In July this year, ITV reported a record-breaking 6 million views of “Love Island”, of which the majority of viewers were aged 16 to 341. While I have always kept two arms’ lengths from watching the show on the impression that it was nothing short of scripted reality, it does offer an insightful glimpse into the collective mind of society as a whole.
On a day-to-day basis, for one reason or another almost every conversation with friends or family will inevitably lead to the topic of relationships. My well-meaning mother would often ask, “Sam, when are you going to find a girl?” – to which I would just roll my eyes and give a perfunctory “In the fullness of time” answer. What is it about relationships that everybody seems to just seems to perk up to? Why do these issues seem to consistently gnaw at the very core of our beings?
“Love is the craving of the human heart, to belong in the sacredness of trust and a relationship”, so said Ravi Zacharias, a contemporary Christian apologist2. The desire for love is a fundamental and instinctive part of humanity that is created in the image of a loving and relational God.
The truth is, no one can love us as much as God does; and no amount of human relationship can ever truly satisfy the desire for love that can only come from the God who is literally love personified (1 John 4:8). For all relationship of his seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, King Solomon was still left bitterly unfulfilled and disillusioned (1 Kings 11:3, Ecclesiastes 2:10-11). Nothing displays the outrageous love of God for every single one of us than the sight of his own son hanging from a cross. Name me one person who would literally go to hell and back for you; to suffer personal humiliation, injustice and inconceivable torment to establish a relationship with you. And all this considering the fact that to God, we had nothing to give. We were woefully sinful, undeserving of his love, and merely mortal men and women in the sight of an infinite God whose hands measured the span of the known universe (Isaiah 40:12)
God’s love for us does not change one iota, whether we are single, in a relationship or married. A single person of any age can find more joy and fulfilment in godliness than the most enviable couples in society can without God. When all we have is Christ, we realize that Christ is all we ever need; and that is worth far more than any relationship this world can give.
“I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” – Psalms 63:2-5
- Steve McIntosh (2019), Love Island: How ITV2’s breakout hit cornered the market, BBC (online), published 29th July 2019, available on https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-49109927
- Martin Oluoch (2018), Ravi Zacharias – Love – The Supreme Ethic, Youtube (online), uploaded 6th April 2018, available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR6ZEWHdpa0