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Why is love?

Why is love?  People ask all the time, what is love?  But has it ever occurred to you to ask, why is love?  Has it ever occurred to you to ask why there is such a thing as love, why it even exists, and, more importantly, why it holds such a primary place in our lives? 

Why is love?  Here’s one quick example that illustrates the universal preeminence of love, how central it is to us.  Have you noticed that, almost without fail, the most popular comedies on TV, shows like The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and The Goldbergs, end with a big “feel-good” moment?  Mind you, they’re comedies.  But they don’t stop at tickling our funny bone.  They also feel the need to pull at our heart strings.  In fact, these “feel-good” moments always come at the climax of each episode--they’re designed to be more important than the jokes.  Why is this? 

If getting us to laugh was enough to spike the ratings, you can be sure that the producers and writers of these shows would stop there.  They’d never bother with the “feel-good” moments, let alone showcasing them.  But they do, overwhelmingly.  Because they know that this is what we want, even more than the humor.  This is what the viewing public responds to best.  This is what endears the widest possible audience to these shows.  This is what keeps millions upon millions tuning in each week. 

It’s even gotten to the point where these shows are preaching love.  Whether it’s through the dialogue of the characters or the narrator’s voiceover, they often give us explicit exhortations about how important the love and relationships in our life are.  Explicit exhortations that they are what really matter in life.  Explicit exhortations that this is what it’s all about.

Why is love?

So how do we account for the existence and primacy of love?  Those who say there is no God are forced to reduce love to a biochemical reaction, a sensation that developed through natural selection, a sensation created by the haphazard firing of brain neurons, and nothing more.  What we call love is an accident of evolution, an accidental by-product of an accidental universe.  As Bill Nye the Science Guy puts it, we are just “a speck, on a speck, orbiting a speck, among other specks.”  The significance we give to love and to those we love is nothing more than a biochemical illusion.  Love has no significance.  Or meaning.  Or value.  All the love you’ve ever experienced amounts to nothing.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.

But just as with the existence of human consciousness and rationality, the experience of beauty, and our passion for justice, we intuitively sense that this explanation can’t be right.  There is something profoundly wrong with it.  Our experience of love is too rich and complex and beautiful to be reduced to a materialistic deception.  The evidence of this, and it’s powerful, is that virtually no one lives like love is just a meaningless sensation that gives us some kind of selective advantage.  Virtually no one can live as if all their relationships are meaningless.  Including Bill Nye. 

Just ask any parent cradling their baby if there’s nothing more to the bond they feel with their child than a haphazard firing of neurons.  Just ask two lovers or dear friends if their relationship has no more significance than a chemical reaction in a lab.  Just ask anyone who has ever really loved another human being if they can seriously believe that all there is to that love, to that relationship, to that bond, is nothing more than a trick of evolutionary development. 

No, a materialistic, atheistic worldview isn’t adequate to account for what we know to be transparently true about love.  Love is an experience which transcends the physical.  It is a phenomenon that defies a naturalistic explanation.  It is more real than the air we breathe.  No matter how advanced our scientific knowledge, we can’t live otherwise.

Why is love?

In John 15, Jesus tells the disciples: “As Father has loved me, so I have loved you.”  Then He goes on to command them to “love others even as I have loved you.” 

These are remarkable verses.  As the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus is telling the disciples--and by extension, us--to love the way the Father loves Him.  The way, within the Godhead, the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, love one another.  The way God loves.

According to Jesus, our love is based on the love of God has for us.  According to Jesus, the reason love holds such pride of place for us is because it reflects who God is.  According to Jesus, the primary importance love has in our lives is due to the fact that God is love.

Now that’s an explanation we can live by.

Why is love?  Because God is love and has created us in His image to love and be loved even as He loves.

How do you explain the phenomenon of love?  You can leave your comments or any other questions or feedback on the “Contact E. J.” page or the Raising Jesus website.  And if you haven’t had a chance yet, please “Like” our Facebook page and “Subscribe” to our YouTube channel.  I look forward to hearing from you!

About Me

E.J. Sweeney is a true skeptic. He needs to see to believe. Hard Evidence. Compelling Proof. Solid Logic. This is what he believes in. In college, he encountered questions that the superficial faith he was raised on couldn’t handle. So he began a quest for Truth, a quest for the answers to life’s ultimate questions.

EJ Sweeney

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