex than my watch! If you would like more information on the logical and statistical problems of evolutionary life, follow this link.
The Feeling of Love Means What?
The feeling of love (the chemical response) means that our Creator makes beautiful people and a process which causes us to be attracted to certain types of people. The feeling of love is part of an amazing process that God designed between men and women to help them form and maintain relationships – and to continue the human race. The whole male-female sexual interaction is clearly designed to help two imperfect people help each other through the difficult times of life, and thoroughly enjoy the great times together.
It’s a wonderful feeling – these chemicals of affection, attraction, and even lust (in the right context); they are to be enjoyed – but as we’ll see in part 2 of this discussion some discernment is required.
Question: How have you understood the feeling of love as it relates to the people you meet?