A comprehensive look at how our culture is redefining love, abandoning God’s design and definition for one of our own. But what really happens when we redefine love? The truth is- it changes everything.
This probably seems a little out of place. I mean this is a Motherhood blog- what does our culture redefining love have to do with anything?
Well actually it has a lot to do with us.
Changing the definition of ‘love’ changes everything, and if we don’t define it for our children- the world will.
So what brought this up anyways?
As most of you know, this is Pride month.
As a Christian Mama, I don’t think celebrating pride in anything is ever a good thing. But this particular month essentially means “celebrate anything contrary to God’s perfect design”.
It is all about redefining marriage, gender, personhood, and desires from the way God intended for them to be. As the years drag on this becomes more and more of an issue that we (as Mamas) have to deal with.
If I’m being honest, I would prefer to just turn a blind eye, and move on with my life.
I would prefer not to have to say anything about it- especially to my children– but the reality is, it is coming for our children. This ideology is not targeted at adults; it is directed at our children.
Tracing it Back
I stood in the kitchen the other say scrolling through Facebook and seeing the controversy.
Christians proclaiming this “Noahic Covenant Month” and “taking back the rainbow”.
The LGBTQ+ community insisting they be celebrated for finding their true identity and learning to embrace it.
Pride flags flying alongside American flags in foreign countries.
I couldn’t help but think, how did we get here?
How did we go from “my bedroom is none of your business” to parades flaunting it down Main streets in big cities?
When did we, as Christians, accept a redefinition of marriage- an institution created and defined by God?
When did the traditional family become a rerun from the 1950s?
Why are two parent households becoming a thing of the past?
Why are women who take on roles of wives and mothers- rather than business leaders- seen as oppressed and held down?
And why is a loving God now painted as a villain?
It all stems back to the same thing.
It all began when we redefined love.
I tell my kids all the time, words have meanings. I shouldn’t have to say it- it should be a given. But in our modern culture everything is up for redefining. Everything from love to gender. If you feel excluded from the definition of a word, just change its meaning- what’s the harm in that?
But what really happens when we redefine key words like- “love”?
Does it change anything?
Truthfully, it changes everything.
What is the Original Definition of Love?
Before we can grasp the effects of redefining love, we need to know how it was defined to begin with.
A lot of times lust is mistaken for love or love is chalked up to being “just something you feel”.
Again words have meanings.
The reason saying “I love you” to someone for the first time is a big deal is because love has a meaning.
Love is an action, a vow, and a promise.
It behaves a certain way.
Love is defined by God in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.”
Love possesses certain qualities.
There are boundaries to love, just as we set boundaries for our children because we love them.
Our world has crafted this Woodstock view of love. Redefining love to be free flowing, limitless, and all encompassing.
Our new version of love doesn’t even need to know what truth is.
Love is loving every bit of someone or something.
It is affirming their every choice, every whim, and every desire.
It is accepting and embracing their every flaw.
And if you disagree with someone or do not affirm their every choice, then you do not love them.
The Problem with Redefining Love
It sounds good at face value.
Sure, I want to love people just as they are.
But when you really love someone, you know it doesn’t work that way. My children desire junk food and television- but I know that loving them means limiting their access to it.
They like testing their boundaries or passing the spot in the driveway we tell them they can’t go past. As Mamas, we know that love says “No” often. Very often.
No, you cannot play in the road, because I love you I cannot affirm that choice.
No, you may not take that doll from the store without paying for it- I don’t care it feels like you should have it.
And no, you may not go to someone’s home we do not know, because I choose to keep you safe rather than allow you to do anything you want.
The redefinition of love means enabling an addict- and loving them into an early grave.
It means teaching our children that their feelings, whims, and desires are worthy of being accepted rather than curbed- and every Mama knows the whims and desires of children are not always good for them.
And this is a hard thing to say but I think that we as Moms should be especially aware of it- Defining love this way sets your children up to be sexually abused.
I hate saying that!
But if love is love and it has no boundaries and every desire and whim is worthy to be fulfilled and treated as love- how are they supposed to process an adult who pushes boundaries and says they love them so they must keep a secret or do X, Y, and Z.
There is a reason love must be accurately defined.
My kids have a book that was mine from when I was little called “Love is”. This book doesn’t define love using words but rather it defines it through actions.
“Love is helping a neighbor when they are sick. Love is spending time with a friend who feels left out.”
Love is a verb; it is an action we do each day. But love is deeper than that because the Bible tells us in 1 John 4 that “God is Love”.
God is Love.
So when we redefine love, we redefine God.
We take Him down from who He says He is and we make Him who we want Him to be. This all affirming, all accepting, completely laid back, go-with-the-flow God.
Words have meanings.
Changing the Merriam-Webster definition of love- doesn’t really change it at all.
