Molecular Love

Written by Drew on December 1st, 2005

Researchers at Pavia University in Italy have discovered that the powerful emotions bubbling in new lovers are triggered by a molecule known as nerve growth factor (NGF). Higher levels of NGF were detected in the blood of 58 people who had recently fallen madly in love than in that of a group of singles and people in long-term relationships. The problem is, however, that after a year these higher levels fall to the same level found in all other groups.

So now science has discovered something parents have been trying to tell their teenagers for ages: there is a difference between infatuation and real love. Infatuation is “love at first sight;” authentic love develops gradually and deepens with each experience. Infatuation is selfish and characterized by immediate gratification; authentic love is directed toward the other person and is patient. Infatuation is centered on physical attraction; while physical attraction is involved in authentic love, the real connection is more than skin-deep. Infatuation is romantic and refuses to face reality; authentic love does not ignore reality but rather enhances it.

Jesus taught a love that rises above the molecular level to soar at spiritual heights. It is not based on emotions, for emotions wear thin. It is found in relationships that begin with first dates, warm feelings, and butterflies in the stomach. It follows married couples on their honeymoon. But it is also around when the baby is burning up with a fever in the middle of the night, or when the budget gets tight, or when the other person has to put in long hours at the office, or when it’s time to celebrate fifty years of marriage. Christian love is able to break through the initial romance and grow into something more permanent.

Paul writes, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4-7).

Young people, give your relationships some time. Don’t rush into marriage over the first person that makes your heart flutter. Newlyweds, don’t be alarmed when you find that marriage is not as romantic as you thought it would be. Romance fades, but love lasts. And that’s the way it should be, for love is better. It is “the greatest of these” (1 Cor. 13:13).


1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ashley Kizer says:

    Perhaps the most popular verse in the New Testament is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” One of the most commonly sung hymns has very much the same theme: “Jesus loves me. This I know. For the Bible tells me so.” It is only natural for us to be fascinated by a Creator who would love His creation so much as to sacrifice His Son for them. Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (5:8).

    Though the world seems to have a notion of God’s love for mankind, it could be that the general population is uneducated as to what type of love that really is. For example, a contemporary poet has written, “God loves everyone like a mother loves her son. No strings at all. Unconditional.” So far, so good, right? After all, Paul wrote that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (cf. Romans 8:35). Keep reading and see if you can find any disconnection between the poet and the word of God: “There are no gates in heaven. Everyone gets in. Queer or straight. Souls of every faith.”

    The problem with the world’s view of God’s love in today’s society is our general lack of understanding about the relationship man can have with God. We must understand that though God loves everyone, He does not have the same relationship with everyone. This is because of the destructive nature of sin. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short That it cannot save; Neither is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you…” (59:1, 2).

    “God created man in His own image” and blessed him, allowing him to live in a garden paradise (Genesis 1:27-29). However, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they were driven out of the garden He had made for them (3:24). The Creator still loved His creation, but they had sinned and thus severed the once strong ties that existed in the Garden of Eden. God blessed them with children and common necessities, but they would have to experience the toil and pain of every day life under the sun (cf. 3:16-19). Also, since they had sinned, God required them to sacrifice animals from their flocks to provide atonement for offenses (cf. 4:4). So, death had entered into the world through sin, and “death spread to all men, because all sinned…” (Romans 5:12).

    Yet all is not lost! Though we have sinned, we can still develop and foster a good relationship with our God (cf. Romans 3:23). According to Exodus 33:11, “…the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.” Can you imagine being called the “friend of God” as Abraham was (James 2:23)? Obedience is the key to a great relationship with the Master. Jesus said, “You are My friends, if you do what I command you” (John 15:14).

    God not only loves us, He is love (1 John 4:8). Since He loves us, He cannot lie to us (Titus 1:2). Since He loves us, He disciplines us (cf. Hebrews 12:5-11). Since He loves us, He “has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). God loves everyone, and if we love God, we will take His word seriously and apply it to our lives.

Leave a Comment