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Black Church News in Virginia

Marriner Moments: What’s Love Got To Do With It? – Part 1

By Pastor Melvin O. Marriner
Grove Church

Grove’s theme for February is a catchy title that is shared by recording artist Tina Turner’s song and biopic. It is said that this song is Turner’s ‘freedom anthem’ after she finally left an abusive relationship with her then-husband, Ike. In this song, she questions the fact that her relationship is empty of real love and that it’s the physical (Eros) love that has held her captive. True love does not hurt. True love is not abusive.

While the love that Turner refers to in her song is more akin to lust, she makes it clear in her lyrics that ‘real love’ doesn’t or shouldn’t feel like what she experienced with her husband. Moreover, she knows that while she may not have had that love with her husband, she understands that real love goes beyond physical attraction and that there has to be something more.

In addition to being set aside as Black History Month, February is generally referred to as the ‘month of love’ because of Valentine’s Day. You need only visit stores to see that red hearts, candy, and everything symbolizing ‘love’ have exploded in the aisles and shelves that once occupied holiday items. And, by mid-month, spouses, significant others, and friends will rush to purchase these tangible expressions of love. There is an expectation that if you love someone, you are obliged to show or affirm that love at least one day out of the year – Valentine’s Day.

What is even more interesting is that – for some – Valentine’s Day is the only day of the year that love is expressed in some substantial manner; far too many do not show their love and appreciation for the other 364 days in the year.

The same can be said for some people who profess to love God. God loves us with agape love, or selfless and unconditional love. But, like Turner, far too many Christians are in abusive relationships with God. There are individuals who attend church two or three Sundays out of the month and profess to love God but, throughout the week, give Him no thought, don’t bother talking to Him (praying), attempt to learn more about Him (study His Word), or never go out of the way to do things that please Him. If we love God, why don’t we show Him?

Peace and power,

© Dr. Melvin O. Marriner,
February 2016

We invite you to join us at Grove Church, 5910 West Norfolk Road, Portsmouth, Virginia, Sundays at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Tuesdays at noon and Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

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