If I say the sky is green- it doesn’t change the sky to green. It’s still blue regardless of how I choose to define it. The same is true for love- and most terrifyingly the same is true for God.
So many people are redefining God into their own image that they fail to realize that someday they will stand before a God that they do not recognize.
He won’t be all affirming and all accepting- He never said He was.
He says our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), and there is not a righteous man on earth- who continually does good and who never sins (Ecclesiastes 7:20).
We are not like Him, made in His image- yes. But in the Bible every person who encounters Jesus is changed. Sometimes so radically that they need a new name- Abram to Abraham, Saul to Paul.
When we encounter Jesus, He doesn’t accept and affirm our sins and wrong desires; He changes them.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. Behold, the old has passed away, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
God is Holy, Just, Long-suffering, and jealous. He tells us that about Himself and who are we to argue with Him?
You can redefine love, gender, marriage, and God- but it doesn’t change a thing.
He is who He says He is, regardless of what we say.
And the same is true for His creation.
Redesigning God’s Design
Our God creates with purpose.
His creation has order, sequence, and importance.
If in fact we came into being through a Big Bang and complete chance- if there is nothing greater, nothing higher than us as mere humans- then it wouldn’t matter. Who cares who you love or how you spend the days allotted to you?
But if it is real.
If God is real- and I fully believe He is– if we have to stand before Him someday.
If the choices we make in this life determine where we spend eternity- then it matters!
We are part of His creation, not Him a part of ours.
Our identity is not found in our desires or our feelings- our identity is found in Him.
When we come to Jesus, He changes us. It doesn’t matter if it is same sex attraction, a love of money, or a tendency to lie- we lay it all down to serve Him.
We admit that we do not know the plans He has for us or who He created us to be, but we trust Him enough to lay down our identity, our desires, choices, brokenness, and sin.
His design for our identity is perfect.
His design for marriage doesn’t need modern day revisions.
His design for the family unit has purpose and order.
This is what we, as Mamas and Christian women, have to teach our children.
God doesn’t make mistakes.
When He made them- male or female- He said it was ‘good.’
He knew them before we did.
He created them with purpose.
And He loves them.
Not with our silly cultural redefinition of love that accepts you as you are, but rejects you when you don’t agree with its ideologies. He loves them with a love so deep He was willing to give all, to lay down His life for theirs.
I see so many Christians today wanting to take back the rainbow, take back marriage, and take back the family unit.
Those are all great feats, but I think we have to start with taking back the real definition of love.
Defining Love, once and for all.
The best way to define love is to exhibit its true qualities. Our children should see us walking with God, serving and embracing our spouses, and laying down ourselves to love them well. They should know that discipline and discipleship are based out of love.
Not only should they see love in their homes- they should be taught how to love those who are different than them.
Our children, unfortunately, are growing up in a post Christian culture, but that doesn’t mean that God has stopped working.
I believe God looks upon the LGBTQ+ group the same way He looked upon us when we were lost in sin.
Same sex attraction is just another hurdle to overcome like addiction and lying.
It is something we bring to the feet of Jesus and ask Him to forgive us for and help us with.
Love searches the depths and restores those we deemed too far gone.
God is love.
He doesn’t affirm our every whim or look past our wrong choices. He loves us enough to meet us right where we are, and He loves us enough to not leave us there.
Love gives second chances (and third, and fourth…). Love restores the broken pieces, heals the wounded hearts, reaches into the depths of darkness and fills us with new light.
The true definition of love is all inclusive, but not all affirming.
So What Can We Do?
I’m not a Halloween fan; we just don’t celebrate it.
When October rolls around, we celebrate Autumn and avoid Halloween displays in stores.
We basically just ignore it.
That has been my plans with this month as well. But as my big kids start to get older, I realize this is marketed to them. I want to shield them as much as I can for as long as possible, but I also want to wrap them in so much truth that they cannot be swayed by the lies of our culture.
Mamas, I really wish all we had to do was read good books to our babies and bake bread all day long.
When I pictured Motherhood I saw clothes drying on the line and babies crawling around the backyard. I dreamed of messes, finger painting, and tiny little helping hands. But nothing prepared me for what a battlefield Motherhood would be.
No one told me I would need to be an Apologist, Theologian, Teacher, Gatekeeper, and shield.
I was blissfully unaware that so many ideologies would be after my children at such young ages.
We can’t sit idly by and trust that it will all work out in the end. Instead we have to be willing to fight.
Willing to stand up and say “No.”
Willing to give up television, iPads, friends, and places that are pouring flawed world views into our children.
We have to be willing to diligently teach them truth and how to spot the lies.
This is not the place where we lay down our armor and succumb to the state of our culture.
We know the true definition of love and it is worth fighting for.
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