Love is Not a Currency

If I ever write a book, I think it’s going to be called Lies People Tell You. Because there are a lot of them, and it would be easy to come up with new chapters.

There’s a lie out there that says we can run out of love.

That’s not true.

Love is not a currency. Let me repeat that: Love is not a currency.

You can’t run out.

I wrote a post about a week ago about reading I Kissed Dating Goodbye. I have one major problem with the book – the assumption that love is a resource we can waste. In the first chapter, Joshua Harris tells this story about a girl’s nightmare. She’s at the altar on her wedding day and as her husband is saying his vows, all of the girls he’s slept with start walking and standing around them. I’m rather sure love has nothing to do with all of this.

I think the reasoning for this kind of fear comes mostly from Proverbs 4:23, which says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring  of life.” Nowhere does this verse say “guard your heart or else you won’t be able to give it to your future spouse.” But that’s how a lot of us read it. And, certainly, sometimes it feels like that’s what’s true. We fall in love for the first time, and when it ends, it feels like we will never be able to love at that level again. That’s all just faulty reasoning, though.

I think we are supposed to guard our hearts because we are special and valuable, not because our hearts and our love are finite. God wants us to share our specialty and value with people who deserve it, people who have earned it. That makes sense to me.

We have been offered everlasting, infinite love. The least we can do is offer that to others.

God’s Eternal Relationship

Surprisingly, I’m incredibly stubborn from time to time. This frustrates my friends to no end because often, we will have long discussions in which I refuse to change my mind about something only to change my mind several days later when I have had time to read, write, and think about the subject in question. That’s why before I write this post, I should apologize to a couple of people who have been trying to tell me the following conclusions for quite some time.

I just finished this book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. The argument of the book is that dating is a broken vehicle for finding real love and romance. I’m still not sold on that whole idea. But I must say that the alternative Harris gives is very very attractive. He says if we actively stay away from dating, if we fill our time with other things glorifying to God, then God will take care of the rest.

A couple of nights ago I had a very long argument with a couple of good friends about this concept, though. If I choose to actively ignore romantic relationships with members of the opposite sex, how am I ever supposed to meet anyone? My friends accused me of not trusting God. I do struggle with trusting God. I struggle with trusting in general. But I can at least intellectually and rationally understand trusting someone or God when their behavior follows the rules of logic.

I can trust God with my career because while I am waiting for it to become obvious what I am supposed to spend the rest of my life doing, I can go to school and learn. And at the end of my time in school, I am going to apply to a bunch of different grad schools and jobs and see where God and life take me. But I don’t think that’s what I am supposed to do with dating.

So I was about half way through Harris’s book; I was thinking about quitting it because I didn’t think I would ever figure out how to properly think about what he was saying; and then I thought about Boethius. Boethius is kind of a strange writer to think about when you are thinking about romantic relationships.

Boethius was pretty wise.

Boethius wrote a book called The Consolation of Philosophy in the 6th century. In it, he gives a pretty famous argument for reconciling free will with God’s omniscience: he calls it God’s eternal moment. For Boethius, God experiences and sees all of eternity in one moment, in one snap of His Almighty fingers. Boethius is important to dating because to God, everyone who is single is also already with their spouse. For God, there is no waiting. Everyone is already in the arms of people who love them.

So that’s how it works, maybe.