Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we ponder the circumstances of love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Circumstances of Love
Jesus said, "Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and with all
thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." Luke, Chapter 10, verse
Brothers and sisters, the Father's love is a spiritual reality, flowing to and through each person. We
like to think of divine love as a romantic sentiment which also goes by the name, love, or by purely
human standards of what we conceive to be love. Divine love is not handicapped by the
circumstances of life. In fact, the greater the contrast, the greater the perception of this love. Divine
love ever seeks to penetrate levels where it is least found. And for those of us who are the channels
of this love, a significant readjustment is required for our attitudes, and a redefinition of our concept
of divine love.
As experiencing beings, our concept of love changes in relationship to our spiritual experiences.
Living as mortal beings subject to the vicissitudes of life, quite naturally our understanding of love
takes two forms: mammalian and romantic. But there is still a third understanding of love. The
Greeks have defined love as familial (brotherly love), romantic/sexual love (Eros), and divine love
(Agape). I redefine them as mammalian love, romantic love or emotional love, and divine love.
Mammalian love is inherent in all mammals. This is the original endowment of the mammalian
species and is designed to insure that helpless mammals at birth are nourished and cared for until
such times as they are able to care for themselves. This love is best seen between a mother and a
child. This kind of love is most intense when the child is most vulnerable and fades as the child
matures. Mammalian love is the basis from which the concept of divine love is derived. It is a
starting point for comprehending divine affection.
Next we have romantic love. Now this love is also derived from being mammalian though it is a
little different in its function. Whereas mammalian love is designed to make sure the helpless
mammalian offspring survives until such times as it is able to survive on its own, romantic love is
designed to insure that mating will take place. This love is based upon a combination of sexual
desire, combined with an idealistic concept of the love object. This affection is strongest during the
early period of mating and falls off as the mating urge is consummated. In time this affection loses
much of its initial excitement and its compelling urge to procreate. Some refuse to recognize this
function, feeling that something has gone wrong in the relationship when it diminishes. Both
mammalian and romantic affection are designed to lay the foundation for the real appreciation of
divine love. The ideal of these concepts attracts and prepares human beings for the more enduring
and mature task of love: divine affection.
What mammalian and romantic love have in common is their selfishness. While it is unselfish in its
devotion to helpless offspring, mammalian love still excludes others who are not directly related to
this bond. It is fierce in its protection of its offspring but turns a deaf ear to those outside of the bond.
Romantic love is purely selfish. Both partners are in the relationship based on what they can get out
of it. Their interest (though often expressed in unselfish terms) is purely selfish. And we know from
experience that this is true because of what happens when the hormonal, emotionally driven affection
is frustrated. This is a purely human response to a love object losing its value. But when partners
yield to the spiritual affection that has been developing right alongside the mammalian and romantic
urges, then this serves as a natural springboard to grasp the divine affection. If the partners fail to
allow spiritual affection to infuse and supersede the lesser affections, hate, hostility and
disillusionment set in.
Divine love has no limitation. It is liberal, always seeking to reach out to those in need. In fact, the
lesser the divine affection in an individual, the greater is the interest in reaching this individual and
in circuiting him in its saving embrace. “ All true love is from God, and man receives the divine
affection as he himself bestows this love upon his fellows. Love is dynamic. It can never be captured;
it is alive, free, thrilling, and always moving. Man can never take the love of the Father and imprison
it within his heart." The Father's love can become real to us only by passing through our souls as we
in turn bestow this love upon our brothers and sisters. This is the love of Jesus.
Divine love gradually increases in the lives of human beings. This love moves through the ups and
downs of life. Its purpose is not to interfere or prevent the normal ebb and flow of living, but to bask
the individual with its affections so that the individual is powerized, encouraged, and imbued with
faith and hope. While this love does not rescue us from the material difficulties of life, it does inspire
us to master the material problems of this life and imparts joy and peace during the whole
experiencing process. Thus we see that the circumstances of love are such that no circumstance can
exist whereby divine love is prohibited from functioning. The Father through His Son, Jesus, desires
to reveal this love under all circumstances and under all conditions, for it is true that the Father
himself loves us.
This concludes today's message on understanding the circumstances of love. We hope you find
something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.