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Love as I Knew It

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I once watched a show that featured six guests that were married three times or more. Each had different yet equally interesting stories. A woman in her fifties married for the third time as her first two husbands died due to heart attack. The other woman annulled her first two marriages because of irreconcilable differences. One man married three women in three separate countries he’d been into and lives with his fourth here in the Philippines. A Japanese national’s three marriages failed; his last wife left him for some other man, taking with her all their properties leaving the Japanese homeless and without a single penny. The way they told their stories was quite amusing and the discussion was light despite of the weight of the topic, as if they are talking about their most memorable experiences. Hearing their stories hit me hard.

I have ended up a relationship not so long ago and somehow I feel for them. I admit I still lack experience when it comes to love. However, some things are not so new to me after all because I’m aware with what happens around me. Through them and personal encounters, I’m learning little by little, day by day. Being in love and staying in love can have lots of complication; age gap for one and many more like cultural and language barriers, personal differences, infidelity, and even religion at times. Contrary to what is always promised by fairy tales, happy endings don’t happen all the time. Divorce and annulment rates elevate simultaneously with unemployment rate. Even the soulmate concept has gone cheap. Long-time relationships often break apart due to alienation and some other reason. Of course, whirlwind romances would be ever-present. Love is supposed to be a wonderful feeling. Sadly, going through the hassle and pain is seemingly inevitable.

1 Corinthians 13 is renowned as the “love chapter.” It talks about how love should be in general. Looking at the verses, it is crystal clear on how love must be. But the question is would it be possible with all the human flaws and limitations? Looking at God’s standards on love can be a bit frustrating. Does He really think anyone can comply? Is this the reason why there are broken families, failed relationships and shattered hearts? I don’t think so. God is not foolish to build such a standard that would be impossible to meet. Otherwise, what will it be for? It is not humanly possible for a person to love someone as God does but we can always ask Him for assistance to do that. God made us in His own likeness. We are His only creation that bears emotions and a mind like what He has. He gives us the privilege to love and be loved in return.

The Beatles were singing that all we need is love and they are certainly right. Sadly, love has been demoted from a heavenly gift to a basic commodity, something that can be bought at times, consumed and thrown afterwards. People get it in any way they can, from anyone anywhere. This often results to chaos, loneliness, and doom. A kid from a broken family is likely to repeat the same mistakes his parents did and the cycle would just go on. God’s standard isn’t much popular, but you can bet your life that it is the only one that works.

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