I just read an incredibly dumb headline on my @CNN app: “What we call love is actually a chemical process in our brains.” (And on Valentine’s Day, no less! Is nothing sacred?) Needless to say, this is a ridiculous example of reductionism. Love is most surely not the same thing as a chemical reaction in our brains.
Ironically, however, when I clicked the article I then read this headline: “Are you in love or just high on chemicals in your brain? Answer: Yes.” Ahh, so it would seem the original title was, in fact, a bit of trollish click-bait. When you get into the actual article it sensibly sets aside the nonsense reductionism that love just is a chemical reaction. Instead, it retreats to the far more credible assertion that love is an experience that is realized through and concurrently with said chemical reactions.
Fair enough. However, there is still another problem that we need to address here, namely the assumption that love is the same thing as that period of infatuation that kicks off many meaningful and loving relationships. Contrary to what CNN (and countless twitterpated teenagers and bedazzled balladeers) assume, love isn’t that fleeting “Romeo and Juliet” obsession. If CNN really wants to talk about love, they might try examining a different set of chemical reactions.
Okay then, so what is love? I think the Apostle Paul can handle that one:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.