Ask just about anyone on the street and they’ll tell you that you should be able to love whoever you want however you want. It doesn’t hurt anyone. Do what makes you feel good. Love is love.
In the course of time, Amnon, son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom, son of David.
2 Samuel 13:1 (NIV)
So what if Amnon loves Tamar? He should be able to love whoever he wants! Right? Well, if Tamar is the sister of a son of David and Amnon is a son of David, doesn’t that make Tamar, at the very least, his half sister? Not so lovely to love now, is it? But that didn’t matter to Amnon. He had to have Tamar no matter what. He loved her after all. He deserved to have her love him back.
So he came up with a plan to lure Tamar into his bedroom. Because Amnon was her brother, Tamar figured she was safe. Until Amnon made a completely inappropriate pass at her. She tried to fight him off.
But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.
Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!”
2 Samuel 13:14-15 (NIV)
Amnon, in his obsession assumed that, by having what he wanted, his needs would be satisfied. Instead, his passions were reversed.
Aren’t we like that sometimes? We can obsess over something, love something, want something so bad that we are willing to do almost anything to get it. We should be able to love whoever or whatever we want, shouldn’t we? If it makes us happy, shouldn’t we do what we can to get it?
Just because we want something doesn’t mean we should have it. It doesn’t mean it’s good for us to have it. It doesn’t mean it’s ours to have. And it rarely means what we think it will mean.
During the hippie era, free love was the fad. In recent years it’s #LoveWins. We are constantly being told that if it feels good, do it. Love what you love. You can’t help who you love. In all of the noise, we as believers must remind ourselves of what love really is. We must recognise that the world, who has rejected Jesus and the God who is love, cannot really know or experience true love unless they acknowledge the single greatest act of love in the history of humankind.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NIV)
That is what love looks like. It certainly wasn’t the thing Jesus wanted most. It didn’t feel good. It didn’t cater to his wants or desires nor did it fulfill any fantasies.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
Amnon’s tainted idea of what love was fell short of nearly every point Paul made regarding love in his letter to the church at Corinth. His love for Tamar was all about himself. The love Christ calls us to has nothing to do with our own satisfaction, but is all about others.
Read: 2 Samuel 13-14, Luke 20:1-26