There was a popular song many years ago recorded by none other than the iconic Tina Turner. She recorded it on her album Private Dancer and released the single in 1984. The song became her first and only number one single, selling over 1.5 million copies. The song, What’s Love Got to Do with It was also used as the title song for the biographical film of Tina Turner’s life.
I’ve been ruminating about this song title in relation to myself, and in a broader sense, all of us. As we travel through this life, what’s love got to do with it? When you think about the cycle of life we are a part of, its a question worth considering. After all, we are born, we learn to walk and talk, we gain education in many different ways as we matriculate through life, we work, we engage in friendships and relationships, we participate in a social network, some of us make it the stage where we are part of an older generation, and eventually we all die. What’s love got to do with it?
I mean, really? Whether there is love or not is irrelevant to the cycle of life. The same cycle will perpetuate itself, whether love is present or not. Being born is a biological process, the maturation of each of us is a step in the biological process, aging is a biological process, and even dying is the end result of the biological process.
Does love really play any part in how we get here, what we do while we’re here, and how we exit this place?
As a person of faith, I happen to believe love has a great deal to do with how we got here, who we become, and where we go after our time here. We are told in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in those places. After each creation, God declared what was created as good. Humankind was part of this creative process, and the only thing that was created in the image of the Creator. We are the Imago Dei. We are good. And because the Creator made us and declared us good, it follows that there was love at work in this process. So yes, love had a lot to do with it.
When we move to probably the most famous passage in the Bible, John 3:16, we are explicitly told, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” Love is certainly front and center in this declaration. Love is the overarching reason for the world’s existence, and it is the reason God invested God’s self in the person of Jesus Christ so that all the world may know they are loved.
Being an adopted child, I don’t know any biological family history. I don’t know the circumstances surrounding my conception. I do know I was born in the downtown hospital in San Antonio, Texas. I do know my biological mother rode into town on a bus about to deliver and went into labor, so was taken to the hospital. I do know she left a note for the doctor who delivered me…”To the kind doctor who delivered my baby, please find him a GOOD home.” I don’t know what her circumstances were, but it seems to me she was most concerned that I be placed with people who would love and care for me. That in itself was an act of love. Indeed, I was placed with a mother and father, and brother who loved me without question. Or as we say at Preston Hollow, without exception.
The process of growing and maturing isn’t an easy thing, but with people who love you, it is manageable and successful. We arrive at adulthood fairly intact for the arduous journey, and love plays a huge part in the process. I remember reading many years ago something about what happens to children if the grow up with certain things present in their lives…
“If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find love in the world.”
When we ask what love’s got to do with it, we should all be able to answer, it has everything to do with it.
The final question for me, maybe for you too is, what’s love got to do with how I live my life today? Am I loving myself? Am I loving my neighbor? Am I loving the unloveable? Are my expressions of love in line with the love which is a part of who I am and whose I am? How can I be more loving with each breath I take? You see, love is THE only reason we’re here, and its the only thing that remains a part of us throughout the journey of life, and into eternal life.
My prayer for you and me is, may God make us aware daily, of how we are loved, and how much others need to experience that love from us.
Your fellow traveler on the Way,