I’ve seen this phrase thrown around a lot since the Supreme Court’s ruling this past Friday. It’s a phrase that I myself say and believe with all of my heart. But after seeing the way it’s been employed lately, I think it’s worth commenting on the contrast between the Love I’m talking about versus the love that is being purported to have won on Friday.
Love does win. It’s true.
But Love isn’t this ‘anything goes’ warm feeling that Postmodernism tries so hard to make it.
Love is Someone. And that Someone has a Name.
Love emanates from the character of God himself. It does not exist independently of Him. Its very being springs from the nature of God.
Thus, God is the one who defines Love.
Not our culture. Not our family. Not our upbringing. Not our emotions. Not Hollywood.
God, being the origin of Love, is the only one competent to define it.
And on the Cross we see Love perfectly defined.
It’s indescribably beautiful. Life changing. Full of promise. The source of all our hopes. The essence of goodness. Freedom unimagined. The gateway to our deliverance. The access to joy.
The Cross is where hopelessly lost and broken people are found and mended back together. It’s where the rejected find acceptance. The lowly are honored. And the poor become rich.
But Love does not stop there.
The Cross confronts each of us. It exposes our wayward hearts. The confrontation is baptized in gentleness and goodness – but it is a confrontation, nonetheless.
You see, Love doesn’t just blanket us with shallow benevolence. It can’t because it is inextricably bound to Truth. Love demands something from us. Love has a cost. To love Him back will require something of us. And would we expect any less?
We live this truth everyday. If you’re married, you know very well that your marital love makes demands. It’s not enough to say that you love someone. Your love has to demonstrate itself with actions. Many of these actions are choices to live inside of boundaries that protect your love.
Think about parenting a child. Surely, the love runs deep. And threaded through this love is the element of discipline. I have yet to hear a parent say, “Oh, just let her run into the street toward oncoming traffic. It makes her happy. She’s being herself. Love wins.” We don’t hear parents say this because it’s lunacy. Love puts a stop to things that are going to cause harm. It naturally erects guard rails.
Love breeds boundaries. Love makes demands.
Giving a universal stamp of approval on any and every inclination and habit is not Love. Instinctively, we already know this. It’s why we don’t celebrate drug addiction. It’s why we don’t celebrate human trafficking. It’s why we are grieved rather than happy about pornography addiction.
Love [and I’m talking about genuine, God-originated love – not counterfeit, ambivalent love that has drenched our culture] is too kind to leave us the way we are. Yes, the Father loves us outrageously, even in our mess. Nothing can separate us from his love. No matter what we’ve done, what mistakes we’ve made, how filthy we think we are, His love is greater still. But Love this great sees the gold inside of us that needs refining. It sees the treasure inside of us that will burst forth once the dirt is removed. It sees the pearl hidden within the ugly shell, just waiting to be revealed.
And to refine the gold, to get to the treasure, to discover the pearl, things have to change. The heat turns up so that impurities melt away. The Gardener gets to digging, uprooting everything that’s hiding our inner treasure. And the tough, ugly shell is burst open and removed so the pearl can be displayed.
This, my friends, is Love. It’s beautiful. And costly. It makes demands on us. It requires access to every hidden thing inside of us. He is relentless in his pursuit and persistent in his pruning. He’s got a masterpiece in mind – and He loves us way too much to leave us the way we are.
So when I say “Love Wins,” make no mistake about it – Love does win.
The One from whom Love springs rules with everlasting victory. He never fails. He finishes what he starts. His refining fire will accomplish what it has set out to do. His beauty will be displayed. Revival will come. The Desired of the Nations will be worshiped.
He won, He wins, He will win.