CS Lewis wrote about life so profoundly that you can’t help but testify to the truthfulness of what you have just read. I just got back from a two-week vacation where all I did was read. Out of all the page I’ve read, the one line that has stuck with me most vividly was from Lewis, “Love, in its own nature, demands perfecting of the beloved.”
My dad and I have always had a great relationship, but I remember one time in college when we sharply disagreed on something. It was nothing that harmed our relationship, we disagreed before but this time just stuck out to me. Now that I have some distance from the issue, it is overly apparent that he was right. In fact, I knew he was right at the time I just wanted my way. Love disagrees, and sometimes sharply, not for the benefit of the lover but for the beloved. I am thankful for my father, through this disagreement he taught me how to think and reason correctly. My father cared more about whom I was becoming than I did in those moments.
In friendships, in parenting, in marriage you will find that this old CS Lewis wisdom rings true. Love indeed demands the perfecting of the beloved. It is not very loving to watch someone spiral out of control. What kind of friend would I be if I did not speak out when my friend was going down a dangerous path? What kind of husband would I be if I didn’t want better than the current reality for my wife? What kind of father would my kids have if I didn’t discipline them, and then what kind of kids would they be if they thought their impulses were always correct? What kind of God would God be if He didn’t want the very best, including perfection, for his people.
True love always hopes and wants the best for others. There is this impulse in the fabric of our society that says when your opinion is offensive; it is not loving to say it. This seems to me like counterfeit love. We must reject counterfeit love that allows people to rejoice in their own impulses. Reject the kind of counterfeit love that allows you watch others drift toward disaster without lifting a finger. Reject the counterfeit love that cares more for the lover than the beloved. Real love is compelled to want the best for you. Real true love is compelled to kindly correct and rebuke. Real love gently draws out perfection, if it is at all possible.
Counterfeit love is all around us, it screams, “do whatever you want!” Even when what you want is bad. It is a dangerous delusion when we re-define love in our own words. As I said in another post, what would happen if a man beat his child but still professed the message of love? The child would always have a flawed definition of love.
What would this world look like if the lover demanded the perfection of the beloved? Of course, our love is flawed because we ourselves are not love, only God is Love.Share