Every day for 20 years, Antonio wrote a love poem to his wife. At a divorce hearing, though, he revealed that he didn’t compose these verses to celebrate the joys of marriage but to pacify his domineering wife. The judge granted the divorce and declared that the marriage had nothing more to it than a “look of love.”
Relationships among some Christians often undergo a similar kind of breakdown. Long-hidden resentment finally comes to the surface as pretenses drop away. A spouse leaves after years of a supposedly happy marriage, saying he or she is tired of putting up a good front and going through the motions.
In 1 John 3 we read that we are not to “love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (v.18). Cain’s “love” for his brother Abel covered a simmering jealousy that eventually broke forth in anger (v.12). And we all know the tragic end to that story (Gen. 4:8).
Whether in marriage or in our relationships with fellow believers, resentment and separation are sure to surface if love is insincere. Instead of presenting a “look of love,” let’s take seriously the challenge to “let love be without hypocrisy” (Rom. 12:9).
When love is feigned and words are false,
Though outwardly it doesn't show,
Resentment simmers in the heart
And seeds of hate begin to grow. —DJD
Love that is true does nothing false.