A Confluence of Ideas: Love

A while ago I was pondering, I’m not sure where and don’t remember exactly when or why. The idea that I was mulling around, though, was this idea of falling in love. 

I tried looking up when this phrase or usage first came into mainstream culture but unfortunately could not find an exact source. However, I think we would all agree that this idea has become ubiquitous throughout America. The idea of falling in love has been taken up by the entertainment industry and it has been ingrained in us that it is romantic to do so. Not only is it romantic, though, it is actually the objective of life. We are led to believe that falling in love is imperative to a great relationship and that if we don’t feel this way then it must, as a matter of fact, not be love. 

Putting this thought aside, I didn’t dwell on it too much. That is until I broke into a chapter in a new book that I am reading by Voddie Baucham Jr. In this chapter he confronted four myths about love. He outlined the myths as defining love as a random, overwhelming, uncontrollable, and sensual force. In words much better than I can conjure, he went on to debunk these myths one by one and ended up with a definition of love that defines it as “an act of the will accompanied by emotion that leads to action on behalf of its object.”

There is no hint of “falling” in this definition. In fact, I found that this was a perfect explanation of what I was trying to get around to in my previous thinking. Love is nothing to be passive about. There indeed exists strong feelings that should accompany love but it is not these feelings that will carry you through a committed relationship. Love can indeed be romantic, but rather I would posit that love leads us to act in ways that are romantic but is not romance itself. Love can indeed be powerful, but the real power of love comes through commitment and intentionality, not feelings. 

Falling usually involves accidents, loss of control, and fear. Why would we want to pair this with love? Instead let me introduce you to the concept of diving. Honestly, I am a terrible diver but I do know that diving involves intentionality, precision, and confidence. Feelings may come and go like the waves upon the ocean. And if love is that ocean, then I would much rather dive than fall. 

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