Controversial Love

Love is on attack these days. Everyone is shouting out for equality, especially in regards to love. But what is love? What does it look like? And who gets to have it?

Well, keep on reading and you’ll find what the Scriptures have to say about it.

1) We are called to love our enemies.

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44 NIV

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” Luke 6:27 ESV

2) We are called to love one another.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34 ESV

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” John 15:12 NLT

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10 ESV

“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 13:1 NIV

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7 NLT

3) But marriage is between one man and one woman.

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one,” Mark 10:6-8 NIV

“But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2 ESV

4) And same-sex relationships/marriage isn’t just ungodly; it’s a sinful lifestyle.

“Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.” Leviticus 18:22 NLT

“If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.” Leviticus 20:13a NIV

“For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:26b-27 ESV

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,” 1 Corinthians 6:9 ESV

“We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, … The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, … or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News” 1 Timothy 1:8-11 NLT

5) Christ loves mankind.

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:33 ESV

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NIV

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God” 1 John 3:1a ESV

The most controversial love of all is the love of God. It goes so much deeper and is far more intimate than any love we will ever know. It’s too great for us to understand. He loves us as sinners, as those who are born apart from Him, who have despised and rejected Him. He loves us as His children, who have been adopted through the death and resurrection of Christ, and our repentance as sinners. He didn’t just die for us because we were friendly – which, remember, the same people who followed Him singing, “hosanna!” were the same ones to shout, “crucify Him!” – we were His enemies. We were apart from Him.

But He loved us that deeply, that unconditionally, that He, the one true God who is perfect and holy, became the sin we committed so that in His death and resurrection He defeated the sin we struggle with so we could be free.

“Rarely would any of us suggest to our sons or brothers or friends that they pick the most potentially unfaithful and prideful bride of the pack but that is absolutely what our God did when He chose us.” Jess Connolly & Hayley Morgan, Wild and Free

Love is a word we throw around unbelievably loosely nowadays. It doesn’t seem to hold the weight and power as it should. Love is so much more than a mushy feeling, butterflies in your stomach, and glazed over eyes. It is more than touch and sex. It is more than chocolates and roses on a single day in February. It goes beyond attraction. It is action; it is choosing to place the other person above yourself. Real love is not something we understand.


God is love.

“But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. … We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” 1 John 4:8 & 16 NLT

As much as He is love, He is also righteous and just. He is holy and pure. He looks with disgrace upon sin, but still loves the sinner. And, just because He loves the sinner doesn’t mean He won’t judge them for their sin. There is always a consequence for sin.

“The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love.” Psalm 33:5 NIV

“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4 NIV

When Christ came as a man here on earth, He didn’t affiliate with those that seemed ‘perfect’ and ‘good.’ He hung out with the sinners. He ate with them. For Christ to have sat at the same table as tax collectors and prostitutes, with those the Pharisees and Sadducees looked down upon and deemed unclean, was a major cultural deal. But He didn’t care. He loved them, and He came here to show us that, even when we live in a manner that is disobedient to Him and defiles that which He made good.

“The idea of monogamous same-sex relationships being acceptable to God emerges from an unwillingness to submit to the clear teaching of Scripture.” Alistair Begg, Lasting Love

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know your lifestyle. I don’t know your stance on same-sex marriage. But I do know that I believe in God’s Word. I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, and sex is only for those two who are married to each other. I believe anything else is a sin.

But I also believe that I have no right to judge and no place to condemn. I am not holy and completely pure like God. I have my own sins; they just aren’t as outwardly obvious as homosexuality. I don’t condone that lifestyle. I will not support same-sex equality. But I will choose to love with compassion those that are enamored by that lifestyle.

I choose to love like Christ: to love the sinners but hate the sin. That is controversial love – a love we don’t understand.


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