“…and so will the world end, I think, a victim of love rather than hate. For love’s ever been the more destructive weapon, sure.” – Stephen King, The Dark Tower
Speak to me of love’s glories and I’ll show you the teeth of this wild thing. Love is used as a lever to control people and deliver them to the slaughter. I think of the lonely woman, in love with her man. He beats her, cusses her, rapes her, and demeans her at every turn, yet, because of love, she stays with him. I think of mean and nefarious men who hold a woman captive and force her compliance by threatening her family. Her love for her family is the means by which they control her. Men are not exempt from this cruel trick of nature. I’ve seen a man destroy his family, his career, and ultimately his life because he fell in “love” with another woman. I’ve seen the drug addicted lead many down the road to ruin by courting their love and then using them till they are reduced to only a crust of bread for dinner. I’ve seen children, holding their parents hostage by the same love shown them. When will it end? When will I see that love is evil in this way. It constrains me to act in harmful and completely unreasonable courses of action. It forces me to make choices that are in the end, all the worse things that could be done.
Here is the mistake – Love is not the holy stamp of approval on my dealings with humanity. Love does not guarantee the success or validity of a relationship. I see the reality and necessity of love, but only as a by-product of a healthy relationship, not as the final goal. The relationship should not be ruled by this love, but give birth to it, then raise it in subjection. How should I act when faced with my “love”? Love needs a system of checks and balances. A spiritual check can help control my direction, whether this is a good choice or bad. A logic check is important as well. Seriously, can my love for an abuser, child molester, or addict be expressed best by exposing myself and my family to his/her aberrations? Love will choose the death of the loved one for the best of the whole. If I am held hostage, my wife being raped, my belongings pilfered, all under the threat of killing my children, I say, “Be damned! I’ll not let them ravage my life using that lever of love. If I give in and allow the pillaging of my life, what will be left for the children, or woman, or whoever is the object used to force my compliance? What is left is a broken and shattered form, unable to provide for the family in any way. This is what is left for love when it is used to violate: brokenness, shattered dreams, and an inability to provide. Let us, my friends, be careful to not let love lead us down these treacherous paths and check ourselves lest we be found as victims of love.