Posted by: everynation | October 6, 2008

What’s love got to do with it?

by Frank Christie

William Shakespeare wrote in Twelfth Night “If music be the food of love, give me excess of it that surfeiting my appetite may sicken and so die.”

There is an interesting connection between music and love! Music, besides being an art form in which the medium sound organised in time, has the ability to provoke emotions. Have you ever had an experience when you hear a song and it results in emotion flooding back about a time, a person, or a relationship from the past?  Music can influence the ambience and mood in a room.

Music is an integral part of our culture, and it is becoming more and more a part of people’s everyday lives. If one asked people why they listened to music, they would most likely say that they do it because it relaxes them, puts them in a good state of mind, reminds them of happy memories, or organises their thoughts and helps them be productive.

I like singing songs to express how I am feeling, and at times enjoy listening and singing along with oldies. Admit it, when no one is looking, you pull out your old New Kids on the Block tapes and start singing ‘Hangin Tough’ or your ABBA records. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. Music makes a person feel good or bad or in love. It affects you. It’s powerful and strong and beautiful. I still sing ‘Ballerina Girl’ by Lionel Ritchie when no one is listening!

There always will be a connection between music, emotion and love.

Love is a strange thing. It can be the most amazing feeling in the world, or it can really hurt, but in the end love is something that most, if not all of us, will face.

As a word, love can be found worldwide and is often used to describe compassion and/or emotional attachment. The greatest number of songs ever written has been about love. They seem to start off talking about love but ending in heartbreak. One song that has got me thinking is Tina Turner’s song “What’s love got to do with it? What’s love, but a second hand emotion?”

Tina Turner, along with many artists before and after her, has written songs about love, but what is love? Why do people say they see fireworks when they fall in love? Why do your knees go weak, your palms sweat, your stomach does flip-flops and you begin to stammer when you fall in love? What is it about emotions, including love, that seem to affect your entire body, both mentally and physically? Everyday, people talk about feeling happy, feeling sad, feeling anxious…and so on, but what causes emotions, in particular, what causes someone to say they are in love?

Emotions play an important role when learning and memory circuits are being established. The strength of the synaptic connection that is formed when a memory is created is directly connected to the strength of the emotions at the time. This is why trivial events are easily forgotten and why emotional patterns are hard to change. This also might help to explain why those marriages that have lasted so long will last even longer. During adulthood the neural connections continue to change more slowly and less frequently.

Real love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person. Most of us wait for the feeling of love to come upon us before we act on that feeling. But right thinking produces right behavior – the feelings will follow. Choose to show the other person love, even if you don’t feel like it. The feelings will come! Here is a general guide to loving. Love is the continual act of unconditionally putting the needs of others before your own.

Love can cause war; in the cases of love of religion and the love of money; war can cause people to steal and murder, it can lead to suicide and shatter marriage and family life, it can spread disease and give birth to evil; but love is eternal and cannot be eliminated; it is what makes people human.

There are many combinations, all of which form some kind of love. Is there passion and friendship but very little commitment? This is defined as “passionate love.” Are you committed but feel no passion or friendship? This is called “empty love.” What most people ultimately desire, is “TRUE LOVE,” the total package: passion, intimacy, friendship and commitment in one healthy relationship. It’s the most fulfilling love. It is unconditional, and in my opinion the only “CHOICE”.

Love is about commitment, it is about seeing it through to the end! Love that is self-seeking always ends in pain!

Here are some ideas that could help you love:

1. Say it. When you say the words “I love you,” do they carry with them the desire to show someone you love them or do they carry with them what you want to feel? And when you say it make sure you really mean it and are willing to do anything for that person.

2. Empathize. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Rather than impose your own expectations or attempt to control them, try to understand how they feel, where they come from, and who they are; and realise how they could also love you back just as well.

3. Love unconditionally. If you cannot love another person without attaching stipulations, then it is not love at all, but deep-seated opportunism (one who makes the most of an advantage, often is not mindful of others). If your interest is not in the other person as such, but rather in how that person can enhance your experience of life, then it is not unconditional. If you have no intention of improving that person’s life, or allowing that person to be themselves and accepting them as they are, and not who you want them to be, then you are not striving to love them unconditionally.

4. Expect nothing in return. That doesn’t mean you should allow someone to mistreat or undervalue you. It means that giving love does not guarantee receiving love. Realise that someone may have a different way of showing his or her love for you; do not expect to be loved back in exactly the same way.

5.Realise it can be lost. If you realise that you can lose the one you love, then you have a greater appreciation of what you have. Think how blessed you are to have someone to love.

Play on music and love!

Philippians 2:1-5

1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

Frank Christie is the senior pastor of Every Nation Somerset West, the founder of Thembalitsha and the author of Being Frank.



  1. That has got to be one of the longest blogs ever, rivaled only by Ron Miller’s. Good stuff as always from Frank.

  2. Hey Frank – great blog – definitely enough information to steal for a great sermon! How was your/Kate’s time in the US? Would LOVE to catch up – lots of ch–ch–ch–ch–changes here! Off to the UK on Monday. Blessings! Michael

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