It is very easy to get the sense that romantic love is the be-all and end-all of existance. It is, in our society, a reason to get married as well as a reason to get divorced. In our TV, movies, and songs… everywhere we are surrounded by love. Alanis Morissettet's latest is a paen to love:
You see everything, you see every part
You see all my light and you love my dark
You dig everything of which I'm ashamed
There's not anything to which you can't relate
And you're still here.
That doesn't sound romantic to me. It sounds unconditional. However, romantic love has been moving (probably since the Victorian age) to overshadow unconditional love as the pinnacle. I felt but never really understood the drive for Same Sex Marriage until I realized how much weight, how much empahsis we put on romantic love. Listen again to Ms. Morissette's song and you think "Wow, how wonderful that he can love her like that. I want to be loved like that." The SSM proponents would have you go on to think "How can I deny someone else their right to find that kind of love, no matter where they find it?"
The truth is, no one is being denied anything. Some may turn their backs on it; others admitedly struggle with conflicting emotions and needs but nothing has changed. God and Christ are still there, offering love to all who will come to them. To expect a human to be able to bear the kinds of burdens we have and to always lift us up is to put an unconscionable strain on them. They are, after all, exactly as human as we are. They have their own problems which make it hard or sometimes even impossible for them to help us. Only God and Jesus can truly love us unconditionally. I love my husband and he is a joy and a strength to me but if something were to happen to him, through God's aid I would be able to take comfort and continue with life. Nothing could ever help me if I were to lose God.
I have, in effect, experienced this myself. I have occasionally, in these last two years since the wedding, slacked off on my prayers and scripture reading. Each time ended in a spiral of depression and self-loathing that nothing my earnest, thoughtful, helpful husband could do or say would affect. I could understand the things he said, I would want to believe them but I just couldn't. I would feel stuck, useless, worthless and worst of all, completely unable to be positive. Any action he suggested would be met with detailed reasons of why I couldn't. I always ended up having a meltdown. Then I would remember to pray. I would read my scriptures again. I'm no great scripture studier– I tend to read a chapter right before bed– but even that much makes a world of difference.
That world of difference is there waiting for everyone. God is there through prophets, prayer and the scriptures and He offers us His great, eternal and unconditional love. Through His love not only can we be redeemed but we can learn to love like He does! His is the kind of love that not only warms but ennobles. His love is truly the greatest love of all and He denies Himself to no one who searches for Him with an open heart.