In the presence of Chris’ love, Gene had flourished, by studying and learning about God and the Bible and Christ Jesus, and the power of prayer and how to discipline the “inner-man”, and thereby had grown into a more complete personality, having a much more successful life than was likely without his personal compliance with “the faith of the Son of God”. He knew that to be so, within his heart!
He had learned by contrast, during his early life experience in observing his parents and others, that beneficial result from the marriage of two individuals in a “true love” union is a consequence of total consecration of each to the other. There must be an absolute commitment to a permanence of bond to the other for life by both partners in the marital union, transcending the physical. Yet such bonding must not in any way compromise the joy of the blending of the two personalities, or of the individuality of each partner. This must be a given, from the very beginning of the betrothal, and nothing must ever be brought into the relationship, in thought or deed, which would not be accepted by both. After all, was not that the very essence of the marriage vows?
This near perfection in relationship can be more easily reached when both individuals in the love union are totally committed to the same faith as a “heart-belief”. Both Chris and he had found the same “heart-belief”, to be founded “in the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me”, and the life they now lived in the flesh (and in their marital union) was lived by that faith to the best of their human ability to do so.
Gene had found that love must be acted upon to realize the greatest benefits from it. He likened it to a discipline, for sincere love requires the diligent practice of self-control, and the surrender of self in the relationship. As in any other discipline, best results are achieved by setting an ideal and then striving to attain it, and from maximum effort being given to reaching that primary goal. Just as it is a proven principle that “there can be no gain without pain”, greatest joy is attained in a love relationship where sacrifice of self is a principle employed by both partners.
Unfortunately, the sense of fulfilling love for most humans is usually for self-fulfillment. It seemed to Gene that most modern teachers of psychology are advocating the idea that we must learn to love ourselves before we can learn to love others. This concept is far different to Gene’s own personal experience. He had only learned to value himself through the knowledge of Chris’ love for him and of her faithfulness to him, coupled with the compelling sense of love he felt for her.
The second view of love taught by worldly teachers is that we should gratify self, denying nothing. The essence of Christ’s teaching on this is that we consistently love ourselves more than anything else, (despite the depths of disgust we may feel about some of our own actions) and that we must learn to love all others as much as we love ourselves.
Gene had observed that “if it feels good, do it”, could be the motto for the way of life proclaimed at just about every level of living, from politics to pulpit. The amoral practices of many leaders in places of influence such as government, media, the financial world and religious systems, has led to a display of greed and lewdness, such as has not been seen in a general way in the western world since the founding of the North American countries under Judeo-Christian principles, and the increasing denial of such ethics may soon lead the world of mankind into a condition of near lawlessness.
As he thought on these observations, Gene was saddened that the main dynamic in the minds of many leaders seems to be greed, not “love your neighbor”, and the drive for gain seems to be spreading like a plague through the ranks of the general population.
The average person is accepting the idea that love is gratification of the “urge to merge” impulse; that success is measured by the amount of dollars and things accumulated; that life is full when one succeeds in these two things without being stopped by the law, and even then, one just uses their often ill-gotten gains to hire a brilliant, smooth-talking lawyer to get one free under a liberal-minded system of justice.
“Love your neighbor”, as a societal principle to live by, is being dismissed by the general social order in tandem with, or perhaps as a result of the setting aside of the ten commandments of God by the courts of the land, and love as a personal code for behavior, is falling out of favor, having been replaced by “situational ethics” as a rule for conduct, an assumption that there is no definitive truth, that reality is in the eye of the individual as he sees it at any given moment. Pontius Pilate could easily be regarded as the standard for the teachers of such thought, in that he voiced this principle nearly 2000 years ago, when he faced Jesus Christ with the question, “What is truth?”, in response to Christ’s assertion that He had come into the world of mankind to bear witness to the Truth and that all who cherish truth would hear His voice. Then, Pilate delivered Christ over to be crucified.
It was obvious to Gene as he mused on these things in 1998, that this is rapidly becoming the way of the entire world. Out with truth; out with moral standards as they had previously been accepted; out with authority of any kind. In such a totally “free-thought” society favoring unshackled conscience, anarchy will soon become commonplace, and terror will reign. What is accepted as truth will vary with the individual, and that will lead to chaos.
Gene was so glad he had been brought out of the terror of his childhood and into the warmth of Love, with moral parameters to guide him, and with a daily hope for his future. He had found that there is a Truth which if adhered to, brings peace and happiness to one’s inner-self, and through this Truth he had learned much more about Love in application, as well as in all of its expressions.