Ahava (Love)

Here’s an excerpt from a sermon by Matt Chandler (The Village Church) called “The Initiating Love of God

Listen to people talk all the time. They fell out of love. “I just don’t love him anymore.” In fact, the thing that’s probably most frowned upon in predominant culture when it comes to love is someone who loves by will, what the Hebrews called ahava. It was a love of the will. It was “I’m not going anywhere.” Don’t romanticize that. That’s not rose petals and violin and candles being lit and, “Oh, honey, I’m not going anywhere.” All right? That’s something on fire over here, a knife flung past your head, you’re hunkered down, there’s chaos everywhere, and you say, “I’m not going anywhere.”

Ahava says, “I’ve seen the ugly side of you and I’m staying.“Yet we would view that in our culture predominantly as unhealthy. “Surely God doesn’t want you for that. Your life is so short. Are you really going to spend it like that?” In our culture, love is flippant. It can shift and change at any given moment. It is not sustaining, and it is not safe. If you want to try to get a handle on why people are putting off marriage or not getting married at all, you only need to look at how we’re defining love. Why would anyone want that?

Reminds me of Needtobreathe’s “Looks Like Love”

A breeze can only be
When she overcomes the heat
Our hearts can only shade
When there’s risk that they could break
That’s the chance that I will take

So I won’t run
When it looks like love
I don’t hide beneath the fear of our past that’s come undone
I won’t run
When it looks like love
I can’t spend another night alone regretting what I’ve done